Excerpt from "World of Relaxation" DVD and MP3 by Jon Kabat-Zinn
“World of Relaxation: A Guided Mindfulness Meditation Practice for Healing in the Hospital and/or at Home” by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn -- -- internationally known for his development of and trainings in mindfulness-based stress reduction and meditation -- has been used in thousands of hospitals to help patients empower themselves to promote healing. It is now available exclusively on BetterListen! We hope you'll enjoy the following excerpt.
What I suggest we do is begin by just bringing awareness to the fact that in this very moment we’re alive. As you lie back in bed seeing if you can bring your attention to your body for a moment, and just experience the fact that as you lie here you’re breathing, and the breath will move in and out of the body in a continuing cycle. As we proceed, you might like to work with allowing your eyes to gently close. Many people find that it really helps and furthers this process with the eyes closed because it allows you to go to deeper levels of concentration. I will shortly be closing my eyes and we will work together with the eyes closed, and at any time that you feel perhaps disoriented or you’d like to open your eyes just feel free to do that. My face will be here on the screen, and you can just reassure yourself that everything is okay in allowing your eyes to close once again.
So just now letting the eyes gently close and bringing your awareness to focus on the fact that the breath is moving in and out of your body. That there is an in breath and an out breath moving in a never ending cycle. You might like to take one of your hands and place your hand gently on your belly -- about over your belly button -- and just see if there is not some movement in your hand as you breathe. Perhaps you’ll notice that as you breathe in, the hand will rise slightly, will come up as the belly expands gently. And as you breathe out, the hand will come down as the belly deflates. So if you sense that in your hand, just following your breathing here at your belly with your hand, and if that does not seem to be happening for you at the moment, then just observing your breathing wherever you can feel it, and just staying with attending to the entire duration of each in breath and the entire duration of each out breath. And if you are feeling the breath now down in the belly, then just taking the hand away and seeing if you can’t perceive the sensation of the belly expanding on the in breath and falling back towards the spine on the out breath without the hand.
But wherever you are following the breath, wherever you are aware of its presence, just observing it without trying to change it in anyway. You’re breathing quite well by yourself. You don’t have to manipulate it or force it. It’s just a gentle flow and you’re here observing it. And as you become aware of this flow of your breath, see if on the out breath you can’t just allow your body to sink a little bit deeper into the bed, into the mattress, and let the mattress do the work of holding you up, and on each out breath just letting the muscles soften a little bit more, letting any pockets of tension leave your body with the out breath.
Lesson Two from Jon Kabat-Zinn's "Letting Everything Become Your Teacher"
LETTING EVERYTHING BECOME YOUR TEACHER:
LESSON 2: Map Versus Journey
This book is meant to serve as a map, a guide to you. As you know, a map is not the territory it portrays. In the same way you should not mistake reading this book for the actual journey. That journey you have to live yourself, by cultivating mindfulness in your own life.
Reprinted from LETTING EVERYTHING BECOME YOUR TEACHER: 100 Lessons in Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn © 2009 by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Reprinted by arrangement with the Random House Publishing Group.
Jon Kabat-Zinn Bio and Links
Excerpt from "Only the Light of the Moon..." with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
We are delighted to be able to offer an excerpt from this rare recording with the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach from a talk titled "Only the Light of the Moon Can Create a New World."
When God created the world, the sun and the moon had the same light, according to our tradition. Then the moon came before God and says to God, “It just isn’t fair -- two kings have the same power.” So God says to the moon, “OK. Make yourself smaller.” So in the way of the world, the Sun people, they say God is punishing the moon for the chutzpah, for the audacity; God created you this way so stick to it, forget it. But the real people know the moon is right, you know there cannot be two cooks in the kitchen. No matter how much there is always the same light is the world? I want you to open your hearts. You know what the moon was saying to God: “Is this all you can give the world, the light of the sun, where you see only the outside? Isn’t there a deeper light available -- something so much deeper?” All God says is, “You are the one who will do it.”
What is the first sign of the real inside person? You know outside people -- they are always the same. Either they love you or they hate you. When they love you they are always like, “Hi. Are you God?” So stupid, so meaningless. The moon people change all the time. One day I love you, one day I can’t stand you. One day I am full, one day I am not shining at all. You see, the more real it is, the more I have to say it every second. I want you to know I had a great Rabbi, my teacher, he says to me, “If you ever want to be anything in the world, then it has to be clear to you. Whatever you knew yesterday is meaningless today.” You know friends, I am sure it’s clear to you, God is not a yenta -- you know what a yenta is, someone who says the same thing a hundred times and the way the yenta is saying it could be a he or a she, the way they say it like it’s the first time they are saying it. God cannot stand the same thing twice.
The sun is always the same, the moon. You know every day, every day a different light is coming down from heaven. Every day God needs different things from us. You know one of the great Rabbis passed away. And his children came to the holy visionary (I am just throwing names at you), and he says to them, “What was the most important thing for your father?” so they said, “For our father, the most important thing is what you do right now.” You know most people have those general ideas -- they know what to do forever -- but when it comes to the moment they have no idea what to do with it.
I know every week is Shabbos; I know every year is Rosh Hashanah; I know every year is Yom Kippur, good; but what are you doing right now? And usually they always do the wrong thing because they are not in tune with the moment, special privilege. You know something? You can be the greatest scholar in the world and not know. You know sometimes a person asks you a question and what they need right now you will never know. You know it’s so deep to know. What are you supposed to do right this minute?
Excerpt from "Indigenous Peoples -- Message to the World"
We at BetterListen! are delighted to introduce a series of sample transcriptions from a number or our recordings. With spring in its explosive full force, we feel it is an excellent time to be reminded of the beliefs and teachings of the Indigenous Peoples. Following is an excerpt from our recording of "Indigenous Peoples -- Message to the World."
Declaration: We the Indigenous Peoples walk to the future in the footprints of our ancestors, from the smallest to the largest living being, from the four directions, from the air, the land and the mountains. The Creator has placed us, the Indigenous Peoples, upon our mother the earth. The footprints of our ancestors are permanently etched upon the lands of our peoples. We the Indigenous Peoples maintain our inherent rights to self-determination. We have always had the right to decide our own forms of government, to use our own laws, to raise and educate our children, to our own cultural identity, without interference. We continue to maintain our rights as peoples despite the centuries of deprivation, assimilation, and genocide. We maintain our inalienable rights to our lands and our territories, to all our resources above and below, and to our waters we assert our ongoing responsibility to pass these on to the future generations. We cannot be removed from our lands. We the Indigenous peoples are connected by the circle of life to our lands and environment. We the Indigenous peoples walk to the future in the footprints of our ancestors. Signed in Karoka, Brazil on the 30th day of May, 1992.