- THE PRACTICE OF MINDFULNESS -


When and where do you practice mindfulness and meditation? What makes a mindful moment? These are questions that we have asked the experts...


I practise mindfulness everywhere. I have a formal practise before I sleep, if you could call it formal, but I constantly am counting my breaths or  taking time here and there to notice the body to try and integrate mindfulness more and more regularly into my daily life, so that things don’t get on top of me. 

Nikki Collins, Well Being Consultant Max Mindpower The Practice of Mindfulness

I practice formal meditation daily whether this is at my workplace, on the bus or at home. I have found that since my meditive practice has grown my concentration and focus has improved, meaning there are less boundaries on where I can meditate.

Josie Sensier, Group Development and Community Engagement Coordinator Manchester Psychological Wellbeing Service | Self Help Services The Practice of Mindfulness

I practice at home, when walking (particularly in parks) and at work. I practice any time of day, but find some times of the day more impacting and effective.

Victoria Algar, Mental Health Clinical Locality Manager Manchester Psychological Wellbeing Service | Self Help Services The Practice of Mindfulness

I have a formal sitting practice every weekday morning which I do at home, by the window, overlooking the garden. I then like to weave informal mindful practices into my day by finding activities and interactions to bring mindful attention to. I also go to a moving meditation workshop every week or two called 5 Rhythms. 


Beyond my personal practice I teach group classes in corporate settings, offer 1:1 mindfulness coaching and lead retreats at Champneys. I learn as much from my teaching work and my students as I do from my personal practice.

Neil Seligman, Founder The Conscious Professional The Practice of Mindfulness

I meditate at home every day and in a Sangha once or twice a week, as the support and insight of others is crucial to my understanding and appreciation of mindfulness. However this is just one aspect of my practice, as mindfulness is too much fun to be left on the meditation cushion! Far more important is to practice mindful living every moment of the day, whether I am walking, cleaning my teeth, washing up, eating, writing, listening or speaking. I practiced in this way for many years before a daily sitting meditation practice naturally established itself.

Katie Sheen, Teacher, Speaker and Founder Soul Nutrition The Practice of Mindfulness

I do my best to be mindful in every moment. For me I think a more interesting question is: when am I not mindful? I often lose it when I'm eating and distracted into reading at the same time, or when I get swept up into wishing things were different to the way they are. The original translation of the Buddhist word we now call mindfulness was "remembering". It seems the practice really is about simply remembering to stay present.

Mark Westmoquette, Mindfulness & yoga teacher Zenways The Practice of Mindfulness

I practice mindfulness in a corner of my bedroom usually twice a day – at the start after breakfast, and in the early evening. This is my ‘formal’ practice when I move into stillness and silence – but everyday mindfulness is just as important – in the many moments of waiting: for the kettle to boil, for traffic to move, for a meeting to start, for a cue to clear. For me it is about ‘coming back’ many times a day – to the feet on the floor, to the breath in the belly, or to any current activity (like the feel of my fingers on this keyboard).

Trish Bartley, Mindfulness Teacher Trainer Centre for Mindfulness, Research and Practice, Bangor University The Practice of Mindfulness

I practice mindfulness in every minute of every day, as much as I can. There are so many ways to build mindfulness into your life and into your daily routine. I spend set time every day meditating and actively appreciating myself and the things around me, usually first thing in the morning and last thing at night. But I also practice it on an ad hoc basis as I go through my day. The more you do it, the more you do it.

Jo Howarth, The Happiness Lady The Happiness Club The Practice of Mindfulness

There are two types if practice, formal and informal. Because of my martial arts background, I value both equally. My formal practice so doing tai chi and kung fu in the park. This is usually in the morning, but I am flexible depending on my schedule. About twice a week, I do a formal sitting practice, 24 or 45 mins. I see this is not my preferred mode of practice but it provides an alternative way to engage with the mind. The experience of the mental sensations is different when moving and when still, but the on going, present moment, non judgemental and nonreactive stance is the same.

I do alot of applied and informal practices. For example, the transitional pause. I use this at the start of meetings, supervision, teaching, clinical sessions. It is a great way to insert some commas, if it's not possible to do a full stop. It develops emotional intelligence, grounding skills and the all important capacity to act with awareness. Knowing what (and why and how) in any particular moment.

You can find an audio of this pause on the Mindfulness Centre of Excellence web page.

http://www.mindfulnesscentreofexcellence.com/transitional-pause-anyone/

I also ensure that i have one mindful walking “track” in my day. As I have to walk to the tube everyday, and mostly in the morning, I use this as a formal practice. It's a challenge to practice at this moment. Mind wants to race into the future and get to all the tasks of the day. It's a very natural tendency. For most people it's starts in the shower or elsewhere in the morning routine. There is no problem with planning, but if you really need to plan and are choosing to use your brain for this, don’t plan while you are multi-tasking.

This is a great time to train the cognitive inhibition brain networks! For me its a ten minute walk where I tune into the body, the movement, the sounds and sights, the weight if my backpack, the feel of the fabric of my clothes. Of course mindwandering is triggered all over the place, but that’s the meat of the practice!

Tamara Russell, Mindfulness Trainer & Innovator Mindfulness Centre of Excellence, London The Practice of Mindfulness

Things have changed a little as I've recently become a dad! I used to meditate for 40 minutes a day first thing in the morning and in the evening. Now my meditation practice is more informal and usually involves bringing moment to moment awareness to 'doing' mode. Walking round a park with the pram and rocking my little monkey to sleep are a couple of practices I enjoy. Where I can I do still try to sit and meditate for 10 minutes each day.

Andy Hobson, Meditation Teacher Mindfulness For All The Practice of Mindfulness

It might be more true to say that mindfulness is the fruit of practice; I aspire to cultivate it by paying close and kind attention to the processes and habit patterns of body and mind. I find formal daily meditation practice to be an indispensible support to bringing this mindful awareness into everyday life.

Jenny Wilks, Insight Meditation & Mindfulness Teacher Gaia House Retreat Centre & Exeter University The Practice of Mindfulness

Anywhere and everywhere. Whether that is formal practice at home or listening to a download on a train journey. A great tip is to drop your attention into your feet when you notice irritation or frustration arising, eg, why did I pick the longest supermarket queue with the slowest operator! My favourite place to practice thoush is in the sun, outside, sitting on a floating deck, but that only happens when I teach in New Hampshire!

Jo Bentley, Mindfulness Teacher & Trainer Mindful Outlook The Practice of Mindfulness

With a young son, the most difficult and beneficial of practices involves me being fully present as a parent.

Tobyn Bell, Therapist, Trainer & Author Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust & Compassionate Mind Foundation The Practice of Mindfulness

Becoming aware of another part of myself that is timeless and expansive happens whenI receive Rosen Method Bodywork, immerse myself in Nature, connect deeply with another/others, quieten down and tune in…….

Annabelle Apsion, Embodied Awareness - Bodywork Teacher and Co Founder of Rosen Method Therapy and Training in the UK Rosen Method Therapy and Training Ltd The Practice of Mindfulness

I practice every day and try to be mindful in all I say and do.

Sita Brand, Story & Mindfulness Coach & Trainer Settle Stories The Practice of Mindfulness

I aim to weave mindfulness throughout my daily life. I meditate each day and I also aim to be mindful when I’m walking the dog, when I’m watching TV, with how I treat myself and others, when I’m eating, when I’m in conversation and in many other areas of my life.

Gabrielle Treanor, Writer, teacher & worry expert Gabrielle Treanor The Practice of Mindfulness

The goal has to be to practice mindfulness all the time, and everywhere. To borrow some words from the Buddha, the practice is “beautiful in the beginning, beautiful in the middle, and beautiful in the end”. What this means is that meditation and mindfulness deliver immediate benefits, which help us keep on practicing, which leads to further benefits. So - learn to do it, then learn to do it often, then try to do it all the time!

Neil Hayes, Psychologist and Technologist Buddha Mind Limited The Practice of Mindfulness

At home, when travelling, or wherever I am working.

Juliet Adams, Mindfulness at work author, teacher, coach and mentor A Head for Work The Practice of Mindfulness

My favourite place is out and about walking in nature, or just somewhere I can see trees; failing that…the shower!

Suzy Glaskie, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach Peppermint Wellness The Practice of Mindfulness

I practice Mindfulness everywhere – that’s the beauty and simplicity of it, you can do it anywhere. ; I do it in the car driving to work, in meetings, at the supermarket and at home every morning before my day begins.

Markus Greenwood, CEO and Mindfulness Lead Mind in Salford The Practice of Mindfulness

Every morning first thing, wherever I am – I start with rolling around on the floor to ease my back and after some gentle stretching to awaken the body then come to sitting on my yellow cushion, grounding, centring, breathing and simply being; letting sounds and thoughts come and go in my awareness…until I have to crack on with whatever the day holds! 

Throughout the day I check in with my posture and my breath – try and take a stroll and a stretch if I’ve spent too much time at the computer, doing a brief 3 Step Breathing Space.  I take the opportunity to get out in the fresh air and walk in nature whenever I can or, if time’s tight, simply stand and breath by an open window.  I like to listen to Mark Williams audio guidance practices for a spot of evening/wind-down mindfulness too.  I also attend a weekly yoga class with a wonderful teacher – Janine Hurley – who delivers a nurturing yoga nidra (body scan) practice. 

Suzanne Farrell, Mindfulness Teacher & Coordinator Mind in Salford The Practice of Mindfulness

More 'formally' at home in the morning, though it is very much something you take with you wherever you go.

Richard Burnett, Founder Mindfulness in School's Project The Practice of Mindfulness

When I remember. Under pressure. In the cracks. And, for the last three years, mainly on the streets.

David Pearl, Business innovator, Author, Founder Street Wisdom The Practice of Mindfulness

With Sophrology, I have learned to include this mindful state throughout my daily experience. More than an isolated practice it has become a state of mind.

Dominique Antiglio,Sophrologist, Author, Mum BeSophro & The Sophrology Network The practice of Mindfulness

Every day, in multiple ways. Doing the dishes in one of my favourite mindfulness practices. Preparing meals with my husband is another way I practice paying attention to the Now.

Kate Forrester, Sophrologist and Creativity Coach The Happy and Creative Life & The Sophrology Network The practice of Mindfulness

My life’s journey has taught me that listening is to be done as much as possible and everywhere possible.  I have also a routine where I have allocated time before I sleep to give thanks and when I wake up setting my frame of mind for the day.

Lise McNamara, Occupational Therapist, Kinesiologist, Well-Being and Working Environment Facilitator McNamara Focus representing Kinesiology Federation The Practice of Mindfulness

My personal practice begins with my daily meditation and helps me to integrate mindful awareness throughout my day. Through years of painful experience, I've established the habit of going straight to my meditation cushion when I wake up otherwise, no matter what my good intentions may be, I get caught up in the busyness of my day and I may or may not get the opportunity again. I also practice with a mindfulness Sangha in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hahn’s Plum Village whenever I have a chance. Whenever possible I go to the 21-day retreat at Plum Village as I love to take the time for deeper longer practice whenever I can.

But truthfully mindfulness for me is primarily the practice of my everyday life. This is where I really hone the skills of paying close attention and deepening awareness as I integrate the practice with the ordinary circumstances of life and all its challenges and its joy.

Erica Rayner-Horn, Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher, Speaker & Founder Awake & Alive Mindful Living Retreats – Mindful Therapy The Practice of Mindfulness