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This content is taken from the Monash University's online course, Maintaining a Mindful Life. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsCRAIG HASSED: We often start exploring mindfulness alone because of our own personal needs to deal with stress, to function better at work, and so on. But mindfulness is really very much about relationships. We're not islands, as it were, so we really need to learn how to connect.

Skip to 0 minutes and 19 secondsRICHARD CHAMBERS: And how do we connect well with mindfulness? Well, first it's about connecting with ourselves and having a better relationship with ourself. And then that naturally starts to influence how we actually show up with others, how we communicate, how we relate to other people moment to moment.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 secondsCRAIG HASSED: And so mindful relationships-- firstly, a relationship with ourselves to create an aware and supportive relationship and self-compassion to our ourselves but also with others. And of course, the big relationship is also with the planet, with everything else that lives on the planet, and how we look after the planet. And that's, perhaps, a very big picture.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 secondsRICHARD CHAMBERS: Really, we're talking about having greater intimacy, being aware of what we're feeling and what we're thinking from moment to moment, and what our values are and our goals, and what's really important to us. So we can start, of course, by listening. And mindfulness really helps us to listen, not just when we're talking to other people, but to listen to ourselves and to really notice what we're thinking and feeling from moment to moment-- to have a much greater intimacy with ourselves, to be able to hold what's coming up for us in a present and open-hearted way, and then to bring that relationship to the people around us.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsCRAIG HASSED: When we start exploring relationships, they're very close to home. And because they're close to home and they matter so much to us, they really impact on our mental and emotional health. So this week can be a challenging week. It can bring up some things that we can find quite difficult, bring up a little bit of past history and so on. So we very much encourage you to move through this week, and be gentle. Go at your own pace. It can be very powerful. But we want you to be, as it were, the masters of your own ship.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 secondsLearn to have an inquiring and curious attitude-- being objective, but also just being a little bit gentle and kind on ourselves as we do that-- so to learn from experience and then to move on.

Welcome to Week 2

Watch Craig and Richard introduce the topic of mindful relationships, and discuss how mindfulness can impact your relationship with yourself, others, and the planet.

Please keep in mind that this week’s content is more complex than what we covered in Week 1 (and what was covered in our introductory course, Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance).

So if you do experience any intense discomfort or significant distress, we strongly recommend that you seek appropriate support from a trained healthcare professional.

Likewise, if you are struggling with a particularly challenging relationship, we recommend that you talk to someone who you trust and/or seek appropriate support.

This week’s meditations

This week, you’ll have the chance to practise and experiment with the Empathy and compassion, Cultivating kindness and Cultivating compassion meditations.

As you do so, you may also like to continue doing meditation exercises you have already been introduced to if that feels appropriate for you. In particular, continuing to regularly practise the short mindful Comma meditation (either with or without the audio guide) can be useful.

Over time find the practice or practices that work best for you and aim to do these regularly.

Sharing your thoughts, ideas and experiences

We can also learn a lot from other people’s insights and experiences, and taking the time to express our own reflections and experiences can help consolidate our learning. So, the more you actively share your ideas and join in the discussions, the more you will get out of this course.

You are not expected to be mindfulness teachers, so we suggest you resist the temptation to advise others on how to practise mindfulness or to take up the role of therapist or mentor.

Instead, we suggest that you simply share insights from your own experience, stay on topic with the course content and ask the questions that are of interest to you.

If you’d like to start your own conversation on a step instead of responding to other learners, you can do so in the Comments.

We’ll record a feedback video at the end of this week!

Like the previous week, we’ll be recording a feedback video at the end of this week. The feedback video is our chance to respond to the questions, comments and related learner activity from this week of the course.

If there’s a particular topic or discussion from this week that you’d like to be explored further, engage with other learners in the Comments throughout the week to help the course team identify key topics to discuss in the video.

Consider using Like to indicate which questions and comments you’d most like the course educators to respond to!

Moving through this week

We’re hoping that we’ll move through this week together, and we encourage you to take time to review and reflect on the week’s content, do the meditation practices and really solidify your learning before progressing to new materials and practices.

Doing this will also give you the opportunity to reflect on the comments made by the course mentors as well as other learners. Reading about mindfulness is one thing, but really learning to practise and apply it is another thing and can take some time.

Of course, you’re welcome to move through the course at your own pace and review any earlier steps at any time.

We hope you enjoy the week!

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This video is from the free online course:

Maintaining a Mindful Life

Monash University

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