on the go

Mindfulness on the go
Recognizing wasteful thoughts

Upcoming session: April 7, 2024, 3:30 pm-6:30 pm (Sunday) (Prabhadevi, Mumbai)

Upcoming workshop(s):

Location: 3/13 Kamana Society, S. K. Bole Road, Behind Siddhivinayak Temple, Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400028. 

We will have a workshop "Mindfulness on the go: Recognizing wasteful thoughts" on April 7, 2024, Sunday from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. It will be held in Prabhadevi, Mumbai.

The workshop will focus on (a) learning to step out of the train of thought (b) learning to recognize wasteful thoughts while thinking, and (c) learning to do this by stealing moments from your day-to-day activities.

Please note that this workshop does not promise any therapeutic or spiritual benefits. Participants learn to see clearly what is going on outside and inside. If you recognize that the shaking of your leg is wasteful, it stops immediately (try it). We will learn to extend this principle to the movement of billions of tiny "legs" (neurons) inside our skulls. The workshop will involve silent exercises and limited discussion. 

To register: send an email to vinay@catalign.in and please mention the reason, if any, for your interest in this workshop. Registration is free.

Why "Mindfulness on the go"?

Whether we like it or not, a large part of our thinking is wasteful. It expresses itself as repetitive and compulsive thought patterns typically labeled as worry, anxiety, frustration, blame, guilt, etc. This drains our energy and hinders creative decision-making. Mindfulness is about recognizing thought patterns to be wasteful while thinking. This workshop explores how mindfulness can be experimented with on the go - anytime, anywhere.

What are the learning objectives of “Mindfulness on the go”?

The workshop/webinar has the following objectives:
  1. To learn to step out of the train of thought
  2. To learn to recognize wasteful thinking while it is happening
  3. To learn to perceive that thought is distorting our perception - fooling us like a master magician, while it is happening
  4. To see that this learning can happen on the go - in the car, bus, airport, grocery store, while jogging, in an office meeting, or even in the middle of an argument.
This is not a theory workshop. Participation in discussions and more importantly personal reflection exercises is an expectation. This workshop will be based on the first half of the book "Mindfulness: connecting with the real you" written by the facilitator. 

Why "on the go"?

There are several meditation retreats / workshops which help you learn how to meditate with eyes closed, in the sitting posture and typically in an isolated quiet place. These practices are valuable and I have personally benefited from them. However, I have met several people who have the intent to meditate but don’t find the time & a place to do it. The question is: Is it possible to meditate with open eyes, in standing, running, driving or in any other posture, in a noisy place like a meeting room, a grocery store or a train station/airport etc.? The objective of this workshop is to learn how to meditate on the go – by stealing moments from your busy schedule – say while waiting for a bus, taxi, elevator or check-out counter etc. 

What are the salient features of this workshop?

Here are four salient features:

1. It uses the "book of life" as the primary textbook. Any other textbook/scripture is treated as secondary.  
2. It emphasizes the language of hypothesis. Your favorite quote from scriptures or any other source would be treated as a hypothesis. Even what the speaker says is also a hypothesis And then one would explore ways of testing these.
3. It uses metaphors from movies, scientific experiments as well as from older texts to illustrate the concepts.
4. It emphasizes "on the go" experimentation which doesn't involve taking time away from your work. 

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is for anyone who is interested in learning how to meditate on the go. So far the participants have been in their 20s to 80s. Our explorations will not be conforming to any religion or a sect or specific spiritual teaching. A lot of emphasis will be placed on experimenting, investigating, and finding for oneself what works. So openness about these things will help.

Is it about spirituality or creativity?

The workshop is primarily about spirituality or self-discovery. However, it is not aligned with any religion, sect, or guru. One can say, it is about secular spirituality. The idea is to learn to treat your beliefs as hypotheses. Participants will be encouraged to experiment and find out for themselves. An attribute of a less-conditioned mind is holistic creativity. i.e. creativity not in any specific functional area such as painting, science, engineering, etc. but creativity in every area of life.

How is it related to Vipassana meditation?

This workshop carries the same primary goal as Vipassana - i.e. learning to see reality as it is. It is also about learning to use the same primary resource as Vipassana i.e. attention. However, it is different from Vipassana on two dimensions. One, it is primarily about meditation that can be done anytime anywhere whereas Vipassana emphasizes seated meditation at a dedicated time (typically prolonged time). Second, this workshop emphasizes mindfulness as an investigation into how thought fools oneself (self-deception). The investigation into self-deception is not emphasized in Vipassana (to the best of my knowledge).

"Mindfulness on the go" book resources are here. And a list of articles is here.

"Mindfulness on the go" podcast series : A discussion between Gauri and Vinay

Some related articles: