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Category Archives: Mindfulness


Ownership, of an activity, gives an interesting shift to experience. Ownership is powerful. If you feel ownership you care about the outcome. You don’t suffer the apathy of a spectator, you become a participant.


One of the keys to ownership is feeling like an insider.


Have you ever noticed in a good movie or book, that you care about the characters? Not just care, but actually identify with the characters and find a way that the story could be about you. Good storytelling takes time to introduce the characters and make them relatable.


I was watching the remake of Ocean’s Eleven, the other day. About 30 minutes into the movie a team of eleven people is assembled for a party to begin their scheme. I realized as the camera panned around the room, showing all the participants in the scheme, that I knew them all. They had taken the time to introduce each of the characters and I felt like I knew them, I was even comfortable in this group. It is a group of thieves, normally I am a little uncomfortable when surrounded by thieves, but the film had done a fantastic job of introducing each of the characters to me and making me care about what happened to them. I was invested. Regardless of the merit of their activity, I was an insider now, and I wanted them to succeed.


This is something a good manager does. Building up a good story and explaining it clearly to the team. When someone new joins a company or a team, it is important that they understand the motivation of the organization and the players involved. They need to be connected and emotionally invested.


Take a moment and look at your life.

Think about the activities that you own.

Where do you feel like an insider?

Where do you feel like an outsider?


Observe the differences between these two feelings and the results? Do you participate in more insider activities? Or outsider activities? Why?


In many ways being an insider is a choice. If you don’t feel like an insider you can point the finger of blame at the world. Often being an outside is a result of your own choice or perception of not fitting in.


Insiders are the game changers. They are the game makers. They are the backstage pass holders. They take the stage, while everyone else watches from the sidelines.


Shift your mindset. Remember, you hold the key. Find a way to become an insider. Own your world and begin to shape it.


You are the ultimate insider, nobody else is you!


I would love to hear back on your epiphanies of ownership.


Kevin Goodman


You cannot run out of time. There is infinite Time. You are finite. Zathras is finite. This…is wrong tool” – Zathras (Babylon 5, 1996) – click for sound byte
Reminder to self, “time is abundant.”
I have been dropping things lately. The hypochondriac in me was beginning to think I might have some early onset neurological disorder. Then I started looking at when these things were happening, and I realized these occurrences are not coming from system failures, they are coming from my perception of scarcity.
I have been operating in an attitude of scarcity of time. Rushing from one thing to the next has lead me to a mindset of urgency and I have lost patience for the moment.
I could blame our culture. I could point the finger at my financial needs. I could even blame my iphone, always making me tap the screen to make sure I’m not missing anything.
But at the end if the day, blame is no resolution.
I am the one intimately impacted by my rush. I am the projector of the perception of lack.
My attitude of scarcity ripples out and impacts the world around me in so many unseen ways.
So I must remind myself, through grace and release, that “Time is Infinite”.
I love this cliche’ – Each moment is a gift, that’s why they call it the “Present”.



Kevin Goodman
clock at midnight



The Sanskrit term Citta Vritti (pronounced: CHITTA VRITTIE) can be translated to mean mind chatter, or modifications of the mind. Sanskrit is an ancient language from India.

Imagine for a moment that your mind is a vast ocean. On a calm day when the surface is flat you can see deeply into the ocean. But on a typical day with waves and weather and all manner of aquatic activity the surface of the water becomes turbulent and cloudy. Our thoughts disturb the surface of our mental ocean. Too much mind chatter keeps our mental energies on the surface and prevent us from seeing deeply and utilizing our inherent wisdom.

Turbulent waters lead to poor visibility.

This also represents the filters that our minds process information through. These filters prevent us from seeing the truth of a moment. We have learned to perceive the world around us through filters. These filters and both subtle and gross. They both aid and hinder us. It is the use of these filters that allows us to see one detail but completely miss another. Just like shifting the focus of your eyes allows you to see the mirror, or the reflections in the mirror. So too, shifting the attention of your mind, allows you to see the moment or your interpretation of the moment.

It is often through seeing only our interpretation of a moment, that the truth of the moment is lost.

One example of this is language. When we hear someone speaking we have trained our minds to recognize patterns in the inflection of sound and process that into words. These words are then translated into definitions. Our mind processes each word into analogous objects till a root definition is found that we relate to directly. The words form sentences as they are pieced together and the mind translates the sound waves into meanings.

The purpose of language is to teach people a common way of thinking. This has the positive impact of opening communication. Our automatic translation of sounds into meanings enables us to focus on the word and dismiss extraneous details. But the nuance of a moment can often be found in the discarded context.

Language is one of the more commonly studied and analyzed filters we have. But there are thousands. And they operate in a very similar fashion. Processing an experience and breaking it down into meanings that we can hold onto. In this same way we often discard the context and lose much of the moment.

A simple example of this can be seen in the experience of a rose. It is easy to see a rose, perhaps even appreciate it’s color and smell, but from the level of filters we have labeled it ‘rose’ and moved on from the actual experience of that rose. Rose is a word we know, therefore we have understood the rose and experienced it. So we move on. When in truth this rose is a unique entity. There are no two roses in the world alike. And this rose will soon pass from it’s moment of beauty, and fade and die. The experience of this individual rose can be lost in the process of filtering and labeling.

Many of our filters formed in the first few years of our life. We have automatic response mechanisms built into us that predate our earliest memories of childhood. Response patterns we established before we even learned to hold our heads up.

We don’t consciously remember the cause, or the need for these filters, but they are still there, working for us, and against us, through every moment of our lives. These filters provide context and insight informing our interpretation of each moment. They also cloud the moment overshadowing what is really happening with your ‘perception‘ of what is happening, interpreted relative to occurrences from years past.

One of the goals of meditation is to calm the fluctuations of the mind. Breathing exercises can be a simple and quick meditation that can help quiet your citta vritti and empower you.

Breathing Exercise

Shift your awareness to your breathing.
It can help to focus on a single point in your inhale and exhale.

Either visualize the air as it passes in and out through your nostrils.
Or monitor the expansion and contraction of the lungs.

Simply Observe your breath

Notice the air as it passes through your nostrils, into your body
Notice the air as it leaves through your nostrils, out of your body

Now take a deep inhale through your nostrils

Slowly inhale to the count of 10 (adjust the time as needed to account for your physical abilities)
Pause at the top of the breath and hold to the count of 3

Slowly and fully exhale through your mouth

Again exhaling to the full count of 10
Pause at the bottom of the exhale for a count of 3

Repeat about 6 times.
Then return to observing your breath


Namaste – Kevin Goodman


Words Have Power

Words are powerful, potent and empowering.


Words are apocalyptic, enigmatic and imprisoning.


Words are the framework of civilization.


Words are a crutch holding up false beliefs.


Pause for a moment and consider words.


The words above, the words in your head, the words on your walls.


Each and every word has meaning and power.


The construction of words into sentences and crafting of documents could be likened unto artistry. The work of a fine sculptor will result in a sculpture that will be treasured for thousands of years. Likewise, the crafted word will linger and impact for centuries.


Words are ideas and ideas shift. Definitions are redefined. And everyone has a different dictionary built into their minds. So as words are employed the impact on the reader will shift with each individual and with each passing age.

Consider the simplicity of a rose.


The smallest of words. Plain. One syllable.


Yet the images and senses conjure up by the word ‘rose’, can hold wonderful beauty and fragrance.


The use of a word can unleash, in the listener’s mind, memories, and experiences. The use of the right words will engage the 5 primary senses and trigger experience, real or imagined.


Words can also serve to restrict and cheapen real experience. The actual wonder and depth of the experience can become lost in the translation to words.


Viewing a rose, you can experience its uniqueness, admire its color, curves and aroma. However, when it is translated to a word it becomes a label. In the act of labeling it goes from the unique to the general. From the one in a million, to one of many.


“That is a rose,” you say. You can label it, and dismiss it.

Many words have become overloaded with meaning and definition beyond the ability of the word to hold their object.




Federal Tax Deficit


Think about the words you use in your daily life.


Each time a word comes up your brain fires to recognize and apply meaning to that word. You think you heard what the other person said, but what you actually heard was their words filtered through your meanings.


While each person will have similarities in their definitions, it is truly a personal dictionary. In your mind words are defined with other words, images, education and your experiences.


I invite you today, to look beyond the words we use as filters for reality. Step into your actual experience and see what is really occurring, not what your words tell you it means.


I invite you to start a journal – Joyful Journal
Practice the use of words as the great liberator of thought.
Engage them to illuminate and expand the experience.
Practice awareness to avoid the pitfalls of labeling to avoid experiencing.
Use your words as a power tool on your spiritual pilgrimage.






90 percent of pain is self induced.


It’s important to understand that most of what we experience in life is perspective and interpretation. The world around us often appears as we expect it to because we filter out what we don’t expect and focus in on what we do.


If you look for the good in someone you will find it.

If you look for the bad in someone you will find it.


Our perceptions of reality are often skewed one way or the other.


We very rarely see true reality.


Our egos get involved and muddle the interpretation. Often we view the world as if it were a mirror held in front of us. We simply see what we project out.


The thoughts we were having surrounding a moment, inform that moment. Our past interactions, with the people involved, further cloud the experience.


As we get older, if we don’t practice awareness, more and more layers build up from past interactions. We are no longer experiencing the present moment, but rather receiving the echoes of past experiences as they feed back into the current experience. Instead of experiencing the present, we can fall into a trap of reliving the past through the current moment.


The ideal resolution would be to truly experience the moment itself with filters and interpretations removed. This is true momentary awareness and an enlightened view of the world. And I am in favor of it. But I can’t always do it.


An alternative, which I try to practice given my base awareness that I can’t always practice presence, is to process the moment through positive filters.


As the saying goes, “You are seeing the world through rose colored glasses.” This old saying is often stated as a slam. It is intended to wake the person up that is living in a delusional world where they look at things too optimistically. Oddly, it’s frequently stated by people living in their own delusions, as we all tend to do.


I consider it a mindfulness practice. Applying this layer of thought to my input, helps me break lose from more negative patterns of thought. Encouraging myself to operate out of a foundation of abundance, where I  have plenty and can share with all.


There is one crucial piece of information to keep in mind when you’re working on this aspect of mindfulness.


Cut yourself some slack.


Often we are our own worst critics. Allow yourself to be filled with your own grace. This effort is both trivial and monumental. It can take moments and it can take a lifetime. Don’t be hard on yourself when working on yourself.


This awareness came to me recently when I realized how compassionate I was being to someone else about a problem. They had made a mistake and couldn’t let go of it. I was helping them through the problem and even encouraging them to release it. “These things happen, there is no need to beat yourself up over it.” I stated kindly to my friend in turmoil.


Later on, I realized that I had been much more gracious and compassionate to that friend than I was with myself. When the same thing had happened to me, I had assumed it was my fault. I had become mired down in dealing with my guilt for the situation and not allowed myself to release it and be forgiven. Surely I should allow for my self the grace that I would freely give another.


Likewise, these filters that we’ve been talking about are frequently applied when dealing with yourself. You judge yourself and your behavior based on this false expectation you setup. You establish a set of judgmental criteria against which you will surely fall short. Inappropriately divorcing yourself and your judgment of yourself from the actual experience.


As I stated at the beginning of this writing, “90 percent of pain is self induced.” We may also focus on the corollary; 90 percent of pleasure is self induced.


Take some time today to allow yourself to enjoy life. Stop to smell the roses. Fill your thoughts with grace and abundance. You are more than capable of handling the tasks that lay ahead.




I have a mantra on the wall, above my work table. It states simply “In a world where you can be anything… Be Yourself.”


The wisdom is profound and simple.

The wisdom is often ignored.


We live in a world that is constantly telling us how we should act. We are repeatedly being told what our feelings should be on matters. We live a culture where individuality is both glamorized and criticized.


In school we are given placement tests and aptitude tests. Year after year, repeating the process over and over again. Measuring us against each other. Measuring us against some invisible bar of “What We Should Be”. These test are designed to see if we measure up and to test our scholastic ability. The process is repeated so many times we don’t realize it’s twisting our perception of achievement.


These tests try to determine how we measure up in math. Or to see if we excel in language. And our reward is a high test score and accolades… Or a low test score and a feeling of failure.


Recently I heard this put very eloquently. The reward for taking a French class isn’t an “A”. The reward shouldn’t be high test scores. The reward should be the ability to talk to people in French. It should be the ability to connect with people that speak French and make new friends.


When looking at aptitude tests, I always came out with high scores in Math and Science. I was told this meant I would be an engineer. I was a fairly agreeable child, so when I was told I would become an engineer, I took them seriously. I become an engineer.


I never compared notes with everyone else in in my class. But looking back, I wonder what kind of career list we were working with. Did someone ever come back with a result that stated “You will be a painter.”?


I don’t ever recall anyone anyone mentioning that their test results showed that they would be a spiritual mystic, or even a church pastor. My results certainly never stated “You will become a yoga teacher and spiritual guide.” There was no result that stated “some day you will write a story about these tests”.


Wouldn’t the impact on the world be profound if we could actually guide people toward professions that could key into aptitude and passion? Wouldn’t it be amazing if people got results like “You will be a fly fishing guide.”, “You will start your own company.”, or “You are best suited to write a blog.”?


Instead of being told you are best suited to be a cog in the gearbox of society, we could encourage people to strive for a life of passion and fulfillment.


You reap what you sew. I doubt the people that create standardized tests and piece together the options on the career lists are entirely fulfilled. Do you think when they were in grade school their tests responded with “You are best suited to make more of these tests.”?


I would love to hear someone results come back as: “You will stand in the middle of an open field embracing the new day and people will flock to you for your wisdom and insight.” Perhaps a little too poetic, perhaps not.


There is no proficiency test for greatness. There is no qualification exam for passion. Nobody else can tell you what you can and can not achieve.

But you can.


You can talk yourself out of pretty much anything if you’re not careful. The voice in your head may be constructed from messages outside of you in the past. But it’s you now. Own it. Or better yet, disown it. Identify it. Key into where it may be holding you back. Keep what you need and release what you don’t.


I would argue that it is your mission in life to tap into your core essence and find out what makes you tick. Find your passions, find your abilities, your true abilities. I don’t mean math and science. I am referring to your core essence. Tap into in, reveal it, utilize it and own it.


Don’t let anyone, including yourself, hold you back.


Unleash your potential.


Think of it as a puzzle. You are trying to get all the pieces to fit together. Maybe you haven’t even found all the puzzle pieces yet.


Here are a few books to help in your search for the edge pieces:
StrengthsFinder 2.0 – This test helped identify my character strengths. The book helps unpack what it means, but it can really help to have someone unpack it with you. I know some life coaches that are excellent at this, so please contact me if you’re interested in their contact information.
The 4-Hour Workweek – This book is great at stirring up your passion to break your work pattern and find what makes you tick and builds income

Picture a 200 carrot perfectly cut diamond. Now take that beautiful 200 carrot cut diamond, gorgeous and glittering in the sunshine, and dip it into a thick gooey mud puddle. Bake it in the sun for a few days, then take a look at it. Doesn’t look like a diamond any more, does it? But you know it is. You probably guarded the diamond day and night while it was baking, because you knew there was value in there.

Every person is a 200 carrot perfectly cut diamond covered in mud. Some of us have just spent more time polishing the surface and removing the dirt. Keep polishing and get ready to shine.

You are already great. Your work is to expose how great you are.

In a world where you can be anything… Be yourself.


In Celebration of Mantra Minder’s release, I wanted to focus today on Mantra Meditation and Mindfulness.

mantra   [mahn-truh]


1. Hinduism . a word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer.
2. An often repeated word, formula, or phrase.

Shift your mind back for a moment now, to when you were first learning how to drive. I personally remember happily driving down the road, and then something off to the side would catch my eye. I’d look over for just a moment and then look back at the road. Often, to my horror, I would find that my eyes had lead my hands and the car was now off angle headed towards the side of the road instead of straight down the road as I’d intended. I’d make a course correction back to the road and continue on my way.

Often in our lives we are heading down the road towards our goal and we get distracted by something off to the side. Sometimes we are not even aware we have changed direction, or thinking, but we are headed towards the side of the road and unaware that we’ve changed course. In this way a mantra is a tool used as we’re navigating our path down the road. The mantra can act as a reminder for where we are going and help correct our coarse.

The mantras we surround ourselves with are powerful. In many ways they are both a guide and indicator, sending our thoughts in a specific direction and indicating where we are likely to go. Pause for a moment and think about a typical day for yourself. Over the course of the day are there any phrases that seem to repeat themselves? Coming from computer software I was surrounded by mantras and catch phrases that guided our thinking. “Work smarter not harder”, “Look for our synergies”, “It is, what it is”. Sometimes these were useful, and sometimes they were a form of release, but they connected with a larger thought or idea and when used in the appropriate context would connect with a state of mind and help shift us back to our goal. This is the power of the mantra. And this is why we should choose our mantras carefully.

As you can see, thinking about your own mantras and phrases that float in your head, they are both indicative of your thought processes as well as directional guides for your thinking. This gives them a great deal of power. And yet, many mantras that we use have come across our path unintentionally and stuck to us. With the power of these mantras it is a very good idea to apply discernment and awareness. So now that we understand the tone they are applying to our day we can in turn shift our focus to the mantras that empower and have a positive impact.

Choosing a mantra

Choosing a mantra is important. There is no set length content or format. I personally have an “I am …” phrase that I repeat the reminds me of my core essence and purpose here on this planet. But I also have many other mantra’s. When I’m paying my bills I find it helpful to remind myself that “I am abundant”. When I am trying to meditate and move into a more spiritual plane, my mantra is simply “Ohm”. Find something that reflects who you are and the kind of thinking you want to foster in yourself. You can start simple “I am positive”, “My world is at peace” or even “I Rock!”. Have fun with it and find something that resonates with you as both a message you need to hear and one you can believe in.

Using your mantra

Now that you have mantra, put it into practice. A simple way to start with your mantra is incorporating it into a quick 5 minute meditation. You can begin with chanting your mantra 5 times to shift your thinking. Then connect into your breath with 5 deep inhales and exhales (done slowly with pauses between). Then end the meditation with 5 more repeats of your mantra. I would suggest you say your mantra aloud in your most powerful voice. Give the mantra power. But it can be okay to think loudly too, especially if you’re doing this at work. Sit up straight, breath deeply, and own it.

Another tip is to find a tool that will remind you of your mantra throughout the day. Write it on your hand (nontoxic writing tools please). Or tie a string around your finger. Or find a tool that will work with your mobile device such as Mantra Minder.

You have the power to guide your path. Use your mantra to make a positive impact on yourself and the results will ripple out to the world around you. Be the change that you want to see in the world.





On Friday night I decided to make good on an idea that had been circling around in my mind for a few months. Turn off everything and leave it off till sunset the next day.

I grew up with the practice of Sabbath, so this wasn’t completely foreign to me. But I hadn’t practiced in quite a while.

The evolution of my tech addiction started simply enough. First there were desktop computers of course, I loved them and wanted to take them everywhere with me. But they were stuck to my desk and plugged into the wall.

Then came the laptop. An improvement to be sure, but still quite limited. Short battery life. Limited power. And heavy, oh so very heavy. My first laptop was for work and they called it a broad-axe. It was about the size of a giant axe blade of war, and about twice as heavy. At least it didn’t have a giant handle sticking out of the side.

Next came the cell phone. They’d been around for years by the time I got my first. My first cell phone was practical. It made phone calls. It had a rudimentary web browser that was capable of displaying text and was a complete waste of time to use. It was a phone and mobile message taker.

Phones began to evolved.

Laptops got faster and lighter.

Soon phones were full scale web browsers and you could get all your email on them. You never had to be out of touch… From anyone. Always on.

Now our phones are full blown portable person computers, game systems, social communication platforms and … oh yeah, I guess they still make phone calls.

And we have come to feel they are an extension of us. They are part of our lives and we are accessible through every moment of our lives.

I’m still curious what the impact will be on the current generation. They won’t know a time when they aren’t always available, always connected, always on.

I know the impact on me has been powerful and subtle. I don’t even know the full impact. Technology is a fundamental part of my world.

So how would I react to turning everything off?

What would happen if I just went dark for a day?

As challenging as the idea of turning them all off for a day was, I thought it would be good for me.

So Friday night I turned off my iphone, I turned off my ipad, I powered down my laptop, I hid my TV remotes. I took a deep breath, and I went to bed.

The next morning, I told my wife about my plan. She was very hesitant at first, she liked the idea, but the repercussions of being out of contact with her online mother’s community was daunting. I highlighted that this was something I was doing and that she didn’t need to do it. She had a few concerns about her own participation in the experience. After mentally coming to grips with the idea, she decided to join me in my experiment.

As I showered that morning my brain kept popping up things I needed to check on the internet. Things that immediately needed my attention. Then I remembered I wasn’t doing that today.

At one point I realized that in that last 5 minutes there were no less than 4 times I could easily looking back and see I’d been thinking about “checking on” something. So the idea occurred to me that I should keep a tally of how many times I actually thought about my phone. I realized that I could download an app to help me keep track… Then I laughed quietly at my brain and tried to move on.

I was amazed at how challenging this was. I wasn’t used to observing how many impulses I have to check my phone over the course of just a few minutes. All of this turmoil from a simple act made me feel that I should write notes about my experience while it was occurring.

I then lamented that I couldn’t write notes because I didn’t have my computer turned on and I couldn’t use my phone. I thought about turning on the computer, “just for a minute” to write notes, but knew that would break the spirit of my experiment.

During this inner dialog I remembered something, something ancient from my childhood, it was also called “writing” and it involved a pencil and paper. Hooray, problem solved!

As the afternoon wore on, I found the need to check my phone lessen. I did have an undertone of unease to my mental state. I realized that this was coming from a feeling that “Someone, somewhere, must need me.” If only I turned on my phone I would find out.

I kept looking forward to sundown like a man holding his breath under water waiting to surface.

Early afternoon involved a nice nap sitting in my reading chair. Also I pulled out a physical book and did some reading into it’s pages. Two activities that would probably have been interrupted or not have occurred at all had I been “plugged in”.

When sundown did finally come, I enjoyed checking my email and seeing if I’d missed anything that I needed to know. But I was able to approach the experience in a calm fashion as opposed to feeling like a man gasping for air.

Interesting, the internet did not miss me. It didn’t even care that I was gone for 24 hours. In fact all those people that I thought were trying to contact me didn’t even notice I was gone. The only lingering side effects left over from the experience is this story and the calm that it created within me.

No damage done by my day without tech.

Overall I would highly recommend this experiment to everyone.

I was very disturbed by how many tell tale signs of addiction showed up over the course of the day. A computer seems like such simple tool, but it is tapped into more neural pathways than we care to admit.




The power of breath

Breathing is often taken for granted in our culture. The breath is a gift that is so often forgotten, because it is so fundamental to our being. The bodies use of the breath to revitalize itself and then expel toxins is critical to life as we know it.

In this day of smog filled air and high pollen counts it’s even more amazing that we simply keep breathing. Our bodies operate automatically on a subconscious level and it will not allow us to forget to breath.

This autopilot mode is an important piece to understanding the breath. When we become stressed and overwhelmed our breathing becomes rapid and shallow, our pulse rate increases, and our whole physiology changes to accommodate the signals coming from the brain. The mind is telling the body that we are in crisis and we must be vigilant and ready to respond to the attack that may come at any moment. But the attack never comes… Instead we sit in that state of high alertness and our body suffers from the minimized breathing activities as we continue to be ‘ready’.

The good news is that our nervous system is a two way street. Just as the mind can tell the body how to respond, the body can inform the mind. So shifting into a state of mindfulness and adjusting your rate of breathing and the fullness of your breath can in fact shift your mental state. Slowing your breath and deepening your inhale and exhale will cause your heart rate to stabilize and slow down and can reduce feelings of anxiety and agitation. As with all states of mind, the first and most crucial step is becoming aware.

So this leads to the first meditation process, simple breath awareness. This can be a very short process with the goal of observation or it can be part of a longer meditation. Find a comfortable position in which you can meditate for a short period, as stated you can do this for a minute or, as you become more advanced, much longer:

  • Shift your awareness to your breathing.
  • It can help to focus on a single point in your inhale and exhale.
    • Either visualize the air as it passes in and out through your nostrils.
    • Or monitor the expansion and contraction of the lungs.
  • And simply observe
    • Notice the air as it passes through your nostrils, into your body
    • Notice the air as it leaves through your nostrils, out of your body

That’s the whole technique. Simple Breath awareness. You are performing two activities here:

  1. You are increasing awareness of your breath and thus awareness of your mental state
  2. You are giving your mind something to focus on other that it’s endless chatter Chitta Vritti (Sanskrit for fluctuations of the mind, or mind chatter)

This simple process of becoming the observer and shifting the focal point of your mind can create a change in your breath and mental state that is beneficial to you.

This technique can then be augmented with breath control. In breath control exercises you are actually informing your physiology and your mind that we are no longer in crisis. By controlling the breath and gently bringing yourself into a calm state through breathing the body is informing the mind that everything is okay.

This can be accomplished through alternate nostril breathing, as highlighted in part 1 of the meditation guide.

Another technique is simple deep breathing.

  • Shift your awareness to your breathing.
  • It can help to focus on a single point in your inhale and exhale.
  • Begin by fully exhaling and pressing the air out of your lungs.
  • Now begin slowly breathing in through your nostrils to the count of 5
  • Fully inhale and then pause for a count of 2
  • Next begin to slowly exhale through your nostrils to the count of 5
  • Now pause at the bottom of the exhale for a count of 2
  • Repeat for 3 or 4 full rounds
  • Then release and allow your body to resume breathing normally
  • Become the observer and watch your breath as it passed in and out of your nostrils

As you can imagine this technique can be easily customized to suit your personal meditation needs.

I look forward to receiving feedback on your personal experience with these techniques.





In this installment of the meditation guide I’d like to discuss eating, specifically mindful eating.

If you step back for a moment and consider how much of our time is spent eating, thinking about eating, or searching for food, it’s a pretty big chunk of time. When you step back even further, you can think about how blessed we are that we don’t spend even more time. Frequently our food is grown for us, prepped for us and presented to us. Whether you’re talking about highly processed food like a granola bar, or very basic food like a head of lettuce, a lot of work has gone into getting the food to you.

Let’s quickly follow a head of lettuce from start to finish. At some point seeds need to be gathered. These seeds then need to be planted, watered, nurtured for months. The plants need to be protected from bugs, especially lettuce which looks particularly tasty to a passing snail. Then when the lettuce head is ready it is cut from the garden. If you’re lucky enough to grow it yourself, it’s almost on your plate. Otherwise it is carefully boxed, stacked, and carried from the field. Delivered to the market as delicately as possible. Then someone has to put it out for display so you can find it. You procure the lettuce from the market, bring it home and wash it up for a nice salad.

Processed food like a granola bar goes through even more steps which I won’t go into here. But think about all the different ingredients that go into it. All the different steps, cooks, processes, quality controls (hopefully), and all the other steps involved in readying the food for your consumption.

Which now brings us to you.

Did you know that chewing is a vital activity for the health of your digestive tract? It’s true, good nutrition getting into your body actually starts with you being aware and taking the time to chew your food. It’s the first step in a chain of processes that involves breaking food down into it’s individual nutrients so your body can use and benefit from those nutrients.

So in this hurried world of too much to do and too little time. It’s critically important to stop, reflect, and be mindful, while you’re eating.

There are several activities that can help you mindfully engage in eating. The most basic is simply to be aware as you’re eating. Focus your attention on the action of chewing and be aware of the food in your mouth. If you need to, put your fork down between mouthfuls and focus on chewing what you have in your mouth. You will notice that simply being aware of what is in your mouth and focusing on chewing it well before swallowing helps prevent you from rushing through your meal and swallowing whole chunks of food.

Another very important approach to mindfulness eating is gratitude. If you think back to the above illustration of the food being grown. There are so many hands involved in bringing food to your plate. Sometimes these hands are from people around you that you know. And sometimes these hands are with people that you will never even meet. But sending out gratitude and appreciation while you consume your food benefits the universe at large and can help you as well. Take time to appreciate everything that went into bringing the food to you. For some this can take the form of thinking through the steps involved in the foods growth and the people involved. For others it can be a simple as glowing with gratitude over the abundance of eating a meal. How blessed are we simply to have food? It is truly amazing when you stop and think about it.

A third approach that can be helpful when eating is visualization. You can step through the digestion process in your mind and visualize the steps as your body breaks down the food into the nutrients that are needed to keep you alive. In this process you can express gratitude, or even wonder (whatever moves you), regarding that bodies ability to process the food and utilize that food for energy and vital processes. If you are interested in learning more about the processes involved in eating and a healthy body, I recommend this book that I am currently reading Accidentally Overweight By Dr Libby Weaver. There is an excellent introduction on the digestion process and it addresses an individuals health and weight in a very approachable and educated way.

Making each meal a moment of reflection and appreciation can do wonders for your stress levels and increase your appreciation of the world around you. I encourage you to try these mindfulness techniques. I would love to hear back from you on your experiences and insights gained from this process.