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At one time or another, we will all want to learn how to use our meditation practice to work with pain. There is no literal, paint-by-numbers prescription for relating to pain; however, there are several important teachings and skillful awareness practices to consider when working with pain and unpleasant sensations.

The acronym RAIN is an easy-to-remember tool for practicing mindfulness and compassion using the following four steps:

Recognize what is happening;
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
Investigate with interest and care;
Nurture with self-compassion.
You can take your time and explore RAIN as a stand-alone meditation or move through the steps whenever challenging feelings arise.

Listening is more than a communications skill, it is a capacity that arises from receptive presence and awakens our awareness. As we learn to listen inwardly, we begin to understand and care for the life that is here. And as we listen to others, that same intimacy emerges.

One of the most powerful spiritual practices in the world is to reflect on your heart’s deepest intention. These resources look at the way that ego-based intentions perpetuate thoughts, feelings and actions that keep us imprisoned in feeling separate and limited. In contrast, remembering our deeper intentions calls us home to the freedom of our true nature.

There is an inner freedom that expresses as happiness and peace, and it is accessible when we arrive in openhearted presence. As the Buddha said, If it were not possible to find liberation, I would not teach about it.

Grieving loss consciously is at the center of the spiritual path. It is soul work — healthy, cleansing, and intelligent. The process allows us to metabolize the pain of loss and continue living. It lets us open to love. By honoring what has passed away, we are free to embrace the life that is here. Yet grief is so deeply painful, so hard to endure. A question I am often asked is: How do I find refuge in the midst? What can help me move through the pain of separation?

Gratitude is like breathing in – letting ourselves be touched by the goodness in others and in our world. Generosity is like breathing out – sensing our mutual belonging and offering our care. When we are awake and whole, breathing in and out happens naturally. But these beautiful expressions of our heart become blocked when we are dominated by the fear and grasping of our survival brain.

Forgiving means not pushing anyone, or any part of our own being, out of our heart. As we bring a full, compassionate presence to the wounds that we’ve been protecting, we release the armoring of hatred and blame that has been imprisoning our heart. We cannot will this process of forgiveness, but we can be willing. It is a challenging and courageous life practice that frees us to love without holding back.

In Buddhist teachings, compassion is described as a “quivering of the heart” in response to suffering. Compassion awakens as we allow ourselves to be touched by our shared vulnerability – our own, or that of another. It’s the medicine we most need to bring healing to our world.

Most of us, in some way, struggle with fear – instinctually tensing against it or becoming overwhelmed by it. Shifting our relationship with fear is central to the evolution of consciousness. While fear is a natural, intelligent emotion, when it goes into overdrive, we are in a trance that contracts our body, heart and mind. Our resistance to fear sustains this trance and perpetuates our suffering. As we learn to attend to fear with mindfulness and care, its grip loosens, and we reconnect with our full aliveness, wisdom and love.

Beliefs and thoughts are navigational maps that are not inherently true. Rather, some serve us and others cause feelings of separation, self-aversion and/or blame of others. We can free ourselves from harmful beliefs by investigating them with a dedicated, mindful and courageous presence.

Part 1 of an interview with Paul John Roach. Paul hosts a weekly radio show entitled World Spirituality on the Unity.fm internet radio network.

Spiritual Practice is actively cultivating our connection to the spiritual dimension – what we can do to become more “spiritual”. People refer to this dimension with many labels like higher consciousness, spirit, Presence or God.

The three foundations for spiritual practice are: Life Conditions, Mindfulness and Faith. All three foundations are required to cultivate our spirituality.

It was a delight to interview Gary Hill. Now here’s a man who’s transforming his life through mindfulness. It’s inspiring how much progress he’s made in the short space of a few months. And I feel honoured and grateful to be a part of his journey. I hope you enjoy listening to our discussion!

I’m excited to be writing an album of spiritual songs during 2019 titled “Do It While You Can”. Here’s the studio version of the first song – “Listen”. Many thanks and credits to Josh from Attic Studios, Poole, UK who patiently and skilfully mixed and produced the audio.

Transform your practice by learning about the 3 Approaches to Cultivating Mindfulness+ in this short podcast. The 3 Approaches are:

1. Structured Practice
2. Everyday Activities
3. Changing Life Conditions

An explanation of how you can use Mindfulness to heal emotional pain and evolve spiritually.

Acceptance is a key part of  mindfulness practice. This talk was originally broadcast on Facebook Live (video link here) explains what acceptance is and how to cultivate more of it.

I’ve set an intention for 2019 to write an album of spiritual songs. Here’s the first – “Listen” – and here are the lyrics…

Listen, you’ll hear me
Quiet, in silence
Together, I’ll be there
And one – is always

There’s a space in your mind
Allowing you to be kind
And it’s peace that lives there
A gentle hum connecting you to the one
And your thoughts all disappear

Through breathing, you’ll know it
Your breathing, there’s space there
Relaxing, you’ll find me
You’re conscious, connected

There’s a space in your mind
Allowing you to be kind
And it’s peace that lives there
A gentle hum connecting you to the one
And your thoughts all disappear
Disappear
Disappear

Listen, listen, you’ll hear me

Practical guidance on mindfulness and being in the present moment. I introduce the Two Modes of the Mind: “Lost in thought” and “Being Present”. One of the main goals of spiritual practice is to move from the former to the latter. The practical Four A’s framework (Awareness, Acceptance, Appropriate Action) is then introduced showing the two paths that lead from the two modes of the mind.

Introduction to the Four Realms: Physical, Digital, Dream and Spiritual. This podcast was recorded fresh from after my bath where the idea became conscious – so it’s a ramble! I hope you find it interesting and useful.

Introduction to meditation covering definition, technique, practice, teacher / teachings, posture, duration, location, energy, frequency and managing hindrances. Helpful for beginners and advanced practitioners.

I introduce the concept of mindfulness as described in my book Being Present. The subjects of awareness and acceptance are discussed along with a brief mindfulness meditation session to aid learning.

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

How Mindfulness+ can be used to help gain freedom and cultivate peace at times when you’re facing uncertainty or challenges in relation to health and death.

Audio and slide show of my workshop at the British Wheel of Yoga Well Being Festival at Warwick University during March 2018. 

The talk covers the following topics:

My personal journey
The Goal of Yoga / Yoga Sutras
Meditation including hindrances
Mindfulness
Two modes of the mind
Definition of spiritual practice
The four A’s model

Read my interview with Prox Centauri on his site Inside The Rift where he asks me these questions…

I recently returned from an annual skiing holiday with my son. We’ve been going skiing for many years now and have a wonderful time. Nature, mountain air, lots of food and physical exercise leaving our bodies feeling nourished and stronger. The spiritual aspect to the holiday is always both challenging and revealing. If you have a spiritual practice these regular events provide an effective gauge informing you of how you are progressing…. Read More

The Bhagavad Gita, a popular Hindu and yoga scripture, has a lot to say about activities that need to be done – ‘the what’. In addition, it provides guidance on how we should do them – ‘the how’. The teachings describe a practice called karma yoga, which is undertaking activities unselfishly, without being attached to the results.

Psychologically speaking, consciousness refers to awareness. When we’re conscious, we’re aware of our experience. Both within and outside of us. This includes bodily sensations, things coming in through the senses, feelings and thoughts. We then have mindfulness, which is consciousness plus acceptance. When we are mindful we accept what we are conscious of. Regardless of whether we find it pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. Through accepting what we are conscious of, we align ourselves with what is.

Once we realise that who we are is the awareness (the plus in the Mindfulness+) and not the actual experience, we have complete freedom! Regardless of what happens to us. And the good news is that through Mindfulness+, a natural consequence is that our life experience improves on the whole.

Is it possible to be happy all the time? No, absolutely not. Why is that? Simple…because happiness is based on conditions. You get something that you desire and you experience happiness. You move away from something that you dislike and that may make you happy…for a while. Happiness comes and goes for all sorts of reasons.

What is available permanently for those who are able to access it is “peace”.

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

Whatever your level of kindness, the good news is that you can cultivate more of it.

There are five ways of cultivating kindness that have worked for me over the years and I’d like to share them with you.

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

When you use digital devices (e.g. phones, laptops, smart watches, tablets etc) consciously, you’ll be at peace with them, and enjoy the benefits they have to offer. You’ll also use them skilfully, with kindness, interacting harmoniously with the world.

Here are 7 Principles for Conscious Digital Device Usage.

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

We’re living in the digital device era. The speed at which digital device usage has spread is phenomenal. Many of us are spending hours each day using digital devices – usually looking at screens.

When you use digital devices consciously, you’ll be at peace with them, and enjoy the benefits they have to offer. You’ll also use them skilfully, with kindness, interacting harmoniously with the world.

Notes and accompanying video available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org

Jennie Hastings is a good friend of mine. It was a pleasure to connect with her to discuss spiritual life inside and outside of an ashram environment. There are lots of tips for spiritual practice in this video and audio interview. I met Jennie at the beautiful Bahamas Sivananda Ashram. Here’s what we discussed…

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

We’re living in the digital device era. The speed at which digital device usage has spread is phenomenal. Many of us are spending hours each day using digital devices – usually looking at screens.

When you use digital devices consciously, you’ll be at peace with them, and enjoy the benefits they have to offer. You’ll also use them skilfully, with kindness, interacting harmoniously with the world.

Accompanying notes and diagram available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

Your mind is always in one of two modes. You are either lost in thought or Present. Being lost in thought may also mean you are lost in your emotions. During these times you are disconnected from the infinite intelligence that is your birthright. Instead, the ego is in control and you become unskillful.

We are trying to move away from being lost in thought, and towards being present, which I also call Mindfulness+.

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

‘Difficult’ people are presented to us for all sorts of reasons; including to test how mindful we are. The universe likes doing this and carefully hand picks these people!

Difficult people trigger our egos, which in turn creates unpleasant feelings in our bodies. This can then lead to unskilful thoughts, communication and even physical action. How can we maintain a peaceful mind and stay grounded and confident during these difficult times? Here are five tips that can help…

It was an honour to share the teachings from my new book “Living a Life of Harmony – 7 Guidelines for Cultivating Peace & Kindness” in this talk and Q&A. Here are some of the content highlights:

* Why I believe bookstores are important
* “The Process” – The infinite process we’re all part of
* How we impact each other
* Separating ourselves from others
* We can’t prove this existence is real
* Dreams
* Are we part of a simulation?
* “The Process” has Guidelines
* The truth in religion and philosophy
* Consequences of causing harm
Karma
* Why “bad” things happen to “good” people
* How to embrace the “good” stuff and accept the “bad” stuff
* Mindfulness+ is mindfulness plus the spiritual dimension
* How “The Process” corrects you
* What happens when you don’t learn lessons
* How to deal with unskilful people
* The 7 Guidelines:
1. Honour the body
2. Be present, bringing awareness and acceptance into every moment
3. Act with kindness
4. Understand the truth and communicate it skilfully
5. Do only what needs to be done
6. Harmoniously obtain and retain only what you need
7. Apply the guidelines to your digital device usage
This talk was held at Pages Bookstore in Detroit. Thank you so much to Erin Gold for making this possible.

It was a blessing to have the opportunity to speak with Rev. Paul John Roach on his Unity Online Radio World Spirituality Show in the summer of 2018.

Paul has a thorough understanding of many of the subject areas I cover in my teachings. He also has a very broad knowledge of spiritual teachings from many religions and philosophies, which all made for a really interesting and progressive discussion.

Here are some of the subject areas from the interview:

* Integrating teachings from different religions and philosophies
* The six characteristics of Presence
* Addictions
* We don’t exist!
* Two modes of the mind
* The Process
* Mindfulness+
* The ego
* Hindrances to being present
* Simplicity
* My book “Being Present”

You can find more content like this at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org

I was thrilled to receive an invitation to be interviewed by Sister Jenna on the America Meditating Radio Show with over one million archived listeners in over ninety countries! It was a humbling experience in many ways. Sister Jenna has incredible clarity and awareness – you can hear that within her voice. I very much enjoyed our connection and the questions she asked. Here are some of the things we discussed:

* How I got started with meditation and spiritual practice.
* Using Stop -> Check -> Use to enable conscious digital usage of your devices e.g. phones and tablets.
* Creating a habit to choose to be mindful.
* Using reminders to help you remember to be mindful.
* Was I present when I was writing “Being Present”?
* Let’s be honest – most of the time I’m lost in my thoughts!
* Staying mindful through nourishing activities
* Why your life conditions are so important in being mindful
* The relationship between simplicity, spaciousness and mindfulness
* We do not need to expect to be perfect all the time – it’s natural to be lost in thought – mindfulness is a ‘practice’

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

Describes benefits 11-14, from the 18 benefits of mindfulness. More content on benefits to follow in future podcasts.

It was an honour to be interviewed on the Fire It UP with CJ Radio Show in summer 2018. I didn’t realise talking about spiritual teachings could be so much fun! Haha. We covered:

* How can you be more present throughout your day from waking to sleeping?
* Why is it important to be aware, accept, and engage in appropriate action?
* How do you know if you are resisting and not accepting “what is”?
* How can being present connect you with the flow of life and it’s divine wisdom, love, and beauty?
* Lots of mindfulness tips.
* Link to YouTube video at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org

Here’s an interview with Erica Longdon on 12Radio from the summer of 2018. We discussed the book, Being Present, focusing on addictions, sleep, the different components of spiritual practice, and how people relate to religion. I also shared plenty of helpful mindfulness tips and advice.

It was an honour to share the teachings from my new book “Living a Life of Harmony – 7 Guidelines for Cultivating Peace & Kindness” in this talk and Q&A. Here are some of the content highlights:

* Why I believe bookstores are important
* “The Process” – The infinite process we’re all part of
* How we impact each other
* Separating ourselves from others
* We can’t prove this existence is real
* Dreams
* Are we part of a simulation?
* “The Process” has Guidelines
* The truth in religion and philosophy
* Consequences of causing harm
Karma
* Why “bad” things happen to “good” people
* How to embrace the “good” stuff and accept the “bad” stuff
* Mindfulness+ is mindfulness plus the spiritual dimension
* How “The Process” corrects you
* What happens when you don’t learn lessons
* How to deal with unskilful people
* The 7 Guidelines:
1. Honour the body
2. Be present, bringing awareness and acceptance into every moment
3. Act with kindness
4. Understand the truth and communicate it skilfully
5. Do only what needs to be done
6. Harmoniously obtain and retain only what you need
7. Apply the guidelines to your digital device usage
This talk was held at Pages Bookstore in Detroit. Thank you so much to Erin Gold for making this possible.

In this brief interview with Louisa Hannan from BBC Radio we covered the following points:

* What is mindfulness?
* How do mindfulness, being present, and meditation relate to each other?
* How can you put mindfulness into practice?
* What happens when we’re lost in thought?
* The present moment is where life really is!
Conscious usage of our phones and other digital devices
* How the book “Being Present” came about

Meditating is a wonderful way of lowering anxiety and creating a lovely inner-calmness. It helps you become more concentrated. Here’s a simple technique you can use to treat yourself to a ten-minute session.

Mindfulness Online Training

Over the years I’ve practised a number of Buddhist meditation techniques, including Mindfulness of Breathing, Loving Kindness and Anapanasati on a daily basis. And whilst learning about Eckhart Tolle’s teachings, I developed a meditation technique to directly cultivate Presence. I’d like to share it with you…

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

Here’s an interview with Gary Goldberg on WRPI Radio during the summer of 2018.

Gary’s a wise, lovely man. It was wonderful speaking with him. We talked about:

Becoming Present dynamically
Presence within relationships and friendships
Bringing mindfulness and Presence into our sex lives
Integrating Being Present into everyday activities
Planned and spontaneous meditation
Presence Meditation
The Presence Zone
Simplicity – Is my life too complex?
Mindfulness
Mindfulness+
Are you Present?
Using the breath within spiritual practice
Using nature within spiritual practice
Addictions
The Process applying corrections

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

Describes benefits 5-10, from the 18 benefits of mindfulness. More content on benefits to follow in future podcasts.

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

Servet’s a really entertaining presenter as well as being super insightful. We discussed these topics…

Everything changing
We don’t exist
Change and impermanence
Life threatening illnesses
We are part of an infinite process
Where the book came from
Definition of mindfulness
What is the ego?
When science meets spirituality
Mindfulness+ Mindfulness with the spiritual dimension
Growing spiritually through difficult situations
Planned and spontaneous meditation
Creating meditation from simple activities
Coming into and going out of meditation
Keeping devices off for the start of the day
Why alarm clocks are so helpful
How to create time for meditation
Was I guided to write the book Being Present?

Accompanying notes available at www.mindfulnessonlinetraining.org.

Describes benefits 1-4, from the 18 benefits of mindfulness. More content on benefits to follow in future podcasts.

An introduction to the Mindfulness Online Training Podcast followed by an introduction to mindfulness.