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PodcastMinding Mindfulness

Minding Mindfulness

Many find meditation challenging. Why? What is mindfulness really about? Learn how our approach to meditation determines the outcome.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

(mouse clicking) (soft music) Headspace Studios. Hi, it's Andy here, and welcome to Radio Headspace and to Wednesday morning. Now, I've said in the past, one of the lovely things about doing the work that I do is that I get to hear from so many people about their experience, not just the meditation, but more broadly in their life as well. And I hear the most incredible stories, but I also get to hear from a lot of people about the challenges they have, and more specifically the challenges they have with their mind. More specifically still, within the meditation. And there are so many people who feel that either they can't meditate, they feel they're bad at meditating. Maybe meditation isn't for them. Maybe they're doing the wrong meditation. Maybe meditation doesn't work at all. I hear so many of these different bits of feedback, and I was looking at it sort of as a whole, you know, I don't think it's really about the meditation for what it's worth. Let's take a technique like focused attention, for example, where we're just focusing on the breath. The body is breathing, the body does its own thing. We don't really need to worry too much about that. Our ability to focus, of course, we're going to be distracted a lot to begin with. That's the learning of the skill, and it's a lifelong journey. So we should be okay with that. And of course, thoughts are going to continue to come and go. So the technique itself is just a technique, nothing too special about it. What really defines the outcome and the experience is our approach. So if we are showing up to the meditation thinking it's about stopping thoughts, then of course it's frustrating. If when a thought arises in the mind, we're very critical and harsh and judgemental towards ourself. Of course, it's unpleasant. If we think that meditation isn't for us because of A, B, and C, then again, it's not really about the meditation, that's just about how we're thinking or prioritizing our time and the activities in our life. The truth is, our approach to the exercise, I would argue defines it entirely. And so we have to consider that the journey of meditation is less about graduating through different techniques and different levels. It's more about refining our approach, evolving our approach. Moving away from this idea of, oh, we're just showing up to do the same thing every single day. It's really not like that, because the mind is not the same every day. And the assumption then is that we think, oh, oh, okay, I get it. So I'm still sitting on the side of the road sort of watching the thoughts come and go, but the traffic is different every day. But it's not just the traffic that's different. As we sit on the side of the road watching the traffic, the thoughts go by, we ourselves are different every...


Duration4 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

    More about Kessonga
  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

    More about Rosie
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