In this episode of Mindfulness Off the Cushion, we dive deep into what our special guest Geeta Cowlagi refers to as “the four flavors of the heart.”
What are these tasty yet complex flavors Geeta speaks of?
Kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
Each of these flavors exists as possibilities, skills, or experiences locked within our hearts. And the heart is just as vital as the mind when it comes to mindfulness practice. In fact, in many Eastern languages, heart and mind are often translated interchangeably.
As we’ll soon discover, the flavors of the heart come with precursors, or conditions needed in order to make tasting these flavors truly possible.
For kindness to occur in the heart, first forgiveness needs to happen.
For compassion to occur, mercy must exist first.
For the courage that leads to equanimity to appear, first, some stage of exhaustion is required.
With all these flavors and precursors at work in the heart-mind of a mindfulness practitioner, joy can also, occasionally, be tasted.
Yes, all these flavors may sound like a lot to unpack, but we’ll do our best, guided by Gita, to begin to wrap our beginner’s minds around it all.
Remember, mindfulness is a lifelong practice - and perfection is not the destination we’re seeking. Rather, through this practice, we are seeking a doorway to gradual healing. Let’s explore what approaching that doorway can look like.
Season 3 Special Guest Geeta Cowlagi is a CFM Certified MBSR Teacher from the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness (CFM) in Medicine, Health Care, and Society. Geeta has been leading groups and individuals in their mindfulness journeys for over a decade from her Central Texas practice, Joyful Living. Geeta’s teachings are based in part on her own teacher, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.
Co-host Claudio Barrientos, Certified Mindfulness Instructor at Austin Mindfulness Center.