It’s that time again…the next Conscious Interview is here!
This month The Conscious Professional had the wonderful pleasure of getting to know Suryacitta Malcolm Smith. Suryacitta started practising mindfulness in 1989. He spent five years living in a meditation retreat centre leaving in 2005. Since then he has been teaching mindfulness in the UK, Europe and Australia.
He is the author of Happiness and How it Happens – Finding contentment through mindfulness published in 2011 and Mindfulness and Compassion – Embracing life with Loving Kindness published in 2015 both published by Ivy Press.
Find out more about him on his website.
So without further ado, here’s February’s Conscious Interview:
Where is home?
For me feeling at ease with myself and the world is home, and a sense of ease happens only when we are free of restless thoughts about the future, and regretful thoughts about the past. Home is when I can present myself to the world as I am without pretence.
When did you first come across mindfulness / meditation?
I came across mindfulness meditation in 1989 through a local Buddhist group and have practised daily ever since. It has been the single best thing I have done for myself, and probably for my family and friends too.
Describe one practice you do everyday to keep calm and centred?
I sit and rest my attention on what is really happening in the moment. This could be sounds of traffic, the hum of the fridge, or bodily sensations such as an itch, or my breath. The ability to pay attention is more important than what we pay attention to. This is very important to realise. Through our practice of mindfulness we are increasing our ability to be aware. Any object when really paid attention to, without thought, relaxes both body and mind.
How can the business world benefit from mindfulness?
If you put compost on the garden, everything in the garden gets nourished, and we have strong, healthy plants and flowers. Mindfulness is like that compost, when we practice regularly, our minds and hearts become stronger too. We increase our ability to focus, to empathise, to think clearly and creatively. We also develop the art of doing one thing at a time, which in today’s world where multi tasking is king, is a precious thing to cultivate.
What does ‘digital wellbeing’ mean to you?
Using technology for pleasure not for pain. What I mean is that we need to remain the master of our technological gadgets and not their slaves. However, to do this we need also to be able to identify the thoughts and impulses that drive us to constantly distract ourselves with our gadgets.
Do you think technology will increase or decrease wellbeing?
The quality of our lives depends on the quality of our relationships. So if technology is to increase or decrease our wellbeing depends entirely on our relationship to it. We need to be able to live with technology and to live happily for periods without it.
Paperback or kindle?
Having written two books myself I much prefer to see them in paperback. I can also see what people are reading then too.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“Don’t take your thoughts personally”, was once said to me by a teacher. Thoughts come and thoughts go and I am not responsible for them. I am responsible for my actions but not for the thoughts that ‘pop’ into my mind. They have a life of their own.
What is your favourite quote?
“I am an old man, I have had many problems, and most of them didnt happen.” MARK TWAIN.
This quote comes from a man who knew what mindfulness was without perhaps ever coming across the concept. As we practice mindfulness we develop the abilty to know the difference between real problems, created by real life and false problems created by the believed thoughts in our heads. To know the difference makes a significant difference to one’s well-being and our abilty to function in the world.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
It would be right here and now so long as it was in Italy sipping a glass of red wine, eating a gorgeous bowl of pasta with family and friends.
P.S. Whenever you are ready… here are 4 ways we can support your personal and professional Conscious Goals:
1. Access Free Live Meditations & Energy Transmissions
Inside our private Facebook Group, The Conscious Professional Mindful Community where Neil leads live weekly community events. Join now for free.
2. Learn To Meditate With Neil Seligman In Just 10 Days!
Zen in Ten, our flagship online course, is a ten-day mindfulness challenge for people who need to slow down.
3. Work With Neil One-To-One
See if a Conscious Coaching Partnership is right for you. Book a 15-minute discovery call with Neil here.
4. Bring The Conscious Professional To Your Business
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