Podcast: 4 little hints to find time for your daily mindfulness practice

Podcast 1 | Jenny EbermannAfter promising since a while that I will look into it, I finally managed to start! Here is my first podcast in the Mindfulness Series, entitled “4 Little Hints to find Time for your Daily Mindfulness Practice“.

The podcasts are a very practical way to take me with you when you are at work, at home or on the road. Remember: You are the Architect of your Life! Everybody can start being mindful: TODAY!

Enjoy listening,


Informal mindfulness exercises for everyday

This week I am very much looking forward to a one-day mindfulness retreat next Saturday. One day without speaking, just with myself, letting go and being. Those of you who know me personally might think: ‘how is she going to do that, one day without speaking’ 😉 Actually it is not the first time I will be doing it and every experience has been very enjoyable so far. It really is a moment for yourself, for refilling your batteries and emerging with more power, clearer ideas and very much centered. One day is not much, but given my busy life, the best I can do from time to time.

You don’t need to go anywhere though to find your inner peace, there are many ways in which you can practice informally, doing whatever you are doing during the day. Here’s how:

  • When you look at somebody, pretend that it is the first time you see him/her. Look carefully at what you see. What color is the hair? What are the facial expressions? What do the eyes tell? Is there anything else you notice?
  • When you eat, take a moment to really taste the food. Put it into your mouth and try to sense all the flavors. This reminds me of an olive oil tasting that we have done with Dr. Bennett: fantastic. I would have never thought that olive oil could have so many different tastes and smells!
  • Next time you go outside, watch the sky, the clouds, the nature around you as if it was the first time you opened your eyes and saw them. What do you see/smell/hear/perceive?
  • Next time you take a shower, feel the water on your skin and try to stay with the water and your feelings instead of letting your mind wander away (this is a particularly difficult exercise for me, especially in the morning when thousands of things cross my mind; eventually you do get better though!)
  • Take a couple of deep breaths, following the air through your body. From the nose, to the throat, to your chest and maybe even your legs and arms and the other way back. Tune into yourself, how do you feel? There is nothing to do, just to let go.

These tips are just a couple of hints regarding what you could do during the day; be creative, set your alarm clock to a certain time every day and when it rings, stop everything you are doing and remain mindful for just a couple of minutes. Be fully with whatever you are doing and try not to multitask… with practice, it will become easier and you won’t need an alarm to remind you to be mindful at least once a day.

Here’s wishing you an excellent week!


4 little hints to find time for your daily mindfulness meditation

Have you ever thought that you will never be able to meditate as your life is filled with work, children, pets, shopping, cleaning, cooking, gardening etc. etc.? Trust me, you are not alone! On the contrary, when looking around me, I don’t know anybody who could actually not identify with the above. Quite sad I find, as the most precious moments in a day are these couple of moments that you dedicate to yourself and to your own well-being.

But the good news is that, if I am able to find time in my busy life, you also can! It is actually quite easy if you start by reminding yourself that 15-20 minutes of practicing a relaxation technique a day can easily be the equivalent of 2-3 hours of sleep[1]… as I can never get enough sleep it seems, the prospect of spending only 15-20 minutes a day meditating and feeling like having slept over 10 hours at night, is really an exciting one for me.

The second thing to keep in mind is that you don’t necessarily need to practice ‘formal’ meditation each and every time but that there are many ‘informal’ ways that can be highly beneficial to you also. Whereas “in formal mindfulness practice, the meditator sits with eyes closed, focusing the attention on the sensations and movement of the breath for approximately 45-60 minutes at a time, at least once a day”[2]; the informal mindfulness practice can basically be carried out in any situation of your life.[3] So, here’s how to make some space for yourself:

1)   Use some of the time you spend walking during the day to do it in a ‘mindful’ way. Do you walk with your dog? Walk the children to school? Walk to the train or simply walk to lunch or around the office/your house? Well, just bring full moment-to-moment attention to everything happening in your body while you walk; that’s it! You can actually walk at any speed, slowly or fast. What counts is that you are fully into what you are doing.[4]

2)   Take one of the routine actions you perform during the day (washing, cooking, brushing your teeth etc.) and start doing it mindfully. Concentrate on the action itself and clear all other thoughts in your mind. What are you feeling? What are you smelling/tasting?

3)   Eat one meal a day mindfully, really tasting what you eat and being fully there… it can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as a full meal. Focus on the texture of the food, the different sensations you might have etc.

4)   Take 15 minutes of out of your lunch/coffee break or fix a meeting with yourself in your calendar. Find a quiet space, be it a cubicle, your car or your kitchen and concentrate on breathing and clearing your mind. Every time your thoughts wander away, gently bring them back.

It truly can be as simple as that… try it out and write back to me!

Let me finish this post with a quote I find very inspirational:

If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher ~ Pema Chodron[5]

[1] Just search for this on the internet and you will find multiple articles on the subject, such as http://www.angelfire.com/hi/TheSeer/technique.html for example.

[2] Free medical dictionary: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/meditation

[3] Read for example the Chapter ‘Mindfulness Without Butt on Cushion”, p. 51 et seqq. in “Search Inside Yourself” from Chade-Meng Tan.

[4] See also ‘Walking meditation’ in “Search Inside Yourself”, p. 55-56.

[5] Found here : http://mindfulproductivity.net/2012/03/12/mindfulness-quotes/