Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

Martin, modified 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 11:25 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 11:25 AM

Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
I have been noticing Adi talk about Stephen Procter's Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) techniques for quite some time and I have had a lot of benefit from using some specific techniques described by Adi, which he mentions are inspired by or based on Stephen Procter's teachings. 

I recently watched this video and was intrigued. Stephen definitely seems relaxed and happy, which is something I look for in teachers. It's interesting to compare his description of cycling with POI descriptions. They are very different, especially in terms of the reasons given for the different phases experiences, but the idea of cycles is shared to some extent. Fun to think about. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqGlkmrzL7k

I found it attractive enough to check out his website (https://midlmeditation.com/) and start working through his course. 

Here too, it's neat to notice the similarities between MIDL's Ground, Observe, Soften, Smile (GOSS) and TWIM's 6R of Recognise, Release, Relax, Resmile, Return, Repeat. Not the same, of course, but the two definitely rhyme. 

I will mention that, in addition to free courses and materials (and, I think, a free sangha), Stephen offers paid private lessons. I have not tried them. 

I just thought this was nice and wanted to share it. If anyone has any experience with this, I'd be interested in hearing about it. I did search for MILD in the forum messages and found some mentions, but if there is a long thread on the topic that I am missing, maybe somebody could point me to it. I'd also be interested in hearing what anyone thinks about cycles and phases as a general aspect of paths and practices, and the role of repeated intentional relaxation in meditation (which is not emphasized in some mindfulness/insight traditions). 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 12:50 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 12:50 PM

RE: Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
It's really interesting to me why we are drawn to or gravitate towards certain teachers. Stephen wouldn't exactly be my cup of tea on a purely aesthetic, energetic level. Saying absolutely nothing about the teaching as I'm sure it's of a wonderful quality. 

I flip flop a lot on TWIM. I like their practice but their vibe is a bit too serene for me and I really super massively dislike their take on Arahats. ( Will stop making money and stop having sex with their partners / that specifically those are ways you can identify Arahats / Dios mio ). That said I'd happily recommend the 6r's to a friend who was starting out. 

There's something about the washed out serene vibe that always came across a bit too new age for me, but I have met many great people who, upon encountering such a teacher, said "This is for me! This is exactly what I've been looking for."

I find it so interesting. Are we seeking qualities in them that we desire? Is it purely a chance bio chemical accident? Is it that they teach some very specific thing that we very specifically need to learn? 

I don't know. 
Martin, modified 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 1:35 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 1:35 PM

RE: Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Yes, that's a good observation. There are teachers out there with a vibe that looks unpleasant to me (Meido Roshi comes to mind), and yet I can tell that the vibe looks great to other people. TWIM isn't for me either. They are very interested in the sort-of magical part of the dharma, with a great interest in rebirth and sidhis. They also have more confidence in their own teachings than I like to see. For me, the more a teacher asserts that they know The Truth, the less highly I evaluate their discernment. But confidence in knowing the truth can work out and can be an attractive quality in a teacher, in some circumstances. 

Like you, I don't know the reasons behind this. 
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Chris M, modified 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 3:47 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 3:39 PM

RE: Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

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Martin, as to the cause of what we see, I'm of the opinion that the teacher vibe of appearing uber-serene, talking in a low volume, slow, sing-song manner, and pretending to be in what I suspect is a false equanimous state all the time, is marketing. It's what they think is expected of them - a bow to an uninformed version of what a teacher should be. It's not how people truly are, especially those who are awakened. Please convince me I'm wrong about this. It is, I think, affected behavior. That's why it grates on some of us.
Martin, modified 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 4:07 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 4:07 PM

RE: Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
You could be right. In fact, I think that you probably are right within at least some frameworks of understanding. Your position is logical.

Another possibility is that people who have, or appear to have, this affect are relatively successful in attracting and retaining students, in the same sort of way as politicians tend to be good at public speaking, and swimsuit models tend to have a particular body type. There is some about of deliberate effort in both cases, but most of it is just people working with what they've got. In other words, they don't have to be pretending for such a phenomenon to arise. If you behave a certain way because acting that way comes naturally, or feels good to you, you are more likely to find yourself in certain positions. That is not to say that people with a gentle vibe are necessarily better at teaching all practices than people with, for example, a very energetic vibe, or a grouchy vibe, which some great teachers are reported to have. 

From my perspective, there is quite a bit of variety around us, and many ways to benefit from it. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 4:25 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/19/23 4:24 PM

RE: Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

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I deeply agree with both of you and was thinking along the same lines. I think it's a style that ticks the appropriate boxes for new age people and for therapeutic people. I imagine those are some of the larger markets for this stuff and both use that very soft non-confrontational style of communication.

The teachers in question may also have spent a lot of time in the aforementioned communities. May have adopted the style before they awakened. It might be how all they're friends talk etc. 

I grew up around a lot of hippies so... maybe it triggers me a bit emoticon

It's certainly a more sensible strategy than a beer drinking, sex having, coke snorting, car crashing guru... wait...
Adi Vader, modified 3 Months ago at 11/20/23 12:22 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/20/23 12:22 AM

RE: Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

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When I first looked for guidance on the internet I came across many different people some from buddhism some from Advaita Vedanta but none of them were saying things in a way that felt 'right' to me. Their explanations didnt have much power their practice advice didnt have much rigour. I stumbled upon Stephen Procter on youtube and I just understood that the man was very very knowledgeable. At the time I didnt understand everything he was saying but I could intuit the value of what he was saying. Over a period of time I myself have developed an understanding of awakening and awakening practices and thus have a deeper understanding of what Stephen teaches.

Personally I have never taken much interest in his speaking style. Yes he is a relaxed, peaceful, warm, compassionate, generous human being. Yes I appreciate such qualities. But that wasnt why I studied with him I studied with him because he is a straight up meditation master and an experienced talented teacher. And somehow ... I almost magically knew this! I dont know why I knew it, but I did! 

​​​​​​​I will forever be deeply grateful to him.
Adi Vader, modified 3 Months ago at 11/20/23 5:43 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/20/23 5:43 AM

RE: Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

Posts: 267 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Also I wanted to mention two things.

1. The slow speed of talking

Long ago I had convinced a very dear friend of mine to learn from Stephen.

For some reason unknown to me, Indian languages, the way they are spoken have a certain cadence to them. A natural cadence that is faster than how an American or Englishman might speak in English. This rapid speaking sometimes, not always, creeps into the way Indians speak English.

Stephen immediately caught my friend's speaking sryle and spent some time explaining to him the difference between being relaxed and anxious in terms of the effect that had on breathing. How slow abdominal breathing is a result of and at the same time a cause of relaxation.

He spent some time explaining how our speed of speaking can be used as a marker of breathing and in turn how it reflects our affective state.

Apparently Stephen trained himself over a longish period of time to recognize and deal with this, and other markers, of anxiety.

2. All of Stephen's work is available on the basis of 'dana'. Its been this way ever since I have engaged with his work. Maybe it will remain the same way in the future. That is up to Stephen.
So I dont want to be anal but 'dana' does not mean that it is 'free'. It means that we pay what we can so that people less fortunate than us dont have to pay anything. This is my understanding. I am not representing Stephen in any way. emoticon
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Bahiya Baby, modified 3 Months ago at 11/20/23 7:51 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/20/23 7:51 AM

RE: Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

Posts: 371 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
And somehow ... I almost magically knew this!

I find this so wonderful. It's happened me a number of times.

-I had a teacher who has talked a little smack about Daniel, but at exactly the right time they recommended the mctb chapter on the 3c's.
-After spending a year or so with a degree of uncertainty about who to study with I randomly stumbled upon someone who thus far seems to be a perfect fit. 

It's like some cosmic magnetism. You can kind of tell they're right for you from the get go and like I think we all probably have stories like that. 

Regarding breath and speech I've had tantric teachers who taught similar things, but the result wasn't usually so "of this particular style". That being said, I must explore this guys work. 

I really repsect the dana system. it feels like the right approach to financing this stuff.
Martin, modified 3 Months ago at 11/20/23 12:38 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/20/23 12:38 PM

RE: Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) 

Posts: 730 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Good point about dana. In fact, it is mentioned right at the top of the mediation course (This Insight Meditation Course is free and supported by the dana (generosity) of MIDL students.). Supporting teaching is also a great way to make the world a happier place. 

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