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IS MINDFULNESS
GOOD FOR BUSINESS?
Doctor Not Listening?
5 ways to change that
How a Mother Stopped Teens
From Hurting Them...
65 In Practice
66 Techniques
Take a Moment to Get Grounded
67 At Work
Avoid the Office Minefield
Dealing with generation g...
Features
34 Health Care
New and Improved
Three stories of people who take a
hands-on approach to their own health care
By ...
Carsten Knox
Mindful’s associate editor, Carsten Knox,
went to Baltimore to profile the founders
of the Holistic Life Foun...
from the founders
Something important is happening
in our society today: people are being
mindful. More often. In more way...
Contents
News 10
Research Roundup 15
Bookmark This 20
Mindful–Mindless 22
“What’s going on with
these teenagers?
They’re c...
now
Watch the trailer at
mindful.org/freethemind
WATCH A POT BOIL
Boiling some water for pasta or tea? Watch it. It can
be...
Recipes and photographs by
Béatrice Peltre. Find more of her
work at latartinegourmande.com24 mindful April 2013
Crunch & Spice
By Angela Mears
White Icicle. Bunny Tail. April Cross.
Snow Bell. Plum Purple. Red King.
Easter Egg.
You ma...
Diving Deep
Scuba diving triggered fear
for Elizanda de la Sota, but she
didn’t let that stop her.
As told to Carsten Knox...
Mind vs. Brain
Let’s try a little experiment. Using
your right index finger, point to your
brain. Now using the same finge...
Stacy and Mike
Brindise with
baby Davis.
Stacy Brindise, 30, was eager to have
children. But after trying for several
years to conceive, she and her husband,
Mike,...
What do kids growing up
in the toughest parts of
inner-city Baltimore need
most? Three guys returned
to find out­—and chan...
Baltimore is a city of corners and alleys.
At night, the corners in the Western District are lit
by the blue glow of polic...
community to get together. Ali signs off, “All right,
that’s what’s up.”
A lean, athletic man, looking like a young Bob
Ma...
April 2013 mindful 45
70 mindful April 2013
in practice insight
Meditation:
Start Here
Practicing meditation
doesn’t involve a whole
new set of skills. It
works so well, Sharon
Salzberg says, because
it enhanc...
IS MINDFULNESS
GOOD FOR BUSINESS?
Doctor Not Listening?
5 ways to change that
Welcome to
Mindful
Your Guide to
Less Stress...
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Transcript of "Mindful april2013 sampler"

  1. 1. IS MINDFULNESS GOOD FOR BUSINESS? Doctor Not Listening? 5 ways to change that How a Mother Stopped Teens From Hurting Themselves Healthy Mind Healthy Life How Working with Your Mind Is the Key to Well-Being P rem ier Issue The Science of Changing Your Brain DIGITAL SAMPLER View selected pages from Mindful’s April 2013 issue. Subscribe at mindful.org
  2. 2. 65 In Practice 66 Techniques Take a Moment to Get Grounded 67 At Work Avoid the Office Minefield Dealing with generation gaps at the office and a boss who talks trash 68 Ask Ms. Mindful A husband who spends too much • A fiancé with cold feet • What to do with a gloomy teen 70 Insight Meditation: Start Here Sharon Salzberg offers practical tools to deepen concentration, mindfulness, and compassion 4 Contributors 6 From the Founders Being Mindful: Now is the Time 9 Now How one mother fights for teens • Learn how to change your mindset • New film documents the work of neuroscientist Richie Davidson • It’s time to redefine winning • Research Roundup • Art that looks back at you • What they don’t teach at the police academy • Get mindful reminders on your phone 20 Bookmark This The writings, recordings, and apps that are capturing our attention now 22 Mindful–Mindless Our take on who’s paying attention and who’s not 24 One Taste Crunch & Spice Angela Mears reconsiders the radish Recipes by Béatrice Peltre 28 Body/Mind Diving Deep Scuba diving triggered fear for Elizanda de la Sota, but she didn’t let it stop her 30 Mind/Body Mind vs. Brain In her first column, Sharon Begley compares “brain talk” to “mind talk” 80 MindSpace Maira Kalman draws on meditation for her first illustration for our back page “So many times our perception of what’s happening is distorted by bias, habits, fears, or desires. Mindfulness helps us see through these.” Sharon Salzberg Coming in the next issue of Mindful: A profile of Congressman Tim Ryan, author of A Mindful Nation Sallie Tisdale on the joy of goofing off A Dose of Dirt: The natural world as medicine What’s sex got to do with it? A peek at meditation in the bedroom Ed Halliwell, author of The Mindfulness Manifesto, on how meditation can take us way beyond stress reduction 2 mindful April 2013 PHOTOGRAPHBYBÉATRICEPELTRE,ILLUSTRATIONBYADRIANJOHNSON contents 70 24
  3. 3. Features 34 Health Care New and Improved Three stories of people who take a hands-on approach to their own health care By Emma Seppala Sidebar: Doctor not listening? 5 ways to change that p 37 42 Raising Baltimore— One Child at a Time Children in one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods find calm and confidence with the help of three young men who teach them yoga and meditation By Carsten Knox Sidebar: Ali and Atman Smith and Andy Gonzalez share their tips to help kids find calm p 48 52 Is Mindfulness Good for Business? Management professor Jeremy Hunter looks for answers Sidebar: Your Mind at Work New ways to tackle the thorniest workplace problems p 55 60 Still on the Road Travel can be thrilling, challenging, disorienting—but for Pico Iyer there is peace in unfamiliar places GET UP & GO Take a walk with no destination. Smile. Say hello. For more ways to take a break go to @mindinterrupter on Twitter INTRODUCING MINDFUL INTERRUPTERS Short suggestions for taking a refreshing pause. → On our cover Read about Sara Ziff’s exposé of labor practices in the modeling industry on page 14 Photograph by Terry Doyle, styling by Elysha Lenkin, hair/makeup by Asia Geiger Visit mindful.org to see and hear more stories, advice, tips, techniques, and news. Share your thoughts with the wider Mindful community. Join the conversation. VOLUME 1, NUMBER 1, Mindful (ISSN 2169-5733) is published bimonthly for $19.95/ year US, $29.95 CDN Canada, and $39.95 USD International, by The Foundation for a Mindful Society, 1776 I St, NW, #90046, Washington, DC 20006 USA. Application to mail at Periodicals Postage Prices is pending at Washington, DC. Postage paid at Washington DC and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mindful, PO Box 469018, Escondido, CA 92046. Printed in USA. © 2013 The Foundation for a Mindful Society. All rights reserved. April 2013 mindful 3 PHOTOGRAPHSBY(TOP)MARKMAHANEY,(BOTTOM)CAMERONWITTIG 42 34
  4. 4. Carsten Knox Mindful’s associate editor, Carsten Knox, went to Baltimore to profile the founders of the Holistic Life Foundation, who work with inner-city children and youth (p. 42). “I’m a fan of the HBO TV series The Wire, so I asked Ali, Atman, and Andy what they thought,” he says. “They liked the show’s story but said the reality of living in Baltimore is far worse.” Knox’s writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen, and the National Post. Maira Kalman “I love the marriage of word and image,” says Maira Kalman, frequent contributor to The New Yorker, author of many children’s books, and Mindful’s regular illustrator for MindSpace (p. 80). Kalman started a mindful practice in order to inspire her work on our back page. “The aim is to do a course of meditation and share my thoughts. It’s been very helpful in the hectic days to calm me down.” Jeremy Hunter Jeremy Hunter explores the question: Is mindfulness good for business? (p. 52). With a decade of experience teaching in MBA programs specializing in executive management, he has gained some insight on the topic. “It’s not just mind your breath,” he says. “It’s let’s look at why you’re doing what you do. It’s about taking a step back, reassessing, and creating other choices for yourself.” Sharon Begley “This three-pound piece of tissue inside our skull can do amazing things. And science is discovering so much more about it every day,” says Sharon Begley, the senior health and science correspondent at Reuters. “But it’s important to remain humble in the face of the many questions science has only begun to ask, no less answer.” In the first installment of her column in Mindful, she explores the interplay between the brain and the mind (p. 30). Illustrations by Jessica McCarthy and Maira Kalman (self-portrait) Pico Iyer Pico Iyer, who writes about the clarity he finds while traveling (p. 60), is no stranger to the departures level. “From the age of nine, I was flying alone six times a year, back and forth between my parents’ home in California and my schools in England,” he says. “So I guess I decided early on that movement was only as good as the stillness that lies beneath it.” Iyer is the author, most recently, of The Open Road and The Man Within My Head. Béatrice Peltre Chef, food stylist, and photographer Béatrice Peltre developed the recipes and photographed the radishes featured in this month’s One Taste department (p. 24). “This kind of food—healthy and organic—is what I do,” says the Boston resident who grew up in rural France. “Whatever you see is what I eat. If that means it’s not as pretty or glossy, that’s fine.” Peltre is the author of the cookbook La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life. 4 mindful April 2013 contributors
  5. 5. from the founders Something important is happening in our society today: people are being mindful. More often. In more ways. And in more places. In our view, the simple act of being present has the power to change everything—how we approach ourselves, our challenges, our relation- ships, and our communities. We believe being mindful is an idea—actually, a way of being—whose time has come. We are launching Mindful to celebrate and support this growing movement. Mindfulness is not obscure or exotic. It’s familiar to us because it’s what we already do, how we already are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names. In his basketball days, former senator Bill Bradley called it a sense of where you are, and for many athletes today it’s being in the zone. For caregivers, it’s attention and em- pathy. For soldiers and first responders, it’s situational awareness. For business leaders, it might be presence or flow. Artists see it as spontaneity and thinkers as contemplation. Mindfulness is not a special added thing we do. We already have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. But we can cultivate these innate qualities with simple practices that are scientifically demonstrated to ben- efit ourselves, our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, the people we work with, and the institutions and organizations we take part in. When an idea’s time has come, it’s part of the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. Living mindfully is one such idea. Solu- tions that ask us to change who we are or become something we’re not have failed us over and over again. We’re ready for an approach that recognizes and cultivates the best of who we are as human beings. Mindfulness is not only timely. It also has the potential to become a transfor- mative social phenomenon, for these key reasons: • Anyone can do it. Mindfulness practice cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs. Everyone can benefit and it’s easy to learn. • It’s a way of living. Mindfulness is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better. • It’s evidence-based. We don’t have to take mindfulness on faith. Both sci- ence and experience demonstrate its positive benefits for our health, happi- ness, work, and relationships. • It sparks innovation. As we deal with our world’s increasing complexity and uncertainty, mindfulness can lead us to effective, resilient, low-cost responses to seemingly intransigent problems. Being Mindful Now is the Time Read the rest of this article in Mindful’s April 2013 issue. Subscribe at mindful.org April 2013 mindful 6
  6. 6. Contents News 10 Research Roundup 15 Bookmark This 20 Mindful–Mindless 22 “What’s going on with these teenagers? They’re constantly in crisis mode—reacting, not responding.” Fiona Jensen, founder of Calmer Choice Photographs by Dustin Aksland now 7 mindful April 2013
  7. 7. now Watch the trailer at mindful.org/freethemind WATCH A POT BOIL Boiling some water for pasta or tea? Watch it. It can be relaxing. Find more on Twitter @mindinterrupter OVERHEARD “Too much of the education system orients students toward becoming better thinkers, but there is almost no focus on our capacity to pay attention and cultivate awareness. We can learn to bring together the body’s various systems to fine tune the body and mind, so we can navigate life’s ups and downs in a way that minimizes stress and maximizes well-being.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, in conversation with Stephan Rechtschaffen, cofounder of the Omega Institute Brain Wave A child begs to take the stairs because he’s terrified of elevators. A soldier tries to reintegrate at home after a tour of duty in Iraq. They have one thing in common: both of their brains have been affected by trauma. But as neuroscientist Richie Davidson points out in the film Free the Mind, to be released in the U.S. this spring, “We can shape our brains in ways that increase happiness and well-being and also promote pro-social behavior. The brain is built to change in response to experience. It’s transformable.” Named by Time as one of the world’s 100 most influential people, Davidson founded the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wis- consin–Madison in 2008 to unite rigorous neuroscience research and applications of that research in real-world settings. Free the Mind, directed by Phie Ambo and produced by Danish Documentary Productions, charts one of Davidson’s studies: the effect that learning medita- tion and yoga has on the lives of veterans and children with ADHD. ● “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” Those words from Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, have been repeated by coaches to thousands of players ever since, from Pee Wee football and Little League to the NFL and Major League Baseball. It’s a credo not only for the field but also for life. Jason Dorland, author of Chariots and Horses: Life Lessons from an Olympic Rower, was raised on that kind of thinking. He lived by it. He thought of it as the only path to excellence. He passed it on to others. But when he reached the pinnacle of his sporting career—in a race where seconds and nanoseconds make the difference between victory and also-ran—he came to see that philosophy as an obsession that hurt him mentally and physically. An Olympic rower, Dorland was a member of the 1988 Canadian eights crew heav- ily favored to take gold in Seoul. On race day, the team faltered and fell out of medal contention. Dorland went into a tailspin. “It defined me,” he says. “Every time I walked into a room I assumed everybody thought, ‘There’s the guy who came sixth at the Olympics.’ When the race goes sideways and the outcome isn’t what you anticipated, and you don’t have the tools to deal with it, you fall down pretty hard.” As Dorland gained perspec- tive over time, he didn’t like what his winning-at-all-costs attitude had turned him into— someone addicted to anger as the path to excellence. When he started coaching he decided to take a different tack. Dorland coached the Shawnigan Lake School senior boys’ rowing crew in British Columbia to four national championships, but he taught his athletes that the excess stress that comes from obsessing about winning can actually decrease perfor- mance—not to mention create pressure to use performance- enhancing drugs. Today Dorland counsels his athletes to find satisfaction within, to strive for excellence that isn’t based on comparison. “You could not create a more destructive and constricting message than telling kids that only winners are worthy of celebration,” he says. And Lombardi would likely agree. As he looked back on his legacy, the iconic coach said of his most famous dictum, “I wished I’d never said the thing. I meant the effort. I meant hav- ing a goal. I sure didn’t mean for people to crush human values and morality.” ● A Winning Strategy PHOTOGRAPHS(TOP)BYMITCHELLMEDIA,(BOTTOM)COURTESYOFCENTERFORINVESTIGATINGHEALTHYMINDS April 2013 mindful 10 Read the rest of this article in Mindful’s April 2013 issue. Subscribe at mindful.org
  8. 8. Recipes and photographs by Béatrice Peltre. Find more of her work at latartinegourmande.com24 mindful April 2013
  9. 9. Crunch & Spice By Angela Mears White Icicle. Bunny Tail. April Cross. Snow Bell. Plum Purple. Red King. Easter Egg. You may be surprised to learn that these names were given not to nail pol- ish, paint colors, or candies but to diverse varieties of a single vegetable. Most rad- ishes, once planted, mature in less than four weeks, yielding edible roots in the gentlest pastels and brightest jewel tones. White or black, fist-sized or pebble- shaped, mild or punishing, no vegetable springs from its seed so readily or in so many disguises as the radish. Perhaps we have this generosity of form to thank for its association with some of literature’s hungrier heroines. Scarlett O’Hara, upon eating a radish straight out of the dirt at Tara, swore she would never go hungry again. And, according to some accounts, Rapunzel’s mother yearned so powerfully for the radishes in a witch’s garden that she surrendered her infant daughter just to satisfy that craving. If you’ve ever bitten into a raw radish, you know the assertive pungency unex- pected in such a pretty morsel. The sharp- ness comes from sulfurous molecules and enzymes that produce, when chewed, a stinging, almost funky flavor also found in mustard and wasabi—a fact that makes radishes a very divisive vegetable. I’ve seen children flee from them. I did. The tacquerias I once visited with my father offered mountains of Red Belles to snack on, trimmed and soaking in pools of ice water. They were mostly tasteless with an occasional hint of that punishing sharpness. I was not averse to vegetables as a rule, but I was averse to punishment. But then something happened. I bought a clutch of French Breakfast rad- ishes from the farmers’ market, oblong and dirt-caked and streaked with pink. Eaten plain, they were nose-burningly hot. But, when enjoyed thinly sliced with good salt and creamy butter, the effect of their pungency was not unlike that of a ripe French cheese, and soon the burn seemed more pleasing than punishing. Strong cheeses are, of course, an acquired taste. But then so are radishes, and I seem to have acquired a permanent craving for them. I say craving because that is really the only word that will do. Radishes are not refreshing like lettuce, not hearty like kale, not sweet like beets. They belong, for me, somewhere to the left of the produce section. They savor of dirt, brie, yellow mustard. They are intense and unpredictable and hard to refine. Yet for all this personality and swagger, a single Red Belle or French Breakfast offers only one calorie of burn- able energy. Beautiful. Biting. Basic. Radishes at play in a salad, or getting top billing between two slices of bread: whatever you choose, eat with the kind of gusto you’d normally reserve for some- thing richer. Notice how your hunger ebbs, and how quickly it surges again. If only Scarlett O’Hara had enjoyed hers a little bit more. ● Makes 4 tartines 4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese 4 slices of bread of your choice 8 to 10 pink radishes, finely sliced (use a mandoline if you have one) ⅓ cup cooked edamame Sprouts, to taste (try arugula or broccoli sprouts) Olive oil, to drizzle Pepper Fleur de sel Spread the cheese on top of the slices of bread. Arrange the sliced radishes on top (about 2 radishes per tartine). Add the edamame and sprouts. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with pepper and fleur de sel. Serve with soup or a side salad. Radish, Edamame, and Goat Cheese Tartines with Fleur de Sel Angela Mears writes about food at thespinningplate.com April 2013 mindful 25 one taste Read the rest of this article in Mindful’s April 2013 issue. Subscribe at mindful.org
  10. 10. Diving Deep Scuba diving triggered fear for Elizanda de la Sota, but she didn’t let that stop her. As told to Carsten Knox Photograph by Sarah Wilson Name: Elizanda de la Sota Age: 62 Activity: Scuba diving Location: Austin, Texas Read the rest of this article in Mindful’s April 2013 issue. Subscribe at mindful.org 28 mindful April 2013 body/mind
  11. 11. Mind vs. Brain Let’s try a little experiment. Using your right index finger, point to your brain. Now using the same finger, point to your mind. Not so easy. We don’t necessarily think of our brain and mind as being exactly the same thing. One is not as easy to pinpoint, and this has led to two distinct ways we have of talking about mental activity: mind talk and brain talk. To those of us without a degree in neurobiology, it seems completely natu- ral to refer to the mind. We talk about feeling this way and thinking of that, of remembering one thing and dreaming of another. Those verbs are examples of mind talk. Using mind talk, we would say, “I recognized my first-grade teacher in the crowd because she was wearing the necklace with the beetle scarab, which was so unusual I still remembered it after all these years.” We would not say, “A barrage of pho- tons landed on my retina, exciting the optic nerve so that it carried an electri- cal signal to my lateral geniculate body and thence to my primary visual cortex, from which signals raced to my striate cortex to determine the image’s color and orientation, and to my prefrontal cortex and inferotemporal cortex for object rec- ognition and memory retrieval—causing me to recognize Mrs. McKelvey.” That’s brain talk. That there is an interplay between mind and brain may seem unremark- able. The mind, after all, is gener- ally regarded as synonymous with our thoughts, feelings, memories, and be- liefs, and as the source of our behaviors. It’s not made of material, but we think of it as quite powerful, or even as who we are. Scientists insist on talking about the brain while the rest of us talk about the mind. In her first installment of this column, Sharon Begley sizes up the two sides of the mind/brain conversation. Sharon Begley is the senior health and science correspondent at Reuters, author of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, and coauthor with Richard Davidson of The Emotional Life of Your Brain. April 2013 mindful 30Illustration by Malin Rosenqvist mind/body Read the rest of this article in Mindful’s April 2013 issue. Subscribe at mindful.org
  12. 12. Stacy and Mike Brindise with baby Davis.
  13. 13. Stacy Brindise, 30, was eager to have children. But after trying for several years to conceive, she and her husband, Mike, were still childless. Like millions of couples, the Brindises were faced with what doctors refer to as “unexplained infertility.” Couples diagnosed with unexplained infertility are typically active, health- conscious people of childbearing age who find themselves—for no apparent reason—without a crib or a bottle in the house. Like many, the Brindises followed a familiar route, first consulting doctors who recommended hormone treatment, which Stacy reluctantly decided to try. The arduous six-cycle program involved daily medications, self-administered hormone shots, and monthly intrauterine insemination with a catheter. But the Brindises still couldn’t get pregnant. Physicians next suggested that Stacy try in vitro fertilization. It would involve doses of medication, a considerable price tag (starting at $12,000), and increased chances of her having twins—factors that gave the couple considerable pause. Nothing had worked and it was time, Stacy decided, to change her approach. “When people have a medical problem, everybody seems to jump right to drugs → $34B Americans spent nearly $34 billion out of pocket for alternative treatments in 2007, according to a National Institutes of Health survey. Health Care New & Improved A new generation of patients and doctors is changing the face of American medicine. It’s about more than curing disease now— it’s health for the whole person. Story by Emma Seppala Photographs by Cameron Wittig April 2013 mindful 35 health Read the rest of this article in Mindful’s April 2013 issue. Subscribe at mindful.org
  14. 14. What do kids growing up in the toughest parts of inner-city Baltimore need most? Three guys returned to find out­—and changed lives and a neighborhood in the process. Story by Carsten Knox Photographs by Mark Mahaney Raising Baltimore One child at a time community
  15. 15. Baltimore is a city of corners and alleys. At night, the corners in the Western District are lit by the blue glow of police cameras, a crime deterrent. The alleys run through the middle of block after block of Baltimore’s famous row houses, providing sheltered places for kids to play and a quick exit for those with something to run from. The uncharitable might call it a ghetto. The West- ern District in particular has been beset by poverty, drug abuse, and violence: 34% of the children here, most of them African American, live below the poverty line, compared to 14% in the rest of the state. And while some of the homes here are well kept—the paint fresh, lawns mowed—many blocks are punctuated with abandoned properties, “the vacants,” their windows boarded. The house at 2008 North Smallwood lies in the middle of one of these blocks. This is where broth- ers Ali and Atman Smith grew up. And it’s here that, with their friend Andres “Andy” Gonzalez, they formed the non-profit Holistic Life Foundation (HLF) in 2001. Starting with 20 fifth-grade boys, the foundation’s after-school program introduced yoga, mindfulness, urban gardening, and teamwork to children in the neighborhood in an effort to revive the community through its youngest, most vulnerable members. In a city where the dropout rate for high school students is routinely higher than 50%, 19 of those first 20 boys graduated and the other got his GED. Hundreds of youngsters have now passed through the program. And researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Penn State University have begun to study the work being done by the guys at Holistic Life. They’re pay- ing special attention to the program’s effect on chil- dren’s moods, relationships with peers and teachers, and emotional self-regulation. After more than a decade, Ali, Atman, and Andy’s work is getting no- ticed beyond the blocks of the Western District. Down a narrow alley off North Smallwood is The Quiet Place. It’s a former vacant lot, hidden by rows of old houses and decaying cement walls, trans- formed into a park. HLF did this. There are benches, barbecue grills, garbage cans, blue rain barrels, and a vegetable garden growing tomatoes, basil, beets, cucumbers, peppers, watermelons, cantaloupes, sage, cilantro, lilies, lavender, and a whole bunch of mint. “The city cuts the grass but they’re being kind of slow about it this year,” Ali says. At 36, he has a large presence, laid-back but seri- ous. He’s bald, with a beard that frames his cheeks and chin. He dresses casually. On this hot summer day, he’s in a T-shirt and shiny gold basketball shorts. Ali’s cell phone rings. “Killer Cam!” he says, smil- ing. “Hey, you comin’ tomorrow, right? Just listen to your mother, please. Just listen to your mother so you can come tomorrow.” Tomorrow is a cookout at The Quiet Place, organized by HLF, a chance for the → The founders of the Holistic Life Foundation, from left: Andy Gonzalez, Ali Smith, and Atman Smith. April 2013 mindful 43
  16. 16. community to get together. Ali signs off, “All right, that’s what’s up.” A lean, athletic man, looking like a young Bob Marley with short, messy dreads, walks up to Ali’s red Chevy Trailblazer. It’s Atman. He’s 34, with a radiating calm like his brother’s, dressed casual and comfortable. The bumper sticker on the back of At- man’s black Nissan XTerra is a Marley quote: “None but ourselves can free our mind.” Atman climbs into the Trailblazer. He says to Ali, “Thank you, chauffeur.” Ali says, “You know how I do. Call me Jeeves.” Then Andy jumps in the car. He’s 33, quick to smile, with a thin beard and long hair tied back in a ponytail. Ali points the car downtown, with Kanye West’s summer smash “Mercy” playing on the stereo. Ali muses on how long a particular home on North Smallwood has been vacant. “That one on the corner, remember the guy who had the dog up on the roof?” he asks. He estimates it’s been empty since he was a child. “Maybe there’s two people liv- ing on this block—at the most,” he says. Occasional gaps in the rows of homes begin to appear. “These spaces,” Andy says, “are because the houses just kind of collapsed.” The blocks multiply, empty lots increase, and the city begins to resemble a war zone. Ali and Atman call their parents hippies. But when they were growing up, yoga wasn’t something they talked about with their friends. “If we were vegan and did yoga now we’d be the coolest kids on the planet, but back then, nobody was doing it,” says Ali. It was their father, Meredith “Mert” Smith, a basketball coach at Southern High School, and their godfather, Will Joyner, who taught them. Ali says it was normal to see his father in a headstand down in the basement. “We walked on past, went into the TV room to watch Saturday-morning cartoons, and when he was done he’d come join us.” Ali and Atman went to a Quaker school in a middle-class neighborhood, the Friends School of Baltimore, and his sons, Asuman and Amar, go there now. “Quaker school was kinda cool. It reinforced the meditation stuff we’d learned,” says Ali. “We did meaningful worship, where you had your moment of silence, where you sat and kinda reflected on things.” Though Ali and Atman’s mother, Fredine “Cassie” Smith, and Mert divorced in 1986, they remain friends. And it was around then, as the brothers be- came teenagers, that they really noticed the neigh- borhood change in the wake of the crack epidemic. “When we were kids, it was like one big family,” says Ali. “You could point at every house on the block and say who lived there. But the people who were making sure good values were being passed on, who were strong male role models, drugs took them away from the community. They were either locked up or dead. And women, too. A generation was raised by grandparents or foster parents.” It limited people’s vision of what they could be in life, says Atman. “Drug dealer, rapper, or athlete. You weren’t worried about trying to be a scientist, or mathematician, or philosopher, or…” “A yoga teacher,” Ali adds. In the late 1990s, while attending University of Maryland College Park, they met Andy Gonzalez, who grew up in Severn, Maryland, the youngest of five. Andy was a marketing major and musician with a passion for hip-hop. He started doing yoga with Ali and Atman and found his personal outlook changing. “A large part was that self-practice,” he says. “When you’re inside and you look outside, it’s like, wow, man, the outside kinda sucks compared to the inside. Within us is transformative.” While at college, the guys started an informal reading group, devouring books on ancient history, spirituality, astronomy, astrology, and physics. The books inspired their practice and perspective. “We were trying to figure out what’s the meaning of life, why we are here,” says Atman. “Once we started analyzing that, we realized the purpose is to help everybody. Selfless service.” Ali and Andy finished school and moved back to Baltimore in 2001, with Atman joining them on weekends until he graduated in 2002. They knew that their selfless service needed to be here, at home. The answer was the Holistic Life Foundation. → Below: Darrius Douglas, 22, was in the first Holistic Life Foundation program, which was offered after school at Windsor Hills Elementary in Baltimore’s North Smallwood neighborhood. He now teaches with HLF as a volunteer. “People wonder why a lot of black guys end up in the streets,” he says. “That’s cause they don’t have nothing in their life.” Opposite: Kaila Winkler practices her breathing. 44 mindful April 2013 community Read the rest of this article in Mindful’s April 2013 issue. Subscribe at mindful.org
  17. 17. April 2013 mindful 45
  18. 18. 70 mindful April 2013 in practice insight Meditation: Start Here
  19. 19. Practicing meditation doesn’t involve a whole new set of skills. It works so well, Sharon Salzberg says, because it enhances life skills we already have. The most common response I hear these days when I tell someone I teach meditation is “I’m so stressed out. I could really use some of that.” I am also amused to hear fairly often “My friend should really meet you!” I’m happy to see that meditation is known more and more as something that could be directly helpful in our day-to-day lives. Anywhere stress plays a role in our problems, meditation can have a potential role in its relief. Meditation practice need not be tied to any belief system. The only necessary belief is not a dogmatic one, but one that says each of us has the capacity to understand ourselves more fully, and to care more deeply both for ourselves and for others. Its methods work to free us of habitual reactions that cause us great unhappiness, such as harsh self- judgment, and to develop wisdom and love. Meditation gives anybody who pursues it an opportunity to look within for a sense of abundance, depth, and connection to life. Rather than an ornate, arcane set of instructions, basic meditation consists of practical tools to help deepen concen- tration, mindfulness, and compassion. → Illustrations by Adrian Johnson Read the rest of this article in Mindful’s April 2013 issue. Subscribe at mindful.org April 2013 mindful 71
  20. 20. IS MINDFULNESS GOOD FOR BUSINESS? Doctor Not Listening? 5 ways to change that Welcome to Mindful Your Guide to Less Stress & More Joy How a Mother Stopped Teens From Hurting Themselves Healthy Mind Healthy Life How Working with Your Mind Is the Key to Well-Being P rem ier Issue The Science of Changing Your Brain APRIL 2013 mindful.org When you subscribe to Mindful, you will: • Discover practical, effective tools for everyday living • Learn about the latest brain science and the many ways mindfulness is changing our society • Enjoy better health and relief from stress • Improve your performance and capacity at work • Deepen the relationships in your life • Be inspired by stories of other mindful people like you Mindful is the groundbreaking new magazine dedicated to helping you live mindfully. It’s who you are Don’t miss the next great issue of Mindful. Call toll-free 1-855-492-1675. Subscribe online at www.mindful.org/charter. You want the best for your family and friends. You enjoy work that is meaningful and satisfying. You’re dedicated to a more caring and sustainable society. You know the simple practice of being in the moment brings out the best in who you are. You are mindful. And this is your magazine. Subscribe Now at the special introductory price

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