130: Introduction to mindfulness and meditation with Diana Winston

“When she was younger, she wasn’t that into reading and that was like a huge deal for me.  I thought: “I’m such a reader. My daughter doesn’t love to read.” She’s still not a big reader, but it’s not hampering her in any way. She’s blossoming in fifty other ways, but when I get caught in that story, “She’s not like me. She’s not…” – that’s when I’m suffering. So I settle back into trusting, and think: “Oh, she’s becoming who she is. Let her be that.”

-Diana Winston


Meditation is touted as being a cure-all for everything from anxiety to depression to addictions.  But is it possible that all this is too good to be true?

In this episode, meditation teacher – and former Buddhist nun! – Diana Winston guides us through what we know of the research on meditation that’s relevant to parents.  It turns out that the quality of much of this research isn’t amazing, but this may not matter to you if you’re thinking of starting a meditation practice because the opportunity cost (a few minutes a day) is so low and the potential benefits are so high.

We walk through a basic meditation that you can do anywhere, and no – it doesn’t involve sitting cross-legged with your thumb and first finger held in a circle and saying ‘ommmmmm….’.

I was skeptical about meditation too – until I tried it.  Perhaps it might help you as well?


Jump to highlights:

  • (02:36) Introducing Diana Winston
  • (03:39) Defining Mindfulness
  • (05:25) Distinguishing between mindfulness and meditation
  • (06:26) How can mindfulness benefit me?
  • (08:05) Self-hatred as a Western concept
  • (12:27) The practice of mindfulness rooted in religion and cultural appropriation
  • (13:57) The research on mindfulness
  • (17:27) Why is it so hard to study mindfulness?
  • (19:33) Mindfulness vs science as tools of observation
  • (21:26) The benefits of mindfulness to parents and children
  • (28:04) Improving parent-child relationships through mindfulness
  • (30:27) Working in mindfulness practices in the context of communities
  • (35:52) Practice mindfulness now with this quick walkthrough
  • (42:46) Sit Still and It Will Hurt Eventually


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About the author, Jen

Jen Lumanlan (M.S., M.Ed.) hosts the Your Parenting Mojo podcast (www.YourParentingMojo.com), which examines scientific research related to child development through the lens of respectful parenting.

Her Finding Your Parenting Mojo membership group supports parents in putting the research into action in their real lives, with their real families. Find more info at www.YourParentingMojo.com/Membership

She also launched the most comprehensive course available to help parents decide whether homeschooling could be right for their family. Find out more about it – and take a free seven-question quiz to get a personalized assessment of your own homeschooling readiness at www.YourHomeschoolingMojo.com

And for parents who are committed to public school but recognize the limitations in that system, she has a course to help support children's learning in school at https://jenlumanlan.teachable.com/p/school

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