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PodcastTrain the Mind

Train the Mind

Do your emotions control your mind or does your mind control your emotions? A fascinating question considering that our thoughts are often governed by the way we feel. Emotions are a part of being human — we all feel them. We need to put in effort to become more aware of our feelings.

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(sand shaking) (mouse clicking) (peaceful music) Headspace Studio. Hi, my name's Andy and welcome to Radio Headspace and a Thursday morning. So there are a lot of misconceptions and preconceptions that exist around meditation, mindfulness, and training the mind. And I think one of the most prevalent is that by training the mind, we are somehow subduing emotions. We're somehow canceling them out, getting rid of them. And in fairness, when I went away to become a monk there was a little bit inside of me that thought just that I thought I could go away and I could basically get rid of all the unpleasant emotions in my mind. And in having done that, I would never have to experience them again, which is a somewhat naive thought, a nice thought, but a somewhat naive thought. Of course, as human beings doesn't matter whether we train our minds or not we're still going to experience human emotions. It's part of living in the human realm. It's part of this sort of shared condition. I have people genuinely say to me they're worried that they just turn into this sort of gray emotionless blob and not necessarily experience life. But if you think about what we are doing in training the mind, we're training awareness so we can only become more aware of things. That means we become more aware of our sadness, we become more aware of our happiness, we become more aware hopefully of our entirety of mind if you like. It reminded me of a experiment that was done back in the seventies. I was told about, and it's a really interesting one I'd still find it really helpful and relevant to think about this. Obviously back in those days, the ability to measure what was happening during the body and mind was somewhat limited compared to now. It was long before FMRI scanners and and that kind of thing. So they had a couple of yogis, couple of meditation practitioners connected to just ECG and EEG to see what was happening to the heart and what was happening to brain activity as they were meditating. Now, unbeknown to these two practitioners someone was gonna creep into the room where they were practicing into the laboratory and bang a very loud gong, which sounds a bit mean, but hear me out. There's an interesting sort of journey these people go on. Now, one of these practitioners is practicing a very deep form of concentration and when you practice that type of concentration it's almost as though you shut out the outside world. So on the one hand, yes you may experience a very deep state of concentration but you're not really fully aware of what's going on around you. The other person was practicing something probably a bit more similar to what these days we call mindfulness where there was a level of concentration perhaps not quite as deep as as the other person but there was was...


Duration6 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.

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