On Mindfulness

People come to my meditation classes with an expectation of approaching some kind of mystical space, far away from their complicated and dissatisfying lives. And I sense disappointment when I start a class with a simple body awareness exercise. We don’t go anywhere, we don’t leave the body, contrary, we get closer to it; we are being interested only in the feelings and sensations in the body, going from one part to another, scanning it attentively and patiently, listening to what is going on there and not paying any attention to a story that the mind is trying to tell about it.

The thinking, intelligent mind has already an idea about meditation, that it will bring nirvana, enlightenment and liberation from sufferings and sorrows by some magical act of separation from the body and perfect sublimation of the very mind. When the mind realizes that meditation does not include thinking, that it is not interested in the accumulated knowledge it rebels. It will not allow for taking your attention away from thinking and science, particularly to something as primitive and boring as the body! Shifting attention from thinking to just sensing can be a struggle and it takes an effort simply because we have been trained not to trust our feelings, but trust our intelligence. In meditation I ask you to take authority away from your critical mind and handle it to you somatic mind-the feeling one. I ask you to drop a search for objective truth and start trusting your subjective experience.

I realize that the thinking prevails and that it is not easy to change the habit of relying on it.

Nevertheless I hope for showing you a different way of approaching the mystery of life. Meditation gives you a different point of view and a broader perspective, where you learn to trust yourself.