Episode 253

Diana Winston - Slowing Down, Living Peacefully and Finding Calm Despite Our Circumstances

Diana Winston is one of the top Mindfulness educators in the country. She is the director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. She’s also the author of The Little Book of Being: Practices and Guidance for Uncovering your Natural Awareness and co-author of Fully Present: The Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness. Both of these books are treasures. In the first part of this conversation we discuss how we can use our mindfulness practice to help us find some stability and inner peace during the CV pandemic. Diana talks about acceptance, dealing with uncertainty and finding equanimity. Then, in the second part of our conversation, she shares the spectrum of awareness practices including focused awareness, flexible awareness and natural awareness. She’s an incredibly gifted teacher and expresses herself with authenticity, humor and grace.

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Takeaways:

  • There are still some beautiful moments to treasure as we all slow down, despite the crisis we are living through.
  • Mindfulness can help us work with difficult moments and to ease up and soften when our amygdala's gets triggered. 
  • We’re always dealing with uncertainty and it is, to say the least, very uncomfortable. In meditation, we learn to sit with uncertainty and try not to escape it.
  • Ideally, mindfulness helps us to train our 'minds’ to be okay in spite of conditions. 
  • Mindfulness teaches us to pay attention to present moment experiences with openness and curiosity, and a willingness to be with that experience, whatever it is.
  • We're always changing and so is everything around us. it's the nature of reality. This current situation is like a big blinking neon light reminding us of this.  Sitting with acceptance of this, equanimity and a balanced mind is a  powerful skill that mindfulness teaches us. 
  • Diana's book teaches us that there is a spectrum of awareness practices; focused awareness, flexible awareness and natural awareness. 
  • We can Imagine natural awareness as a panoramic lens that is wide open and spacious. It is an effortless type of awareness where you can take in profound moments in life that often happens spontaneously. You're just fully there, wherever you are.  

Resources:

Diana's page: http://www.dianawinston.com/

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