Wow! Half Way Through Fizz Mind 2018

Wow! We’re halfway through Fizz Mind 2018. That’s 3 Fridays of meditation class, and 3 to go.

It’s a big group, around 60+ people. We’ve got the UBC Fizz – Year 2 Cohort, 3 Professors, and 5 volunteers.

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Best Moment So Far

I loved the eyes, and body-language on day 1. At the beginning of the session the group was all loose, and cool, with learning about mindfulness. Then I got up, told them that this class was about experiencing mindfulness, and that our first meditation would be starting now. There was — mild shock <smile> ❤

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What Are We Really Doing?

The sessions have 3 sections – Sit, Circle, and Explore.

In the Sit section we meditate. On day 1 we learn about: the Structure of a meditation, Aspiration, Posture, Technique, and Review. Then we do a couple 1 minute meditations and a big 3 minute meditation. I love how long that first 3 minute meditation feels. It’s a big deal! On day 2 and 3 we increase the time to 12 minutes. It’s a guided meditation and a few minutes of silence. No one complains that it’s too long.

In the Circle section we do a technical review of the meditation. In particular we’re interested in three things: our ability to focus on the breath, our ability to be mindful of our process (that is noticing when we lose focus on the breath and bringing our focus back to the breath), and how we feel in our body. Each student gets 30 seconds to a minute and we go clockwise in the circle once or twice. In this way we support each other in collecting and sharing “meditation data”. It allows us to improve our technique, set expectations for experience, and feel comfort in our similar responses. Note, that we have experienced meditators who have volunteered to lead the sit and circle sections. We are 4 groups of ~15 people each. Thank You John, Noreen, Ross, and Katie.

In the Explore section we do career planning exercises. For Day 1 and Day 2 the Sit and Circle dominated the hour. In day 3 we did a quick mind mapping exercise called the Work Life Manifesto and had a group chat.

In the next three sessions the meditation will shift to the practice of “Open Awareness”, add a few more review points, and we will do a couple 5 Year Planning exercises from “Desiging Your Life” and “Iain’s own design/hack”.

Creating the Container — The weirdest, and/or most uncomfortable, thing we do is reading a statement at the beginning of each class wishing all people to be “Well and Happy”. I do this because I want to set the tone for everyone that this work is a big deal and that we are trying to be in a perfect world for this hour. We want to create space so that we can relax and regroup. To support that we need to say something strongly memorable, and something that we can’t argue with.  So … we practice doing a very memorable thing — that is wishing everyone to be well and happy — for 6 weeks. It feels great to do this.

The Reading Stack

The core practices in the workshop are supported by the following books: “Mindfulness in Plain English” (Sit), “The Way of Council” (Circle), and “Designing Your Life” (Explore). More detail can be found in “The Breath of Awakening” (advanced meditation technique), and “Joyful Wisdom” (Open Awareness).

Inspiration for maintaining a regular meditation practice can be found in the following books “The Art of Communicating”, “Self Reg”, “Joy on Demand”, and “Search Inside Yourself”.


The Quest University connection.  It’s very cool that two of our volunteers, Ross and Katie, participated in the February workshop in Squamish.

I wrote in detail about the Q Mind and Fizz Mind project here

One More Thing

A big Thank You to Andre Marziali for supporting this class/experiment.

A big Thank You to Bonni Ross for her support and guidance in developing the content of this class.

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