I was excited to see last month’s Scientific American cover story about meditation. And now, one of the feature stories on last night’s 60 Minutes was on Mindfulness. Anderson Cooper was hanging out with Jon Kabat-Zinn. I just think it’s pretty exciting that mindfulness is going mainstream. They’re even meditating in congress…but not the Republicans…yet. There was only one thing that Jon said that I didn’t quite line up with. When AC asked him what mindfulness is, he equated it to awareness. The problem with that is that we can be excruciatingly aware of our pain, or the suffering we have caused, but without equanimity, there is no inner peace. That is why I define mindfulness as awareness PLUS equanimity. This is the path of inner peace, and probably our best chance for peace on this planet.
Pema Chodron once said that if we knew what was at stake, we would meditate as if our hair is on fire. Paints a picture, doesn’t it? I like to say that we should meditate as if our life depends on it, because it does.
MINDFULNESS = AWARENESS + EQUANIMITY