This article has been moved to https://mindfulnessonlinetraining.org/2018/11/28/being-mindful-with-difficult-people/
I reached out to Gabriel Constans on social media as he struck me as being a really kind and generous guy. Being a mindfulness teacher myself I was intrigued by his book “A B.R.A.V.E. Year: 52 Weeks Being Mindful”. I also noticed that he had masses of mindfulness teaching experience in a wide range of contexts.
I downloaded the Kindle version of the book and I must say – it’s a fantastic resource! It contains a multitude of really useful mindfulness exercises. There is a short introduction and then you’re straight into the good stuff.
This book is extremely practical. I plan to integrate some of Gabriel’s teachings into my own classes and coaching. You can tell from reading this book that Gabriel has a wealth of personal practice and teaching under his belt to draw upon. I read that Gabriel was transformed at the age of sixteen by reading “Be Here Now” by Baba Ram Das, one of my favorite teachers.
“A B.R.A.V.E. Year: 52 Weeks Being Mindful” is great for somebody who is actively practicing mindfulness. Advanced practitioners or beginners. It’s the kind of book that you can open up at a random spot and find something beneficial.
I appreciate the regular linkages to the body and breath. I also appreciate the important inclusions of kindness. For me, these are essential elements of mindfulness practice.
Gabriel cleverly uses catchy names and acronyms for the exercises and techniques, making them easy to remember and use as teaching aids. Very accessible.
Great book – bargain purchase on Kindle and I can imagine the paperback version will be fantastic.
Thank you Gabriel for your wonderful contribution
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Become more present, by listening to my guided “Presence Meditation” – now available for free on Insight Timer for iPhone and Android. It’s a great app! Once it’s installed, search “Darren Cockburn” or “Presence Meditation” to access the audio.
My mindfulness teachings are featured in BODIES OF BEING – page 17 – Powerful conscious media! Read 11:11 Magazine FREE NOW! http://bit.ly/1111June2018
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are an ancient set of scriptures describing yoga practice and philosophy. In the first of the three portions, there’s some useful advice on how to determine the truth. My understanding is that Patanjali explains that for something to be confirmed as truthful, it must either be as a result of (i) direct perception (ii) inference or (iii) believing a trusted source.
Direct perception is when we know that something is obviously true because we directly perceive it. If we see a field in front of us we know there is a field there. If we feel the wind blowing against our face, we know it is windy. Direct perception is very much based on acknowledging facts. This is the best way of understanding the truth because it’s so direct. However, it is limited by what we can directly perceive, which is why we also need to deploy the next two methods.
Inference involves using evidence and reasoning to confirm the truth. For example, if your alarm sounds in the morning you can infer that it’s time to wake up. If you look out of your window and see puddles everywhere outside you can infer that it’s been raining. With this method, you need to be very careful not to jump to conclusions too early. If somebody only spotted puddles on their drive, it may be the neighbors water sprinkler created them rather than rain. If one person told you something about another, that may not necessarily be true. Inferences that lead to the truth must be straightforward to understand. In complex situations there are sometimes too many opportunities for a mistake to be made. What you accept as the truth is actually false.
The third way of determining the truth is through believing a trusted source. In the Yoga Sutras, the focus here is on going to a guru or authoritative set of scriptures for spiritual truths. This method of understanding the truth can be applied wider than just spirituality. If you had a good friend that you trusted deeply, and they told you about something they observed, you assume that to be the case. If you take your bicycle for repair to a specialist you trust, and they tell you it needs a new chain, you will believe them. This third method for determining the truth is similar to inference, in that it can be easily misused and lead to delusion. People can believe that somebody is a trusted source when they may be speaking falsely. A popular TV show with a longstanding reputation for truthful communication may prove to be false and therefore untrusted. Some sources are true sometimes and not others. Being Present will help you determine which is which. Consistently true sources, which is what Patanjali refers to, be them books, people, or any other type of source are extremely rare.
I encourage you to use these three methods (i) direct perception (ii) inference and (iii) believing a trusted source. Challenge yourself. Are you believing and speaking the truth?
A relationship exists between simplicity and Presence. Simplifying our life helps us to cultivate Presence and Presence equips us to manage complexity. If we believe things are too complex, we must work to simplify them.
Extract from Being Present
I visited London book fair last week to learn all about publishing and get some tips for authors.
Whilst I was there I met with the lovely people at Findhorn Press & Inner Traditions (my publisher) and they agreed to work with me on a new spiritual book I am writing and very excited about called “The Process”.
Have you ever asked yourself why things happen? Why you are here on earth and what role you play in it all? How to navigate through life harmoniously and peacefully?
In this book I will be exploring and answering these intriguing questions using a synthesis of sacred spiritual teachings from Buddhism, Eckhart Tolle, Yoga philosophy and my own personal insights.
To make the book the best it can be I need people to collaborate with, which is where I am hoping you come in. I invite you to review all or parts of the book and provide me with feedback over the next few months.
Would you be able to help with this? If so, then please contact me and I will explain more….
Thanks in advance, Darren
Watkins Bookstore London: Being Present book talk and signing – 21st June 2018
I am pleased to announce that I will be giving a talk and signing copies of my new book ‘Being Present‘ at Watkins Bookstore in London on Thursday 21st June at 6,30pm.
Established over 100 years ago, Watkins is one of the world’s oldest and leading independent bookshops specialising in esoterica.
All talks are free and take place in the bookshop itself at 19 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ. You can catch up on all the recent Watkins talks by spiritual authors on their youtube channel and web site.
Audio and slide show of Darren’s workshop at the British Wheel of Yoga Well Being Festival at Warwick University on 24th March 2017.
The talk synthesises the following topics:
- Darren’s personal journey
- The Goal of Yoga / Yoga Sutras
- Meditation including hindrances
- Two modes of the mind
- Definition of spiritual practice
- The four A’s model
Darren’s book “Being Present” is available to order from Amazon.
Connect with Darren:
Practical guidance on mindfulness and being in the present moment.
Darren introduces the two modes of the mind: “Lost in thought” and “Being Present”. He explains how the goal of spiritual practice is to move from the former to the latter.
The practical Four A’s framework (Awareness, Acceptance, Appropriate Action) is then introduced showing the two paths that lead from the two modes of the mind.
More detail can be found in Darren’s book “Being Present” ISBN 1844097463.
Darren introduces the concept of mindfulness as described in his book Being Present. The subjects of awareness and acceptance are discussed along with a brief mindfulness meditation session to aid learning.
Introduction to meditation covering technique, teacher / teachings, posture, duration, location, energy, frequency and managing hindrances.
Our experience consists of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and things coming in through the senses. Our experience can either be pleasant or unpleasant depending upon the conditions at the time.
A real benefit of being Present is that we transcend our experience. We can still have the experience, but we do not get lost in it. If its pleasant (like the taste of good food) we can enjoy it without attaching. If its unpleasant (like a feeling of frustration) we simply observe it peacefully which means the feeling passes sooner.
Once we realise that who we are is the awareness and not the actual experience we have complete freedom! Regardless of what happens to us. And the good news is that through being Present, a natural consequence is that our life experience will improve on the whole. This is because what we think, say and do is wise and keeps us on the right path. We become friendly with the universe and the universe becomes friendly with us in return 🙂