Day 18- Andy Puddicombe; All it takes is 10 mindful minutes

So we all know we live in a busy world. We also should know it’s probably a long time since we sat and did absolutely nothing. Nothing doesn’t mean watching television, or reminiscing about the past, or making plans. Nothing means, well, nothing.
Andy Puddicombe is a former Buddhist monk who co-founded ‘Headspace’, a project aiming to de-mystify mediation and make it more applicable to daily life. In this talk he tries to impress on a TED audience the need to live in the present moment more often. As he says, ‘We spend so little time in the present moment that it’s anything but ordinary.’
We rely on our mind for everything. It keeps us happy, content, thoughtful, stable. We wish for it to be creative, focused, driven. We would service a car, change our clothes, train, yet we don’t look after our mind, the single most important thing of all. The result of not taking some time out for the mind is that we get stressed and distracted, missing out on the things that are most important to us. And as Puddicombe says, we’re not here for very long anyway; we may as well make the most of it!
Puddicombe describes how he first got into meditation. He attended his first class with his mother at the age of 11, at the time seeing it as a type of ‘aspirin for the mind’; something you practice reactively rather than proactively. When he went through a series of significant life changes at the age of 20, this changed as he decided to quit his studies and become a monk in the Himalayas.
Puddicombe counsels against thinking that meditation is an easy, relaxing exercise. It can be difficult and it requires the correct technique. Rather than stopping thoughts, the meditator is encouraged to see the thought clearly, to witness emotions and sensations coming and going without judgement. He outlines the various ways in which we may react to meditation. Sometimes the mind is dull and boring, other times it is restless. Meditation offers the opportunity to take a step back and gain a new perspective on all of these.
Andy Puddicombe is an insightful speaker. Surprisingly, this talk has been seen by about 6 times less people as ‘The Habits of Happiness’ by Matthieu Ricard. I think you should all change that!


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