Mindful Reflection™

Mindfulness meditation is popular for its down-to-earth approach and practical benefits; it seems these days that everyone’s doing it — or at least, wants to. Increasingly studied by research scientists and prescribed by both physicians and psychologists, mindfulness lies at the heart of the Buddhist way – and the secular way, too.

However, meditation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. No matter how much you empty your mind of thoughts, you’re still a thinking human being. How you think has everything to do with the success and especially the continuity of mindfulness practice. That’s why the Buddha didn’t just teach the mechanics of meditation. He also offered reflections on why he sought to free himself from the tyranny of his own thoughts, and descriptions of what we all face. It’s not just theory; it’s the ripened fruits of the mindful life.

This is why there’s more to Quiet Mind Workshops than sitting quietly. Every workshop begins with silence, as we turn the mind inward upon itself. Then we get to the reflections. There are many, like signposts encircling a single destination, all pointing to it from a different angle. The practice of mindfulness is simplicity itself — you just watch what’s going on — but the obstacles are many. The Buddha’s reflections provide a context in which we can make sense of and manage the chatter that sooner or later overwhelms even the most determined meditator.

The basic QM handbook is It Begins with Silence, subtitled The Art of Mindful Reflection. Written especially for workshop attendees, it is short but multi-faceted. It contains reflective photographs to still the mind, dense verse on which to focus and a meditative take on the Buddha’s reflections. By contemplating a verse, a sentence or a paragraph each day, you’ll gradually come to see how your freedom is in your own hands, and hopefully glimpse the way out.

Mindful Reflection™ is not just quiet meditation, not just philosophy. It’s an integrated lifestyle of attentive mindfulness and critical reflection — a powerful way of dealing with stress, unease and anxiety.