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Nurture yourself: a fresh start with mindfulness

What MensCorpore promises is more an invitation than a resolution. Nicola Castelli, one of its founders, talks with us about the benefits of mindfulness and much more

The year that just ended has brought uncertainty and profound moments of self-confrontation, a new direction unimaginable before 2020. How can mindfulness help us overcome it in a profitable way?

Mindfulness, understood as the ability / possibility to bring into focus a gentler kind of attention, allows us to better relate with ourselves and with reality. It is a non-reactive, non-controlling, non-manipulative way, which gradually reconciles us with emptiness and silence, fundamental conditions for allowing the body-mind system to regenerate itself through spontaneous processes of integration and reorganization that we then perceive as well-being.

Do you have any advice for those approaching this discipline?

Do not consider it as a mere technique that “will magically solve all our problems”, but more of a simple opportunity to explore yourself (and therefore the world) that should stop taking yourself for granted. Patience, trust and a loving attitude are the most important ingredients.

In your opinion, what is the most crucial challenge that contemporary man will have to face in the future?

Ironically, I think the challenge already is and increasingly will be to take a few steps back. Or rather to recover that sense of interdependence we’ve lost along the way and to feel concretely integrated as part of a larger System. Healing the rift that at a certain point led us to perceive ourselves as something other than what we call Nature. In this sense, I believe meditative practice can be a precious resource to help awaken our ‘biophilia‘.

Tell us about your book, Cultivate yourself, a vademecum for those willing to start a journey of self-exploration. What’s behind the creation of this text?

It was born from the desire to systemize the knowledge, experiences and collaborations gained through the MensCorpore project, an association that has been involved in health education for seven years. We have identified 6 dimensions, that is to say six Sources that contribute to generate that feeling of well-being I mentioned: Body, Heart, Mind, Nutrition, Relations, Environment.

Each of them is associated with a chapter which contains some broader reflections and one or more detailed sheets. On top of it, the book begins with a sort of introductory chapter and ends with a reflection that declines the model presented within the three most important and widespread organizational contexts of our society: Schools, Companies and Hospitals.

In addition to the texts, there are also links (via QR-code) to audio and video tracks that allow you to concretely experience the various concepts, but also references to web pages that deepen the many ideas provided. In addition, each chapter has a dedicated bibliography to give the reader the opportunity to continue on their path independently. In short, it is a kind of interactive map that can be adapted to your needs. We are very proud of it and we hope it will be of help, in a complex era like the one we are experiencing.

Here you can buy “Cultivate Yourself”.

What plans lay ahead in 2021?

Our goal is to develop a dialogue with companies that are going through a process of profound transformation: specifically, we have identified the concept of wiseworking, a ‘wise’ way of conceiving organizational systems based on 4 principles: Well-Being, Interdependence, Sustainability and Empathy. We have already written about it and we are now in the process of putting it into practice. It would be wonderful if in the course of 2021 we managed to create a multidisciplinary group, composed of entrepreneurs, philosophers, economists, biologists who would carry out this applied research.

© Nicola Castelli for Wilden.herbals