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Teaching Mindfulness: Workshop with Fleet Maull, Ph.D.

Updated: Apr 2

More information on joining the upcoming 11th Cohort of Mindfulness Teacher training.

Teaching Mindfulness Talk Summary:  (Guided Meditation before the talk was not transcribed)

  • Mindfulness and meditation origins and depth. (38:00)

  • Fleet Maull discusses various meditation practices, including TM and mindfulness, and their roots in Vedic traditions and Buddhist teachings.

  • He believes mindfulness teachers answer a deep collective calling to awaken humanity.

  • Mindfulness and its depth in human possibility. (43:00)

  • The collective desire to deconstruct notions of realization or enlightenment may result from a "flat world" of possibilities for human beings.

  • People seek depth in mindfulness practices, not just basic techniques.

  • Emphasis on the importance of competent instruction in meditation practice.

  • The importance of mindfulness teachers' personal experience and depth. (49:30)

  • The importance of the teacher's personal transformation in effective programs.

  • The importance of having skills with guided meditation practice.

  • It is essential to facilitate the spark of mindfulness in people, holding space for their unique journey.

  • Challenges in mindfulness practice and need for effective instruction. (56:00)

  • Bringing mindfulness practice into one's life can be challenging due to habitual patterns, ineffective instruction, and a busy mind.

  • Quality instruction and skillful communication will motivate people to keep practicing mindfulness.

  • Mindfulness practice and neuroscience. (61:00)

  •  Mindfulness Practice offers refuge, relief, and well-being with good instruction.

  • The need for a deeply embodied, neuroscience-informed approach to trauma treatment.

  • Insights on embodied presence, self-regulation, and trauma-informed mindfulness practice.

  • Mindfulness training and mastery. (1:09:00)

  • Engaged Mindfulness Institute/Prison Mindfulness Institute trains mindfulness teachers to work with incarcerated individuals, first responders, and other public safety professionals.

  • The importance of embracing the spirit of mastery in mindfulness teaching rather than settling for superficial competency or evaluating oneself based on a predetermined level of skill.

  • Engaged Mindfulness Institute prioritizes small cohorts in their teacher training programs to allow for deeper learning and support, rather than scaling up to more significant numbers.

  • The importance of mindfulness and sanity in the face of climate change and global uncertainty encourages listeners to have a historical perspective and feel good about humanity's progress.

  • While it's understandable to feel overwhelmed by current events, sitting around feeling bad about ourselves is not helpful, and we need to figure out how to address the challenges we face.

  • Incorporating spiritual beliefs into mindfulness practice. (1:16:00)

  • Discussion on incorporating individual spiritual beliefs into mindfulness practice through prayer and explores the distinction between spiritual and religious traditions.

  • Discusses the relationship between mindfulness and religion, emphasizing that mindfulness can be practiced secularly without being tied to any particular religion.

  • The use of prayer within mindfulness practice acknowledges its presence in various religious traditions and emphasizes its basic idea of being present.

  • Integrating mindfulness and nonviolent communication into prayer practices.

  • Trauma-informed mindfulness practice. (1:22:00)

  • The importance of trauma-informed mindfulness practices emphasizes the need for sensitivity and options for individuals who may be triggered during meditation.

  • The "pendulum" model developed by Peter Levine invites individuals to lean into their bodies and practice mindfulness while taking care of themselves.

  • The concept of "leaning in and leaning out" about emotional difficulty and stress, emphasizing the importance of finding a balance between leaning in and leaning back.

  • Mindfulness practice as an empowerment model, where the goal is to gradually widen the "window of tolerance" and reclaim more of one's life through leaning into the edges and coming back.

  • Trauma-informed teaching and personal growth. (1:30:00)

  • Fleet Maull discusses the importance of being trauma-informed in working with individuals who have experienced trauma and offers practical tips for doing so.

  • Speaker 3 shares a personal story about dealing with trauma and how it has impacted their work in the prison system.

  • Participant shares her experience of feeling let down by a renowned mindfulness teacher who displayed unresolved challenges despite their high level of skill.

  • Fleet Maull acknowledges the commonality of this experience and emphasizes the importance of teachers and community feedback to avoid over-idealization and maintain humility on the spiritual journey.

  • Fleet Maull encourages self-compassion when dealing with teacher disappointment.

  • Fleet Maull encourages participants to embrace being, without attachment to outcomes or expectations.

  • Participants share their experiences with the practice, including feeling challenged by the world's weight of suffering and loss.

  • Compassion and mindfulness in challenging times. (1:39:35)

  • Fleet Maull shares his approach to dealing with the overwhelming amount of information in today's world by limiting his news consumption and focusing on compassion for himself and others.

  • Maull reflects on his annual visits to Auschwitz, where he finds compassion and a deeper understanding of the human experience despite the problematic nature of the place.

  • Fleet Maull reflects on maintaining mindfulness and compassion in the face of global suffering.

  • Fleet Maull emphasizes compassion training as a means to address global suffering.

  • Mindfulness and self-compassion. 1:46:06

  • Fleet Maull emphasizes self-compassion in mindfulness practice.

  • Fleet Maull expresses gratitude and appreciation for life, encouraging listeners to care for themselves.

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