Joseph Goldstein is one of the giants of mindfulness today. He is part of the group who traveled to Asia in the sixties, then introduced and nurtured the practice in the West.
Since the purpose of meditation is to see clearly, it is only fitting that I find everything that he utters is economical, direct, and crystal clear. Here is a passage I transcribed from one of Joseph’s recent talks. About change.
What do we learn from being mindful?
Mindfulness itself is not the end. Mindfulness is a methodology in the service of wisdom. So when we ask the question what do we learn from being mindful we see over time, through practice, whatever arises in our experience is also changing. It’s passing. And the Buddha said this very often in the text. Whatever has the nature to arise will also pass away.
This seems so obvious to us that we really stop paying attention to it; if you go up to anybody in the street and ask ‘Do things change?’, everybody will say yes.
But we don’t live that understanding,
So, in the practice of meditation and through the initial stages of mindfulness– that is, simply noticing what is arising, through that observation we begin to see: yes, it’s arising and passing. Arising and passing. And we get an increasingly refined perception of change. This is of critical importance in the purification of our minds. Because the more clearly we experience, or the more clearly we are actually perceiving change in the moment as it is happening, that’s what deconditions the mind to cling. To grasp. And this is the essence of freeing the mind.
Dr. Dan Siegel explains to us that in quantum physics there is no such thing as time. There is change. So one can speak of the directionality of change.
And our little company here is changing.
While our mission remains to empower more people to practice mindfulness, we are currently emphasizing Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as the most effective introduction to what Joseph calls this ‘methodology in the service of wisdom’.
And so, our site has changed and continues to change to reflect this. When I sat down to write this post, I thought I would include all of the text content that has been taken down. Kind of a last hurrah: an homage to our honorable and humble beginnings. Alas. It’s way too much!
And so, I share with you one last time this simple Welcome Message:
Whether you have never meditated, but sense that this direction feels true and compelling, or you have had some pleasant and perhaps poignant or profound experiences sitting on a meditation cushion but have been unable to sustain them, continually getting pulled back into the rush and striving of modern life, we are delighted you found us.
Ease and Lightness Mindfulness exists to be of service. No more. No less.
Often the unvarnished Now leaves us cold. Without our attention being pulled into the abstraction of our minds, or absorbed by a movie or device, the present can seem barren and boring.
And yet that very moment reveals every treasure and miracle that will ever happen to us or that ever has happened to us. As Dan Millman wrote, there are NO ordinary moments.
Let us show you how to unwrap this gift in strange wrapping paper.
Change, offers Louis Hay, It’s what we want everyone else to do…