Yesterday I watch the movie, The Mindfulness Movie that was produced and directed by Paul Harrison, AIA. It gives an educational view point of what mindfulness is and is not. It has over 35 of the world’s leading medical and mental health experts from Richard Burnett to Ellen Langer, Ph.D to Jeffrey M. Schwarts, M.D. to Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. Harrison takes you on a journey about how mindfulness can help individuals to shift their perspective. The movie is broken into four parts; Neuroscience, Journey, Stories, and Schools.
Neuroscience: Mindfulness was quoted as a “natural state of being.” We have neurons that send rapid fire signals through synapses that recognize patterns with our constantly chaining environments. In a sense, we tend to perform our day to day tasks on auto-pilot because our we create reaction loops. With mindfulness we can actually change the physiology of the brain and change our reaction loops. I have personally experienced this through re-training of the brain.
Journey: Reflection is a huge part of mindfulness. We need to be able to understand ourselves and how we choose to relate to things and people. This section of the movie discusses being in the state of flow and being aware. Mindfulness helps us to be curious, receptive and aware of our emotional state. Mark Twain quoted, “I have had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” This spoke to me with great detail. Before cultivating mindfulness in my life, I worried about everything and my thoughts tended to ruminate and create elaborate stories. Today, I try and focus on the positives in situations and in return I experience much less stress.Stories: The next section of the movie discusses how mindfulness is being used in the military for both veterans and active duty members. They discuss that the first thing they are taught is that the mission comes first. They have developed programs to help individuals in the military with PTSD. In the military it is considered weak to admit you may need help. Creating a virtual world has enabled some to feel more comfortable in doing an MBSR course. It was interesting to hear how the experts explained the program and then to hear from the individuals who have taken the course.
Schools: The last part of the movie highlights Richard Burnett’s Mindfulness in Schools Project and interviews a group of teens where mindfulness has been beneficial. During this part of the movie, I thought about how I can help pass mindfulness onto my children to help them develop higher social and emotional learning.
If you are curious about mindfulness or just want to educate yourself a little more, I would recommend this film. The Mindfulness Movie touches the surface of what mindfulness and defines it at its core. I would love to see a second movie that educates us how we can cultivate mindfulness into our daily lives. Below is the trailer for the movie. Please let me know your thoughts if you have seen the film or after you have watched the film.