How Mindfulness Empowers Us: An Animation Narrated by Sharon Salzberg

How Mindfulness Empowers Us: An Animation Narrated by Sharon Salzberg


There is a story, usually attributed to the
Native American tradition, which illuminates different ways of paying attention. An elder,
talking to a child, says, “I have 2 wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is fearful,
vengeful, envious, resentful, and deceitful. The other wolf is compassionate, loving, generous,
truthful and peaceful.” The child asks, “ Which wolf will win the
fight?” The elder responds, “The one I feed.”
Which wolf living in our hearts do we learn to not support, so that they don’t rule
us? That doesn’t mean we try to deny, or hurt or kill the angry wolf. If we did that,
we’d end up in a long battle, all the while somehow making that wolf more powerful through
our hostility and fear. Hating that wolf sucks the strength right out of us. Instead, we
calmly pay attention to the angry wolf, and let go of believing they have the answers.
If we can do that, they end up lying down next to us, no longer an enemy.
Which wolf living in our hearts do we feed and help grow? We pay attention to and feed
the kind and loving wolf so it can feel safe in our hearts, and can direct our choices.
We help strengthen the kind and loving wolf, giving it nourishment and support, so that
it can lead us onwards, so that we can follow it. That peaceful wolf can become our steady
companion, and show us the way through all kinds of different life experiences…. Restful
or chaotic, enjoyable or disappointing experiences may come and go, but we can have a guide with
us through it all. This is what mindfulness can help you do.
Mindfulness allows us to see our thoughts and feelings as they are beginning, not after
we have gotten overwhelmed or have made a It’s very powerful to know what we’re
feeling as we’re feeling it. Know what we’re thinking as we’re thinking it.
With mindfulness we can choose what will strengthen and bring into action with some spaciousness, so that we are empowered:
we can choose what we’ll strengthen and bring into action, and we can choose what
we will gently let go of. We
don’t have to be at the mercy of old habits or old ways of thinking, or old ways of being. We are empowered.
It just takes practice.

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  1. Hello! This is a wonderful video, thank you so much for sharing!

    In my channel I share Dharma related content that I find online and I translate into Spanish using the subtitles (CC). Would you mind if I reposted this video on my channel and translated it? I could also give you a copy of the SRT file so you can add to this video as well and have it in another language.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. I don't like it when human attribute negative emotions/behaviors to animals. Wolves deserve better than that. Plus, I find this video quite childish. Its too bad, because I consider Mindfulness very powerful.

  3. Loved this video. I'd love to contribute by translating this content into Spanish. If you like the idea, feel free to contact me. Regards!

  4. wow, what a powerful video. Its all truth as well, as Ive been practicing midnfulness and meditation for like 7 months. hard to believe that only a few months of this has already changed my life. imagine years!

  5. I showed this video to my high school students, and my Native American student was highly offended by the inaccurate portrayal of her heritage in this video. Great message and story, but it's now been muddled because of the animation.

  6. I love your videos! They are really educational and entertaining. I was wondering if I could use them for English Teaching Purposes. Would you give me permission to do so? Many thanks in advance!!

  7. Thanks for this. Reminds me of the story "Anger eating monster that came to the Prince's palace.." by Ajahn Brahm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEnU5BBr_7Y

  8. the bit about feeding the wolves.. reminds me of my favorite quote from Shane Koyczan's poem: "love and hate are beasts, the one that grows is the one you feed." <3

  9. I remember when I saw this a year ago I went mad trying to understand it, thinking that it would solve my problems. Now a year on I get it completely. it's funny how they say that you get there when youre meant to get there. its so true.. I had to learn so much and there are things I had to experience to learn what I know now. patience can seem annoying, but the more you learn the more you realize that you can trust the process, and that you will get there. god is with you even when it feels like youre facing your life alone. the things you go through are quietly forcing you to become the person you are meant to be

  10. Thanks… I also really appreciate mindfulness meditation. ❤️💚

    For my mindfulness meditation I've loved watching a fair bit of Sri Avinash Do at the moment.
    I find his meditation talks very comforting and helpful in my life. 💜

  11. Ahhhhhhhhhahhhhhhhhahhhhhhahhhhhhahahahhahahahhhhhhhhhhhhahahhhhhhhahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhahhhhhahhhhhahhhhhhhhahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhahhhhhhhhhhhhahhhahhhhhhhhahhhh wolves don't sit down beside people

  12. Crazy… A few years ago when I was getting into meditation and self exploration and was having issues, I had a sleep paralysis where a shadow wolf was above the center of my chest.

  13. No wonder why I get so angry over stupid things. I've been feeding the bad wolf too many Scooby snacks for too long.

  14. Beautiful animation and your voice making me want to sleep! 😴 + The glowing fire I wanna snuggle with a blue wolf

  15. Guys, let's take a moment and appreciate the animator who must have spent hours making this video. Animator, We thank you.

  16. This is great advise. Let go of anger and sadness. Dont suppress it and hold its grudges. Believe in your will and self. Nurture love and compassion. Happiness lies in mindfulness.

  17. Herman Hesse the writer of such classics as Siddhartha, had a recurring theme of the 'wolf' (the side of us which we perceive to be abhorent) in his books. It appears as a dark shadow not accepted. That's why i like this interpretation of acceptance.

  18. Me parecen tan bellos estos videos e interesantes !!! Espero sigan asi! Felicidades por crear contenido interesante!

  19. i disagree and believe mindfulness is actually mindlessness. Just as the Ying Yang goes there must be a balance between the two, negativity can offer alot of self reflection and constructive criticism. We live in a very narcissistic world where "mindfulness" can do more harm than good, when you consider the hard truth to face that we are all addicted to short term pleasures and rewards you realize that maybe it isnt good to focus on solely the present and the things that make us feel good and that you need negative reflection to change the things you hate about yourself that you know deep down need to change. Simply giving into the world is NOT a power its giving up, it being a sheep! Focusing on the good more than the bad is not how you master life. I believe this "mindfulness" is being used to further push the masses into impulsive short term thinking.

  20. Unless you are kinder than this to the angry wolf it will find a way to steal the food. Choosing sides does not resolve conflict (unless you intend to fight to the bitter end). It's a useful metaphor only in very simplistic terms.

  21. I recently discovered this page and I'm so interesting about mindfulness. It makes me think a lot about my actions and the way I react about everything around.

  22. Good information, another approach: See the new video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8szP7WoS6eI A dynamic and engaging approach to empowered human development.
    Joy: A Life-Changing Workshop Everybody wants to be happy, A lot of people don’t know how.

  23. My CBT just told me something like this: a part of cognitive behavioral therapy isn't about denying and shoving away the negative emotions, it's about recognizing that it's there, not denying it's existence, and tempering it. You are human, and negative thoughts are natural, but with training you can learn to quieten your irrational thoughts with truth.

  24. I hope the creator of this video animation was Indigenous? Regardless – with all due respect, I don't think this is an accurate Native American story – at least from how I have heard it as told to me by Indigenous Elders – it has changed significantly. Perhaps a disclaimer acknowledging there are inaccuracies and/or the story was modified for teaching purposes? Perhaps an introduction as to why this particular story is chosen? Perhaps a bit about the poster or creator of this animation? Perhaps a note to viewers that a part of Native American wisdom/philosophy is to actually take a lesson for yourself and not try to force your particular "moral of the story", "what it is or isn't" on anyone else? Native American wisdom is about non-interference when stories are told – it becomes up to the listener to take meaning/lessons away…and new ones when they hear it. I liked how one poster below did share they spent a year reflecting on this until they got the lesson. Sounds like they learned something. Anyway…while the animation is appreciated – I seriously think it needs to change to reflect a more appropriate and meaningful reflection of Native Americans. Why? Because it becomes another form of caricatur-izing and characterizing Aboriginal/Native American people. This in turn perpetuates ongoing, problematic, stereotyping and racializing from uneducated people who have not done their homework or bothered reading beyond the colonial-versed documents we call history textbooks (as taught in most schools). In addition, another answer to why: ….I read some of the comments below and it's sickening that something that was intended to be positive produced such vile comments. If anyone truly has good intentions and wants to really make an impact, make the journey to go visit Elders and other Native American people. Sit and visit. Build a relationship and learn to listen. …and….they won't steal knowledge and make it theirs/claim its theirs or promote it as theirs for their own economic gain. Rather, they'd have the courage to redistribute that wealth to the Native Americans they gained wisdom from and would be transparent about it. It's sad to read the hateful comments below…and it's quite ignorant of those people who say Native Americans have been conquered – clearly they have never attended a ceremony or such. Just as sad are those who say there is no mindfulness within the teachings of Native American people…seems these folks are not prepared to let go of their own western-ized ideologies of what is mindfulness.

  25. I work in an Indigenous department and personally LOVE this video and it breaks my heart to say that I am not going to be able to use it anymore, in good conscience. This story was in fact a story told by a Christian Minister in the 70s. My sister sent me this link and I am hoping to find some help to get this beautiful message across while respecting Indigenous voice. https://apihtawikosisan.com/2012/02/check-the-tag-on-that-indian-story/

  26. Mindfulness and Empowerment are opposites. True mindfulness makes room for presence. Presence transcends any need for empowerment

  27. I believe Bhante Gunaratana puts it something like ''mindfulness gives us time and time gives us choices''. Loved Sharon Salzberg's ''Real Happiness'' 28 day meditation program/book. I seem to recall her sharing this anecdote there, but here, she expands on the meaning here, and now this vid goes into my ''favorites'' cache! Thank you for putting it up. Bhante Gunaratana, Sharon Salzberg , and their ''meta'' teachings are like warp drive for one's practice (and at my age, I'm RUNNING down the path; even a 'brisk' walk leaves me lagging!).

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