History – How the course began

It started with colleagues joining me for Tai Chi practice. This lead me to explore the benefits of meditation which is exactly what you are doing as you calmly move through your Tai Chi routine. Colleagues reported feeling and noticing significant changes in their behaviour while practicing.

How powerful was a meditation practice?

This lead me to dive deeper into the health and meditation benefits of Tai Chi. On my journey I came across the work done at Google on their ‘Search Inside Yourself’ course. I found their research fascinating especially with regards to the six competencies that distinguish star performers from average performers in the tech sector. Turns out that four are emotional intelligence with the top two being EQ. What was mind-blowing was that emotional intelligence was trainable through a mindfulness meditation practice.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is your ability to recognise and understand emotions in yourself and others. The ability to use this awareness to manage your behaviour and relationships more effectively.

Decades of research now points to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. It’s a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction with a tremendous result. Emotional intelligence has a direct link to your earning potential. Every point increase in EQ adds $1300 to an annual salary. This is true in all industries, at all levels all over the world. Besides supporting your career emotional intelligence training can support your life as well. Emotional intelligence influences health related outcomes. It reduces the perception of stress in response to trying situations. EQ strengthens the brains ability to cope with emotional stress. It helps you from having your amygdala highjack your brain. This resilience boost your immunity which protects you from getting sick.

Emotional intelligence training is essential because you gain value in many areas of your life. I have experienced the benefits thanks to my years of Tai Chi and blessed to have been trained by an amazing teacher, Grandmaster Dr Lin Feng-Chao. Who was a student of Cheng Man-ch’ing. I’ve also been witness to the effects a mindfulness meditation practice has had on colleagues and students. This is the main reason I developed a 6 week emotional intelligence training course at JUMO.

Corporations’ Newest Productivity Hack: Meditation. Businesses are experiencing the benefits of improving emotional intelligence in the workplace. We have a number of Mindfulness Meditation courses that can bring a productivity boost to staff, enhances focus, creativity and over all well-being. See an outline of what is covered in the emotional intelligence training course.


Individual Emotional Intelligence Mindfulness Meditation Workshop

Begin a journey of self discovery. Take a introductory class to learn the benefits of mindfulness meditation. We will teach you basic techniques so you can begin experiencing the advantages of a meditation practice. Studies show that emotional competencies are twice as important as pure intellect and expertise. Learn how meditation builds emotional intelligence which is a key factor in success at work and life.

Meditation is also a powerful tool in dealing with stress. The key to emotional intelligence is keen attention. Learn methods and techniques to gain this valuable ability. Mindfulness does not require having to sit cross-legged on a cushion. We show you how to practice mindfulness in all areas of your life. Additional Benefits of Learning to Meditate

  • Emotional stability improves
  • Creativity increases
  • Happiness increases
  • Intuition develops
  • Gain clarity and peace of mind
  • Problems become smaller
  • Meditation sharpens and focuses the mind
  • A sharper mind reduces tension, anger and frustration
  • Mindfulness meditation improves connections in the brain

Learn more about the science behind meditation. Science is making some amazing discoveries to a skill that has been around for thousands of years. Our post on the 7 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence. Take an introductory 2hr class to begin your attention training NOW! For a full course take a look at the company 6 week option below.

What we cover in the course.

1. Attention Training Attention is the basis of all higher cognitive and emotional abilities. Thus the key to emotional intelligence training is ATTENTION. The idea is to create a quality of mind that is clear and calm at the same time. We use mindfulness meditation techniques to build attention. We explore ways besides the traditional sitting meditation to enable us to be mindful whenever possible. Allow the student to experiment and explore their own unique experiences to tailor mindfulness into their day to day activities.

2. Self-Knowledge and Self-Mastery Use your trained attention to better perceive ones own cognitive and emotive processes. Begin to observe ones thought stream and the process of emotion with clarity. Learn to observe from a third-person perspective. Once you can do that, you create the type of deep self-knowledge that eventually leads to self-mastery.

3. Creating Useful Social and Mental Habits “I wish for this person to be happy”, becomes your habitual instinctive first thought. Having such habits can change everything at work. This sincere goodwill is picked up unconsciously by others creating strong trust. This leads to highly productive collaborations. Such habits can be volitionally trained.

There are 6 Modules

The course consist of 6 main areas than run for an hour a week for six weeks. Ideally have a gap between modules so students can practice the mindfulness meditation practices.

Module 1: Talks about the importance of emotional intelligence training. The science and research that highlight the effects and benefits of a mindfulness meditation practice and how it supports the improvement and optimisation of EQ.

Module 2: The theory and practice of mindfulness meditation. Get into the nitty gritty.

Module 3: Mindfulness meditation is not just about sitting. We explore ways you can bring mindfulness to other parts of your life. A good example is walking meditation which appeals to more physical people. Why I enjoy Tai Chi so much, meditation in movement.

Module 4: Self-Confidence, this section is about looking within ourselves. A single word encapsulates this section ’clarity’.

Module 5: Self-Mastery, in the sections we make use of self-awareness to gain mastery over our emotions.

Module 6: Empathy & Compassion. Develop empathy through understanding and connecting to others. These are the keys for developing trust which are essential for effective and collaborative relationships.

3 Course Options

1 Day Emotional Intelligence Mindfulness Meditation Workshop

We cover modules 1,2 & 3 which build the core skill of attention training which is the foundation you need to build and improve EQ. A follow up day in the future once a student has developed a good meditation practice enables them to leverage modules 4, 5 & 6 more effectively.


2 Day Emotional Intelligence Mindfulness Meditation Workshop

We cover all the modules. Day 1 we cover modules 1,2 & 3 which build the core skill of attention training which is the foundation you need to build and improve EQ.

Day 2 we do modules 4, 5 & 6. Ideally one should give the students time to improve and refine their attention training. Best is to run the second day sometime in the future.


Introduction and Emotional Intelligence Kick Starter

We offer a 1 hour talk to introduce the benefits of mindfulness meditation. Show how it support emotional intelligence and give staff a kick starter to begin a meditation practice. Get a view into why EQ is so important in both work and personal lives. Learn techniques of mindfulness that do not require sitting cross-legged on a cushion.

7 Qualities of Emotionally Intelligence People

  1. They are adaptable. People with a strong EQ are not afraid of change. The understand it’s a necessary part of life.
  2. Strong Self-Awareness. People strong in self-awareness know what they are good at and what they still need to master. Understand what weaknesses they need to work on. Know what environments are optimal for their work style.
  3. Empathy. This is the strongest gift. Having an innate ability to truly understand people builds trust and authenticity. The foundation of any relationship work or personal.
  4. Not Perfectionists. Life is always changing it’s never static. People strong in EQ understand that perfection is impossible. They learn to roll with the punches and learn from mistakes.
  5. They’re Balanced. How someone is balancing their work and personal lives is extremely important. They eat well, get plenty of sleep and have interests outside work.
  6. Curiosity. People strong in EQ don’t judge, they explore the possibilities. An inborn sense of wonder makes them delightful to be around.
  7. They set an example for others to follow. Highly emotionally intelligent people don’t get flustered when things don’t go according to plan. Have a knack for getting along with others. An ability to rise above daily irritations earns people with high emotional intelligence the respect from those above them as well as from their colleagues.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

At Just Being we have a course that can bring Mindfulness into your employee wellness program. Plus employees get to boost their emotional intelligence.

At Just Being we have a course that can bring Mindfulness to your employee wellness program. Plus employees get to boost their emotional intelligence. You have probably heard the term “mindfulness” come up in the workplace recently. It’s one of the easiest—and cheapest—ways to help your employees become healthier and happier. Why is mindfulness so popular? Every single person at your office has experienced stress or anxiety at some point in their lives, but not everyone knows how to deal with or cope with stress effectively. Mindfulness can be used as a preventive measure for stress, anxiety and difficulties with concentration. It also works to maintain and boost emotional wellness and awareness.

Mindfulness Explained

By dictionary definition, mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations—used as a therapeutic technique. Mindfulness does not involve any evaluation, interpretation or judgment. In other words, mindfulness is awareness of perception that focuses on “being” rather than “doing.” Mindfulness allows us to block automatic and compulsory thoughts that can cause worry, stress or distraction. By focusing on the task at hand or present state of mind, these negative or distracting thoughts can be cleared away. When mastered, mindfulness creates a sense of control over conscious thoughts, behaviors and attitudes. We become mindful of what we are feeling and how we are acting. Any activity at any time or place can be done with mindfulness. Examples of activities that can incorporate mindfulness are unlimited—for example, exercising, creating art, playing an instrument, working or cleaning. Once mindfulness is learned and executed, it can truly be used in any situation to help boost concentration and identify emotional needs or feelings.

Benefits Of Practicing Mindfulness

With the increase in popularity, mindfulness finally has numbers to back its effectiveness. Although mindfulness is certainly not a new concept, studies have only recently demonstrated the benefits to employees’ well-being. Aetna took the lead with implementing mindfulness-based wellness programs, and their recent success was published in The Atlantic. Since implementing mindfulness-based wellness programs, Aetna has estimated a savings of about $2,000 in health care costs and has gained about $3,000 per employee in productivity. Mindfulness should be cultivated for not only the purpose of saving money in health care costs and productivity but to help reduce or prevent an unhealthy mentality in employees. A 2016 study found that employees who received a weekly two-hour training course on mindfulness over an eight-week period showed improvement in several different areas, including satisfaction of life and hope, along with reduced anxiety. Findings from this study also showed that these employees displayed higher levels of concentration on work, as well as improved interpersonal relationships.

Try Mindfulness For Yourself

Whether it’s at home, on vacation or during the workday, mindfulness can be implemented in several different ways. Here are a few simple ways to make sure you achieve mindfulness to increase your positive thoughts, actions and behaviors:

  • Meditation. Mindfulness is essentially the main framework behind any form of meditation, and there are many to choose from. Some include clearing your thoughts completely, while others involve being mindful of any thoughts or feelings that are present. If you are new to meditation, do some research to find which types of meditation you would feel most comfortable trying or starting out with. Meditation can be done alone, with an instructor or in a group setting. There are also some great apps that can help you relax.
  • Tai Chi is how I discovered mindfulness. Tai Chi is a moving meditation and besides is meditation benefits, there is many science studies showing the health benefits as well.
  • Yoga. In addition to being an effective way to build physical strength, yoga is a good way to build mental strength. Similar to meditation, yoga is an enjoyable way to practice mindfulness. If you have already been practicing yoga, you may not be aware that you have also been practicing mindfulness, especially if you have ever focused on breath awareness. If you have never done yoga before, don’t be afraid to give it a try. Yoga is great for anyone, regardless of age or physical ability.
  • Breathing exercises. This is a simple technique that can be done anywhere, including your desk! Breathing exercises take just a few minutes and can reduce stress and sharpen concentration. There are many resources available online if you need help getting started on simple breathing techniques.
  • Wake up on the “right” side of the bed. Starting your day off by practicing mindfulness will help you tremendously. There’s no doubt that a bad morning will ultimately lead to a bad day. Mindful recently published great tips on mindful things to do to start your day. Keep yourself as stress-free as possible when starting your day so that nothing negative spreads to your office, colleagues or interpersonal relationships.

Looking To Implement Mindfulness At Your Company?

If you are an employer looking to incorporate some mindfulness practices into your employees’ workday, good for you! However, it can be tricky to figure out where to start if you don’t have much experience. Here are a few tips on how to implement mindfulness at your workplace:

  • Educate. Although mindfulness is a trendy topic at the moment, it still remains a foreign subject to a lot of people. Make sure to educate your staff on what mindfulness is and what it means to practice it. Introduce mindfulness in a meeting and share facts and research on its benefits. Show that you practice mindfulness yourself and include ideas for simple ways to try mindfulness. Encourage employees to share positive experiences about any mindful behaviors.
  • Offer classes. Since mindfulness is a relatively new concept for many, try offering beginner sessions in or outside of your company for employees. Although mindfulness is not necessarily difficult to achieve or practice, it can be hard for beginners to know where to start. Company-sponsored classes on mindfulness, meditation or yoga can be an excellent jumping off point.
  • Practice in the office. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere, including cubicles, desks and meetings. Try out some mindfulness activities at a meeting or staff outing to get employees engaged. Incorporate simple breathing techniques or beginner yoga poses and have employees try these at the end or beginning of a meeting.

Mindfulness is a step in the right direction when it comes to bringing a more holistic approach to your employee wellness program. Emotional and mental wellness have a huge impact on the well-being of your team. With a healthy mindset, it is easier to perform and concentrate during the workday. Try out mindfulness for yourself and challenge your wellness team to think of ways to bring mindfulness to all your employees.


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

Just 6 Seconds of mindfulness can make you more effective. All you need is a single breath to help build your attention to start growing emotional intelligence. See our EQ training course.

All you need is a single breath is a great post By Chade-Meng Tan. Literally 6 Seconds of Mindfulness Can Make You More Effective. Some days it’s really draining to be a senior executive. You sit in meetings for hours on end, and every decision you need to make is difficult—all of the easy decisions have already been made at levels below you. On those days, you know you could be a much more effective leader if you could approach each meeting with a fresh perspective. But in order to do that, you first need to put down the baggage you carried in from all your previous meetings. You can do it. And you can do it in just six seconds.

I led the creation of a Google training program called “Search Inside Yourself,” which was designed to help people put down that mental baggage and approach each new situation with a present, focused mind. It quickly became the most highly rated course in all of Google, with huge waiting lists. Search Inside Yourself works in three steps. It begins with attention training to create a quality of mind that is calm and clear. We then focus on developing a depth of self-knowledge that leads to self-mastery, because when you can clearly and objectively see when and how you are triggered, you can begin to effectively deploy mental and emotional strategies to skilfully navigate those situations. Finally, we cultivate mental skills such as empathy and compassion, which are conducive to better social skills.

Many participants have told us that they became better leaders and gained subsequent promotions thanks to the skills they learned from Search Inside Yourself. For example, one engineering executive learned to manage his temper and gain increased clarity by, in his words, “learning to discern stories from reality.” He became so effective that he was promoted, even after transitioning to a part-time role. Another participant learned to handle stress so much better that her physical health visibly improved. A sales executive, already a good communicator due to the nature of his job, learned that when he listened with empathy, spoke with moral courage, and held a caring attitude for the person he was interacting with, he became an even more effective communicator and executive. Over and over again, our participants tell us the training changed their lives. These skills did not take long to learn. In every example above, the benefits were realised with fewer than 50 hours of training. But getting the training’s earliest benefits doesn’t even require 50 hours.

My colleague Karen May, vice president at Google, developed the ability to mentally recharge by taking one “mindful breath” before walking into every meeting. It takes her roughly six seconds, and in that time she brings her full attention to one breath, resetting her body and mind.

There are two reasons why taking just one mindful breath is so effective at calming the body and the mind. The physiological reason is that breaths taken mindfully tend to be slow and deep, which stimulates the vagus nerve, activating the parasympathetic nervous system. It lowers stress, reduces heart rate and blood pressure, and calms you down. The psychological reason is that when you put your attention intensely on the breath, you are fully in the present for the duration of the breath. To feel regretful, you need to be in the past; to worry, you need to be in the future. Hence, when you are fully in the present, you are temporarily free from regret and worry. That’s like releasing a heavy burden for the duration of one breath, allowing the body and mind a precious opportunity for rest and recovery.

This skill is used by some of the world’s best athletes. For example, I once asked tennis superstar Novak Djokovic about it, and he confirmed that the mental technique has game-changing consequences (literally, for him).

The ability to reset and calm the body and mind in mere seconds is how athletes like Djokovic sustain high performance for extended periods. The ability to calm the body and mind on demand has profound implications for leadership. Imagine that you’re responding to a severe crisis with your peers and everybody but you is frazzled, because you alone can calm down and think clearly.

The ability to think calmly under fire is a hallmark of great leadership. The training and deployment of this skill involves paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. The more you bring this quality of attention to your breath, the more you strengthen the parts of your brain involved with attention and executive control, principally the prefrontal cortex.

This ability is one in a collection of mental and emotional skills that form the foundation of highly effective leadership. Another such skill is the ability to assess yourself accurately, beginning with your moment-to-moment experience of emotions, and culminating in you clearly knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and purpose in life. Studies show that accurate self-assessment is a necessary condition for outstanding leadership because it enables people to build effective teams around them that add to their strengths, complement their weaknesses, and contribute to a clear, common purpose.

Learning to calm the mind starts with being more mindful of the body. By bringing mindful attention to the body, you strengthen the part of your brain called the insula, which is highly correlated with strong emotional awareness and empathy. When combined with practices such as journaling, this improves self-assessment, and when combined with practices such as mindful listening, it strengthens empathy, all of which lead to higher emotional intelligence. Even if your company doesn’t have a mindfulness training course like Search Inside Yourself, you can begin to benefit with your first mindful breath, in the first six seconds. Try it today, and see how much more present, effective, and productive you can be.


We saw the benefits of emotional intelligence training at JUMO and was the main reason we developed the Just Being course to help all. The mindfulness meditation course are now available to individuals and business outside of JUMO. We have also started developing a mindfulness app called JUST 6 for students to be notified to stop, find their breath point, breath in and breath out and then continue on with their day. An app to help them build their mindfulness practice.

I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

Balancing school, work, friends and family can feel like a juggling act, and many students turn to alternative methods to cope with their mental health concerns. Learn to meditate and boost your EQ skills.

How much of your time do you dedicate to meditation? It’s a rising practice in the United States: According to federal estimates, more than 18 million Americans practice meditation on a daily basis.

But if you think meditation is a purely spiritual or ritualistic practice, you should reconsider your position. Meditation (in many forms, including mindfulness meditation) is purported to come with a host of benefits to your wellness and productivity.

Related: I Tried This Oprah Meditation Hack Every Day for Two Weeks. Here Are My 5 Takeaways.

Evidence? The American Psychological Association (APA) has aggregated some of the most empirically proven positive benefits of mindfulness meditation here; they include findings of:

  • Less rumination. How much time do you spend dwelling on past failures and current challenges? Research shows that mindfulness meditation can reduce ruminating thoughts, which in turn can help you think more clearly and positively.
  • Reduced stress. It probably comes as no surprise that people who practice daily meditation also show fewer signs of stress. This makes meditation even more important for those in prominent and decision-making roles, such as entrepreneurs or CEOs.
  • Improved memory. Working memory also seems to increase with regular meditative practices, helping you retain more information.
  • Better focus. Meditating in short sessions can help you focus on your work better throughout the day, reducing your chances of getting distracted, and sharpening your cognitive potential.
  • Greater emotional control. People who practice mindfulness show less emotional reactivity; in other words, they have greater control over their emotions, and are less likely to react impulsively to frustrating or emotionally charged situations. This could aid in making more logical decisions and remaining calm.
  • Self-observation. In addition to higher emotional control, meditation practitioners tend to have more powers of self-observation and introspection. These abilities allow them to recover faster when negatively provoked, and disengages automatic pathways, making it easier for practitioners to break bad habits.
  • Higher relationship satisfaction. Those who practice mindfulness meditation also report higher levels of satisfaction in their personal relationships. This proactively protects practitioners against the negative effects of relationship conflict.

Related: How Meditation Can Transform Your Business

The scientific evidence is convincing, but could your business really benefit from a short daily practice like this? These entrepreneurs seem to think so:

  1. Ray Dalio. This billionaire ounder of Bridgewater Associates encouraged his 735 employees to practice transcendental meditation on a regular basis. In a _Business Insider_ interview, Dalio said, “I did it because it’s the greatest gift I could give anyone – it brings about equanimity, creativity and peace.” Since then, meditation practices have spread throughout Wall Street.
  2. Jeff Weiner. The CEO of LinkedIn since 2009, Weiner has taken the social app’s membership from 33 million to more than 430 million. Part of his philosophy for success, he’s said, involves his appreciation for health, love and time. In the realm of “health,” Weiner has acknowledged using an app called Headspace to meditate daily. He frequently recommends the app to his employees and partners.
  3. Bill Ford. The executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, Ford takes time to meditate each day, no matter what. During his close call with bankruptcy nearly a decade ago, Ford admitted in a _Harvard Business Review_ piece, “The practice of mindfulness kept me going during the darkest days.” Meditation helped him improve his productivity but also to make decisions with compassion and kindness.
  4. Marc Benioff (with Steve Jobs). Benioff, founder of SalesForce, recommends meditation to all aspiring entrepreneurs and meditates every morning himself before work. His practice started after he received a piece of advice from Steve Jobs to “be mindful and project the future,“ according to a piece in ZDNet. Benioff has said he also takes time to express gratitude, as another way to clear his mind at the start of the day.
  5. Russell Simmons. Current chair and CEO of Rush Communications, Simmons is perhaps better known as the cofounder of Def Jam Recordings. A few years ago, he wrote a piece for Entrepreneur detailing his perspective on meditation and encouraging new and experienced entrepreneurs alike to build the habit. It’s worth a read if you’re interested in a first-person perspective on the matter.

Related: How Transcendental Meditation Improves Your Decision Making

Both anecdotal and empirical evidence seem to suggest that regular time devoted to mindfulness meditation can help you feel better, think better and work better. If you haven’t yet given meditation a chance, try carving out a spot for it in your daily routine.

I found this a valuable read and originally found the post here.

Image from unspalsh by Afonso Coutinho


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

Studies show that people who practiced meditation had amazing positive effects. Meditation affects mind and body in may ways. Plus it’s the foundation of EQ.

You will be amazed to know how meditation affects mind and body. It even helps develop emotional intelligence. Below is a small list of the effects meditation has.

How Meditation Affects The Brain

1. Reduces Brain Inflammation A study showed that people who practiced meditation had less stress related inflammation in the brain. The brain could easily perform more activities related to focus and calmness.

2. The Brain Grows Along with distressing our mind, it also increases the area of the brain associated with attention span. The gray matter or Pre-frontal cortex grows as you indulge in meditation. This helps in making more connections inside the brain. it further leads to increased functions.

3. Increased/ Better Memory As a person grows, the frontal cortex of the brain starts to shrink. This further leads to thw lapse in memory. However, it has been found out that meditators have more grey matter in this part of the brain. This increases memory and helps in decision making as well.

4. Increases Your Consciousness Meditation helps in becoming more conscious. A person who meditates become more connected to the surroundings and the people around. A person starts finding a connection and meaning in everything. With a continuous practice feelings like fear, anger, pride, desire stop ruling your mind. They are replaced by the feelings of Neutrality, willingness , courage and more.

5. Keeps Brain From Aging A study in the journal frontiers OF Psychology found that as the gray matter in the brain decreases in both the mediators and others. However, the decrease was much less in the mediators. As a person ages, diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia start ruling over. According to the same study, meditation helps in slowing this progression.

6. Has A Permanent Effect Many people may think that meditation makes your brain healthy for a short duration. However, this is completely false. Meditation changes the default way of how your brain functions. The Amygdala shrinks and the frontal cortex grows. This shifts our entire perception of living to a much higher level.

How Meditation Affects The Body

1. Alleviate Symptoms Caused By Sickness Many studies have found out that meditation enhances the effectiveness of usual medical treatment. I am not suggesting you to replace any treatment provided by the Doctor. But practicing meditation along with it will complement the conventional treatment.

2. Strengthens The Immune System Studies show that meditation improves the quality of you immune system response. A study showed that mediators who were given flu shots had the larger number of antibodies in their blood. The level was comparatively lower in non-meditators. It also increased positive emotions in the brain.

3. Reduces Fatigue If you find yourself tired and dizzy, you don’t need to jump on to a cup of coffee. Indulge yourself in a little session of Meditation. Meditation might have a more stimulating effect on your body than a cup of coffee.

4. A Decrease In Muscle Tension Meditation draws attention towards different areas of the body. Controlling the breathing and calming the mind help muscles in relaxing. A technique called-Progressive muscle relaxation can be used in the beginning of meditation. This creates tension between muscles and then relax them throughout the body.

5. Heart And Blood Pressure Too much physical or mental stress leads to constricted blood cells and high blood pressure. This may further lead to burnout, depression and more. Controlled breathing i.e. an important part of meditating, lets body produce nitric acid. This helps in opening up blood vessels and thus maintains your blood pressure.


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

I was never a huge fan of colouring books as a child. As an adult, however, colouring books improve you emotionally & mentally, I’m a fan! Maybe because I’ve come a long way in my ability to stay inside the lines.

I found this article written by Robyn Reisch I thought it would be worth sharing. Ten Ways Adult Colouring Books Improve Your Emotional, Mental and Intellectual Health

I was never a huge fan of colouring books as a child. As an adult, however, I absolutely love them! Maybe it’s because I’ve come a long way in my ability to stay inside the lines. Whatever the reason, I am glad to have made the shift. I am the proud owner of colouring books depicting Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and, of course, a magical garden. The stress relief that they provide is fantastic, and the sense of accomplishment after finishing a page may feel silly, but it is real! Thankfully, therapists around the world have given this practice a collective nod of approval.

HERE’S WHY:

1. People who suffer from trauma, PTSD, and excessive stress can benefit from colouring, as it is known to calm the amygdala. This is the part of the brain that, when activated, induces a fight-or-flight reaction. People with these conditions are often kept in a state of extreme worry and hyper-vigilance due to an overly active amygdala.

2. The decision to colour is a decision to spend time on something that is just for us. As adults, we often neglect to do this until we face a crisis that reminds us of the importance of self-care. Colouring is a simple daily reminder that our happiness matters.

3. Colouring forces us to practice mindfulness, which can ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. The practice of mindfulness can also promote feelings of fulfillment and joy.

4. Both the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere of the brain are used in balance when we colour. This is because we are completing a concrete task and using fine motor skills, while also thinking in an abstract way regarding the artful balance of pigments on the page.

5. Colouring uses the same areas of the brain that help us to focus and concentrate. By utilizing this part of the brain, we can increase our capacity for attentive thought.

6. Coloring also uses the area of the brain that is responsible for organizational and problem solving skills. By exercising it, we can significantly strengthen our adulting skills.

7. Does pulling out the coloured pencils soothe your soul? It’s no wonder. Colouring can induce feelings of comfort and nostalgia in those who enjoyed this activity as a child.

8. Colouring injects our lives with a much needed dose of creativity. As adults, we are often tasked with the same acts of tedium over and over again. This can dampen our creative spirit, and decrease our capacity for creative problem solving. Colouring is a way to add a creative outlet that does not involve extra stress or a serious time commitment.

9. A coloring routine can combat boredom and a lack of structure, both of which are known to contribute to a myriad of mental health issues. These include depression, anxiety, stress, substance abuse, eating disorders, anger management problems, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

10. Colouring mandalas is thought to have spiritual benefits, increasing our capacity for self-knowledge and connecting us to humanity and our world.

Colouring has been compared to meditation for its ability to calm the mind and feed the soul. With so many options when it comes to coloring books, there is sure to be one that suits your tastes. Take up the practice yourself, or give one to your stress-addled sister to help her make it through finals week. They are a whimsical way to look back on the good times, as well as a practical tool with which to cope with the problems we face in the present.


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

While mindfulness may make us think of long sessions of seated meditation, there are other ways to bring mindfulness into your day. Just 6 seconds has an impact. See our emotional intelligence course to help your employees.

The original post I read at Everything Mindfulness. While mindfulness may make us think of long sessions of seated meditation, it is also something that can be practiced at any moment of our day.

And just what does it mean to practice mindfulness? I love Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition:

“paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”

At any time of the day, we can bring our awareness to our body, our thoughts, our emotions, and our surroundings. Doing this non-judgmentally means we’re not paying attention in order to determine if we like what’s going on or not — we’re simply accepting what is.

While I think a formal meditation practice is extremely beneficial for bringing mindfulness into our lives, we can also practice moments of “micro-mindfulness,” bringing our attention back to the present moment. It helps us train our awareness to be in tune with our mental and physical states and our habitual ways of interacting with the world.

Below is a list of to bring mindfulness into your day . I am certainly not suggesting that you do all of them every day! Read through the list and see which ideas resonate with you and try a few of them out.

Mindful Awareness of Routine Activities

We can practice bringing our mindful attention to daily activities that are often performed mindlessly. We can pay attention to the movement of the body, and the sights and sounds around us. Perhaps pick one of these activities to serve as your “call to mindfulness” during the day:

  1. Brushing teeth
  2. Taking a shower
  3. Drinking coffee/tea
  4. Eating a meal
  5. Getting out of bed
  6. Getting dressed
  7. Writing a to-do list
  8. Taking your first step outdoors
  9. Waiting in line
  10. Turning on a light switch
  11. Turning on your computer
  12. Exercising/yoga
  13. Opening a book to read
  14. Sitting at a red light
  15. Listening to you ringtone while the phone rings for just a bit longer

Mindful Awareness and Technology

Our devices often take us very far from the present moment. Here are some suggestions for using technology as a mindfulness tool:

  1. Take a deep breath before checking email.
  2. Set an alarm on your phone to go off at certain time of the day {perhaps at lunchtime} to remind you to check in with your breath.
  3. Set your wake screen on your phone to an image that will remind you to take a mindful pause before using it.
  4. Set your email notification sound to a bell and let it be a reminder to bring you back to the present moment each time you hear it. Think of the possibilities!
  5. Once in a while, leave the phone/iPod at home when you go for a walk or run, and just pay attention to the natural world.

Mindful Awareness for Parents

  1. Check on your sleeping littles before you go to bed. Take three deep breaths while watching their deep-sleep breathing.
  2. Let the call of “Mommmmmmmmm!” or “Daaaad” be a reminder for mindfulness!
  3. Make bedtime sacred. I strive to focus my full awareness on the backrubs, the lullabies, and the stories without worrying about all I need to do after they’re in bed.
  4. When picking up the kids after school or work or activities, take a minute to breathe mindfully before shifting back to parent mode.

Mindful Awareness of Cleaning

Cleaning is a way of honoring our physical surroundings and nurturing those who live with us. As you clean, focus on the movements of the body, and the sounds and smells around you. Bring mindful awareness to the acts of:

  1. Dusting
  2. Washing dishes
  3. Folding laundry
  4. Vacuuming {I find this one especially effective because the noise drowns out other distractions!
  5. Cooking
  6. Ironing

Mindful Awareness of the Body

You can “check in” with the sensations of your physical body throughout the day. I find this especially helpful for finding the parts of my body that are tense, and then I imagine breathing in to those parts of my body to relax. Check in with:

  1. Your face — so much stress resides here! Check in with the jaw, the eyes, the forehead…
  2. Your neck and shoulders — a common place where a lot of us carry stress.
  3. Your posture — just straightening up a bit and letting the head rest comfortably on the spine can do wonders for our attention, and our mood!
  4. Your hands, especially if you’ve been working at a computer all day!
  5. Your whole body

Mindful Awareness with Others

Practice bringing your mindful attention to your interactions with others.

  1. Focus on making eye contact with others, on really seeing them.
  2. Practice mindful listening — are you truly listening, or are you looking for your chance to jump in?
  3. Practice gratitude with others — have everyone in the family share one thing they are thankful for each day.

Mindful Breathing

  1. When you feel stressed, sit up straight and take three deep breaths. I usually do this each afternoon at my desk!
  2. Take one minute of the day to focus on the sensations of the breath. Where do you feel the breath — in the abdomen, the lungs, the nose?

I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

Walking has been practiced as a meditative technique for thousands of years. Turn your walk into a mindful moment integrate mindfulness into your life.

Walking is a simple way to fit mindfulness meditation into your daily routine.

Walking has been practiced as a meditative technique for thousands of years, and is a great way to integrate mindfulness into your everyday life. But it’s easy to slip into a semi-conscious state, where the legs are moving but the mind is thinking about something completely different. It can sometimes feel as though we’re so busy remembering, planning, and analyzing life that we forget to experience life as it actually is, rather than how we think it should be — and that’s where mindfulness comes in.

Mindfulness is being fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing. It keeps us from overreacting or becoming overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. While we all naturally possess mindfulness, it’s easier to do when practiced daily.

Whenever you are aware of what you’re directly experiencing, or your state of mind, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.

Below is an exercise in walking meditation from the mindfulness experts at Headspace. It’s perfectly suited to a busy life. If you already take a daily walk, you need only direct your mind in a different way as you continue your routine.

If you live close to a park, river, or other pleasant outdoor space, try the technique in that environment too. There’ll be much less external distraction in these areas, which can change the way the exercise feels. It can also be useful to know how your mind works in contrasting environments.

Here are some tips:

  1. As you begin to walk, notice how the body feels. Does it feel heavy or light? Stiff or relaxed?
  2. Observe how it feels to walk without changing how you do it. It’s common to feel self-conscious but the feeling usually passes quickly.
  3. Be aware of what’s going on around you. Notice cars, other people, road signals, all the other things you’d expect to see. Notice the colors and shapes, the movements, and the stillness too. There’s no need to actually think about what you’re seeing — simply to see it and acknowledge it is enough.
  4. Turn your attention to sounds — what can you hear? Take a moment to be aware of them as they come and go in your field of awareness
  5. Next turn your attention to smells, some of which may be pleasant and others not. Notice how the mind wants to create a story out of each of the smells, how they remind you of somewhere, something, or someone.
  6. Notice physical sensations, whether it’s warm sunshine, a gentle rain, or a cold wind. Feel the soles of your feet touching the ground with each step, or the weight of your arms swinging at your side.
  7. Gently shift your attention to the sensation of movement in the body. Notice how the weight shifts from the right side to the left and then back again in a steady rhythm. Avoid artificially adjusting your speed. Instead, observe the way you walk and the rhythm you’ve become accustomed to.
  8. There’s no need to focus so intently that you start to exclude everything around you. In fact, be open to things happening around you and, when you know the mind has wandered off, just gently bring the attention back to the movement of the body and the sensation of the soles of the feet striking the ground each time.

Give your mind a break When you become more present and more aware, your mental habits will become more apparent. For example, how do you feel when your rhythm is broken by a red light, and you are forced to stand and wait? Do you feel impatient to get on with your walk? Do you find yourself jockeying for position with other people? Or do you feel a sense of relief at the opportunity of being able to rest for a few seconds?

Usually, we’re so caught up in the thoughts themselves, we hardly notice our reactions to all these things. Mindfulness is a way to bring us back to the here and now.

Mindfulness can help you reshape your relationship with mental and physical pain. It can also help you connect better. Ever find yourself staring blankly at a friend, lover, child, and you’ve no idea what they’re saying? Mindfulness helps you give them your full attention.

Mindfulness also focuses your mind and reduces the nattering, chattering voice in our head seems never to leave us alone. Isn’t it time we gave it a little break?

Source: Mindful, a mission-driven non-profit dedicated to inspiring, guiding, and connecting anyone who wants to explore mindfulness (mindful.org).


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

[Mindfulness is] the thing you swear you don’t have time or patience for and then realize it’s exactly what will give you more time, energy and patience. Mindfulness Practice Can Calm Your Mind and also refresh your managerial approach.

Sharing another article if found here.

If you’re like me, you’ve made the rounds at management training conferences. And after enjoying the sweaty cheese cubes and boxed chardonnay, you also may have walked away with some “tips” on how to get the most out of your people.

Set expectations for how you like to be managed. Communicate your preferences for how you like to receive information and output from your teams. Set the energy in the room and the pace you want for any discussion. Keep the dialogue moving and on track with consistent input. Do any of these ring a bell?

Basically, we’ve been trained to manage like it’s all about us, what we need and want from the people we lead. When the truth is, it’s not about us. Our job as managers is to create the environment that allows our people to thrive, which when you think about it, really means it’s all about them.

My epiphany on this topic came when my partners and I went through mindfulness training with our friends at Wisdom Labs. Let me clarify, mandatory mindfulness training (thanks, Paul Venables). For those of you who don’t know, mindfulness is the practice of paying attention in a particular way: in the present moment, without judgment and with real purpose. It is often credited with developing self-reflection, resilience and emotional intelligence (things we could all use in this business).

I was a bit skeptical about mindfulness training from the start. I don’t know how to meditate. I don’t like to sit still. I talk fast, my mind is always racing and I have a long to-do list (much to my husband’s delight). The thought of slowing down, tuning into my body, thoughts and what’s going on around me (basically, being more mellow) sounded neither interesting nor achievable.

But after putting it off a few times, I attended over six hours of mindfulness training and can now say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s the thing you swear you don’t have time, energy or patience for and then realize it’s exactly what will give you more time, energy and patience. I suspected that mindfulness training might teach me to be a more in-touch person (a pretty tall order). I didn’t expect it to give me two of the most valuable management tips of my career.

First, before you walk into a room (whether it’s a one-on-one or a meeting with 20 people), set your intention for that interaction. Your intention is not the goal of the meeting (i.e. “let’s align on next steps”). It’s the approach and behavior you will bring to it. Positivity. Support. Vulnerability. Perspective. Your intention should be based on your values and ultimately your goals, but most importantly, your sense of what the people in that room need in order to be successful.

And second, be present in that interaction the entire time. That means not thinking about your next meeting or your to-do list or (I’ll admit it) what you’re going to have for lunch. Instead, actively participate in the conversation, which also means really listening to what someone is saying and not waiting for them to stop talking so that you can interject. And being willing to pivot if your intention is not in line with who you’re talking to and how they’re responding. (All of this is infinitely more do-able if you leave your phone at your desk.)

OK, I realize I may be getting an eye roll. This may sound like “squishy” stuff that gets in the way of the actual work that needs to get done amid shrinking budgets and timelines, crazy client demands and the never-ending hamster wheel of new business. But before you give up on me entirely, here’s a few data points.

Studies conducted by Pepperdine University and the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley found that employees with managers who practiced mindfulness had lower emotional exhaustion, less stress, a better sense of work-life balance and, most importantly, higher productivity. In addition, these employees were more effective peers and managers themselves as well as more emotionally intelligent. And let’s not forget that numerous studies have shown that the number one reason people stay at a job is due to their relationship with their manager.

And there’s actually nothing “squishy” about mindfulness. In fact, this practice has been employed by Eve Ekman (our amazing mindfulness guide) with doctors and nurses at trauma centers, with statistically significant results in reducing stress, anxiety and depression, and in turn, reducing mistakes and driving outcomes. (And if trauma centers aren’t a good comp for ad agencies, I don’t know what is.)

So, to all you managers out there: just give it a try. When you walk into your next meeting remember that it’s about everyone who’s there except you. And that if you set your intention based on what they need and are truly present in that interaction, you may just get more out of them. And you’ll maybe even feel more mellow in the process.


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

We often do not even consider that we could have a problem with meditation instructions, or that the meditation instructions may not be the “right” ones for us.

The problem with meditation instructions is that one often assumes if it works for someone else it should work for you. I came across this article and thought it would be good to share

BEFORE WE MEDITATE for the first time, we have ideas about what meditation is, what it does, and where it should lead. Then when we get our introductory instructions—either out of a book or magazine, or from a teacher leading a class or a retreat—we’re hopeful that the instructions will fulfill our purpose for meditating and that meditation will do for us what it has reportedly done for others. We look forward to becoming calmer, to our physical pain diminishing, and to our emotional stress and turmoil being eased; we anticipate meditation granting us the peace of mind we so earnestly seek.

We often do not even consider that we could have problems following the meditation instructions, or that the meditation instructions may not be the “right” ones for us. We assume that meditation practices are proven to work for most anyone, so when we experience frustration with the task of meditating, we often lay the blame on ourselves. We don’t see that the meditation practice itself has something to do with it.

Contemporary Buddhist teachers often instruct that the real obstacles, or hindrances, in meditation are negative emotional states or unskillful types of thinking. Unfortunately, this view only deflects our attention from what actually keeps us stuck in our practice: the way we do our meditation practice. In fact, it is not what we experience in meditation that creates the hindrance, it is how we apply the instructions. Having negative emotions and discursive thoughts are common meditation experiences, but they do not control our practice in the same way the meditation instructions do.

Over the last two decades in which I have been teaching meditation, I have observed that much of our frustration, struggle, feelings of failure and low self-esteem as meditators is linked to the way we have been applying meditation instructions. This is in part due to the way that we hold on to the correctness of the instructions and how we adopt rules that prohibit certain experiences, both of which can create impasses in our meditation practice. These are two of the most common causes for the experience of being stuck.

Many of us encounter an impasse when we are trying to figure out how to do the instructions correctly. The notion that there is a definitive right way of doing a particular meditation practice keeps the impasse alive. We assume that if we can figure out the right way to sit, and just do it, our sittings will be harmonious.

For example, instructions for watching the breath in the Vipassana tradition often raise questions about following the instructions correctly. Is it correct to observe the breath at the nostrils or the abdomen? If it is correct to observe it at the nostrils, how are you supposed to observe it—as a sensation of air passing over your upper lip on the way out and as a sensation in your nostrils on the way in? Is it okay to follow the breath into the lungs? And what about the abdomen? Are we noticing the breath going in or out of our bodies, or are we supposed to notice the rising and falling of the abdomen only? And why the abdomen? Don’t we naturally experience our chest heave and fall as we breathe? What about being aware of the sound of the breath? That, too, is a part of our experience of breathing. But Vipassana teachers often tell us that there is one correct way of observing the breath and that other ways are not right.

The Vipassana tradition and most other Buddhist traditions generally discourage doubting the meditation instructions we are given. We are often told that doubting our teachers and their traditions is a hindrance to practice, but this puts us in a bind: If we discover a way to do a meditation practice that seems more conducive to concentration and wisdom than the established way, we have to either disregard our discovery or disobey the instructions. If you take the approach of not doubting the instructions, you are likely to try to follow the instructions with more effort in order to make them work as well as, or better than, the way you discovered on your own.

But this direction often strengthens obstacles instead of weakening them. Pushing yourself to follow the instructions more correctly, and then finding yourself stuck in similar ways, and then trying harder to follow the directions often just puts you in cycles of meditative success and failure. As long as you are primarily focused on doing a practice correctly, you will only examine the practice through the lens of figuring what you are doing wrong so that you can stop doing that and just do the practice in the right way. But what you don’t see is what the practice is doing to you.

Although we are not often taught this, the most skillful way through an impasse in meditation is to become aware of it and of what holds it together and keeps it running. To do this, you need to keep doing the meditation instructions that have gotten you to this point, but instead of following them “harder,” try approaching them in a softer, gentler manner. Do them loosely, and don’t do them all of the time. Instead, try doing them when it is easy to do them, or, when you feel you need to. But also be willing not to do them every single time you feel the need.

By adding flexibility and choice to a meditation practice that has become rigid and restrictive, we move our attention away from a narrow focus on doing the instructions correctly to a broader awareness of how we are doing the instructions. We discover that sometimes we are using the instructions to get to some desired or anticipated meditative state and other times we are using them to avoid certain feelings, memories, or thoughts. Then there are those times when we would otherwise feel lost and confused in our meditation sittings and need the instructions as an anchor. There are many ways we have held onto the instructions we have received, so by giving more space around them and giving ourselves permission not to follow them, we can begin to see what they are actually doing for us.

AS WE LEARN TO WORK skillfully with the instructions instead of resolutely pushing ourselves to follow the instructions as correctly as possible, we will begin to see the other most common cause for impasses: adopting rules that prohibit certain experiences. On a basic level, meditation instructions are rules you should follow during meditation. If they don’t start out as rules, they eventually turn into rules. A simple instruction to bring your attention back to the breath when the mind wanders becomes a rule prohibiting thinking, reminiscing, planning, drifting, contemplating, and so on. Even if a teacher then states that you should practice greater acceptance of the wandering mind and only gently bring your attention back to the breath, the rule prohibiting mind-wandering still remains intact. The way we tend to relate to contradictory meditation instructions (which is what “Bring your attention back to the breath” and “Have greater acceptance of the wandering mind” are) is to resolve the contradiction in favor of the rule that clearly exhibits the fundamental principle of the meditation practice: to train one’s attention to stay with the breath.

The kinds of impasses we get into when we meditate according to a system of rules are those based on controlling and dominating our experiences. We have a rule about not drifting off in meditation, and so we work to stop ourselves from doing so. We have a rule about not rehashing the conversations and events of the day, so we try to get through those segments of our sittings and on to something more “meditative.” We have a rule to sit with our backs straight, and so we correct our posture each time it slumps. We have rules about not fantasizing or planning or ruminating or working on projects, and so we devalue or disregard those experiences.

I suggest you become aware of the rules in your meditation practice, and not just try to stop them, for that would just be creating a rule not to have rules. You will have rules in your meditation practice, but they need to be ones that serve you rather than oppress you. The rules need to be open to questioning, to reassessment, and to further refinement. Global rules, where you have to do the same thing in all instances, are not as helpful as rules that have specific contexts in which they are used. For example, a rule to “always stop one’s mind from wandering” is not as helpful as a rule to “disengage from planning the execution of a harmful action” (such as seeking revenge).

Are there meditation instructions that don’t foster the exclusion of experiences? Even when a meditation practice is presented as accepting of everything, as open to the full range of one’s experience, there are still experiences—such as drifting off or having mundane thoughts—that tend to be excluded. It might be quite a revolution in our thinking about meditation to consider including all types of experiences in our regular sittings. If you are going to include the various experiences of thinking, you may find yourself thinking quite a bit more than your comfort level. If you include drowsiness and dull mind states, you may find yourself falling asleep. “How would this be meditating?” you might ask.

There is a middle way here between the extremes of rigidity and passivity, one that offers a more legitimate form of meditation. The beginning instructions I have given for nearly two decades provide just enough of a grounding in the seated body for the meditator to develop a capacity to be with thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they arise. These suggestions are loose and open, but you can make them tighter if you need to. The instructions are as follows:

Sit in a comfortable position, one that you would not need to change duringthe sitting. If you do need to change your position, do so slowly and consciously. You may also lie down, but try to adopt a position that you would not normally sleep in.

Bring your attention to the touch of your hands resting in your lap or on your thighs. But do not try to hold your attention there. Allow thoughts, feelings, and sensations to arise, and let your attention go with them.

If your attention leaves the touch of the hands for a long period of time (several minutes), you can gently bring your attention back. Otherwise, just sit with what comes up. If you encounter an experience that is hard to tolerate, after a while of being with it you can bring your attention back to the touch of the hands. But only hold it there long enough to feel grounded or relaxed, and then, if your mind goes into that kind of experience again, just let it.

People have made rules out of these instructions, and you might too. That is fine. At some point, hopefully, you will become aware of those rules. But, for now, it is enough to know that there is no way to do this wrong, as it is not about following an instruction as much as about allowing your experiences to unfold. Seeing for yourself, from your own experience, what works and what doesn’t is what meditation is all about.


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’