An 8 Week Long Book Review : Week 4 – Mindfulness Starts Here

2013 October 5
by Tanya McGinnity

This is a delayed blog post for ‘Week 4/ Should be Week 5 going on Week 6’ as part of my continuing book review / life practice of ‘Mindfulness Starts Here’. We’re all householders here so we can cut me a little slack for not being able to keep up with it all, right?

So here we are. Week 4 and the title of the chapter is ‘Awareness of Emotions’ and the intention of this section is for the reader to learn to get in touch with what is occurring in each moment and develop the capacity ‘to be’. The book isn’t afraid to dive into the sticky areas of emotions and serves to dispel the common misconception many have that Buddhists or meditators function in some kind of zombie state affected by nothing both on and off the cushion.

Surely emotions play a large part in MBSR given that much of the stress we encounter comes out of our emotional reactions. This chapter digs into the common ways we react to situations that may trigger us (resulting passion, aggression or confusion sound familiar my Buddhist friends?)
This chapter features a lovely poem from Rumi which I have to say was like a warm nourishing bowl of soup. Really this poem was the perfect side-dish for the self-soothing recommendations that the authors presented. What I was left with most from this section of the book was the need to be less judgmental of my emotions and to listen to how I talk to myself in the run of a day. The practices recommended in this chapter were very much appreciated, especially the one on mindful consumption given that the news these days is making me bonkers. Little by little, I’m seeing how making some changes can really result in a calmer mind that isn’t as reactionary, or better yet, that is appropriately reactionary.
Onwards to Week 5. Stay tuned.
2 Responses
  1. October 11, 2013

    I like the idea of “appropriate reaction”. Not that there is one for each scenario, but the best way for you, personally. Real meditators or Buddhists, I think, have a way of listening, analyzing and befriending their less comfortable emotions. Not filing them away, but figuring out the best way (for them) to deal with it. Because let’s face it, we are all humans and those sticky emotions are only natural. I like a book that can be honest about those things.

  2. Tanya McGinnity permalink*
    October 17, 2013

    So very true. How often we try to run and hide from the sticky stuff!

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