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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsRICHARD CHAMBERS: The word mindfulness sometimes sort of implies that it's about thinking or what's happening in the mind or maybe even having more thoughts, perhaps, and thinking about mindfulness and whether we're living our lives mindfully. But it's really not about that at all. In fact, on the contrary, it's about having an uncluttered mind. It's about being present and perhaps just being a little bit more aware of what's going through the mind from moment to moment without getting so caught up in it.

Skip to 0 minutes and 30 secondsCRAIG HASSED: Because it really is very much about awareness. But that awareness includes a whole emotional world. And sometimes maybe it's good to think about mindfulness as being about heartfulness, that is, that awareness of the emotional state, which has such a powerful influence not only on how we feel, but also what happens in our body in terms of stress and so on.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 secondsRICHARD CHAMBERS: And also about how we relate to ourselves. In fact, one of the early pioneers of mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is quite well-known, has said that he could have just as easily referred to mindfulness as heartfulness. Because it's not just about, as we've said, what's happening in the mind, but it's about what's happening from the neck down. It's about the relationship that we have with ourselves. It's about what we're feeling and how we're relating to that, and ultimately, how we're relating to people around us as well, and to society and the planet in general.

Skip to 1 minute and 20 secondsCRAIG HASSED: And maybe mindfulness was a good place to start. Because I think in the West we're so used to using the mind and perhaps not thinking about the heart or the emotional health perhaps as much as we should have. But I think it's a natural evolution of the broadening of our concept of mindfulness.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 secondsRICHARD CHAMBERS: And so this week we're going to look a little more deeply, and we're going to start to notice the habit, first of all, of self-criticism and how we often speak to ourselves in very unkind ways when we're facing difficulties or things that hard for us. And we're going to also explore the role of self-compassion and how we can actually start to transform that relationship using mindfulness. And we'll see how that can really lead to much better well-being, but also to improve performance.

Skip to 2 minutes and 3 secondsCRAIG HASSED: A common assumption that we have that we don't often challenge is that in some ways self-criticism or being hard or very judgmental of ourselves is a good way to improve and to drive performance. But it may just be that the opposite is the case. And that we hope that this will be something that you'll actually very much explore and inquire about. Maybe self-compassion is a better way to go in terms of learning and growing and improving.

Skip to 2 minutes and 28 secondsRICHARD CHAMBERS: But as always, don't take our word for it. It's really about exploring this in your life. So we're going to provide a series of exercises and experiments to help you start to discover the effects of self-criticism on your well-being and performance, and also to explore what happens when you start relating to self in a much more compassionate and gentle way.

Welcome to Week 3

Watch Craig and Richard provide an overview of what you’re going to learn this week, cultivating self-compassion and emotional health.

Moving through this week

We’re hoping that you move through this week together, taking 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 practice 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.

This week’s meditations

This week, you’ll have the chance to practise and experiment with the Cultivating self-compassion when facing difficulties and the Pain 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 (either with or without the audio guide) can be useful.

Sharing your thoughts, ideas and experiences

We can also learn a lot from other people’s insights and experiences. 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.

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 comments by other learners, select the Comment button and then share your ideas.


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This video is from the free online course:

Maintaining a Mindful Life

Monash University

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