Mindfulness Resources

There is a wealth of resources around mindfulness, from literature aroundother literature that surrounds mindfulness. We have included some of our favourites below. You can navigate to your preferred section by clicking on the option in this list below, or scroll down to have a look at all of them.

Resources Overview

Mindfulness Theory Resources

We have selected a small selection of resources, including videos and texts, that we hope provide you with a basic understanding of mindfulness.

In this piece, Wendy Wood offers an overview of mindfulness, and very usefully explains the difference between mindfulness and meditation.

“Although the terms are often used interchangeably, here is a simple way to differentiate them: mindfulness is the goal, while mindfulness meditation is a process for accomplishing that goal. Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness meditation doesn’t involve incense, chanting, adopting a religion, or clearing your mind of all thoughts. The practice involves focusing on the breath or bodily sensations and nonjudgmentally acknowledging distracting thoughts and feelings as they occur. You then gently return to the object of focus, whether it’s your breath during formal meditation practice or an everyday activity like drinking a cup of coffee.”

The Mindfulness Association offer a series of courses, resources and practices. This includes youtube resources, such as this 3 minute ‘ Street Presence: Mindfulness on the Go: Tonglen for Self (Taking and Sending)’ session, by Jane from the Mindfulness Association. Available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJrTQjZ4Vwg

The Mindfulness Initiative have written two comprehensive reports reflecting the work of an all-UK party parliamentary group, bringing attention to the wealth of evidence and research that supports mindfulness in all aspects of work and life including relationships at work, collaboration, creativity and leadership. These reports particularly recognises the complexities facing leaders in the 21st Century.

DOLMAN, E.A., 2011. Mindful Leadership: Exploring the value of meditation practice. http://www.ashridge.org.uk edn.

Here, Dolman discusses the vital role that mindfulness can play in developing capacity to lead in unpredictable, ambiguous times.

Elizabeth Gilbert (Ted Interview)

In this interview, Elizabeth Gilbert reflects on how to stay present, accept grief and trust in the
strength of the human spirit. It was recommended to us as a podcast to encourage us all to focus on
the present.

Mindfulness Information and practices (National Services Scotland)

This document reflects on what mindfulness can offer in rapidly changing circumstances. While mindfulness does not take away difficult thoughts, the document discusses how it can help us to manage these by considering being in the moment.

2020 Mindfulness (National Services Scotland)

As an introduction to mindfulness, this piece sets out some easy ways you might start to focus on mindfulness. This includes an exercise that you can do with a piece of chocolate. It also makes some additional book recommendations, and points you in the direction of some helpful apps.

The Free Mindfulness Project offer an expansive selection of resources on mindfulness practices that
people have shared. This includes practices that you can download and listen to or read anywhere.

In this video, Margaret Wheatley (Meg) calls us to ‘take our seat’, through giving and receiving.

In this excellent video Jon Kabit-Zinn explores 9 attitudes of mindfulness: the beginner’s mind; non-judging; acceptance; letting go; trust, patience, non-striving, gratitude and generosity. Although he goes through all of these individually, he reminds us that these are interconnected.  

Blog Posts about Mindfulness

We have received blog contributions from our partners from across public services and beyond.

Justine writes about using photography as a mindfulness practice. Photography offers a way of
focusing on the present, as Justine explains, talking through her connection with photography as a
way of being drawn to present moments and ways of relaxing.

Read Sam’s blog post about ‘What if I don’t have to strive’.

Read Denise’s blog about how to create mindfulness at home.

Mindful Meditation Practices

We have included some practices here for those who are new (or need a refresher) to mindfulness.  Please note we have included many more practices and links to practices in our resources section.

The purpose of these practices is to begin to slow down, and recognise what is happening as it happens so we can cultivate a settled or stable mind. If you are new to mindfulness, these are good sessions to start with, as they focus your attention on recognising what happens in the totality of our experience through:
 
  • Our body (physical sensations)
  • Sensory experiences (touch, smell, see hear, taste)
  • Emotions (moods, feelings, emotional states)
  • Thoughts (ongoing chatter, plans, memories, images)

Exercise 1: Recognising the Unsettled Mind

This first practice focuses on how our minds are usually distracted by multitudes of sensory experiences. We often attend to thoughts that pop into our heads. The practices are built upon the sense that by being more present, we can begin to become more aware of how we are responding to stimuli, and train our mind not to engage. It is worth highlighting that through this, we are not trying to rid the mind of thoughts (impossible) or suppress them (potentially dangerous) but learning to let thoughts and feelings just arise and disperse without attaching meaning to them.

This exercise takes 5 minutes.

Exercise 2: Settling the Mind

This practice builds on our awareness of how busy the mind can be, jumping from thought to thought, and introduces the breath as support to begin settling the mind.

This exercise takes 10 minutes.

Exercise 3: Becoming Aware of the Body

This practice is aimed at developing our ability to tune into what is going on, what we are experiencing and recognising the deep contention between mind and body.  The aim is to become more aware of how we pay attention – sometimes we will focus on particular areas and sensations and sometimes we will be zooming out to become aware of more general areas and experiences. We will also become more aware of how distracted the mind gets (and it will).

This exercise takes 30 minutes.

Exercise 4: The Three-Minute Breathing Space

This practice was developed by Mark Williams, John Teasdale and Zindel Segal, who put together Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. It is a mini-meditation; an opportunity to become mindful in the midst of our lives. It provides a bridge between the formal practice of meditation, which we will usually do on our own with time set aside for it, and the informal practice of mindfulness in our everyday lives as we go about our business.

This exercise takes 3 minutes.

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