Mindfulness, Music Appreciation and Empathy

“Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the [Bach’s] B Minor Mass?” — Michael Torke, composer Sometimes people will ask me whether or not listening to music counts as mindfulness practice. I’d say sure,* you can do pretty much anything with an intention to be mindful, but what makes a session of mindful music appreciation unique and distinct from a mindful breathing practice? Communication Music is a language of energy, a “vibe” of emotions and joy. It […]

Beauty-ful “Mindful Drawings” by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Paula Kuitenbrouwer keeps a lovely online portfolio and shop of “Mindful Drawings.”  Most masterful artists would likely have developed a refined quality of mindfulness, but Paula’s work breathes from a deep and clearly-articulated intention to work from a place of mindfulness. “I carefully prepare my drawing session by laying out all the tools. I think long about what I want, and I pay attention to the composition. I also do research, because I like to know what I am drawing. […]

Mindfulness: An Adventure in Transformation

“Mindfulness meditation is not a nice little thing…it’s not like frosting on a cupcake. This is a major major transformation.” This insight comes from Gary, a 42-year-old former addict and contributor to the Atlantic’s recent article “How Meditation Works.” On the surface, mindfulness works in seemingly boring swaths of activity: Long lengths of time, sitting in quiet spaces, with or without other people nearby, sometimes thinking, sometimes feeling one’s breath. It doesn’t sound too dynamic. How can something so simple […]

Mindfulness Process

Fab illustrator, designer & hand-letterer of the Living with Mindfulness logo, Erin Ellis, just shared with me this beautiful photo of her work process.  The practice of hand-lettering is like a mindfulness exercise.  Each loop and curl of the brush shows you just how you are paying attention (or not) in any given moment.  This was a challenge for creating this particular logo, in which Erin so deftly engaged. Thank you Erin for the beautiful work, attention and inspiration.

Mindful Dishwashing

Recently, my partner Maitreya and I had a friend come to stay at our apartment, a very kind and light-hearted musician named Walter. A month or so earlier, we had been travelling with Walter, the three of us in a car, taking in the stunning beauty of the Connemara landscape — we totally bonded. During his most recent visit, we went for walks, cooked lentils and rice, played music, and joked about the peculiarities of living in Ireland — ‘why […]