Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 106 – The Methodology of Mindfulness

From the Open Your Heart in Paradise Retreat in 2018, Joseph Goldstein covers the methodology of mindfulness, answering three key questions about the nature of mindfulness.

The Methodology of Mindfulness

Joseph begins with a short meditation practice as a foundation for his dharma talk on the methodology of mindfulness. This particular practice is one of relaxing into the flow of change taking place all around us.

“When we’re not distracted, when we’re simply being present, it’s a completely effortless awareness.” – Joseph Goldstein

What is Mindfulness? (16:45)

Joseph starts his discourse on mindfulness by answering the first of three key questions: what is mindfulness, and what isn’t it? There are many misconceptions about mindfulness, especially in the spiritual community. Joseph talks about how there’s much more to mindfulness than simply being in the moment.

“Mindfulness just creates that open space in which all phenomena arise; sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant, but we stay in that openness.” – Joseph Goldstein

JoAnna Hardy explores the first foundation of mindfulness on BHNN Guest Podcast Ep. 72
What Do We Learn from Being Mindful? (29:25)

What is the wisdom that comes from being mindful? Joseph explores how when we’re mindful, we can begin to see the true nature of change. He talks about how the feeling of inner struggle is actually feedback in our lives, not some problem to be solved. 

“There’s often a big gap between what we know conceptually and how we’re living our lives. And the transformative power of practicing mindfulness as a methodology for seeing the momentary change, it’s only when we are living that experience moment to moment, that’s what affects the liberating quality of that wisdom.” – Joseph Goldstein

What Role Does Mindfulness Play In the Development of Compassion? (46:00)

Joseph explores how mindfulness can be a gateway to compassion. He talks about how compassion is more than just empathy, it’s an open-hearted response to suffering. The obstacle is that our minds are conditioned to avoid suffering at all costs.

“Mindfulness allows us to come close to suffering without pulling back from it out of aversion. We’re willing to be with the suffering… And as we open to it, that’s what allows for the compassionate response to happen.” – Joseph Goldstein

Jack Kornfield talks about why suffering is not the end of the story on Heart Wisdom Ep. 122

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