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Sometimes, the decisions we need to make are straightforward, but in other situations it can seem quite difficult to decide what to do. There may be a multitude of options and no clear way forward. To help us do the right thing, I’d like to present a list I’ve produced called ‘5 Ways to Approach Difficult Decisions’…

Wouldn’t it be great if we knew how to gain freedom from suffering? The good news is that I’m about to share how we can do just that through discovering five truths…

Treat yourself to this ten-minute meditation that will guide you to bring more awareness to pleasant and pleasurable sensations within the body.

I’m delighted to share the draft introduction from my new book “Realmfulness – Discover the Art of Living Consciously”.

I’m looking for feedback and help from generous folk who would like to review the book as I write it – helping me make it clearer and more accessible for readers.

What would happen if you added absolutely nothing to this moment? And if you would be totally ok with it?….Let’s experience it right now.. exactly this moment, with what you are doing, not doing, or supposed to be doing. STOP! And let it be and happen. For a couple of seconds at least, stop judging anything and observe just as it is, comes and goes…Try for 2-5 seconds to start with, after that the mind will kick in again, that’s fine, with practise you will manage longer

“Who am I?”  is not such an easy question. The mind will try to by-pass this question in anyway it can. The mind really doesn’t like the insecure feeling that this question brings up. The implication of the question “Who am I?” can only be that you apparently aren’t what you thought you were. It implies you haven’t figured it all out at least. The mind likes to know, the unknown is scary……

In this article, Esther Ekhart explains that as soon as you are in touch with presence, yoga becomes a healing practice

In this article, Esther Ekhart provides 7 great reasons to start practicing yoga.

In this article Esther Ekhart explores how the mind and body influence each other and how we can use the mind-body connection in a positive way. 

Discover how mindfulness and yoga connect with mindfulness expert Darren Cockburn & yoga expert Esther Ekhart in this enlightening interview. Includes practical tips on meditation, mindfulness, yoga practice along with deeper discussions on enlightenment, the power to heal and predict the future.

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

What started off being a book interview for Living a Life of Harmony with Sheryl Sitts turned out to be a much wider discussion on mindfulness and meditation.

Have you ever explored the practice of prayer and contemplated how it integrates with mindfulness? In this video and podcast I interview Tom Davenport, community worker and preacher from Lansdowne Church in Bournemouth, UK. Tom offers a Christian view on how to pray using Jesus’ teachings on The Lords Prayer as a base. At various points during the interview I link the Christian teachings to mindfulness practice and other spiritual teachings you’ll find on this site.

Forgiving others. Discover this supportive and concise meditation enabling you to forgive others and reclaim your inner peace. The practice of forgiveness has a huge impact on our ability to stay mindful. Most of us can recall times when we’ve been lost in thought and feeling unpleasant due to resentment or hatred towards ourselves or others. And how peaceful and liberating it is after forgiveness.

Forgiving others. Discover this supportive and concise meditation enabling you to forgive others and reclaim your inner peace. The practice of forgiveness has a huge impact on our ability to stay mindful. Most of us can recall times when we’ve been lost in thought and feeling unpleasant due to resentment or hatred towards ourselves or others. And how peaceful and liberating it is after forgiveness.

New song from Darren Cockburn – Just Before The Son

This podcast contains a guided forgiveness meditation that enables you to forgive yourself and regain your inner peace.

Mindfulness Online Training – Discover Your True Essence

https://mindfulnessonlinetraining.org

This podcast contains a guided forgiveness meditation that enables you to forgive yourself and regain your inner peace.

Mindfulness Online Training – Discover Your True Essence

https://mindfulnessonlinetraining.org

In this article we connect with some wonderful teachings from Mindfulness Online Training Featured Teacher – Vidyamala Burch. Vidyamala lives with a chronic back condition due to spinal injuries and partial paraplegia. Thanks to mindfulness and kindness, it’s amazing that she now has a full, happy and meaningful life.

In this article we connect with some wonderful teachings from Mindfulness Online Training Featured Teacher – Vidyamala Burch. Vidyamala lives with a chronic back condition due to spinal injuries and partial paraplegia. Thanks to mindfulness and kindness, it’s amazing that she now has a full, happy and meaningful life.

Here are five hand-picked mindfulness teachings from Vidyamala that are focused on living well with pain and illness…

I’m writing an album of spiritual songs this year. Here’s a link to more of my music.

This is a melodic and joyful song about finding the divine. Reminding us that the right way for our actions may always be found within. It also highlights that we always have a choice when we’re faced with temptations.

Be kind to yourself and others by inviting your mind to ‘awaken and connect’. An easy 3-minute meditation practice which may be repeated several times each day – enabling you to become mindful and connected with spirit. Regaining our natural state of peacefulness, equanimity and connection.

Do you know that the practice of forgiveness has a huge impact on our ability to stay mindful? Most of us will relate to finding ourselves lost in thought and feeling unpleasant due to resentment or hatred towards ourselves or other people. And we may be able to recall times when we’ve forgiven somebody and experienced a sense of peace and increased awareness.

In this article, I’d like to explain what forgiveness is, how it interacts with our mindfulness levels and how we can be more forgiving.

This was one of those songs that just popped out spontaneously without a particular intention. In fact, it was written in parallel with another song – Complete. I was a little spooked by it to begin with as the chords are strange compared to my other more melodic tunes. It has a special meaning to me. Your interpretation will be unique to you I’m sure…

This song was inspired by a recent visit to a friend who’s recovering from a stroke. She was psychologically unwell but her spiritual consciousness was as clean as a whistle. It’s called “Complete”. 

Would you like to transform your life situation consciously and mindfully? In this podcast Jane Scanlan discusses her own experiences and best practice for personal transformation.

In this three-part audio series Diana Richardson introduces the topics of sexual conditioning, awareness and tantra.

Are you interested in integrating mindfulness into your sex life? If so, this concise and informative video is worth a watch. Diana Richardson is an internationally leading teacher on tantra and mindful sex.

Are you interested in integrating mindfulness into your sex life? Either sex with a partner or sex with yourself? If so, this is the podcast for you! I was so pleased when Diana Richardson agreed to be on the podcast. Diana is an internationally leading teacher on tantra and mindful sex. You’ll soon realise through listening that she’s an intelligent and kind woman, who knows her subject. 

Do you know there’s huge correlation between personal ethics (behaviours and how we’ve configured our life) and mindfulness? Being ethical enables us to be more mindful. And being more mindful enables us to be more ethical. It’s a virtuous loop. So part of our mindfulness practice is to be more ethical. 

This video and podcast contains a talk on personal ethics that I gave in July 2019 at Watkins Bookstore, London. It relates to my new book Living a Life of Harmony – 7 Guidelines for Cultivating Peace & Kindness. The 7 Guidelines offer an accessible and ethical framework for spiritual practice.

Are you interested in simplifying your life? Making life easier by having less stuff? And doing what you’re passionate about rather than what you “should” be doing? If so, then this podcast will be of great help.

Cultivate more simplicity and happiness by learning and practicing the 7 Guidelines. They enable us to face life empowered and confident, to peacefully observe and accept what life presents us with, cultivate compassion and kindness, as well as spread mindfulness to those around us. Practiced together, these guidelines provide a simple yet powerful compass to guide you to a peaceful mind and harmonious living, much needed in today’s world.

Cultivate more simplicity and happiness by learning and practicing the 7 Guidelines. They enable us to face life empowered and confident, to peacefully observe and accept what life presents us with, cultivate compassion and kindness, as well as spread mindfulness to those around us. Practiced together, these guidelines provide a simple yet powerful compass to guide you to a peaceful mind and harmonious living, much needed in today’s world.

Mindfulness Online Training Download MP3 ~ Donate If you like my work, please vote for me and enable the teachings to help more people. I’ve been nominated for Kindred Spirit Magazine’s “Emerging Voice” 2019 award. Voting includes entry to a free prize draw! Click here to vote We all have to deal with money in our lives. Making it, spending it, giving it away, using it to be generous, saving for the… Read More

Would you like life to be simpler, happier and more harmonious? If so, listen to this insightful discussion between Darren Cockburn & Paul John Roach on the 7 Guidelines.

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.

I composed this song “Find Your Way Om”, originally called “Find Your Way Home” back in 2011. I was walking along a beach before heading into the mountains of Spain for a solitary meditation retreat. And this song popped into my head – so I recorded it there and then on my iPhone! 

I composed this song back in 2011. I was walking along a beach before heading into the mountains of Spain for a solitary meditation retreat. And this song popped into my head – so I recorded it there and then on my iPhone! 

Dominika Piasecka (from the Vegan Society) and Darren Cockburn (mindfulness expert and spiritual teacher) explore the different aspects of veganism in this podcast from Mindfulness Online Training.

I set an intention to write an album of spiritual songs this year. The first song is called Listen and available for free download from this site and via the podcast. On the day of the last full moon, May 18th 2019, I spontaneously given birth to a new song. It’s called “Love Comes Through” and I’d love you to hear it.

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.

I visited the Isle of Wight and enjoyed a bike ride with Gary Hill, my friend and fellow mindfulness practitioner. So much happened within the space of 24 hours that helped with our practice!

Interview with David Cole – international Spiritual Teacher. Includes discussion on how mindfulness and meditation integrates with Christianity.

Until recently, when people asked me my opinion on climate change, I told them I didn’t know enough about it to comment. I’d respond by explaining how the earth is like everything in that it’s created, sustained and ultimately destroyed. I felt a little ignorant about the whole climate change thing if I’m being honest.Recently, two events took place which increased my awareness and understanding. A friend of mine was locked up in a police cell for protesting about climate change in London. And I watched David Attenborough’s recent BBC documentary. I view David as a “trusted source” when it comes to nature.I learned about climate change being (in David’s words) “Our greatest threat in thousands of years”. And that we may only have the next decade to take dramatic action and avoid irreversible damage to nature and collapse of societies.From there, I contemplated what this means in terms of spiritual practice. In my book “Living a Life of Harmony – 7 Guidelines for Cultivating Peace & Kindness” there are four guidelines that are highly relevant to this situation:Act with kindness, considering everyone and everythingUnderstand the truth, communicating it skilfully and selectivelyHarmoniously obtain and retain only what you needDo only what needs to be doneKindness features in all spiritual teachings. Personally, I believe it stretches out well beyond people into all of nature. And when you stop and think about it, if we’re unkind to nature, we’ll be harming people as well! Eating less of the foods that we know contribute towards climate change like lamb and beef can be an act of kindness to the animals and to nature.I feel it’s important that we understand and communicate the facts when it comes to climate change. I appreciate that most of us aren’t scientists who can directly evidence or infer what’s going on. However, we can turn to our trusted sources like David Attenborough to help us. And then there’s the question of how we communicate what we believe to be true – to ensure that our words and actions have the best possible impact.Having only what we need plays a big part in helping manage climate change. When we buy items excessively we’re encouraging their transportation which is often international and contributing towards higher CO2 levels. If we can buy only the items we need, go for quality, and make them last longer, that’s going to help. And obtaining items harmoniously means considering how they’re made and supplied.Finally – doing only what needs to be done – especially in the area of personal travel and transport will certainly help.All of these guidelines need to be applied at the collective as well as the individual level. Families, organisations and countries all need to be directed to do the right thing. And the right thing aligns beautifully with the basics that we find in spiritual teachings.

Richard Anderson is an all-round great guy, an awakening coach, spiritual author and blogger. I spent a day with him and his lovely family in Devon, UK. He interviewed me about my first book Being Present.

Key Topics

Two modes of the mind
How the book came aboutInfluences of Eckhart Tolle
The history of being
Integration of different teachings
How religions and philosophies have different emphasis’ and strengths
Using spiritual practice to achieve a peaceful mind
Different ways to cultivate a peaceful mind
Planned and spontaneous practiceIs everybody awakened?
Is comparing people spiritually delusional?
Is Presence there all the time?
Do we share our essence of Presence?
Who is the book Being Present for?
Why do you need spiritual practice when you’re awake anyway?
Do you degrade spiritually without practice?
How is spiritual practice similar to exercise?
How is suffering used to help us evolve?
Is it OK to be fearful of pain and suffering?
What happens when we coast spiritually?
What are the 7 guidelines to cultivate peace and kindness?

It was an energising experience being interviewed by the fun and engaging Michael Sandler for the popular Inspire Nation Show! We talked about my new book Living a Life of Harmony – 7 Guidelines to Cultivate Peace & Kindness plus lots more. This podcast and video also includes a guided meditation.

In today’s culture of stresses and excesses, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can be a daunting task. It requires a variety of deliberate life adjustments, and experimentally combining separate-but-intertwining skill sets in five key areas: lifestyle, nutrition, fitness, psychology and spirituality.

I had a lovely discussion with an elderly woman yesterday. We talked about Ant & Dec, Tom Jones, Elvis, and what happens when we die! I wanted to share some of that discussion with you and some additional points on life and death. And most importantly – to explain how you can live forever!

As a high school teacher in the Bronx for 14 years I got to meet and deeply know a lot of teens. Having those relationships taught me a lot about what makes adolescents tick. I saw that the way adults view teens impacts the way teens see themselves, and ultimately the lives they think they are capable of leading. I also witnessed how school settings can be fertile ground for greater understanding and connection, or misunderstanding and miscommunication between teachers and young adults.

Use this podcast to help you understand the truth in all situations and enjoy a more peaceful mind. Life’s stressful when we’re deluded! Here are the highlights…”Understanding the Truth – Communicating it Skilfully & Selectively” is one of the 7 Guidelines from the book “Living a Life of Harmony – 7 Guidelines for Cultivating Peace & Kindness”.Determining the truth is important because when we’re aligned with the truth we are in tune with how things are and can be psychologically at peace. The truth -> Peaceful Mind.When we’re deluded it causes psychological stress. We end up becoming lost in thought, lose our mindfulness and become unskilful.  Delusion -> Stressed Mind.Determining the truth is also about being comfortable with not knowing.We can observe our minds and coach ourselves to ensure that we have the right view and understand the truth of what’s going on.This helps us to stay mindful. Being mindful helps us to understand the truth.A simple technique that can be used to determine the truth from the Yoga Sutras of PatanjaliMethod 1 – Direct Perception – You know that something is true because you directly perceive it. It’s based on acknowledging facts. E.g. you feel wind on your face so you know it’s windy.Method 2 – Inference – Using evidence and reasoning to confirm the truth. They must be simple and straightforward to understand. E.g. there are puddles outside everywhere, so we can infer that it’s been raining.Method 3 – Using a Trusted Source – Believing in information provided by somebody or something that you trust. E.g. a cyclist specialist you trust tells you that you need a new chain, so you know that’s the truth.It’s only when one of these methods apply can we say we’ve determined the truth.It’s often worth waiting a little while for more evidence to be presented to you before believing something.

This podcast is the fourth audio extract from a mindfulness and meditation workshop I delivered for a group of British Wheel of Yoga teachers in March 2019.Here are the highlights of what’s covered:A quick recap of some mindfulness basics from the previous yoga workshop podcasts.Yoga teachers are taking responsibility for student’s awareness – by guiding their awareness to the breath and bodily sensations. So yoga teachers help people to let go of being lost in thought! Yoga teachers are teaching mindfulness.The ego is related to being lost in thought. When we’re lost in thought – the ego has taken over.The ego is the sum total of all our attachments.It’s good to be aware of what we’re attached to.Meditation is “training the mind to achieve higher states of consciousness”.Meditation trains the mind to be less lost in thought – to be more aware and concentrated.Beyond this, meditation can help you connect spiritually.Meditation is setting the conditions up to train ourselves to be more mindful.In yoga, the meditation is there to get us into a state of union.Most people that I’ve worked with who have tried meditation have found it to be beneficial: more mindful, kinder, understanding, relaxed, calmer etc.A small percentage of people are not ready for meditation.A sitting meditation posture needs a balance of being both relaxed and alert…If we get too relaxed, we drift off into a dream.If we’re overly alert we can become anxious.A relaxed and alert posture will also make the mind relaxed and alert.Having a straight posture/back is helpful.We’re trying to find the sweet spot between being relaxed and alert. This also applies outside of meditation. It helps you stay mindful.The podcast contains advice on how to meditate sitting on a chair.If you’re sat on the floor – give the knees some support with cushions if they’re off the floor – or elevate the hips.It’s good for the body to do a little work whilst we’re meditating. For example, if the abdominals or back muscles are engaged a little.Relax the shoulders.Have the head balanced as though you imagine your chin is on a shelf.It helps to reflect on your meditation practice, keep a journal or discuss meditation with others.I had a good sharing discussion with the group members on their meditation experience – you’ll hear this in the podcast.The five hindrancesUseful list for meditation and mindfulness1. Sensory desire/craving2. Ill will3. Sloth & torpor4. Restlessness & worry5. DoubtI discussed the antidotes to each of these hindrances in the podcastGood to investigate constant themes in meditation that are hindering your practice. E.g. talking to a friend, seeing a therapist.It can be helpful when there are minor disturbances in meditation e.g. a little background noise and a few distractions. The biggest disturbance is internal not external! It’s our ego and being lost in thought!Integrating meditation into yoga classes tipsAsk yourself “why” you want to integrate meditation.Be considerate of people’s expectations.Meet people where they are.Teach from a place of confidence and personal practice.Guidance versus silence.Keep it simple.Option – Create a separate meditation class.Consider referencing meditation on any advertisements for classes – being transparent about your intentions.Consider using chairs for seated meditation.Consider integrating walking meditation as this is a better option for some people who are unable to sit still.Some people may not be ready for meditation, instead it may be better for them to start by slowing down or spending time relaxing first. And then moving onto meditation later. Music can be helpful to relax students ahead of meditation.5 to 10 minutes of meditation is enough for people who are starting out. Possibly using guided meditation on an app like Insight Timer.Having occasional breaks from meditation can be helpful. For most of us, we’ll find that our life experience will degrade temporarily on the days when we aren’t meditating – and this motivates us to have a continuous practice.Meditation and mindfulness practice is similar to exercise. If you stop, you tend to degrade. So it’s good to keep going with it.Copyright © 2019 Darren Cockburn. All Rights Reservedwww.mindfulnessonlinetraining.orgwww.darrencockburn.com

I really enjoyed an interview with my friend Gary Goldberg on his “In the Spirit” radio show based in New York. Gary’s a wise and kind man – and he’s great at linking spiritual teachings to his own experience. We focused a lot on being in the present moment. Here’s what we talked about…The Seven GuidelinesThe importance of being in the Present Moment.Links between the books Being Present & Living a Life of Harmony.The Process (the universal process we’re all a part of) and how it contains intelligence to guide humans so they can be psychologically at peace and aligned with what the universe requires of them.Bringing a kindly acceptance to physical and emotional pain.Resisting the present moment is saying “no” to the universe – you suffer every time! It causes stress and we become lost in thought. It’s better to say “yes”!The best thing we can do is to accept where we are – then influence things positively for the future. The importance of communicating skilfully rather than blurting out whatever pops into our mind.Awareness and acceptance allows us to skilfully communicate what’s helpful.The only way to guarantee true skilful communication is through being in the present moment.Everything is conditioned and all a part of The Process. It’s infinite in terms of time – there’s no beginning or end to it. It’s also infinite in terms of depth. Scientists will never get to the bottom of what’s going on!You cannot wrap your mind around The Process – it’s too big.The Guidelines help you operate intelligently within The Process.The intelligence within The Process guides our actions when we’re present and open to being directed.If you were permanent connected to the intelligence with The Process you wouldn’t need the guidelines. However, because most of us are disconnected for much of the day, it’s good to have the guidelines embedded in our memory so they can be followed subconsciously.The guidelines can be recited daily to help us to remember and follow them.The Process provides us with feedback. It rewards us when we’re following The Guidelines and corrects us when we’re disregarding them. If we don’t respond to a correction from the Process it will intensify the correction until we take action. Ideally, we should take action from the correction as early as possible – then we suffer less!The importance of connection between people and how being lost in thought separates us.The Process enjoys human beings connecting. The Process wants to connect everybody and everything together harmoniously – this is evolution.

This podcast is the third audio extract from a workshop I delivered for a group of British Wheel of Yoga teachers in March 2019. 

Here are the highlights of what’s covered:

The definition of Yoga as being in union with the divine, spirit or God.
How being lost in thought separates us from this connection and union. And how mindfulness enables the union.
We can only achieve Yoga when we’re mindful.
This union is available at any time. The challenge is being able to maintain it.
Enlightenment or awakening means that the state of Yoga or connection with spirit is there permanently – you never get lost in thought.
In the meantime, we’re mindful sometimes and lost in thought at other times. This can happen many times during the day.
At any point in time, we’re lost in thought or present.
If we’re mindful and spiritually open or receptive, we can allow the transcendental love and wisdom to flow through us.
Three levels of mindfulness
Level 0 – Being lost in thought
Level 1 – Mindfulness
Level 2 – Mindfulness+ . Mindfulness with openness to spirit – allowing spirit to flow through you.
We are always in one of these three states – and this goes for Yoga students too.
Keeping some awareness on the breath (even just 10%) – keeps us mindful.
We can be mindfully busy although it can be more challenging.
If we lose our connection with mindfulness we can slow down as a tactic.
Benefits of mindfulness
Improved concentration and memory
More positive
Reduces stress and anxiety
Quieter mind
More acceptance of yourself, others and situations
Helps relieve stress and depression
Improves sleep quality
Increase in resilience to health issues
Enables kindness
Useful for pain management
Enhances happiness and wellbeing
Can enjoy pleasure more when you’re mindful
Creativity
Problem solving
Creates better relationships
Better listening
Self control
Access to the spiritual dimension
Mindfulness+ or yoga is about bringing together the form with the formless. To work with our experience and what’s external to us. Enjoying all of that and meeting our obligations, whilst integrating the spiritual dimension.

This podcast is the second audio extract from a workshop I delivered for a group of British Wheel of Yoga teachers in March 2019. We had a lot of fun exploring mindfulness together 🙂

Here are the highlights of what’s covered:

* A practical mindfulness exercise on identifying the different components of your experience
* Mindfulness definition
* How mindfulness links to yoga philosophy and the goal of yoga
* Transcending thoughts
* Choosing how we respond to thoughts
* Getting lost in thoughts
* We don’t need to think as much as we do
* Mindfulness hotspots
* We must be mindful to reach the goal yoga

This podcast is an extract from a workshop I delivered for a group of British Wheel of Yoga teachers. I was helping them explore mindfulness and meditation. This is the first of a number of podcasts from that workshop.

It introduces the universal process (The Process) which we are all a part of. And 7 guidelines that when followed will cultivate peace and kindness. The teachings are from my new book “Living a Life of Harmony”.

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.

I was delighted to learn that my ‘7 Principles of Conscious Digital Usage’ were featured on the front page and in a three page article within the Jan/Feb edition of Kindred Spirit Magazine​.

The speed at which digital device usage has spread is phenomenal. Many of us are spending hours of our time each day using these devices – usually looking at screens. When you use digital devices consciously, you can be at peace with them and enjoy their benefits. You can use them in a way that is aligned with your spiritual practice.

Here are ‘The Seven Principles of Conscious Digital Device Usage’:

1. Only use a device when it’s really needed
2. Stay mindful during device usage
3. Be kind to your body during device usage
4. Communicate selectively, truthfully and skillfully during device usage
5. Have time away from your devices every day
6. Take opportunities for real human contact
7. Accept that digital device usage is part of life.

Having a good night’s sleep and feeling rested when you wake up makes your mindfulness practice MUCH easier! This means that looking after your sleep conditions is part of your mindfulness practice. It’s part of my first guidelines from the ‘7 Guidelines to Cultivate Peace & Kindness’ – Honour The Body.

In this podcast I provide 15 tips for a better night’s sleep.

1. Let go of using all digital devices at least fifteen minutes before sleep. Mobile phones, tablets and other devices stimulate the mind. Especially if they’re internet-enabled and socially connected.

2. Meditate briefly before going to sleep. A simple breathing meditation for two minutes helps to relax you.

3. Perform a mental body scan just before sleeping by consciously bringing your awareness to each part of the body.

4. Practice gratitude before sleep, by recalling things you are grateful for. This will gladden the mind and contribute towards a more positive transition into sleep.

5. If it’s noisy where you live and not possible to reduce the noise, then get yourself some comfortable ear plugs to use during sleep.

6. Select a peaceful alarm to wake you up in the morning rather than something abrupt or rowdy.

7. You spend much of your life asleep so it makes sense to ensure you have a good quality bed and mattress. Keeping the body comfortable during sleep is part of honoring the body.

8. Remove all clutter from your bedroom. Clutter in your external environment clutters the mind.

9. Allow fresh air into your bedroom during sleep if this is possible.

10. Avoid liquids at least three hours before sleep. This will help minimize the chance of your bladder waking you up during the night.

11. Let go of caffeine in the afternoon and evening. This will reduce mind stimulation.

12. Avoid foods which disturb your sleep and negatively influence your dreams. The foods I’m referring to here vary from person to person. For me, they tend to be spicy foods, cheese and chocolate. You’ll need to experiment with this to see what helps and hinders your sleep.

13. Where possible, go to sleep and wake up at regular times. This will program your body and help you remain asleep for the duration.

14 .Be mindful of how long you nap for during the day. If you do take a nap in the day, experiment with shortening its duration or removing it altogether. If we accept our tiredness during the day, we often find it soon passes. Observe how this positively impacts your sleep on an evening.

15. Analyze your sleep with a device. I used a wrist band to monitor the amount of light and deep sleep I was having. Deep sleep is where the mind stops dreaming and the body repairs and recharges. I noticed a big correlation between the amount of deep sleep I had and how well I felt the following day. The device monitored me overnight and fed the information to my phone and computer for review. You can analyze your sleep patterns and identify the things you do during the day that help or hinder your sleep quality.

A podcast introducing loving kindness practice with a 15-minute guided meditation

The loving kindness guided meditation starts at 4 minutes from the beginning of the podcast or MP3
Mindfulness and kindness go together hand-in-hand
In order to be kind, considerate, friendly and generous we need to be aware and accepting of our own inner experience, and the experience of our environments
Also considerate of what’s going on beyond our immediate environments
Act with kindness, considering everyone and everything – is one the 7 Guidelines to Cultivate Peace & Kindness from the book Living a Life of Harmony
If you already have a regular mindfulness meditation practice e.g. like a breathing meditation, you may want to try doing practicing kindness meditation every other time you meditate or on a weekly basis
In my experience, and that of others I know, loving kindness meditation works really well
It programs your mind (like self-hypnosis) so that you’re automatically and spontaneously more kind to yourself and other people
You can’t really plan to be truly kind, but you can plan to cultivate kindness, so it flows from you spontaneously and integrates into your behaviours and approach
Most people are kind sometimes and not at other times
We’re all “works in progress” and we need to work on cultivating kindness in the same way that we need to work on cultivating mindfulness and concentration

In this podcast, I tell the story about a difficult experience I had on a spiritual retreat…shortly followed by a beautiful kiss from the “Silver Goddess” during meditation!

Here are a few helpful pointers I’d like to share based on my experience and that of friends who have attended spiritual retreats…

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.

In this concise TEDx YouTube video, author and lecturer Steve Taylor cleverly and humorously explains why a sense of purpose has such powerful mental and physical benefits. These include longevity, motivation, direction, resilience and positivity.

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.

In summary, this is a ground-breaking book, which I believe will contribute greatly towards helping folk see beyond conventional science and religion. It will help more people realize that spirit, consciousness, presence, whatever you might like to call it, is indeed real!

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.