Day 70: Mindfulness Summit

Being grateful for, and mindful during, the Mindfulness Summit:

For this whole month of October, I’ve felt hugely privileged to have joined over 250,000 people taking part in the Mindfulness Summit, designed to help us “learn how to live life with more peace, purpose and wisdom.”

There’s been a new online interview between the host, the very lovely Melli O’Brien, and a leading mindfulness expert every single day.

Those who have shared their insight and wisdom with use include Mark Williams, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Tami Simon, Dr Rick Hanson, Ruby Wax, Arianna Huffington, Vidyamala Burch and many many more.

There’s also been presentations and practice sessions, plus a bunch of free meditations to download and keep.

All for free.

I’m delighted that I’ve managed to watch most days, I think I’ve only missed three. And I’ve loved each and every one.

The Summit has given incredible insight into the science behind mindfulness and its clinically proven benefits, and a plethora of different mindfulness techniques on how to integrate mindfulness into everyday life and how to apply it to specific situations.

I’m looking forward to having a play with some of these techniques to see what works for me.

Here are some of my favourite learnings:

1. Mindfulness is a practice, it takes discipline and perseverance. Every day we begin again. ~ Joseph Goldstein
2. There are two wings of presence: seeing, recognising what’s happening, and allowing, asking yourself if you can be with this. ~ Tara Brach

3. Let your mind be your best friend ~ Shamash Alidima
4. ‘Surf the Urge’. When you have a craving, for example if you’re checking your phone every two minutes, tune into the physical sensation and ‘surf’ on it like a wave. Bring kindness to it and it will subside, the urge will go away. ~ Shamash Alidima
5. Catch thoughts before they take hold. Thoughts arise naturally and we don’t have to attach to them or feel bad for having them. ~ Lori Deschene
6. The Diffusion Technique: 1. Think of negative self-talk, such as “I’m not _______ enough.” 2. Concentrate on that thought for 10 seconds. 3. Put in front of that thought, “I”m having the thought that I’m not _______ enough.”. 4. Add to it “I notice that I am having the thought that I’m not _______ enough.” ~ Russ Harris
7. If you’re not focused on what you’re doing, you’ll do it poorly. ~ Dan Goleman
8. When meditating, there’s a difference between thinking about your breath, and feeling your breath. Aim for the latter. ~ Dr Judson Brewer
9. When you are experiencing discomfort, note if you are blocking it, by pulling away and distracting your mind, or if you are drowning in it, by leaning into it and feeling overwhelmed. Be a warrior with a soft and open heart. ~ Vidyamala Burch
10. You can’t change stress, but you can change your relationship to stress. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

As I’ve mentioned many times before, mindfulness has become a huge part of my healing journey. And this series of interviews and presentations has highlighted how beneficial and enriching mindfulness is to my wellbeing. I can say with hand-on-heart, that practicing mindfulness will continue to be a part of my everyday life, ongoing.

And tonight, to close this incredible month, was a live guided meditation with Jon Kabatt-Zinn. It felt incredibly powerful to be meditating with thousands of others around the world at the same time.

I shall sleep very soundly tonight!

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful for, and mindful during, the Mindfulness Summit.


PS While the Mindfulness Summit has now finished, it’s available to purchase and 100% of profits generated from the project will be donated to mindfulness charities. Please click here for more info.