Here is a collection of the quotes used in podcast episodes and as general inspirations. We hope you find them to be helpful as food for meditation!
“We use the word ‘practice’ to describe the cultivation of mindfulness, but it is not meant in the usual sense of a repetitive rehearsing to get better and better so that a performance or a competition will go as well as possible. Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to being present. There is no ‘performance.’ There is just this moment. We are not trying to improve or to get anywhere else. We are not even running after special insights or visions. Nor are we forcing ourselves to be non-judgmental, calm, or relaxed. And we are certainly not promoting self-consciousness or indulging in self-preoccupation. Rather, we are simply inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, quoted in Episode 012
“Compassion and resilience are not, as we might imagine, rarified human qualities available only to the saintly. Nor are they adventitious experiences that arise in us only in extraordinary circumstances. In fact, these essential and universally prized human qualities can be solidly cultivated by anyone willing to take the time to do it. They can become the way we are and live on a daily basis. We can train our minds. We are not stuck with our fearful, habitual, self-centered ways of seeing and feeling.” — Norm Fischer, Training in Compassion, quoted in Episode 011
“… if a therapist chooses to teach mindfulness meditation directly to her or his client (e.g., to use mindfulness-based interventions) it is imperative that he or she have a personal meditation practice and be continually working toward a progression down the mindful path. A therapist who teaches outside the scope of personal experience does his or her clients a disservice in not being able to answer questions from experience and will indubitably face challenges in guiding the client forward. Furthermore, the therapist’s personal practice of mindfulness is one of the most important factors in successfully working with high-risk adolescents. In veiewing therapist mindfulness as the harnessing of skills and qualities that sharpen therapists themselves, there are some particular qualities that develop during sustained mindfulness and self-awareness practices that are imperative to working with high-risk adolescents. Such qualities include authenticity, an intention toward human connection, and an authentic view on locus of control and behavioral change.” — Sam Himelstein, A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Working With High-Risk Adolescents, quoted in Episode 010
“When you call to mind Listen Deeply, let it be a call to awaken more fully into the moment. That is, step into mindfulness with particular attention to what is being said. As you listen, mindfulness is alert with a question something like, ‘What is happening now?’ The ears are attuned, but the heart, too, is open. You are listening to a fellow human being. Listen with kindness. Let the words, the stories, touch a compassionate heart. So we see that Listen Deeply is a reminder to allow ourselves to notice fully and be touched by the experience of another.” — Gregory Kramer, Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom, quoted in Episode 009
“When we find ourselves caught up in the compelling and complex inner screen of our mind, we need to remember that we have an option. We can shrink or ‘minimize’ the current screen down to a small icon on the bottom of the mind-screen and open up the serene blue sky of our inherently boundless, clear mind. A few thoughts drift across the screen, like wispy white clouds. We are lifted above the narrow world of ‘I, me, and mine’ to a place of serenity. The small icon of our worries and plans can be opened up whenever we wish.” — Jan Chozen Bays, How to Train a Wild Elephant, and Other Adventures in Mindfulness, quoted in Episode 008
“Non-doing has nothing to do with being indolent or passive. Quite the contrary. It takes great courage and energy to cultivate non-doing, both in stillness and in activity. Nor is it easy to make a special time for non-doing and to keep at it in the face of everything in our lives which needs to be done.
“But non-doing doesn’t have to be threatening to people who feel they always have to get things done. They might find they get even more ‘done,’ and done better, by practicing non-doing. Non-doing simply means letting things be and allowing them to unfold in their own way. Enormous effort can be involved, but it is a graceful, knowledgeable, effortless effort, a ‘doerless doing,’ cultivated over a lifetime.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, quoted in Episode 007
“Patience may seem like a superficial virtue, but actually it embodies a deep insight into the nature of things: they’re intertwining, messy, imperfectible, and usually not about you. Patience also contains a wonderful teaching about desire: wish for something, sure, but be at peace when you can’t have it. Patience knows you can’t make the river flow any faster.” — Rick Hanson, Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time, quoted in Episode 006
“Together, your body and mind are a single dynamic organism that’s constantly in a state of change, with interactions between stimuli from thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, sounds, sights, smells, and tastes. As you practice choiceless awareness, simply observe what’s predominant or compelling in the mind and body and be present to it. If nothing is especially prevalent and you’re unsure of where to place your attention, you can always go back to the breath, sensations, sounds, or thoughts and emotions as a way to anchor into the here and now.” — Bob Stahl, Elisha Goldstein, “A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook”, quoted in Episode 005
“… mindfulness practice offers a way of being in which limbic reactivity is reduced, which expands the possibility of observing, approaching, and even exploring in detail difficult emotional experiences, and being receptive to what is happening in the moment with self and others. Further, this is not just a state of mindfulness practitioners during practice. It seems that this can become a trait, a capacity in our everyday walking through the world.” — Donald McCown, Diane Reibel, and Marc S. Micozzi, “Teaching Mindfulness: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Educators”, quoted in Episode 004
“For most of us, a typical day involves hurrying from task to task, forgetting that there are other possibilities for us. Even a tiny bit of mindfulness, brought to any moment, can wake us up, thus subverting the momentum of doing for at least one moment — and that’s all we need to be concerned about. We don’t have to stop what we are doing. We simply bring greater moment-to-moment, non-judging, wise awareness to our unfolding moments. The solution to our mood problems may not require heroic attempts to change our inner feeling world or the outer world of people, places, and jobs. Rather, it may simply involve a shift in the way we pay attention to all of them.” — Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindal Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, “The Mindful Way Through Depression”, quoted in Episode 003
“I believe the single most important aspect of working with this population is viewing them as human beings. If you get caught up in treating them like children, stripping them of autonomy and independence — which they are striving so hard for in this life stage — your attempts at facilitating true growth will ultimately fail. Adolescents are searching for connections with adults who trust their experience and wisdom as truth; they are not looking for someone to tell them that what they have been doing is wrong!” — Sam Himelstein, “A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Working With High-Risk Adolescents“, quoted in Episode 002
“Many people find it difficult to take care of themselves, often feeling selfish if they attend to their own needs. Like trying to cut wood with a dull axe, trying to take care of others without taking care of the self first is a counterproductive strategy. The airlines recognize this bit of wisdom. Recall how during the safety announcement, the flight attendant says, ‘In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down, and before assisting small children or others, put on your own mask first.’ Mindfulness practice is part of the way we can do this. And ultimately, it is only by mindfully caring for ourselves that we can truly and effectively care for others with compassion.” — Arnie Kozak, “Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness“, quoted in Episode 001