Interview with Denis servant: "Mindfulness is an encounter with deep relaxation"

Denis servant is Professor of meditation and Mindfulness. In this interview he explains how the innovative and comprehensive mindfulness can help us to recover a life without stress or anxiety, and above all, greater awareness, vitality and purpose.

The month of April Denis servant It will produce a classroom specialization course of Mindfulness that comes from the United States, and will do so in the international Yoga school in Madrid.

Denis took postgraduate courses at the Institute of professional formation of Mindfulness at the University of California, San Diego, and is coach certified by the Integral Coaching Canada, endorsed by the Integral Institute in Denver, Colorado.

Graduated from the prestigious University of Cambridge, UK, in social sciences, Eastern philosophy, there investigated the scientific benefits of meditation and the mindfulness associated with modern life style. He furthered his studies with a master's degree in Transpersonal Psychology and received his PhD in studies of consciousness with a thesis on the evolution of consciousness, at the California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco (USA), taking as an advisor to the pioneer of evolutionary psychology, Ken Wilber.

His doctoral research earned him the invitation of pioneers of consciousness as Allan Combs and Deepak Chopra, for membership active and full-fledged the Consciousness Studies Society, USA. Their stays and practices of self-knowledge in downtown Ojai Krishnamurti in California were also key in your personal evolution.

He was educated in a family geared to the formation of Hatha yoga. Trained as a teacher of Yoga Nidra with Mayte Criado and Hatha Yoga at the Himalayan Institute (Pennsylvania, USA). At this school he trained in advanced relaxation practices associated with the reduction of stress and anxiety. He received a rigorous practical knowledge of Raja Yoga practices classical teachers instructed directly by Paramahansa Yogananda. Still deeper into these practices with Gyandev McCordco-founder of Yoga Alliance. Currently it has among its clients management teams of notable Forbes 500 companies, CEO's, high-performance athletes, a professional team of football, professional artists, psychiatrists and psychologists among others.

Every day we propose us more classes and courses in mindfulness and also many of the materials that compose it. The variety of the offer is substantial and varied approaches, times and content. Today we wonder what moves people, veterans and novice, training in mindfulness.

What is the mindfulness that you share and teach in the specialization course in Mindfulness Integral?
It is the mindfulness that offers an integrative view, i.e. takes practice and the ideas of Eastern meditation but con a focus on the development of mindfulness, modern, avant-garde, untraditional, and that is facing more and more healthy consciousness of the body, mind and emotions. The practices have not only approach in relation to oneself but in relation to others, or for example nutrition, to any other field, and their interconnectedness with life itself. It is thus integral because includes the full attention in all aspects of the person and of life.

Mindfulness is without a doubt an encounter with deep relaxation, the interior silence which provides the integration of everything that we are and helps us to get intimate and cultivate a curious attitude from which anything is possible, including change and improvement. If understand this, also can understand why all us feel attracted, each time more, towards this possibility of address us with other tools that not are which used to offer us the distractions of our world modern and of the suffering with which is lives. We practice mindfulness because even doctors recommend it, since its high benefits have been scientifically proven. In addition to help manage stress and anxiety, to focus and not react disproportionately to personal circumstances or have a greater objectivity to the problems, the mindfulness practice offers a unique and effective way to relate to what is happening in life. And that is the beginning of the great transformation that happens in us. When we learn to relate to life in a conscious way, right there takes place the great change.

It so it is mindfulness a personal growth opportunity?
Of course. In some ways, mindfulness invites us to look within ourselves. It is a practice that allows us to grow internally and understand the roots of our way of being, of how we relate to ourselves and others. It has been proven as the mindfulness relieves suffering and helps people find emotional balance. Change this perspective that we usually have to see life's challenges as problems to be able to look at them and respond to them as an opportunity for personal growth and transformation. Could say that Mindfulness Integral is a proposed eminently practice of self-knowledge that cultivated the attention aware with the practice meditative and with it life everyday.

Different is the traditional sessions of meditation mindfulness meditation?
I think that many people think of "meditation" as sitting in a room with closed eyes, stand still and calm the mind. Mindfulness meditation proposes practices of relaxation and conscious breathing taking awareness of body sensations, of the mood, thoughts and of course the body; look carefully "what is" without need to address goals away from the reality. Therefore exploring without prosecution, observing every feeling, emotion or thought from the simplicity of the moment. The States of stillness and inner peace appear without the need to go looking for them but from the spontaneity and the mere presence. This is an attitude that is key to develop a greater inner serenity and thus living the rest of the day with greater awareness, less reactivity, less stress and anxiety.

What it does mindfulness in everyday life?
It offers tools that are applied to every day, practical in life that we live, potential "informal" to make mindfulness enters each time and thus we can gradually cope with greater presence and less reactivity. Live consciously means to be present, be here, intimacy with ourselves and thus respond to what is happening from the trust and the own abilities instead of impulses or obsession. Neuroscientist level changes in the brain, and as a result, have found multiple organic and physiological benefits.

The other day a student I said: "I am a person very anxious". By itself only discovered that had many habits of "escape is" or of "escape is" to avoid their anxiety, even through practices spiritual. We all have this tendency. Mindfulness goes to the root, helps us in a practical way to handle such anxiety, to be with what must be through a growing compassionate acceptance. If we do we do it with mindfulness, walk down the street, have a conversation at a dinner party, enjoy every bite while you eat, any daily action can be an opportunity to practice mindfulness to tune with oneself. We are the artists of our own interior sculpture. We're seeing what comes up in ourselves.

Mindfulness is also removing the idea of multi-tasking, to be efficient in "taste" each task, reducing stress, enjoying the small things, offering all the attention that deserves to simple things, whether cooking, writing a report or making a phone call. The "here and now" is an exciting place because that's really all there is. Can one reach the future? Can one return to the past? Unfortunately, or fortunately, no. This is the only place where we can be. Live in the here and the now is not escape, It is the present moment where really fun, we connect, we make decisions, we learn, we grow, we feel, is where there is life.

If anyone is interested in trying to get his life some kind of practical mindfulness, what you sugerirías to do?
Many people have tried to meditate one hundred times and lament that they can't do it because they can simply not stop thinking or because they have no time or because they are busy mentally. But the objective not is stop of thinking. You can not stop thinking. As long as you have a mind will be thinking. For me the key is to learn how to learn how to handle the thought, and that, eventually, provide the tranquility you are looking for. Through the Mindfulness Integral this door can be opened without master or too structured techniques.

Who are the pioneers of the mindfulness in the West?
Thich Nath Hahn is without a doubt a great reference. Master Zen of USA as Jack Kornfield, Genpo Roshi, Jan Chozen Bays, Joan Halifax, have developed programs to teach mindfulness, and since then the Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. They are programs that not only are anchored in the meditative side, but also on the personal side, at the human level. The mindfulness practice is presented in a close and modern way without sectarianism or ties to any oriental tradition, rather respecting any culture and belief. These pioneers have prestige not by chance; they first taught by competent teachers of some oriental as zen or Tibetan Buddhism or yoga tradition, and they have done so before venturing to teach a mindfulness that could respond to the demands of modernity.

Learn meditation and practices of mindfulness without a competent teacher is as learning to play the piano by itself, it is possible, but it is very difficult. I always advise people that they focus on who offers the course of mindfulness that are going to take to find out if the person has received a year training in some of the traditions of the East as well as their Western training. Teach mindfulness is a progressive process that looks to a person making his life a conscious life. Teach mindfulness requires years of training and accreditation.

How it begins someone who wants to "soak up" mindfulness?
I would ask the people who start to do just that in the first class: "soak up" mindfulness can begin simply by choosing a common activity of their daily lives to pay attention. Aware of this without trial, paying attention to what is happening when one for example brushing your teeth, it is mindfulness. Instead of being lost in some thought, we pay attention to what is happening moment to moment. It does not take more time, you're only there, present. You're there for your life. In this way are present with the time so it is. You don't have to be a good time, you just have to be in contact with the time, and there is where a sense of totality, in the simplicity of being present.

How do you change the lives of the people who begin to practice Mindfulness Integral? By which integral?
In my experience through my classes and courses, each person shares their changes depending on precisely the approach that she gives to the practices. Some of my students feel that after a couple of weeks, your every day is completely different; others observed that patterns of reactivity or anger begin to disappear; others emphasize that they are able to undertake the changes years ago waiting. Many speak that their relations are friendlier or that their stress is being managed with greater kindness... It is very transformative. Basically the circumstances become more easy and accessible.

Mindfulness Integral also allows us to include the shade: those parts of us who become uncomfortable, those aspects which we do not like or which prevent evolve.

"Integral" comes from the work of Ken Wilber, who has coined the term Mindfulness Integral, a meditative approach based on theory and integral practice. Integral theory is a revolutionary technique that combines the traditional path of meditation and mindfulness (the path of awakening) with modern research on the psychological and human evolution (the development road). Provides a method full and effective in transforming personal. Mindfulness Integral focuses attention on internal 'maps' that we use to navigate through life, whether in the world of relationships, study, work, in everything we do.

You mention the shade. What exactly is the shade?
The shadow refers to those aspects that interfere with the development of our capabilities and potentials that we believe not worthy to have. Our shadow is projected onto other people or situations. When you act disproportionately or it sabotages itself towards a more fulfilling and happy life, it is key to identify the shadow and integrate all the unconscious patterns that have been repressed. Be aware of this shade, to the extent possible, will allow greater freedom in our actions and decisions.

It is not a therapeutic or psychological work because not working from the psyche but from consciousness, and mindfulness is key. To mode personal me has result transformer the process Big Mind Big Heart that has developed my master, Genpo Roshi. Is is of a process very powerful, that helps to them people of form simple to enter in the experience of expand the consciousness, the great mind, while is works with them aspects hidden, the side human of the be, the great heart, i.e., the shadow made more aware. Ken Wilber together with the Integral Institute created the process 3-2-1 that helps reverse all those projections, thus regaining all the potential for a fulfilling life. They are truly transformative processes and are part of the Mindfulness Integral.

Is there any specialized training in Mindfulness Integral?
Effectively. Specialised training in Mindfulness Integral I created consists of 4 modules and is part of one of the most important projects of the international school of Yoga. It starts in April and will be a very practical training with a prestigious certification. It includes all my experience as well as knowledge acquired in recent years by great teachers and institutions.

And that you recommend to people who simply want to start practicing?
My zen master Genpo Roshi would say: "sit in meditation every day and have no preference for being attentive to not be, just sit". He says that the trick is to not have any preference for thinking or not thinking, and over time the mind is reassuring and is more conscious in everyday chores. These habits, along with other exercises mindfulness to be learned in daily classes that offer in the international school of Yoga, help us to disable the pilot automatic that have developed all our life to return to rewire the brain, that ultimately is what we believe that we are doing here.

If you could share with us, what would your mindful moments?
Listen to the crackling of the fire of a bonfire. Sitting in meditation with a blanket that I tuck. Have some tea sharing a conversation. Take a walk along a beach. Contemplating the dawn and the dusk. Smile at some student spontaneous smile. Inquire with a group on the nature of ourselves...

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By • 30 jan, 2017 • section: Interview, International School of Yoga