Lessons learned from sitting still

MBSR Mindful Meditation - Japanese Tea GardenEarlier this year, my travels took me to the San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden.  Fresh from the Teacher Development Intensive MBSR course, I felt the poignancy of the moment as I noticed the sign by the pond: Use caution crossing bridges and stones.  I crossed over with care and here are five simple things I learned from the experience of mindfully sitting by this lovely pond.


  1. We often come to perceive the “bridges and stones” as obstacles rather than places of transition that open up new experiences for us.
  2. When we cultivate curiosity to explore what lies beyond the stones and the bridges, it can often lead to finding moments of beauty in simple things.
  3. Kindness and non-judgment are helpful friends in navigating difficult paths. Especially when we stumble over the challenges in our lives, it is helpful to hold ourselves without harshness. The attitude of kindness, curiosity, softness and care allow the heart to slowly open.
  4. As we open our hearts and minds to just being present, we notice so much more. When we are not looking for something specific, the details of life’s tapestry are exquisite!
  5. The gifts of nature and life continue to change every moment. Consider inviting the heart to enjoy just this moment without holding on it to it.