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Mindfulness for Just About Everything

by Paramabandhu

This is a timely and invaluable talk from Paramabandhu. Drawing on many years of experience as a consultant psychiatrist and Dharma teacher, he invites us to consider the lessons Buddhist techniques around meditation and mindfulness training can bring to the field of mental health - especially to problems with depression and addiction. The talk evokes the Buddha in the Satipatthana Sutta to explore the four traditional foundations of mindfulness and discuss their potential use in therapeutic contexts. It is a kindly and empowering expression of practical hope, whose message applies to us all as we struggle to overcome whatever it is that holds us back from greater freedom in our lives.

Complete with a subsequent question-and-answer session on the talk in which Paramabandhu elaborates on the general theme. There's a wide range of material opened up - and considerable detail about how we can actually go about applying these techniques to whatever challenges we face in your own lives. Essential listening.

Please note - the questions in this recording were made at very low levels. We've amplified and clarified where possible - but the general sound quality drops noticeably at these points. However, they are all now audible and, in almost all instances, questions are repeated by Paramabandhu before he answers.

Talk given at San Francisco Buddhist Center, 2006

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. Contemporary interest in mindfulness; brief therapeutic history of meditation since the 1960s; the Buddha as behavioural therapist - the obese king, Kisa Gotami and her baby (6:28) 
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2. John Kabat-Zinn and mindfulness-based stress reduction; other therapies based around mindfulness (3:38) 
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3. Mindfulness in Buddhist tradition; the Satipatthana Sutta; sati and sampajanya; analogies for mindfulness; the four foundations of mindfulness - an analysis of technique in practice (7:48) 
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4. Four aspects of mindfulness in therapeutic context; i clocking what's going on - being on automatic pilot (5:06) 
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5. ii Sitting with your experience; Rumi's poem 'The Guest House'; the kindly aspect of awareness; body awareness and mental proliferation (5:25) 
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6. iii Perspective; cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy - the implicit and the explicit; not taking our thoughts so seriously; iv choice - mindfulness of purpose (6:52) 
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7. Taking awareness deeper; freedom; Kottitha's 'Song of Realization' (4:21) 
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8. Question-and-answer session - two books to reference on mindfulness; working with depression - discrepancy monitor and rumination (3:35) 
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9. Knowing what you can and cannot change - considered action (3:30) 
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10. Difficulty doing mindfulness work when actively depressed; noticing subtle shades of pleasant and unpleasant (5:53) 
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11. Can mindfulness initiate depression? Stepping out of patterns of thinking; difference between rumination and 'staying with'; body awareness (3:39) 
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12. Over-active mind; 12 step program - something to actually do; expectations and suffering; having your experience - the truth as sometimes uncomfortable (4:13) 
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13. Letting go of what you don't have; relationship break-up; staying with unpleasant experience and not compounding it - the Buddha in the 'Dart Sutta' (1:46) 
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14. Not identifying with one feeling; sexual addiction; recovery from addiction and mindfulness practice (2:10) 
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15. Rumination in the body; working with internal sensations; using metaphors to work with your mind (2:50) 
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16. Psoriasis and mindfulness (1:21) 
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17. What is meditation? A brief introduction and exercise - the 'Three Minute Breathing Space' (4:21) 


Total running time: 1:12:56