beginners guide

The opposite of mindfulness is mindlessness. Whereas mindfulness involves paying purposeful attention and meeting experience with openness and curiosity, mindlessness means functioning on automatic pilot—following routines without paying attention, without appreciating, and without awareness of what’s happening inside and around us.

September marks a period of transition for most of us; we can sense a shift as the days get shorter and summer gradually makes way for the fall season. This time of year involves returning to a more structured routine, getting the kids ready for back-to-school and daily activities. It also usually involves getting busier and feeling more stressed. As our life speeds up, many of us find a renewed interest in making time to resume our mindfulness meditation practice, something that we know is deeply restorative but that somehow has managed to fade with our summer plans.

This week in our graduate meditation course, our teacher Daryl explored the theme of impermanence. She reminded us that, even though we know intellectually that everything changes all the time, it’s still difficult for us to bring that understanding to bear in our moment-to-moment reality.

It’s no secret that good communication is the secret to happy relationships–at work and at home. In her book “Real Happiness at Work,” mindfulness teacher Sharon Salzberg devotes an entire chapter to mindful communication. Her three-pointed strategy is simple and effective: before you speak, consider whether or not your comment is true, useful, and kind.