Two minutes of wisdom from Jon Kabat-Zin. In the video he explains how mindfulness can help us reduce our “Me, me, me” narrative and the concept known as selfing.
“My name is Jon Kabat-Zin. My working definition of mindfulness, or what I call operational definition of mindfulness is: “The awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” And then I sometimes add, “in the service of self understanding and wisdom”.
We all take ourselves too seriously because we believe that there is someone to take seriously – that me. WE become the star of our own movie The story of me, starring of course, ME. And everybody else becomes a bit player in our movie, and then we forget that it’s a fabrication, it’s a construction, and that it’s not a movie and that there’s no you that you can actually find if you were to sort of start to peel back. Well, are you your name? Are you your age? Are you your thoughts? Are you your opinions? Even your genetic inheritance? Even your genes – if you meditate, or eat differently, they are going to be expressed by the hundreds differently. So you are not even your genetic inheritance.
So, who are you? And here’s where the rubber really meets the road. The question is much more important than the dime store answers that we come up with.
So then we can notice this phenomenon called selfing. How much of the time are we running the narrative of ‘I, me and mine’? Which is now being identified with certain regions of the brain that do that narrative default mode kind of thing. And then mindfulness MBSR has been shown to actually light up other areas, more lateral areas, where there is no more story of me. It’s just this breath, that out-breath, and it’s not me breathing, either. If it was up to me breathing, I would have died a long time ago. Whoops, got distracted, forgot, DEAD!”
Reading about mindfulness in this script, or listening to Kabat-Zin, can make the practice, or even concept, a bit abstract. Actually applying mindfulness to something you’re doing can be helpful. I have written about Mastering Mindful Cooking if you’d like to explore a practical application of mindfulness.
If you’re interested in taking more time to explore mindfulness & meditation, yoga & breathwork, then I invite you to join me on a Norfolk yoga retreat.