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Mindfulness: The Ultimage Not-Quite-Getting-It Example?

I just came across an ad for a Introduction for Mindfulness on Eventbrite and I wanted to capture it here. I guess that it will disappear off Eventbrite once the event has gone by and I want to be able to quote it in the future. Here is the text:


 

Mindfulness Intro + Wine Tasting

The Mindfulness Project

Friday, 27 June 2014 from 19:30 to 21:30 (BST)

About the Evening

We are excited to be teaming up with Content’s Summer Wellbeing Festival to bring you an alternative Friday night out at The Mindfulness Project.

In a 1-Hour Introduction to Mindfulness with Doug Vaughan, you’ll learn what mindfulness is and how we can use this evidence-based practice to help cultivate inner beauty and sustainable health and well-being. It will include experiential exercises that will help you see why training our mental fitness can be just as important as tending to our physical fitness.

The Intro will be followed by mindful wine tasting and mingling with fellow minds. The event will take place at our beautiful space overlooking Fitzroy Square.

We hope to welcome you there!

(The price includes 2 glasses of organic wine.)

 


 

One of the key things I have learnt through mindfulness practice is that trying to avoid pain typically leads to more suffering. Sure I’ll take my hand off a hot stove if I am being burned but  how I interact with the sensation caused by my burnt hand is changing as my practice deepens. I will no longer get quite so mad at the stove. I feel I suffer less.

A key source of pain is social interaction. I realised that I had been avoiding feeling this pain for my entire adult life by using alcohol. The fog of alcohol reduces the need to feel the pain of possibly awkward social interactions. It is still there but hidden.

After about eighteen years of practice I realised that I hardly went into a social situation without hiding behind a glass and that society was designed to facilitate this. This, and the history of alcohol use in my family, lead me to stop drinking altogether two years ago.

Even before I had stopped drinking the thought of associating mindfulness with alcohol would have seemed crazy. I can understand why an introduction to mindfulness would not necessarily stress the importance of total abstinence (because there is no need for it) but not in a million years would one dream of associating mindfulness with the actual promotion of the consumption of a mind altering drug like alcohol. Be right here, right now but slightly off your face!

I can’t see how anyone with any sensitivity to the practice would do this. It makes the whole secular mindfulness movement seem nothing more than a lifestyle choice. I’m really pleased to have heard of this event because it clarifies a great deal for me. The real killer is the fact that this is, of course, ORGANIC wine. Some how that makes everything OK in the same way ORGANIC chocolate isn’t fattening.

If you don’t get it then imagine holding a introduction to healthy eating for obese people at a branch of Krispy Kreme with two free doughnuts thrown in. Doughnuts can form part of a healthy balanced diet after all.

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