How to Train a Wild Elephant — Week 4

Posted on August 30, 2021

Good morning on this warm Mindfulness Meditation Monday here in Southern California! Last week, with heat advisories in several of the valleys that surround L.A., we had the pleasure of escaping to the beach for a couple of nights. Unwinding to the sounds of the waves, enjoying the blues of the sky and ocean, reveling in the majestic sunrises, and watching cormorants play and fish with the dolphins (watch the video below) was restful and truly breathtaking.

I also got a chance to catch up on some reading with Sadhguru’s  latest book, Karma, A Yogi’s Guide to Crafting Your Destiny. I reflected deeply upon his thoughts on evolution and transformation. He states, “Crowds can evolve over a period of time but they cannot be transformed. Transformation, as the word suggests, necessitates a form. Only an individual can be transformed….” How does that resonate for you? For me, I completely agree. In this time of abundance of spirituality, with hundreds of wisdom teachers easily accessible, we are evolving from our attachment to religion and rituals and leaning more deeply into wisdom teachings. 

Now, here’s the challenge we are facing. As we watch video after video on social media, our mind-set is certainly evolving, but not many of us are invested in a “practice”—a commitment to sit in meditation (or quiet) to experience the wisdom teachings of the inner world. Our differences in personality lead to another issue: Many of us cannot find calm or quiet in our minds, and that keeps us at the evolutionary stage. Practice is what infuses transformation. And if we cannot sit still to practice, the question is how do we bring wisdom teachings into our daily lives? 

This is why I’m such a big advocate of informal mindfulness practices, which bring the wisdom perspective into our daily life. We must ask ourselves:

How can I manage myself and not be consumed by life’s daily drama, emotional trauma, and the internal unrest (suffering) that it brings?

How can I be more calm, peaceful, happy, and fulfilled?

One answer to both those questions is through a mindfulness practice—on the mat or off it. For those of you who are part of my eight-week practice group from Jan Chozen Bays’ How to Train a Wild Elephant , you are experiencing the practice! Congratulations on your commitment. I’m so proud of you and grateful for facilitating my own learning and growth as I maintain these practices with you throughout each week. 

If you’re new to MMM and are feeling inspired to join in, you can access the last three weeks here. It’s FREE! Each practice stands alone and also is connected to the others. You can start anywhere, in any week, but remember, transformations happen when we commit to the practice.

Week one was on using our nondominant hand; week two was about taking a breath or two before answering the phone, text, or social media notification. Last week we worked on “See the Color Blue.” It was so much fun to share observations of that color through the week! I loved the images of blue planters, plates, candles, scrubs, ocean, sky, matching blue pajamas, rugs, paintings, side tables, and so much more! Thank you for sharing your sightings of the blue hues around you and also for sharing your internal expansion of the mindfulness muscle—which then impelled us all toward our own micro-transformations—as we stopped in our busy day to savor the many shades of the color blue. 

I can’t wait to see you all tonight from 8-8:30 p.m., when we will learn a little about mindfulness and practice a little meditation on this upcoming week’s surprise practice. Please register here…