• Mindful Activist’s Toolkit for The Women’s March

    Women are about to connect with each other on a massive scale at women’s marches across the globe. It will be an epic mingling of ideas and subcultures, addressing everything from family health and security, power and gender, worker’s rights and civil rights, environmental justice and personal freedom, and more. Hopefully marchers, and those supporting them, will come away from this moment with a greater understanding of their own work in the world, and a deeper sense of how all of t
  • A Meditation in Honor of The Women’s March

    Maybe you’re getting ready to March on Saturday or maybe you’re supporting others by cheering them on or perhaps you’re reading this after the March and trying to process all that has happened. Marching with others (literally and figuratively) reminds us that we’re part of a bigger community and that our individual voice matters. Some people march because they want to be surrounded by the energy of others who share their feelings. Some are angry or frustrated and want the
  • How to Be Mindful With a Snack

    1) Choose a time when you would normally eat a meal or a snack. Practice bringing kindness to yourself, mindful openness and curiosity to the practice of mindful eating.
    2) Before eating, bring awareness to your body and your breathing. Let your belly be soft and full. Take three full deep breaths. Let the breath relax you and help you settle into the present moment. Start by checking in to see how hungry you are. Explore what hunger feels like in the belly, noticing its pleasant and unpleasant
  • What to Do When You Feel Stuck in Negative Emotions

    We’ve all been there: A strong emotion like anger or fear sucks us in and suddenly we can’t seem to control the things we say or do, hurting ourselves and those around us.
    “We act like wind-up toys, repeatedly bumping into the same walls, never realizing there may be an open door just to our left or our right,” writes Susan David, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School, in Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life.
    Negative emotions can
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  • How Prisoners Practice Mindfulness Amidst Chaos

    A maximum security prison isn’t the most supportive place to take up mindfulness practice. The places are always noisy with ambient sounds that include talking, yelling, chains rattling, doors banging…even through the night. In addition, prison schedules don’t adapt to the needs of individual inmates, and cellmates might belittle the practice, making it difficult for an inmate to find 20 undisturbed minutes to sit and follow the breath.
    At Folsom Prison in California
  • 5 Questions to Keep Your Meditation Practice Going

    Elisha Goldstein spoke with Patricia Karpas on the Untangle podcast. Below is an abbreviated transcription of their conversation. 
    1) Why is it so difficult to keep a meditation practice going?
    Elisha Goldstein: That’s a perennial question that has to do with all of the things, whether it’s exercise, eating right, or not being a rage-aholic on the freeway, or a meditation practice, or any of this. The thing is, years ago, we all lived in clans—some cultures stil
  • A 20-Minute Body Scan to Cultivate Attention

    When doing this meditation, remember that, as always, there’s no need to strive to make anything happen. Simply observe what you find and practice letting things be for a while. When something uncomfortable grabs your attention, like pain or an itch, observe it first and see if it changes. If you find you need to address it, that’s fine. Noticing that, pause and make an adjustment. In this way, the body scan provides an opportunity to practice responsiveness.1) Begin by lying do
  • The Power and Pleasure of Intention

    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    —Henry David Thoreau
    Happy New Year!
    Traditional New Year’s resolutions—losing weight, finding a relationship, or quitting a bad habit—are often ungrounded wishes that originate from our beliefs about what we think we should do, should have, or should be.
    This year, consider setting intentions by focusing
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  • 3 Ways to Get Better at Dealing With Change

    Between a stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. —Viktor Frankl
    How you respond to the issue…is the issue. —Frankie Perez
    When I worked in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco, I would park my car in Golden Gate Park and walk the two blocks to my office, something I could easily do on automatic pilot.
    One day, more distracted than usual by mulling over something I was worri
  • How to Fight Stress with Empathy

    How many times have you been concerned about a friend or other loved one and asked if everything’s all right only to be told, “Oh, I’m just stressed,” as if there’s nothing to worry about?
    We often use the words “I’m stressed” casually in our everyday conversations, with little acknowledgment of the adverse effects of stress in our lives. But evidence suggests that we should be much more concerned about our stress levels than we are.
    The Center for
  • How to Be Mindful When Life is in Flux

    “If you let go completely, you will be completely happy.”
    Stress reduction, helping with depression, coping with illness and adversity, improved relational skills, and an ability to make better, less bias-prone decisions—all of these benefits can flow from mindfulness training. But they might all be seen like by-products of travelling along a path to deeper awakening, which flows from the recognition that nothing in life, including ourselves, is stuck in the way we habitu
  • Getting Kids Unhooked from Their Smartphones

    Kids and screen time cause considerable parental angst these days—and for good reason. Research shows children spend on average seven hours a day glued to computer, tablet, smartphone, or television screens. This reality has created such a stir that in the fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated its decade-old recommendation on childhood screen time.
    Far from a radical revision, the guideline newly suggests a little well-chosen time is fine starting near eighteen months, whe
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  • Mindfulness—an Alternative to Jailtime for Repeat Drunk Drivers

    Some of Michelle DuVal’s students don’t want to be there.
    As the instructor of a mindfulness meditation training that’s part of a yearlong program in Albuquerque for repeat offenders arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), she faces a wall of resistance—arms folded across chests, bodies slouched low in chairs, eyes averted.
    At first. And then, something shifts.
    “Oh, I can almost cry thinking about it,” DuVal says. “That first week, they sit as far
  • How Mindfulness Training Helps Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders

    Some of Michelle DuVal’s students don’t want to be there.
    As the instructor of a mindfulness meditation training that’s part of a yearlong program in Albuquerque for repeat offenders arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), she faces a wall of resistance—arms folded across chests, bodies slouched low in chairs, eyes averted.
    At first. And then, something shifts.
    “Oh, I can almost cry thinking about it,” DuVal says. “That first week, they sit as far
  • Beyond the Comfort Zone

    “We are not enemies, but friends… Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection,” Abraham Lincoln said. “The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
    When he spoke these words in his first inaugural, Lincoln was stunningly optimistic. He assumed office with only 40% of the vote after an election that saw him ridiculed as much as admired. Only weeks before, he had
  • The Top 3 Benefits of Meditating

    My mother wants to know why I’m meditating. What do you think are the top three benefits?
    Anyone paying attention to mindfulness in the news knows a fresh set of benefits is being discovered daily. (Secretly, we’re looking forward to the day when all the major benefits have already been discovered, so that we can really start drilling down: “Mindfulness will help you chew your gum faster!” “Mindfulness will keep you from falling asleep at the opera!”)
    In light
  • Forget Me, Forget Me Not…

    You and your significant other are charging through your morning routine, exchanging last-minute chit-chat:
    “I’ll make the vet appointment.”
    “Are we out of sugar already?!”
    “I have to meet with that intern and might be late tonight.”
    “I love that dress on you.”
    “Did you notice the car is making that funny noise again?”
    If you’re like most people, only a tiny fraction of such an exchange will stay with you. According to neuro
  • The Mindful Survey: How Blue Are You?

    Are you more susceptible to sadness in the day or at night?How do you react to sadness?Do you ever feel sad for no reason?
    50% Say they rarely feel sad for no reason, and 39% feel inexplicable sadness somewhat often. 8% say they are never sad for no reason, while 3% are all the time.
    Do you believe life is inherently sad?What’s one thing you won’t do because it makes you too sad?
    23% Say contemplating the fate of the world is too difficult, while 9% can’t read or watch the
  • 4 Ways to Follow Your Inner Compass

    As a child I spent several years living in the Philippines, where I learned to speak Tagalog. The language contains a beautiful expression for work,  hanapbuhay, which literally translates to “the search for life.” I’ve always liked thinking about work this way: an inward journey to discover the things that make you feel most alive, and making those your work.
    At some point during childhood, a well-meaning adult asks, “So, what do you want to be when you grow
  • Survival of the Kindest

    Compassion is the feeling that naturally arises when you learn of the suffering of another, and that motivates you to want to do something to help. Far from being just a social nicety, compassion has a great evolutionary purpose: Human offspring are the most dependent and vulnerable of any species, and need the most care from others to survive. This total dependence is why Charles Darwin said that sympathy is humanity’s strongest instinct. Simply put: Without compassion we wouldn’t s
  • Mindful’s Top 12 Posts of 2016

    Here are the top 12 most popular stories from Mindful.org in 2016:Free Mindfulness Apps Worthy of Your Attention
    Mindfulness apps are trending in a big way. Here are three we’re happy we downloaded.
     Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember “RAIN”
    Four steps to stop being so hard on ourselves.
     Five Steps to Mindfulness
    You can learn how to create a moment of joy at any time of the day. Explore these 5 simple steps to enjoy more mindfulness.
     How to Teach Your Kids about th
  • 3 Ways Mindfulness Can Help You Survive Family Occasions

    If you think you’re mindful, go to a family reunion, says Google’s mindfulness mentor, Chade Meng-Tan. The stress and tension can put our skills to the test.
    Meng shares 3 tips to stay sane over the holidays:
    1) Self honesty: Acknowledge to yourself, this is hard. Even people with 10,000 hours of meditation practice find themselves ruminating over fights with relatives, replaying past hurts in their minds, and trying not to get caught up in their triggers. Knowing this, don’t g
  • An Appreciation Game for Kids

    Painful thoughts and emotions sometimes show up when children and teens practice appreciation and children can easily misinterpret parents’ reminders to be thankful as an indication that we’re minimizing their challenges, even when that’s not the case. When painful emotions do come up, encourage kids to view how they feel through a wide lens, not to gloss over their feelings or push them aside. When kids acknowledge their hurt feelings and remember the good things in their live
  • Building Resilience: How to Shift Mental Gears

    Imagine two equally talented graduates at their first job. Within a year, both are laid off due to downsizing. One becomes caught up in thinking he’s failed: “I was never good enough, my boss hated me.” The other decides, “I wanted this job so badly, I better fix my resume and learn how to deal with a difficult boss better.” Who do you think moves through adversity more quickly?
    The same attitude carries over for parents around daily routines, school, or anything el
  • Getting Beyond The Grudge

    Family conflicts are as old as Cronus consuming his offspring, Cain slaying Abel, and having to sit at the kiddie table during holiday meals. When we feel boundaries being crossed or the sting of familial insensitivity, it can give rise to hard-heartedness and an unwillingness to see each other anew. Those feelings can last decades, even lifetimes. I know this because when I was 18, my sister and I got involved with the same guy.
    Rob was a sexy British vagabond, and my time with him was short an
  • Guided Meditations from Urban Meditation Studios

    Urban meditation studios might just be the coffee shops of the future. Offering impeccably designed contemplative spaces and access to the best mindfulness teachers, beginners and seasoned meditators alike can pop in for a group mediation session and connect with their community in a whole new way.
    In the February issue of Mindful, you can read our feature article about how some urban meditation studios are meeting the needs of their unique—and growing—communities. Below yo
  • A Holiday Gift for Your Stressed-Out Self

    It’s said that expectations are resentments waiting to happen. And there’s no other time of the year quite like the holidays for high expectations: “It’s going to be amazing to have the whole family together,” declares one chorus of holiday revelers. “This family weekend will be an absolute disaster,” thumps a crew of bah-humbuggers. And as we think and act, our holidays become self-fulfilling prophecies.
    No one is immune to the call of unmet expectation
  • The Top 10 Mindful Books from 2016

    How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic
    Mark Coleman (New World Library)This book is about waging peace with the voice in our head that constantly battles with us—to our detriment and to the detriment of those around us. “Inner critic” here is not just a tool for marketing a generic meditation book. Coleman takes apart the critic and assesses its origins, its pros, and its cons with curiosity and insight. He unrave
  • 3 Simple Ways to Settle a Busy Mind

    Settling the mind is not the same as silencing the mind. When we settle our mind we put our mental chatter aside—give it a rest, if you will—so that we can be alert, calm, relaxed, and open to the moment at hand. Experiment with these three simple tips for settling the mind and see what you notice.1) Come into your body
    Research shows that there’s an inverse relationship between a busy mind and actually being present in your body. So just take a gentle scan
  • A Loving-Kindness Meditation to Cultivate Resilience

    In this compassion practice, there’s no aim to force anything to happen. You cannot will yourself into particular feelings toward yourself or anyone else. Rather, the practice is simply to remind yourself that you deserve happiness and ease—no more and no less than anyone else—and that the same goes for your child, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and everyone else in the world. Everyone is driven by an inner desire to avoid suffering and find a measure of peace.
  • How Gratitude Helps Us Get Better at Dealing with Change

    grandfailure/Adobe StockIf you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.—Dr. Wayne Dyer
    These past few months have been more tumultuous than usual—I think we’re all ready for 2016 to wrap up. The election has left reverberations of fear, distrust, and uncertainty in its wake. No matter what political views you hold, you can likely feel the sense of disorder hanging over the nation, and even the world.
    Unease and negativity are not always entirely bad. Go
  • This Is Your Brain on Lies

    We’ve all been there: spinning a little lie to our children, parents, friends, or boss that somehow grows and mutates faster than we can imagine. Suddenly, we’re wondering:“How did we get here?”,  and our minds are scrambling at lightspeed for an exit strategy.
    So, how did this happen?
    Scientists now have an explanation for how we slide down the slippery slope of dishonesty. According to a recent Nature Neuroscience study by Tali Sharot and her team at Universit
  • Mindfulness Training for Syrian Refugee Aid Workers

    Twenty-five humanitarian aid workers sat with their eyes closed, bringing a kind awareness to their breath, body, emotions, and thoughts at a hotel by the Dead Sea in Jordan. Learning to bring greater awareness, balance and connection to our life and work is hard enough for any of us, but how much more challenging for a group learning these skills just 350 miles from Aleppo.
    They had recently arrived from the frontlines of the Syrian refugee crisis—Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and centers
  • Advertising Sales Manager

    Join a small team of media specialists who are establishing the most trusted voice and go-to brand in presenting secular mindfulness to a mainstream audience. Collaborate with us by bringing your experience in advertising sales to our multi-media platforms, driving continuous adverting sales growth and profitability at our flagships, Mindful magazine and mindful.org. Providing a high-level of customer service to clients and potential customers, you will generate revenue through the selling 
  • Should We Always Look for Silver Linings?

    Anyone who’s ever shared struggles with a friend has probably received some version of the advice to “look at it from a different perspective”:
    I know you’re overloaded at work, but think about how lucky you are to have a job.
    That was a harsh thing to say, but he is under a lot of stress these days.
    You didn’t blow your diet…holiday parties don’t count!
    The Role of Cognitive Reappraisal
    Called “cognitive reappraisal,” this emotion-regulatio
  • How to Notice, Shift, and Rewire Your Brain

    I am Nate Klemp.
    At age twenty-seven, I had my life turned upside down.
    In the final year of my PhD program at Princeton, one warm September afternoon, my wife and I were riding our bikes side by side, lost in conversation. We didn’t notice as we veered toward each other—until our handlebars locked together at full speed.
    CRACK. I heard the spokes in my front wheel shatter as my handlebars twisted uncontrollably. I launched forward head first onto the gravel path.
    Five seconds later
  • The Key Ingredient That Might Be Missing from Your Well-Being

    Loneliness—it’s not just an emotion that surfaces from time to time among a sliver of the population. Researchers in the US and UK are now calling it an epidemic that impacts our mental and physical health.
    The Mental Health Foundation in the UK shares some startling statistics: isolation can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. And one quarter of individuals in the UK feel disconnected, relying on their phones to reach out to their communities. It
  • Two Mindfulness Practices to Get Back in Touch with Your Body

    One thing I’ve noticed in my classes and retreats recently is people are struggling—not just with their minds during meditation, but their bodies. It’s a conflicted relationship.
    Mindfulness teaches us to keep coming back to the present moment as we experience it in the body, like the breath in the mindfulness of breathing meditation. It’s good to remember that the body is always in the present moment.
    I liked the unexpected playfulness of the expression “today
  • How to Bring Mindfulness to Your Company’s Leadership

    Mindfulness is the height of fashion in leadership development circles. At a recent conference in the field, we saw a missionary-type fervor among some trainers who claimed that mindfulness could fix every ill in the organizational world. It’s easy to succumb to enthusiastic hyperbole; one HR director we spoke to was characteristically delighted to be introducing a two-hour workshop to her board of directors to help them become more resilient, more focused, and more open to challenge.
  • 5 Mindful Tips for Navigating Holiday Stress

    It is officially the holiday season! During this time of year there can be so much pressure that unfortunately the joy, magic, and meaning of the season is lost, often replaced by stress. Especially now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is hard to ignore the almost instantaneous rush of frenetic energy that ensues as we near the close of the calendar year.
    It is more than possible though to not only survive the holiday season, but to even thrive and connect to your particular observan
  • Is Boredom All Bad?

    Søren Kierkegaard called it the root of all evil. Arthur Schopenhauer said it was one of the two enemies of human happiness. And Jean Baudrillard described it as the world’s second worst crime (the first: being the cause of it). But it doesn’t take a philosopher to know that humans hate being bored.
    Indeed, a study by University of Virginia psychologist Timothy Wilson showed just how far people would go to avoid a state of boredom. In 2014, together with colleagues from Harvar
  • The Holiday Lies We Tell Our Children

    A few weeks ago, my six-year-old, Opal, lost her first tooth in the parking lot of gymnastics. It was a tiny little pearl, speckled with blood and clutched like a precious jewel in her hand. When she opened her mouth, there was a wee hole in the front gums where the tooth came from, like soil for the smallest harvested vegetable.
    The first thing out of her mouth was, “Who will tell the tooth fairy??” Her excitement was mixed with concern over whether or not she could count on having
  • How to Turn Down Our “What If” Brain

    Last year I wrote an article called ‘How To Teach Your Kids About The Brain’ that I hoped a few of my friends might see… to date, it’s actually been read over 100,000 times.
    I continue to get emails about it from people all over the world, commenting on my ideas and sharing theirs. Many adults tell me that they didn’t realize their brains worked in the ways I described – and that having this new understanding has really helped them. One of the ideas that
  • You Don’t Need to Fight with Your Mind

    Now that mindfulness practice has drawn a lot of popular attention—which is good news, since it means more people are likely benefiting from the practice—it is often written about in the press in ways that misrepresent what actually happens in the practice. The New York Times recently published an op-ed by Ruth Whippman called “Actually, Let’s Not Be in the Moment.” A number of mindfulness teachers and readers have suggested we address some of the distortions i
  • The Healing Power of Being in Nature

    Recent research suggests that being in nature benefits mind and body: from reducing stress and anxiety to increasing our sense of awe—that feeling of being a part of something larger than ourselves.
    For veterans adjusting to civilian life, a four-day whitewater rafting trip provides another chance to find peace. In this video from the Sierra Club Military Outdoors, veterans and 9/11 first responders share their experiences through the Gates of Lodore in the Green River in Utah.“
  • 5 Ways to Shift Out of Autopilot

    Boredom is a sign that we’ve become habituated. We’re getting stuck on automatic pilot, and losing touch with actual experience, which can always be interesting if we bring our curiosity to it. By helping us shift modes of mind from thinking into sensing, this practice invites us to rediscover interest, beyond our expectations. Linger on each step for at least three minutes.
    By helping us shift modes of mind from thinking into sensing, this practice invites us to rediscover inte
  • Mindfulness is Not a Panacea

    Ruth Whippman’s article in The New York Times Sunday Review, “Actually, Let’s Not Be in the Moment,” on mindfulness as “opiate of the masses,” is a thoughtful piece on the tsunami of mindfulness in Western culture. As a practitioner and teacher of this modality for those who suffer from mental disorders I have worked with thousands of individuals—both training professionals to deliver mindfulness to clients and offering it as a service to those in n
  • A Primer on Living in a Time of Fear

    Lately many of us have been living in fear of the future, which translates to a lot of anxiety.
    Fear is a powerful physiological response, orchestrated by a complex threat detection system in our brain, the amygdala being one player in that system. Our brain’s primary responses to fear are short-term: fight, flight, freeze and forget-it (okay maybe not always “forget-it.”) For some people a range of these emotions washed over them on election night, for many others they’v
  • 6 Mindful Books for Building Resilience

    The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World
    Nancy Colier (Sounds True)Having a universal communicator, satellite-driven locator, and encyclopedia of all knowledge everpresent at our fingertips is making us a little bit crazy, and—according Nancy Colier, one of the newest entrants in the tech-survival guide game—a little bit unkind. As a therapist she has a window onto how a “teched-out mind” can make you unhappy. Her stories are warm, sad, funny at
  • 5 Science-Backed Strategies to Build Resilience

    A mentor of mine recently passed away, and I was heartbroken—so I tried my best to avoid thinking about it. I didn’t even mention it to my family because I didn’t want those sad feelings to resurface.
    In other words, I took the very enlightened approach of pretend it didn’t happen—one that’s about as effective as other common responses such as get angry, push people away, blame yourself, or wallow in the pain.
    Even for the relatively self-aware and emotionally

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