Mindfulness in Action: Kari Mozena vs. Her Wandering Mind

Last week I relaxed at The Hammer Museum’s Mindful Awareness Meditation—for work

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An interesting thing happened on my way to one the Hammer Museum’s free weekly Mindful Awareness sessions. Wilshire was at a crawl (quel surprise) due to construction and as I sat in the traffic, nearly late for my first 12:30 session, I noticed someone’s bubbe at my passenger side window. I rolled down the window. She said she needed a ride, that she’d been waiting a long time at the bus stop and was ready to go. Interestingly enough, this has happened to me before. One, on another street (Third), another bubbe tried my doorhandle. When I opened it for her she asked me to drive her down to the Farmer’s Market, which I did. As I was late to meditate, I told the latest bubbe that I was sorry and late for an appointment. I inched on along Wilshire wondering how I became a bubbe bus.

I’m new to the Mindful craze. I’d just read Ben Kallen’s Well-Being column in March and I’d gone to David Lynch’s Transcendental Meditation to-dos in the past. Lynch’s Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace are filled with troubled comedians looking for inner quiet (like Russell Brand and Jerry Seinfeld). Is Mindfulness TM for 2013? I was still feeling guilty over passing up the lady in need of a ride as I entered the nearly-packed Billy Wilshire Theater. Apparently, people are itching to slow down. Despite a sign outside that told people to turn off phones, many texted away. I sat down and UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) education director Diana Winston (mentioned in Kallen’s column) sat down quietly onstage and told the group to close their eyes. She told us, “be kind”—and the stranded woman’s face popped into my head—then finished the phrase with “…to yourself”—and it disappeared in a poof. What a relief. If I was being kind to myself, I needed to get here to de-stress from a truly hectic day. I shouldn’t feel bad? Wait. Is Mindfulness, just rationalization? I’m terrific at that. Winston continued, “Sometimes people are really checked out of their lives. The capacity to be present can be cultivated.” Then she told us to stop judging ourselves. I thought of my tummy getting bigger than my bosom (see Amy Wallace’s fitness piece) acknowledged the thought, and flicked it away.

Everyone’s eyes were shut, we were concentrating on our breathing and we were supposed to be dealing with thoughts as they popped up…with kindness. I couldn’t escape that word. Next to me someone was beginning to snore softly and as twenty minutes went on, I truly did feel better, more relaxed and I’d thought of every hectic thing that wandered into my head and dealt with it. I left the 30 minute session refreshed. I get it and I see how it’s helpful and will probably use this on a weekly basis and be back for another session at The Hammer (it’s actually $3 if you count parking – get validated up front).

So to the bubbe I didn’t pick up on Wilshire, I’m sorry. But if I’m being kind to myself, I did pick up the last one.

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Comments

  1. RossE_9628

    March 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Hi, the children at my school wanted to let you know about a little project we are working on at the moment and to see what you thought about it.

    We were wondering if there was a place where you thought you could place this website?
    Meditation & Mindfulness FOR children BY children.

    meditationandmindfulnessforchildren.blogspot.co.uk

    Created by children at The Dharma Primary School. The ONLY Buddhist Primary School in EUROPE.

    The blog includes constant updates of the latest mindfulness activities (for home or school), child friendly websites relating to mindfulness, mindfulness news for children, picked by children. Building learning power through mindful mind skill activities. Philosophical questions on which to think about. How to meditate is a guide explaining the benefits and instructions and overcoming possible difficulties surrounding mediating as a young person (this is also provided as a podcast both on the website and on iTunes). We are also looking to develop a page to help aid conflict resolution in schools or at home for children, teachers and parents to use. Another project currently under construction is the idea of using and applying mathematics activities which are rich in mindfulness skills too.

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