I am doing a series of brief interviews with mindfulness teachers and practitioners. The seventeenth is with Sydney based Caroline McLaren, cofounder of Hub Sydney and Hub Adelaide collaborative coworking spaces.
How do you find quiet?
By sitting most mornings. I’ve tried a variety of meditations / relaxation practices, but the one I’ve found most beneficial is the Inner Smile [sit, feel the breath, relax the belly, invite a natural smile, continue to feel the breath and the impact of the natural smile in the whole body]. This practice helps me get into the feeling sense, and provides a welcome quietude from the normal mind.
How does meditation/quiet influence your life?
It’s easy to get into patterns of mind and emotion. Meditation practice provides that ‘pause’ where I can move beyond the ‘small mind,’ and those patterns of mind and emotion. With a regular practice I find I’m less likely to be reactive to situations [just ask my husband!], and more likely to meaningfully engage with others [and ideas and opportunities].
What did you find most difficult when you first started practicing meditation/quiet?
Having a goal or expectations about what meditation should achieve / how it should be got in the way of my practice. I’ve learnt to notice that these goals and expectations are also just patterns of mind. If I get frustrated about not having a “good meditation,” I just remind myself that it’s just the mind interfering with practice, and that’s OK. Meditation is not about having a perfectly still mind, it’s about allowing clarity and calm to blossom.
Thank you Caroline!