Minding and Mending Minds: Tenets of Intention – Anne Jablonski

This past summer, I had the privilege of time at the Feathered Pipe “Mindful Unplug Experience,” a program I helped to co-create but that only succeeded because of the hard work not just of fellow guides for the week, but because we were blessed with a spectacular group of people. They all shared a commitment to finding ways not just to better “tolerate” the human condition through mindfulness practices, but of being willingly present to life itself for the sake of its full flowering.

As time goes by, what’s coming into sharper relief for me is just what a rare experience that is. Even for those of us who are intimately involved in teaching contemplative practices, being in an environment for more than an hour or a day supports a deeper commitment to living a mindful, valuable, and meaningful life that serves everyone.

I was trying today to distill the “tenets of intention” that made all the difference in our time together. I’m memorializing here the first four that came to me – what it was that we all committed to, implicitly or explicitly, that contributed to the transformative alchemy of our time together:

— First, that life is worth your fullest attention. For many, embracing and embodying a new, mindful way of being is a radically different approach to living. But if you’re weary of being weary, then you’re asking for something new to happen. For something that isn’t your usual experience of life. It’s a recognition, consciously or unconsciously, that your life is worth an investment of care and attention.

— Second, that “inner peace” doesn’t come from ‘out there,’ it’s inside and potentially accessible in every moment. To have an ongoing, conscious experience of it, we usually need to first un-learn some of our habits: resisting our own good; unconsciously surrendering to reactiveness and to fear; and defaulting to mindless autopilot to muscle through many of our days. Breath, mindful movement, and sensory inquiry all contribute to learning new ways to be in the world that don’t request that you abandon your peace.

— Third, that it’s possible to move out of reactiveness, defensiveness, and fear into the terrain of equanimity by making a simple choice, moment to moment, to pay attention. It was our hope that folks would discover some big and little ways to do at the Mindful Unplug — and then really start to get the hang of it. They did. Big time. And I learned so much from all of them. My prayer is that these practices can return more of us to life with a recognition that it really doesn’t matter how crazy the world, or anyone else, is being. Our peace is independent of all that. This is huge.

— Finally, that fun is an essential ingredient. There’s nothing that says that the business of waking up to our true nature and living mindfully requires a furrowed brows and serious solemnity. On the contrary, a lighthearted approach and laughter help the practices to stick.

A deep bow of thanks to Feathered Pipe for ministering to all of us so well. And an equally deep bow to the 30+ souls that truly showed up to share these practices. I learned more from you than I can ever say – and my only regret is that we all don’t live closer so we could easily get together again before many of us meet again next summer.


With appreciation and love,


About Anne Jablonski

A Yoga-Alliance registered teacher (RYT 500) in Virginia, Anne teaches at Sun & Moon Yoga Studio, serves as President of the Feathered Pipe Foundation (she midwifed the Mindful Unplug!) and works for busy startup companies. She knows all about what it’s like to yearn for practical ways to insert pauses into a heavily scheduled, rat-race-y life. Anne’s mission is to return you home with skills to plug back in consciously so you can step back into the world of noise and technology equipped to nourish and safeguard your own health — and apply your consciousness for good of all. Anne’s teaching draws on inspiration from her most influential teachers: Erich Schiffmann, every fine poet, her cheeky teacher within, and the Feathered Pipe Ranch itself.

Learn more about Anne: www.yogasetfree.com

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