MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION RESOURCES
There’s a lot of information about mindfulness and meditation and for many of us, knowing where to begin can be the biggest obstacle in getting started.
My journey towards a mindful life wasn’t smooth and I reached one or two dead ends along the way. I like things to be presented in a clear and logical way. And I needed evidence to prove that mindfulness and meditation could help me to calm my busy mind.
During 2014 two things happened; I sat next to Mark Williams (the co-founder of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and co-author of Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world) at a dinner who gave me a beautiful insight into the practice. And I discovered Andy Puddicombe and his easy-to-use Headspace app which helped me to get started.
Today I’m sharing six resources that have helped me on my journey. They’ve kept me focused and enabled me to stay on track, even when life is busy.
1. The Headspace app
Headspace is a phone app that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training. It is user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing – I love good branding! To begin with, you can complete the ten-day trial and if you find it helpful, you can pay for the app on a monthly, yearly or lifetime basis.
As a foundation course in mindfulness, I found it invaluable. I used the app consistently for two years working through the packs which are broken down into themes. I also enjoyed Andy’s short videos and single sessions – the one on commuting/travel was used a lot!
2. Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
After spending time with Mark Williams, I was eager to read his book. And as one of the premier researchers in the field of mindfulness and the Founding Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, I felt I was in safe hands!
The book takes the reader through a ten-week programme consisting of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises. There were things to try out in daily life like having a greater awareness when carrying out simple everyday tasks and being a little more spontaneous. Mark has a kind and calm quality and his compassion for people seeps into his writing and meditations. It was a wonderful programme to follow and it helped me to understand my own mind and the practice a little more deeply.
3. Breathe magazine
Breathe magazine covers mindfulness, creativity and wellbeing and although I’m a little biased – I’ve written ten articles for the first seven issues – I can promise you it’s a lovely read! There are no adverts just pages and pages of inspiring texts and beautiful illustrations, all leaning towards a calmer and more mindful life. A cuppa and a copy of Breathe is a Sunday afternoon treat!
4. The Insight Timer app
Insight Timer is the most popular free meditation app. There are numerous ways you can use it and to be honest, I think I would have found it a little overwhelming had I not learnt the basics from Headspace.
There are over 5,000 guided meditations, music tracks, talks and courses. There’s something for everyone and I even discovered a breathing exercise to a Moby track. It’s currently my favourite app and I use either the timer or the guided meditations.
5. The Mindful Living Show
Last month I attended the first Mindful Living Show at the Business Design Centre in London. The two-day conference is ‘the place to learn more about the art of mindfulness and meditation and the different ways in which it can benefit your life.’
With so many speakers and sessions, I found the day useful and insightful. I especially enjoyed the keynote speakers – Ruby Wax and Dan Harris. It was lovely to chat to so many people and it was reassuring to hear I’m not alone in my struggles. After all, the mind can be a tricky customer! The next Mindful Living Show will take place on 1st and 2nd June 2018 – maybe I’ll see you there!
6. Further books, e-courses etc.
Over the years, I’ve found lots of information in books, blogs, podcasts and e-courses.
If you’re looking for e-courses to get you started, there are a number by Gabrielle Treanor including Bloom her free 7-day taster course. Gabrielle creates beautiful courses on how to worry less and enjoy life more. Or Turning Uncertainty and Discomfort into Open Mindfulness by Leo Babauta. Leo is the writer of one of my favourite blogs Zen Habits, which covers mindfulness and meditation along with ways to cut down on procrastination and form healthy habits. There are also many guided meditations to be found on YouTube.
A few books…
~ Calm: 50 Mindfulness and Relaxation Exercises to De-Stress and Unwind. A sweet little book combining relaxation and mindfulness techniques with beautiful imagery.
~ Oprah Winfrey’s favourite, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. A little heavy in places but it was an interesting and thought-provoking read.
~ 10% Happier by Dan Harris. A humorous and inquisitive look at meditation which concludes with a section on how to get started. On a side note, there’s a great interview with Dan Harris on The Lively Show.
~ I also enjoyed At Home in the World by Thich Nhat Hanh. A thought provoking and inspiring collection of autobiographical stories from the Zen master and peace activist. Thich Nhat Hanh has published more than 100 books so there are plenty more to choose from.
~ And I’ve just started A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax. So far so good!
You’ll also find blog posts about mindful living here on Candy Pop as I share my journey and the things I learn along the way.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a beautiful day!