Insights from the workshop at DNKL Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace
This morning I had the pleasure of leading a workshop on the 'Neuroscience of Mindfulness' at a Tibetan Buddhist center in Connecticut. Around 26 people attended, most of them long-term meditation practitioners who were interested in the scientific take on meditation. I was more nervous here than at the Feast conference, where I addressed a large group of smart and savvy entrepreneurs.
The prospect of trying to explain to a room full of seasoned practitioners why mindfulness is so important, was daunting.
But quite to my surprise, people really appreciated the scientific validation - in fact, some of them needed it. It was like a collective relief to realize the natural workings of the undisciplined mind + the hardwired nervous system.
To understand how much of our lives are governed by unconscious impulses and habitual fear-responses, due to evolutionary conditioning, helps alleviate some of the blame and impatience we feel towards ourselves. In fact, often we think we're the only ones with this mental sabotage issue.
From this understanding, self-compassion comes easy.
After all, we're in it together and collectively suffer from the "evolutionary hangover", as Dr. Joe Loizzo would call it.
It's a matter of showing up to the process of mind training + transforming the nervous system - moment by moment.
So let that settle your mind flakes and open your heart.