Top bar right text

Question & Answer With Shamash Alidina

Mindfulness Question & Answer With Shamash Alidina

Join Melli and Shamash to hear the answers to the top ten questions submitted by summit viewers.

Shamash answers questions like…

  • Is there room for striving for improvements when it comes to mindfulness?
  • What is the biggest obstacle to living your life mindfully?
  • Is Present Moment Awareness the same thing as mindfulness?
  • How do we relate mindfully with people who bring negativity?
  • What do we do with the bad memories or feelings that are coming up during meditation?

And more…

Share this

Show Notes

Join The Mindfulness Summit here

Come and join the community discussions at any time on our Facebook page

Check out Melli’s blog, events and retreats at MrsMindfulness.com

You can find Shamash’s website here where you can find out about his books and events.




Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

Upgrade for Full Access Pass

Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

Upgrade for Full Access Pass

Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

Upgrade for Full Access Pass


Leave a Comment

118 Responses

  1. Priscilla Lamya-Pullein

    Melli thanks for a wonderful question and answer session with Shamash today. I really got practical insights on how to deal with some challenges I face during meditation. I now have the tools to surf the wave of negative thoughts as they arise. I am on for this experiment.

    1. Mary Anzinger

      Thanks for bringing Shamash. I love the simple application to mindful practice. I really enjoy both of the time with him. I may wish to get his book to read and share.

      1. Elizabeth Hitchman

        I’m truly enjoying the Minfulness Summit. Many thanks Melli for creating this beautiful month of Minfulness education. I’m finding each and every talk unique in its own, especially the scope & high-calibre of talented teachers, mentors and practitioners that are participating in the summit.

        They have all raised a smile and generated a sense of warmth, authenticity, and inspiration!

        I feel most fortunate to be a part of it.

  2. Shantelle Bates

    Thank you Melli, Shamash and those who put forward the questions, it was a very informative and clarifying session. Some of the questions I could relate to and others have given me a different insight, so thanks
    Looking forward to what tomorrow brings

  3. Nicola Akhurst

    Interesting question about how to use mindfulness with difficult or negative people in your life. A while ago I worked in a really challenging environment and I read a lot about mindful ways to cope with this. One of the best ways for me was to start to be thankful to the person and to see them as my teacher providing me with the opportunity to practice mindful patience, like the poem by Rumi ‘this being is a guest house…’

    I also like the idea of equanimity… we reach for a carrot, push away the stick due to our ancient brain pushing us to react one way or another. Equanimity is the circuit breaker, neutralising reactions to feelings, enabling us to see situations as having characteristics but not demands.

  4. Darshan Sidhu

    I enjoyed today’s session. Amazing, learning something new everyday. Life changing experience. Thanks to you for caring and giving in loving kindness. thank you again.

  5. Lotta Dann

    Just want to let you know how much I am loving the summit-faithfully listening every single day, taking notes and blogging about it so I have a record to look back over! It’s like doing a fantastic free university course (unlike any other with superstar experts sharing their knowledge) thank you a million times over for setting it up and all your brilliant interviews. From New Zealand with gratitude xxx

  6. Jenny Hoolachan

    Just as Shamash finished talking about urge surfing I got a text message through. I used his advice to resist checking straight away and it worked! Such a useful tool that I hadn’t heard of before. I’m now going to apply it to my chocolate addiction!

  7. Cheska Hawksford

    Another awesome session! Thank you both so much. I could relate to a number of the question and now have a new set of tools in my ever growing tool box… Definitely going to be urge surfing – maybe now I will only eat one line of chocolate rather than a whole block 🙂 Once again – thank you so much for this fantastic experience and amazing opportunity- truly grateful!

  8. Tracy greenwood

    Thankyou Melli, thankyou Shamash, fantastic questions answered with clarity, i’m loving the experience of this summit. Such a lot of wisdom, such a lot of kindness. _/\_
    with gratitude

  9. Duncan McCormack

    You’re awesome Shamash. Really well answered – and all questions I’d like to have asked. Very relevant. So great job compiling those Melli.
    Thank you both so much.

  10. Fiona Massari

    Thank you both for the insights this morning. On the question of dealing with negative energy that arises, I wanted to mention how I work to imbue with loving kindness the way I deal with the people who, if I am not mindful, I can have negative feelings towards. As I meditate I observe the feelings that arise as I hold in my mind the image of the person or the feelings I had during an encounter with them. I observe and accept that feeling of anger or disappointment (have Shamash’s cup of tea with it) and then I ask myself what would be the opposite emotion that I have felt or could feel in relation to that person. Be aware of the joy, the love, the pride that you know is the other face of your emotion. Observe what that feeling occasions in your body. See that feeling, surf it (as Shamash said), be with it, acknowledge where it is and its texture, colour and volume, movement… be aware of whatever arises. Stay with that. Breathe into it. When you next encounter the negative emotion or the person who you find it hard not to react negatively to, look into your feeling memory and feel what you did when you gave yourself the space to be aware what compassion is there when that emotion passes. Hold that awareness of the positive face of your meditation experience as you deal with the person. Keep breathing evenly, keep relaxed, keep scanning your body and your compassion will be witnessed by the person, who will soften. If you are not angry, disappointed and therefore trying to control through your emotion, thereby damaging yourself and your relation to that person, they can stop reacting to your negativity and a hostile cycle can be prevented.
    Easier said than done, but for me just the awareness of how the opposite emotion feels in our body and coming back to that feeling can help gradually nurture the positive relationship. Does that resonate with anyone else?

  11. Bill Overdyk

    Thank you Melli and Shamash! Really great questions that touched on a lot of my own challenges on this journey. Shamash your insight is so practical and approachable. I love the sense of humor that you have. Sometimes we take this whole thing too seriously. Keep up the good work! Thank you again!!!

  12. Leigh

    I want to express my gratitude to Melli and everyone involved in bringing this summit to so many of us who wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience meeting and listening to the wonderful teachers of mindfulness that are graciously sharing their insights and knowledge otherwise. I loved today’s Q&A session!

  13. Tobias Schreiber

    Interesting question and aster session. Very useful and thoughtful answers to the questions. Thank you for the time and attention to delivering our intention.

  14. Sharon Stibbard

    Greetings from Toronto, Canada. I found out about the summit through a Facebook post from my MBSR teacher and have been following your program from the beginning. I start my day with you. What a wonderful summit, addressing so many questions that I never knew that I had! Now that we are half-way through, I feel that I must congratulate you on how well organized this program is. To get so many guest speakers to participate is no mean feat and we are truly blessed to have access to these people. Melli…it is not easy being an interviewer, but you have pulled it off wonderfully. How refreshing to listen to someone respond to your thoughtful questions without interruption! Thank you!

  15. Meg

    This was lovely. Shamash embodies such a curious, fun and loving approach to mindfulness and life, he was the perfect person for the Q & A. Thank you so much, Melli, for all the work you have done to make so much wisdom accessible to all of us!

  16. Shamash just makes me smile! I loved the answers to all of the questions, but I really liked the answer to the first question. The hands coming together as a symbol for staying aware of the present is wonderful. As I end my yoga practice with Namaste, I will be reminded to stay in present awareness.

    Thanks to Melli and Shamash for another great day of mindfulness!

  17. Ruth Miller

    Deeply appreciate the Q&A session today. I’d forgotten about Loving Kindness meditation. Time to incorporate that again in my mindfulness practice. All the best. Great work.

  18. Darren

    “Contemplating the goodness within ourselves is a classical meditation, done to bring light, joy, and rapture to the mind. In contemporary times this practice might be considered rather embarrassing, because so often the emphasis is on all the unfortunate things we have done, all the disturbing mistakes we have made. Yet this classical reflection is not a way of increasing conceit. It is rather a commitment to our own happiness, seeing our happiness as the basis for intimacy with all of life. It fills us with joy and love for ourselves and a great deal of self-respect. Significantly, when we do metta practice, we begin by directing metta toward ourselves. This is the essential foundation for being able to offer genuine love to others”

    ― Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

    “In the ancient Indian Pali language, the words for mind and heart are the same. And the Chinese character for mindfulness is a combination of two characters. One part means now and the other means mind or heart. So, when you hear the word mindfulness you can also consider it to mean heartfulness.”

    ― Shamash Alidina

    Today’s message coming through is to learn to really relax into the practice. The tips for nurturing Self-Compassion and Loving-Kindness are much appreciated. I resonated too with the tips about addiction and craving, and the power of Mindfulness Practice to assist those of us who struggle with addictions. The more we’re able to demystify addiction, normalize the issues, the greater our opportunity will be to eradicate this illness from human life.

    There is much judgement and morality attached still to issues of addiction. We end up hiding from ourselves, and everyone else, damaging our character due to the stigma that we construct along with the toxic shame our morality approach creates.

    Thank you for today, for the Summit, and for your service to the world. Be Well.

  19. JoAnn Bonamico

    HI……First of ……thank you, thank you, thank you
    ..this is off the subject but I’ve only received the interviews on an intermittent basis and lately I can’t access the ones I missed due to this glitch. Is there a glitch fix?
    I have enjoyed them immensely and I don’t want to miss out on ALL the great wisdom offered to me through this generous free summit. It’s my morning meditation sangha and “I’m attached” (I’ll get over it ????)

    1. Maggie Naylor

      Hi JoAnn. You have to go to the main page each day and click on “live” at the top right hand side of the page. That will bring up the talk for the day. They are not sending out daily links.

  20. Maggie Naylor

    Thank you for today’s Q and A session. It was very insightful! I love the idea of urge surfing and look forward to trying it the next time an urge arises. As a medical professional, I would like to add that sometimes working with a therapist while embarking on a mindfulness practice may be a better way for some people to deal with overwhelming emotions than just mindfulness alone, especially if they have experienced past trauma. Perhaps one of your speakers can address the issue of backdraught.

    1. Betty Ramsay

      Hi, I’m loving the Summit and tuning in every day. Thanks to the Mindfulness Summit team – I’m sure there are many of you involved. Shamash has been great – full of joy and enthusiasm and so easy to listen to.

      I would like to echo the point raised above by Maggie Naylor. Some people who seek mindfulness are dealing with trauma, depression, anxiety and other difficult emotions. I would like to hear some discussion with one of the speakers on when it may be necessary to seek professional help. It is important to acknowledge that practising mindfulness can bring up overwhelming feelings, and while an excellent tool, mindfulness alone may not be sufficient for these serious issues.

  21. Laurie

    Really enjoying this summit! Thank you Melli and Matt for bringing more mindfulness to my life. Two comments on the riding the urge wave. I did this five years ago when I was trying to moderate my drinking. It was instrumental in helping me to see just how powerful the compulsion was and how it overwhelmed my system. I came to see there was no way I would be able to resist the compulsion through mindfulness (or willpower) alone. I got the help I needed to deal with full blown addiction. Now I’ve been riding the urge wave around compulsive eating. When I can ride the wave, I’m discovering what I mistake for hunger is actually an emotional need that is not being met. I need a hug! I am longing for connection with others. Really a powerful exercise. Thanks Shamash.

  22. Regina Mitchell-Fitzgerald

    I am so comfortable listening to Shamash. His answers are always spot on and so helpful. His attitude of self-acceptance & allowing what is to just be sounds so simple but really is a golden nugget. Melli, I could sit with you and Shamash all day.

  23. Aziza Sami

    What a great communicator and wonderful teacher Shamash is…thank you Melli for introducing us to him..and I think I will break my boycott of Facebook just to follow his page:))

  24. Schalk Lubbe

    I am getting SO much value out of the teachings of this summit. Thank you, Melli! And a huge thank you to all the teachers who so generously share their time and wisdom with us.

  25. Christine Evans

    Thank you both so much! Since beginning my daily mindfulness practice I find I am losing my tunnel vision and am able to see people around me as souls on a path, rather than roadblocks. I do notice negativity with more sensitivity now and thank you, Shamash, for a great answer on how to deal with that. I really try to see where someone is coming from with their anger instead of shutting down and turning away. I love this journey. Thank you, thank you!!

    1. Tracy greenwood

      Hi Graciela. I have had a few issues playing some of the the videos as well, when this happened I was still able to access the talk with the audio version on SoundCloud, found beneath the video. I prefer to see the video but don’t want to miss anything! I had no problems with the video yesterday. I am using a phone not a computer.

  26. Jim Bright

    A good Q&A, cheers guys. If I may comment on one thing which was mentioned and I keep hearing. The experts say how important social connection is and how it is good to spend time with mindful people and friends and cultivate good relationships. This always depresses me and brings me down, every time I hear it. What one earth is one to do if one is all alone in the world? I have no friends where I live and all my old friends are hundreds of miles away. I am all alone so it is simply not possible to do these things. Technology seems to get bashed a lot here but it is the only thing that lets me at least socialise on line, and if this is not seen as good enough then I am truly stuck. Any advice?

    1. Tracy greenwood

      Hi Jim, I think all of these experts love technology for the powerful ways in which it can be used for immense good, such as bringing all of us together to share in this summit, . I would suggest they would also see it as a powerful tool for connecting those of us like yourself who are geographically isolated. It is the balance that is important, to have time away from devices, to be face to face with ourselves, with others, with nature, to be able to be curious about what is around us. It is only time that makes the new people in our lives into old friends. Be kind to yourself _/\_

      1. Jim Bright

        Thanks for the reply Tracy 🙂 I can and do spend much time away from devices and in nature. The social aspect is something out of my control however and every time I hear a speaker talking about the importance of socialising with others it gets somewhat frustrating as for some it isn’t that simple, especially for those not living in urban environments and with no transport. I will just have to ignore those parts of a talk and enjoy other positive aspects, a training in mindfulness in of itself perhaps 🙂

        1. Tracy greenwood

          Hi again Jim, it sounds to me as though your circumstances are not those to which the presenters are directing those comments and that you are connecting both wisely and well through your use of technology. Keep it up I say! And you are right, all circumstances can be used in our practice of mindfulness. 🙂

    2. lauren zukauskas

      don’t worry Jim– you’re not doing anything wrong, and I don’t think the speakers mean any harm by it, I understand your position and I think it is also an age thing (i am in my 20s and grew up in a very rural area, my only way to connect with people was through online and i forged very strong friendships this way, even right now my strongest friendship is through online)

      the feeling of being around people in person and not having access to that is hard- i sympathize…. i felt the same way listening, thinking about my online friend, and how i can’t be around them like i wish i could and how i do know being around them would help ease depression.

      but. instead, what ive been trying to do.. is just getting out of the house, going for walks, saying hi to people– grocery shopping, maybe strike up conversation with a cashier, or just practice smiling at strangers, asking how their day is. this isn’t the same as an intimate bond with a friend, but it fulfills human contact, just even something brief.

      try your best not to compare your situation as not good enough, or stuck, or dead ends. be compassionate toward yourself and your situation, if you can, realize you are doing the best you can as a person and even taking the time to listen to these videos you’re doing something forward for yourself.

      take care

        1. Tracy greenwood

          Your post is a great teacher Jim, it is a reminder that rigidity in any veiw narrows our vision, compassion has no boundaries.
          Peace to you, enjoy the rest of the summit Jim!

  27. Hana Tichá

    I was really happy to see Shamash again. He’s such an energetic and inspiring person (and so fun!). His view on mindfulness really resonates with me. Thanks for bringing him back, Melli 🙂

  28. Robin Williams

    Until today I had never heard of “urge surfing.” The concept of bringing mindful practice to quitting an addiction such as smoking is new to me, so after this Q&A session I googled the phrase to learn more about it. To my good surprise I found quite a few ariticles very quickly. Here is one that easily walks us through… http://www.portlandpsychotherapyclinic.com/counseling/blog/riding-wave-using-mindfulness-help-cope-urges

    As always, thank you so much for bringing this wonderful Mindful Summit to us!!

  29. Elena Capovilla

    Thank you Melli ! Thank you Shamash! Attending to the Mindfulness Summit and listening to your way of reasoning make me feel that Paradise really exists in the here and now. I really appreciate you both, your kindness, your humanity. i am very happy that somewhere in the world there is people like you!

  30. anicolville12478758

    Dear Melli and Shamash, another wonderful hour I am so grateful, can I just share that when I am sitting or meditating I always have a paper and pencil so when those annoying thoughts come like ,’don’t forget the milk’, I just write it down then return to my meditation, I have put the thought in a safe place and it doesn’t bother me any more.

    huge hugs

    ani xx

  31. Lawrence Simpson

    Thanks to those who submitted such great and relevant questions! Wonderful session today Melli and am so grateful to you for initially introducing Shamash to me and that he could return to answer questions. Such a wonderful sense of hope and joy is present when you are speaking together.

  32. Kyla Ball

    Wonderful questions and answers!! I found it worked for me to get up at 5AM and discipline myself to do my formal practice. I can’t imagine not doing it. You have to be ready for it to be a priority and be ok if it is not at the moment.

  33. Elizabeth Hitchman

    Shamash has such a lovely, and friendly manner. I enjoyed the Q&A with him.
    Looking forward to listening to the remaining talks of the Mindfulness Summit.

    Each and every talk so far has generated a huge sense of clarity as well as inspiration to practice Mindfulness on a daily basis.

    Compassion & Kindness x

    Thanks again Melli for creating such a beautiful Summit!

  34. MICHAL

    Thank you both. Again.
    I love and enjoy Shamash’s way of teaching.
    I find it so human, humble and wise, with lots of humor as well.
    I hope to learn more with and from him.

    Thank you Melli so much!
    Amazing work!!!

Leave a Reply