Great day at Border Biz Camp!

Great day – met lots of lovely people, great energy, lots of good will. Even for a non-business person like me t’ was a very pleasant way to spend Saturday!

My own input went down well – the room was full – then why should I be surprised (I was very surprised!) Mindfulness just seems to draw a crowd! And a very nice crowd it was – folks were really receptive and engaged whole-heartedly in the short practice we did. We didn’t actually do the Breathing Space as I had planned – just a 10 minute sit with Mindfulness of Breath.

I did refer to a couple of websites and books and rather regretted that I didn’t have a couple of slides to flag up these references. So here they are: – Enormous amount of resources about Mindfulness in different areas: health, education, business etc –  use of Mindfulness for chronic pain

‘Buddha’s Brain’ by Rick Hanson – great introduction to the neuroscience of meditation

‘Search Inside Yourself’ by Chade-Meng Tan – light-hearted intooduction to Google’s programme for Mindfulness-Based Emotional Intelligence programme.

And of course if you just google ‘Mindfulness’ you’ll find tons more!

I’m off now to France to spend a week doing a Yoga workshop with my teacher Peter Hersnack and 12 good friends from Ireland and UK – it’s a hard life!

Warm wishes,

Breathing Space at Borderbizcamp…

I’m sort of looking forward to taking part in tomorrow’s borderbizcamp in Monaghan.
I say ‘sort of’ as I am a offering a 30 minute presentation on Mindfulness, and I’m feeling a tad nervous – very unusual  for me to share a platform with a whole host of business gurus!

However – I am also looking forward!
I’m intending to offer a short input on the background to the ‘Mindfulness’ movement – an amazing story of how an ancient contemplative practice has become mainstream and, starting with the medical world seems to have spread into every aspect of life, proving its worth in psychotherapy, education, sport, business – the list is endless! – I’ll then lead us in a 10 minute practice of seated meditation… not very long but enough, I hope, to give a flavour of just how relaxing, and reviving a little ‘inner’ time can be. 

I also hope to begin and end the session with a very simple practice called the ‘Three Stage Breathing Space
You can try that right now if you wish – obviously read one stage at a time, taking a minute or so to follow the instruction, then come back to the screen to read the next stage and follow that instruction – easy peasy! ENJOY!

STEP ONE: Stop whatever you are doing for a moment and take a quick check on how you are …like checking your internal weather….What thoughts have been around last couple of minutes? How is your mood? How is your body – any particular physical sensations? Bring a friendly curiosity to all of this and as far as possible just accept whatever you find….

STEP TWO: For the next minute or so, just watch the breath as it comes and goes – don’t try to do the breathing, don’t try to change or control it, simply let the breath happen, rather like waves washing a beach. If your mind wanders -and it probably will, simple come back to the breath. Have a sense that you have nothing else in the world to do but watch this breath, then this breath….

STEP THREE: Now gradually bring your attention to the whole body as you breath – having an awareness of the whole body, same time as you feel the breath coming and going. Then gradually be aware of where you are – immediate surroundings, sounds, time of day etc. Enjoy a moment of sensing your breathing body present in this place – a sense of being exactly where you are an how you are. And then, simply return to whatever you were doing before….

The ‘Breathing Space’ is a great way just to be where you are – you might ask the question Irish-style ‘sure where else would you be!’ Good question!

Looking forward to seeing you if you’re in Monaghan tomorrow…