Category Archives: Mindfulness

The Mindfulness Summit from October 1 – 31, 2015

Learn How To Live With Peace, Purpose & Wisdom at this FREE ONLINE EVENT


Melli O’Brien of has gathered over 30 of the world’s leading experts on meditation and mindfulness for a series of online interviews, practice sessions and presentations taking place for FREE from October 1 – 31, 2015.

The Mindfulness Summit is a not-for-profit project with a mission to make mindfulness mainstream. We’re making high quality mindfulness training accessible to everyone and supporting mindfulness based charities at the same time.

1 Learn how to practice mindfulness, from the comfort of your own home, for free.

2 Hear about the clinically proven benefits from neuroscience and premier researchers.

3 Learn powerful strategies to integrate mindfulness into your daily life.

4 Discover practical ways to apply mindfulness in specific situations such as at work, in relationships, in parenting and school.

5 Learn how mindfulness can transform anxiety, depression & stress.

6 Try out various mindfulness practices and find out which you like the best.

7 Learn how to ‘respond’ rather than ‘react’ to life’s challenges, living with more wisdom and freedom.

8 Learn key insights to deepen your practice and avoid common pitfalls many people make.

Please share the summit with your networks to help make a difference. Tell your family & friends!

The Chocolate Medication

At first glance the Chocolate Meditation sounds a little frivolous and self-indulgent. While it is certainly enjoyable, it also has a deeper value. It helps you reconnect with your senses, which is of vital importance in our fast-paced and frantic world. Connecting with your senses is one of the core benefits of Mindfulness meditation so anything that aids this process is of immense value.

The How to:

Choose some chocolate – either a type that you’ve never tried before or one that you have not eaten recently. It might be dark and flavoursome, organic or fair-trade or, perhaps, cheap and trashy. The important thing is to choose a type you wouldn’t normally eat or that you consume only rarely.

Here goes:

·     Open the packet. Inhale the aroma. Let it sweep over you.

·     Break off a piece and look at it. Really let your eyes drink in what it looks like, examining every nook and cranny. Notice how the mouth and body starts to feel in anticipation of what you are exploring. 

·     Pop it in your mouth. Just hold it in your mouth, feel the weight of it on your tongue. Explore the shape and texture of this object. See if it’s possible to hold it on your tongue and just let it melt, noticing any tendency to suck at it or chew it. Chocolate has over 300 different flavours. See if you can sense some of them.

·     If you notice your mind wandering while you do this, simply notice where it went, then gently escort it back to the present moment.

·     After the chocolate has completely melted, swallow it very slowly and deliberately. Feel it moving down your throat and you swallow. Notice any other sensations in your mouth or stomach as you do this. 

·     Repeat this with one other piece if desired.

Review the experience:

How do you feel? Is it different from normal? Did the chocolate taste better than if you’d just eaten it at a normal breakneck pace? Do you feel fuller that normal, more satisfied?


Mindfulness is a technique that aims to help people in a small but useful way. Often people can find themselves running on ‘autopilot’; that is that they are driven, task focused and generate millions of thoughts in each passing hour. Many of these thoughts are disturbing or self-deflating (I always make a mess of things, so why bother even trying?) and are backed up by our behaviour (pushing people away, withdrawing and stopping trying) and are very sticky (my pain or motivation is so bad I just cannot do anything today).

Mindfulness is a practice, which has its foundations in Buddhist traditions. It is now commonly being employed in psychology as a tool with which to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions. It aims to help people stop being on ‘autopilot and helps them to train their minds to be able to experience “being”. Mindfulness is a very simple concept and in its essence means ‘paying attention in a particular way’; paying careful attention to the activity or event occurring, in the present moment, and non-judgementally (whether it be a sight, a sound, a taste, a smell, a sensation in the body, or mental cognition (this latter includes emotions and thoughts). This increases awareness, clarity and acceptance of our present-moment reality.

Mindfulness is called a practice because training the mind in that way is difficult. It takes practice for us to master the skill controlling the thoughts that pop into our mind, maintaining our focus on this moment, and remaining non-judgemental. It is quite usual for our minds tend to dwell in the past and the future and continually ‘wander off’; part of the practice is being able to notice when the mind has wondered, accept this non-judgementally and gently bring the mind back to focusing on what we have identified.

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake…”

– Francis Bacon, Sr.

The hot topic of Mindfulness

Here is a heads up in anticipation of Mental Health Awareness Week, 11 – 17th May 2015 (#MHAW15 #BeMindful). This will be the 15th annual awareness event, founded by the Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health Awareness Week aims to encourage conversation around mental health to fight discrimination and stigma and promote good mental wellbeing. This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week, 11 – 17th May 2015, is Mindfulness.

Contrary to some popular misconceptions, mindfulness is not about emptying the mind, but more so about gaining control over the focus of your attention. Similarly, the objectives of practicing mindfulness are not about reducing anxiety or promoting relaxation, as is often thought; although these are often a welcome side effect. Mindfulness in its essence is about learning to pay attention to and fully experience the present moment. By encouraging us to drop our tendency to drag around emotional baggage from the past and worries about the future, mindfulness enables us to accept our present experiences for what they are, whether that is good, bad or indifferent. You could be experiencing some pretty awful emotions during a mindfulness practise, but by being mindful you can learn to manage these moments more effectively; giving us a tool to better accept the full spectrum of life’s experiences and emotions.