DAY 20: Dr Elise Bialylew interviews Patricia Jennings
LISTEN TO INTERVIEW AUDIO ONLY BELOW
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Mind Life Project Bonus Content:
Ethan Nichtern is a Buddhist teacher, and is the author of the acclaimed book The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path, and The Dharma of The Princess Bride: What The Coolest Fairy Tale of Our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships. He founded the Interdependence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to secular Buddhist practice and transformational activism and arts.For the past 18 years, Ethan has taught meditation and Buddhist psychology classes and workshops around New York City and North America and Europe.
Mindfulness at the dinner table
Here's a quick, simple mindfulness practice that I use frequently at family dinners. It is a mindfulness practice that can be used with children at the family dinner from as young as 2 or 3 years old and encourages attention training and the habit of gratitude. The child at the table leads this practice. If you don't have children or live alone you can do it by yourself or with friends.
- Use a meditation bell, or any other kind of instrument that will have a sustained ring or sound (best to use one of these meditation bells but you could also use a spoon on a glass).
- The child rings the bell and gives the instruction for everyone to close their eyes and open them once they no longer hear the sound of the bell.
- When everyone's eyes are open each person has a turn of sharing something that they feel grateful for however big or small.
- Then you eat dinner and take a few moments to actively bring mindfulness to eating. You could also ask children questions like: where on your tongue do you notice the flavours? Does it taste different with your eyes open or closed? Do you chew on a particular side of your mouth? (all of these questions are aimed at engaging one's curiosity and bringing attention to the actual act of eating and tasting - mindfully.
Whether you have a family or are living alone, you can always try this mindfulness dinner table practice with friends or family, or even do it yourself before you eat a meal as a way of embedding mindfulness and gratitude into your daily life.
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Watch Elise's conversations with four leading wellbeing experts.