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VideoTeachers Table - Mindfulness in trying times

Teachers Table - Mindfulness in trying times

Our teachers reflect on mindfulness during the last few years, using meditation as activism, and being kind to themselves.

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I've actually found that the harder things are, the more inclined I am to practice. In times of difficulty, that's my crutch. Like I have, I have almost, like, have to have it. And actually when things are, you know, maybe a little easier or feeling, yeah, like, less complex or however you wanna describe it, that's when I actually have to sometimes put more effort in. That's when you need to practice the most because you know that you need it when it's difficult, but, actually, it's a practice so you have to keep practicing. (upbeat music) I went through a really hard time in graduate school. I was away from family and friends for the first time in my life, and I was just overwhelmed by the city, by New York. It felt like, I felt like I had claustrophobia constantly, like the buildings were trying to eat me. It was really, really intense. I had, basically, insomnia, I couldn't sleep, and my panic was, my anxiety was getting so bad I couldn't eat. So I was completely dysregulated, and I kept showing up to my weekly meditation group, and I kept sitting in the midst of all these questions, like, should I leave? Should I persist? And those were some of the greatest breakthroughs in the practice. Like, I had one breakthrough where this, as I was following my breath, this message came in saying, "If you want love, give love." When I got that insight, I decided to just treat everyone with a lot of love and a lot of attention and a lot of care and with a smile. And then my perception of the city changed, you know, completely. It was like, oh people are friendly because they're responding to my energy. I'm deciding to put that energy out. So there were these insights that came, which made me, it motivated me to continue the practice 'cause I was like, "Oh, what's gonna come up today?" And if nothing did, that was okay. It was just another day of practicing this new relationship to my feelings. You know, you mentioned grad school. I was on the path of pre-med. Like I was, "Okay, Sumner's gonna be a doctor." That's what everybody just knew, you know, that's what I knew until my senior year. And I was like, "Oh my God, I don't want to be a doctor." Especially because the previous year I was introduced to acupuncture, and I knew that that's how I wanted to practice medicine. But I felt the pressure of everyone thinking I was supposed to be a western physician, a western, you know, doctor. So I literally went to medical school, and this was in Boston, and I did terribly. And I was like, "Oh, what am I gonna do?" And those two years were miserable. Those were some hard years because I knew my truth, but I wasn't living it. And oh my gosh, that was just a...


Duration18 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.

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  • 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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