25: Jim Gimian

jim gimian.jpg

Writer, teacher, publisher, and pioneer in the mindfulness movement Jim Gimian is here today. He is the publisher of Mindful Magazine and Mindful.org and the Executive Director of the Foundation for a Mindful Society. He has been involved in publishing in the field of mindfulness and mediation since 1973. He is co-author of two books on Sun Tzu’s Art of War. He has been teaching leadership training programs and mindfulness since the 1970s.

Jim is also our friend and we talk about how he got involved in the mindfulness movement and how it has recently evolved and become more mainstream in the last decade. We also talk about what mindfulness and mediation is and isn’t. Jim shares insights into how it isn’t a rigid practice, but a fluid practice that can benefit everyone and society as a whole.  

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Show Notes

  • [01:32] In the 1960s, Jim was at Stanford University, there were some things in his life that he was disappointed with and this led him to discovering mindfulness and meditation.

  • [01:59] He became involved in the anti-war movement, but it became clear to him that the leaders were no more concerned about non-aggression then the people they were concerned about.

  • [02:31] He also thought it was odd that some of his professors lives were a mess.

  • [02:47] Disillusionment made him seek for some other way of knowing himself, knowing about the world, and being able to see beyond a confusion of emotion.

  • [02:54] He got involved with mindfulness, and it's been a formative practice for him.

  • [03:12] He works with book and magazine publishing companies who talk about these things.

  • [03:42] In the last 10 years, mindfulness has become a badge of honor. He seized the opportunity by launching Mindful Magazine, Mindful.org, and the Foundation for a Mindful Society.

  • [04:38] People started looking for something outside of the normal range to help them deal with issues.

  • [05:38] Working with emotions, attention, listening skills, and communication skills are foundational for success in any sector.

  • [06:42] There is evidence from the medical world that mindfulness actually helps decrease stress.

  • [08:04] Understanding the brain or lack of understanding of the brain has helped mindfulness be adopted in mainstream areas.

  • [08:25] There has been a dramatic increase in research by young neuroscientists on the effect of mindfulness and the brain.

  • [09:38] Studies are positive, but more research is necessary.

  • [10:39] Benefits of mindfulness range from learning how to be aware in the body and the mind of how emotions can hijack your attention and awareness.

  • [11:31] Raging emotions in our mind completely take us off track from fulfilling our goal.

  • [11:57] Meditation allows us to come back to the moment and come back to our breath and find a gap between our emotions and our actions.

  • [12:26] This can also lead to mindful listening and mindful communication.

  • [16:23] Mindfulness needs to be woven into the daily lives that we lead.

  • [17:34] Mindfulness is about the next step or inside you can have to lead a healthier and more productive life.

  • [18:26] Situational awareness is being present and coming back to the body.

  • [19:31] Simple doesn't mean easy. Simple things are often the hardest.

  • [21:19] There are no markers of progress when you are practicing coming back to the present.

  • [21:56] Coming back to the present moment. Being aware of the breath. Note your thoughts and come back to your breath.

  • [22:52] Everyone has experienced a moment when they are present. Connecting people to this experience.

  • [24:03] Being present is noticing what's going on.

  • [24:58] Walking or moving can also be meditative. It's about being aware of when your mind goes off and bringing it back.

  • [27:59] Our judgments can be one of the biggest obstacles in the way.

  • [31:14] Mindfulness is a fundamental human skill that will help deepen your religious practice.

  • [36:25] Mindful cities is a project that will get city leaders and responders to all work together in a mindful way.

  • [38:44] Rapid fire questions.

  • [39:46] Everyday practice is simply to develop a complete openness and acceptance to all situations, all emotions, and all people experiencing everything totally without reservation and blocking, withdrawing, or centralizing unto oneself.

Links and Resources:

“Disillusionment made me seek for some other way of knowing myself, knowing about the world, and being able to see beyond a confusion of emotion.” -Jim Gimian

“Working with emotions, attention, listening skills, and communication skills are foundational for success in any sector.” -Jim Gimian

“Evidence about the skill sets that make someone successful in work like collaboration, working with other people, listening, and being sensitive to what they are going through are being identified by employers as key elements of success. These are the very skills that mindfulness leads to.” -Jim Gimian


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