• How to Be a Better Friend to Yourself

    We spend a lot of time thinking about our friends, making sure our friends feel supported. However, when we fall into the rhythm of a busy social life, we may unconsciously ignore the most necessary part of supporting our friends: learning how to be our own friend.
    In a cherished friendship, we’re mindful to be as caring and wise as we can be to keep our relationship on good terms. But we don’t often afford ourselves the same caring attention.
    This animation from
  • The Mindful Approach to Those Very Real Butterflies in Your Stomach

    An Early Account
    In the 1950’s Dr. Thomas Almy, a prestigious gastroenterologist, snapped a picture of a live colon responding to the proverbial “butterflies in the stomach.”
    Dr. Almy invited a student to take part in an experiment where he used a sigmoidoscope to look inside the student’s rectum and colon. A bystander complicit in the experiment said something about cancer of the colon. Upon hearing this, the student concluded that he must have cancer, at which time his
  • 5 Mindful Tips for Parenting Conundrums

    Mindfulness is a natural capacity we all have for being aware of what’s happening in the present moment. That sounds simple, but many parents find that life is such a rush, we’re never fully here—we’re always worrying about the next thing on the to-do list.  We get stressed and anxious, easily provoked by our children into unhelpful reactions, instead of responding in a more considered way.
    The good news it that we can train ourselves to slow down, to pause more
  • How to Stop Passive Aggression from Ruining Your Relationship

    Every Saturday night, Bill and Sarah leave their son with a babysitter and go out to dinner. Sarah hopes that by dressing up for date night, it’ll keep a spark in their marriage. One night, Sarah puts on a new, little red dress. It’s more daring than what she usually wears, so she’s nervous to show him.
    When he sees it on her, he smiles and gives a little, surprised shake of his head. “You look…different,” he says. Sarah feels crushed, but she doesn’t s
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  • How mindfulness stops you from being a slave to your bad habits

    Meditation is no longer a mystery, and no longer remains on the periphery of medical theory in the recent decades thanks to the work of pioneers like Jon Kabat-Zinn.
    “There are a lot of studies that are being done now that are showing the benefit of mindfulness for all kinds of conditions,” says Mark Epstein, an American author and psychotherapist, in a recent video from Big Think.He shares three ways mindfulness can benefit our brains:Mindfulness pulls you out of emotional traps
  • 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Go on a Meditation Retreat

    1) What’s the Setting?
    Urban-ish or rustic, vegetarian or vegan, silent or guided, beach or mountain, solitary or group—retreats come in all shapes and types. Make sure you like the space and geographical area. Find out whether the retreat center is aligned with your values. Are there chairs suitable for meditating in? Are you OK with doing some volunteer work during the retreat?
    Find out whether the retreat center is aligned with your values. Are there chairs suitable for medit
  • Free Yourself from Feeling Out of Control

    A great many people who suffer with panic attacks experience feeling as though they are losing control and going crazy. Some people describe feeling a disconnect from reality that scares and confuses them. You may feel completely helpless, as though there is nothing you can do and no one can help you. You literally believe that a threat is present, likely, or imminent. It’s a frightening experience that is not soon forgotten. In fact, the fear alone that it may happen again is enough to st
  • Step Into Spring With Resources for Mindful Running

    There are some particularly valuable resources that will help you understand both the premises and practice of running mindfully, beginning with websites devoted to techniques for learning to run more naturally and efficiently.
    1) ChiRunning
    ChiRunning, which is based on the movement principles of T’ai Chi, connects the mind to the body in a way that helps runners stay relaxed. The website’s blog is updated weekly with useful tips, and the site also links to lists of ChiRunning works
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  • Why Our Brain Thrives on Mistakes

    Making a mistake hurts. It can carry with it embarrassment, even shame, since starting very early in school—and perhaps even earlier than that—most of us have been socialized to associate failure with purely negative outcomes (think bad grades, not being picked for the team, getting turned down for a date, etc.). It’s possible that we can fear failure so much that we will develop a cognitive bias (i.e., confirmation bias) that causes us to filter out negative information (anyth
  • How to Avoid A Poorly Designed School Mindfulness Program

    In the UK, it was recently announced that the national government will put public money into mindfulness in education for the first time. One hundred and fifty schools will take part in a trial training program as part of a wider piece of research into mental health and wellbeing programs. This new level of interest is welcome, but it does bring to light some critical tensions that could arise when designing and implementing programs in schools with tight resources. There are a number of things
  • 4 Signs of a Poorly Designed School Mindfulness Program

    In the UK, it was recently announced that the national government will put public money into mindfulness in education for the first time. One hundred and fifty schools will take part in a trial training program as part of a wider piece of research into mental health and wellbeing programs. This new level of interest is welcome, but it does bring to light some critical tensions that could arise when designing and implementing programs in schools with tight resources. There are a number of things
  • The Science of Mindfulness Myth Busters Quiz

    Create your own user feedback survey
    1) Practicing mindfulness meditation cures physical illness.
    False. Meditation improves the psychological symptoms of people with illness, but research so far has not proven that meditation can actually cure illness. Many studies that investigate whether mindfulness meditation can decrease physical symptoms of different diseases show inconclusive results. For example, across 38 different studies, mindfulness meditation was found to
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  • A Guided Awe Walk Meditation

    We are all naturally endowed with a set of passions that enable us to find our purpose, increase our well-being, and navigate our place in the social world. These passions include gratitude, compassion, mirth, and our focus here, awe.
    Awe is the experience we have when we encounter things that are vast and large and that transcend our current understanding of the world. The Greek philosopher Protagoras believed that our capacity for awe is our defining strength, it is the engine of creativi
  • Why Emotional Self-Control Matters

    On the surface, these three people live worlds apart:
    Stefan works as a family practice nurse practitioner/manager in a busy urban clinic in the American Midwest.
    Angelique turned her talent for design into a thriving business using recycled textiles to create clothing she markets throughout southeast Asia.
    Avery directs a large non-profit organization focused on improving access to nutritious food in poor communities in northern England.
    Beneath the surface, they’re closer than you’
  • A Time to Be Sad

    Several years ago, my marriage came to an end. We had been together for 25 years, most of my adult life. On top of all the unpleasant practical matters that you have to deal with during a divorce (custody, money, property, divvying up mementos), I faced a storm of challenging emotions. Indignation and anger were the faces I wore to the outside world (the frustration, fear, and self-righteousness I kept better hidden). These feelings would arise and fall away like the weather, sometimes in great
  • The 4 Attributes of a Good Listener

    When we’re constantly fixated on what we’re going to say next, or how people have interpreted what we’ve already said, we forget that being a good listener is equally important to the conversation. This video from The London School of Life reminds us how a good listener inspires quietly instead of nagging endlessly.1) A good listener asks: “What’s on your mind?”
    When we’re trying to make tough decisions, good listeners use gentle encouragement
  • How to Be Mindful When You’re Anxious

    Anxiety is not all bad. It can prompt us to take stock of our actions and life situation. It can give us a psychophysiological flick toward taking corrective, repairing action or artfully dodge oncoming peril. In these ways, a certain amount of anxious ants in our pants is helpful—it’s a major component of our in-the-moment motivation for healthy change.
    The problem arises when anxiety overwhelms and blocks us. Traditional contemplative tradition refers to a pool of water (representi
  • Can Mice Meditate? These Neuroscientists Think So

    It turns out, mice cannot meditate without serious human intervention. And, in the name of science, with the aim of learning more about how meditation actually works to decrease stress, researchers at the University of Oregon designed the “mouse meditation project.”
    We know that meditation and mindfulness are consistently linked to reductions in stress, anxiety and psychological distress. But, despite this emerging research, we still know little about the brain mechanisms a
  • Mindfulness: An Innate, Trainable Quality of Mind

    If you haven’t noticed, mindfulness is quite the buzz these days. It has been on the front page of Time, the New York Times, Wired, Psychology Today, and numerous other magazines. It has been featured on TV shows such as Oprah and Dr. Oz. CEOs, politicians, and athletes are claiming that it is what gives them a competitive advantage. Psychologists, doctors, and neuroscientists are studying its benefits for mental and physical health.
    Defining Mindfulness
    So what exactly is mindfulness? The
  • Doing Something Creative Can Boost Your Well-Being

    Many people consider creativity the realm of the tortured soul. Think of Sylvia Plath, Kurt Cobain, or Vincent Van Gogh. Though there is no doubt that Plath, Cobain, and Van Gogh created works of great art, science suggests that they may be more the exception than the rule.
    In fact, many studies have found that, while suffering mental illness can sometimes coincide with creating enduring art, creativity in general is more associated with positive emotion and well-being. For example, researchers
  • This is Your Anxious Brain on Meditation

    Tip: Use a Light Touch
    In mindfulness meditation, when you notice a thought, you’ll likely be tempted to dwell on it and take it somewhere. Instead, you can just touch it lightly with your attention and go right to your breath. It doesn’t matter if you were off in space for a long time. In the moment you touch the thought, you can bounce right back.Flip the Script?
    Change your storyline or simply notice it? Which is better?
    Many therapies—not to mention the advice we get from f
  • How Emotionally Self-Aware Are You?

    If you asked Jason, a lighting designer at a high-end architecture firm, whether his emotions impact his work, he’d laugh. He’d tell you that what matters is his ability to turn a client’s vision for their office building into a design that is practical and aesthetically pleasing. His feelings have nothing to do with it.
    Ask Jason’s coworkers and you’ll hear a different story. They’ll tell you that his work with clients and coworkers is inconsistent. If he&rsq
  • How to Stop Your Stories From Running Your Life

    “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” — Mahatma Gandhi
    The stories we tell, particularly the ones we’re not aware of, can profoundly shape who we are, and the decisions that we make. Recognizing our stories and how they influence how we relate to others is a hallmark of becoming self-aware, and a cornerstone of m
  • Calming the Rush of Panic in Your Emotions

    Panic affects you not only physically, but also in your emotions and feelings. The body and mind are integrally connected, and often when one is affected, the other is too. Learning how to work with the powerful emotions and feelings that come up with panic—such as terror, a feeling of impending doom, anxiety, worry, fear, anger, sadness, or shame—can be enormously liberating to the panicked heart.
    As human beings, we are all affected by emotions. Most of us love to feel good and hat
  • Mindful Movement to Beat the Afternoon Slump

    Before heading for the vending machine for a mid-day pick me up, try an all-natural, zero-calorie option: mindfulness. This energizing mini-retreat is the perfect remedy for workday sluggishness, waking up your body, refreshing your brain, and shifting you from foggy to focused.
    Moving and breathing in rhythm for a few minutes makes you feel lighter, brighter, and more alert. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that acute physical exercise enhances executive func
  • 3 Ways Prisons Are Becoming Mindful

    The US has the highest rate of prisoners in the world. In fact, though the US has only 5% of the world’s population, it has 25% of the world’s prisoners—at a cost of anywhere between $30,000 and $60,000 per prisoner per year. But there’s some good news: Programs are popping up both here and abroad to help men stay out of prison or prepare them to better serve their communities once released.
    1) Education
    In California, the Insight-Out program engages victims, prison admin
  • Sesame Street Brings Kindness to the Block

    We know that Oscar is grouchy, but can he learn to be more kind? The folks behind Sesame Street think so.
    Responding to concerns about the unkind state of today’s world, the beloved children’s program dedicated its new season to the topic of kindness (that’s with the letter “K”).
    “We know that our world is changing, [and]parents are commenting that their children are being born into an unkind world,” says Rosemarie Truglio, senior vice president of curri
  • What You Practice Grows Stronger

    While recuperating from spinal fusion surgery at the age of 17, Shauna Shapiro’s life changed: from a healthy, active young woman to one confined to a hospital bed, unable to walk.
    But she says the mental impact was more difficult—the feelings of fear and loneliness her new body inspired, not being able to do the things she used to.
    That drew her to Thailand, where she attended her first meditation retreat.
    Shapiro, now an author and professor of psychology at San
  • Do Mindful People Have a Stronger Sense of Self?

    We all experience moments of self-doubt. Maybe we’re faced with a choice that leaves us confused about what we want; a conversation where we feel inauthentic and disconnected; or a mistake that makes us question who we are deep down.
    The antidote to this internal conflict is a strong sense of self, what researchers call “self-concept clarity.” When we know who we are, we experience greater self-esteem and independence. That helps us cultivate better relationships and a sense of
  • The Healing Power of Wild Places

    On average, we spend 5 per cent of our day outside. What effect might that have on our bodies and minds? Florence Williams spent the last three years writing about our relationship to the natural world—motivated in part by her own move away from a lush natural setting: a view of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to Washington, DC.
    We don’t all need to have a view of the Rockies from our back porch to soak in the benefits of nature. Williams says that within just five minutes of being o
  • How Mindfulness Helps You Cultivate a Teflon Mind

    One of the greatest gifts of mindfulness is that it allows us to cultivate a Teflon mind. What does that mean, and how does it relate to us since it usually refers to cookware? Normally, our mind is like Velcro. Everything sticks. It is as if those judging thoughts come wrapped in hooks and barbs and lodge themselves in our mind each time they arise. The outcome is that our judging thoughts stay firmly entrenched, taking up residence in our mental attic and making it feel cluttered and full.
  • Sitting with Sound Practice (Turkish)

    Becoming aware of sounds around us and experiencing them dispassionately and with curiosity​
  • Power Pause (Turkish)

    A short practice using relaxation and attention to help you pause and be aware of the present moment
  • Mindfulness of Breathing Practice (Turkish)

    A ten minute guided practice, focusing awareness on the breath
  • Mindful Movement Practice (Turkish)

    A practice which combines movement with following the breath. This introduces the idea of 'being Mindfully active' in contrast to static seated practice.
  • Introduction to a mindfulness practice (Turkish)

    A short explanation of how to approach the exercises, and some of the benefits of Mindfulness
  • Enabling Strength and Courage Practice (Turkish)

    Generating kindness and compassion for ourselves, those we love and the wider world
  • Body Scanning (X-Ray) Practice (Turkish)

    A ten minute guided practice moving awareness around the body
  • Are You Hearing Me?

    Have you ever tried to have a conversation with somebody who wasn’t listening to you? Could you tell? Have you ever seen yourself nodding and smiling during a conversation while in your mind you were landing the space shuttle? Expertly, you might add. And do you think it was obvious you were in orbit?
    At its core, listening is really just taking time instead to experience what we’re hearing in the moment.
    Of all our communication skills, listening is the one most called upon—an
  • Present-Moment Awareness Buffers the Effects of Daily Stress

    Daily stressors like disagreements with others, being stuck in traffic, or losing your keys can negatively impact your health and well-being. New research published in the Journal of Research in Personality shows that present-moment awareness, a key feature of mindfulness, increases stress resilience and effective coping.
    Present-moment awareness involves monitoring and attending to current experience rather than predicting future events or dwelling on the past. Studies show that an individual&r
  • How to Fight Fake News and Make the Internet Honest Again

    In the past year, viral fake news and filter bubbles have wreaked havoc, precipitating real-world events like #Brexit, #Pizzagate, and #AlternativeFacts.
    Economists with the World Economic Forum warned about this trend in their 2013 report on risks to the global economy. Viral rumors, they cautioned, could have devastating impacts as they spread across social media.
    Now, America is so divided that liberals and conservatives won’t agree on basic facts. One of the only things they will agree
  • 4 Habits that Hinder Your Relationship

    Strong emotions that arise during conflicts almost always have their origin in the past, most often in childhood, says couples’ therapist George Taylor. When we inquire within to identify the source of our reactivity, then share it with our partner, we begin to break free from old, conditioned patterns of behavior that no longer serve us or our relationship.
    The four most common strategies that most people rely on when they feel threatened are to:
  • The Mind Isn’t an Object, It’s a Process

    Point to your mind.
    You’re probably circling somewhere around the top of your head.
    What if someone responded to that question with: Where isn’t your mind?
    That person is Dan Siegel, UCLA psychiatry professor and author of  Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human. In a recent video from Big Think, Siegel argues the mind can be in two places at once, existing within and between things. It is both within your body—in the skull—and &ldq

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