Transcript Sample

An Excerpt from a

Transcript

Below you will find an excerpt of the transcript (including a full table of contents) from the course with Jack Kornfield, PhD. Transcripts are a great way to review, take notes, and make the ideas from the sessions your own. Here's the sample:

Shifting Focus through Mindfulness: How to Grow Love
and Compassion out of the Seeds of Suffering

with Jack Kornfield, PhD
and Ruth Buczynski, PhD

Contents

How Mindfulness Training Changes the Approach to Healing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3

How Identification Creates the Idea of Self . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4

Is the Self an Illusion? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6

How to Let Go of the Suffering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

8

Focusing on the Body to Heal the Mind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

Distinguishing Ourselves from Feelings and Emotions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12

What It Means to Think Skillfully . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13

How to Shift the Focus: From Unworthiness to Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14

How Love Is Covered Over with Fear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18

TalkBack Segment with Joan Borysenko, PhD and Ron Siegel, PsyD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

20

What Stood Out Most . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

20

The Importance of Mindfulness in Self-Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

22

How to Alleviate Our Over-Identification with Suffering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

23

Practices to Help Recognize and Balance Difficult Emotions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

24

Self-Compassion Practices to Address Self-Hatred and Unworthiness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

25

About the Speakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

28

How Mindfulness Training Changes the Approach to Healing

Dr. Buczynski: Let’s jump right in and start with this question: How can mindfulness training change a practitioner’s approach to the philosophy of healing and their practice of healing?

“To tend to the needs of those you’re working with, you need to have a way to center yourself – to listen and to bring a quality of beginner’s mind and presence to them.”

Dr. Kornfield: The first thing that’s really important for a practitioner, whether you’re a mental health practitioner or you’re a nurse or physician working on the front line, is this: in order to tend to the needs of those you’re working with, you need to have a way to center yourself – to listen and to bring a quality of beginner’s mind and presence to them and to the situation. Mindfulness can really support all this.

All the modern neuroscience research shows that with even some weeks of training, it’s possible to quiet
the mind, regulate oneself better, and approach stressful situations with a greater sense of equilibrium. The
patients will feel it and you will feel it, because you’re there and more present.

It allows for a deeper kind of connection between the two of you, in whatever form of healing you’re involved in, and it allows that to be navigated in a wiser way.

Dr. Buczynski: I know that for a lot of us, we’re very driven to trying to help the patient. A lot of that
involves thinking diagnostically: Where have I seen this before? What might this be? Do I know how to
fix it?

I wonder if that perhaps gets in the way of the connection between the practitioner and the patient.

“Many studies have shown that when there is a deep sense of presence and connection with the patient, the patient feels received with their own dignity and nobility.”

Dr. Kornfield: These are the different dimensions of our skill. We need to bring experience and thoughtfulness and knowledge to our work with patients.

Many studies have shown that when there is a deep sense of presence and connection with the patient, whether it’s in the health or mental health field, the patient feels received with their own dignity and nobility, which is a Buddhist term for, “recognizing and valuing each being that you meet, including yourself.”

When that connection is made, then there’s an establishment of trust and willingness to go along – to be an agent in their own healing and every part of the healing process.

A deep sense of presence serves the patient and at the same time, it serves the healer to be in touch with their own capacity for connection and presence. The beautiful thing is these things can be developed and trained.

Dr. Buczynski: Jack, are saying that for the practitioner to be involved in
mindfulness is a form of self-care?

“Mindfulness is a form of self-care.”

Dr. Kornfield: It is a form of self-care, and it is also a form of establishing a more nourishing, less inwardly fraught or hurried or stressful connection with the work that they love to do.

I was talking with a good friend, Dr. Rachel Remen who is a healer and on the faculty of Stanford Medical School and UCSF.

At one point, we talked about doing grief retreats for physicians and nurses, because the medical system has so disappointed the initial impulse to be present as healers in the lives of people.

“We’ve lost so much of that mysterious alchemy of healing in the modern rush of technology.”

We’ve lost so much of that mysterious alchemy of healing in the modern rush of technology and the commercial problems of running modern medicine.

For it to work, in a sustainable way, we need, as healers, to find the capacity to come back to our self, to quiet our minds, to listen to our hearts and our intuition, and to meet our patients with the wholeness of ourselves, because it nourishes us. Our patients will respond to that.

Focusing on the Body to Heal the Mind

Dr. Buczynski: A lot of mindfulness works with the body, focusing on the body as a way to heal the
mind. Can you talk about why that is?

Dr. Kornfield: Certainly. There are foundations or basic trainings in mindfulness that include body, feelings, and thought structures.

For almost everyone, to learn to bring mindfulness to the body is helpful in establishing a ground of well-being, integration, and connectedness.

“To learn to bring mindfulness to the body is helpful in establishing a ground of wellbeing, integration, and connectedness.”

The modern neuroscience research on mindfulness shows that through mindfulness training, affect regulation grows and the ability to attend to conflict in a balanced way increases.

There are all kinds of capacities that grow. Many of them grow through connecting the mind and body together.

James Joyce wrote this line about a character in one of his books. He said, “Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.”

Part of what happens for us in modern life is that we get so busy and speedy and on our devices and tending to our to-do-list that we lose touch with our breath.

“In modern life we get so busy and speedy and on our devices and tending to our to-do-list that we lose touch with our breath.”

We lose touch with our feet on the earth, with the environment that we’re seated in. We don’t see the golden glow at sunset and the lavender color reflected in the rain puddles after the storm.

We don’t see the eyes of our loved ones or children when we get home, because we’re so disembodied and busy trying to manage and get through our experience.

“One of the great gifts and grounds in mindfulness training is the tending to and connecting to the breath.”

One of the great gifts and grounds in mindfulness training is the tending to and connecting to the breath – to the body sensations that we have and how they inform our ability to be aware of emotions and thoughts.

Most people, when they begin to pay attention to their body, can
also feel how their emotion, their fear, their joy, their love, and even
their depression are reflected in their body.

When they come to their body with mindful and loving attention, that all begins to disentangle – first as they hold those experiences in an entirely different way.

Mindful and loving attention allows them to begin to release because they are attending to them rather than denying them or pushing them under the rug.


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