Mindfulness Meditation is one of the cornerstones of our Connect with Horses Personal Empowerment Workshops here in the sun-blessed south of France. If you are thinking of coming to a workshop and you want to find out more about mindfulness then the best way of doing so is by practising it yourself. Another way of finding out more about mindfulness is by watching mindfulness talks. I have gathered together 10 of the best mindfulness talks below:
Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes
In this Ted Talk, Andy Puddicombe, founder of Headspace, explains how putting everything down for ten minutes a day gives the brain a much-needed opportunity to rest and recharge its batteries. “Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind,” Puddicombe explains, “but actually it’s about stepping back, seeing the thought clearly and witnessing it coming and going.” Andy uses juggling to illustrate his point.
Mindfulness – An introduction by Jon Kabat-Zinn
According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness and equanimity right here and right now.” In this talk he discussed this statement more fully.
Diana Winston – The Practice of Mindfulness
In their book, Fully Present, Susan Smalley and Diana Winston point out, “In practising mindfulness, you are not trying to change who you are, but to become more fully present with your experiences…You may also become more discerning of your thoughts, feelings, and actions and that awareness will give you greater opportunity to make positive changes if you wish to do so.” In this talk, Diana, a former Buddhist nun and now director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA Mindful Awareness, talks more about her understanding of mindfulness and how regular practice can have a substantial impact on wellbeing.
Home Nguyen – The Power of Mindfulness
Home Nguyen designs and teaches programs on Self-Awareness, Mindfulness and Contemplation. In this talk, he shares his perilous journey from Vietnam to the US, challenging his audience to review their (limiting?) beliefs. He facilitates transformative learning and leadership retreats for corporate professionals and educators, integrating mind and body awareness practices with psychology and scholarly research. Having practised meditation for the past 15 years, Home is the co-founder and co-president of the Mindfulness and Education Working Group (MEWG) at Columbia University.
Ellen Langer – Mindlessness over Matter
Ellen Langer, Ph.D., is a social psychologist and the first female professor to gain tenure in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. She defines mindfulness as a sustained awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment, including the process of actively noticing new things and challenging our natural human tendencies to be inattentive over time. She says, “Mindfulness helps people cultivate happiness by stepping away from habitual, often unconscious emotions and reactions to everyday events and respond, instead, with thoughtfulness.”
Mark Williams on Mindfulness
Mark Williams, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford, is the author of Finding Peace in a Frantic World. He says, “Mindfulness is about observation without criticism; about being compassionate with yourself. When unhappiness or stress hover overhead, rather than taking it all personally, you learn to treat them as if they were black clouds in the sky, and to observe them with friendly curiosity as they drift past. In essence, mindfulness allows you to catch negative thought patterns before they tip you into a downward spiral. It begins the process of putting you back in control of your life.” Here he talks about how mindfulness can be useful in day-to-day living.
Ruby Wax on Mindfulness
Ruby Wax, best known for her stand-up comedy shows, is now travelling around Britain educating live audiences on mindfulness. Few people are aware that she has a Masters Degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Oxford. According to Ruby, mindfulness is like “going into the toilet and breathing, feeling my feet on the ground and my behind on the seat. It’s about where your body is. And once you’re in your body [instead of your mind] it all calms down.” I have her book Sane New World and hope to get hold of Frazzled soon too.
Shannon Paige – Mindfulness and Healing
Shannon Page is an author, a yoga teacher, a cancer survivor and a depression fighter. Here she talks about how many people, after surviving life threatening circumstances, often become depressed. Shannon discovered that while yoga can’t heal depression, getting into your body can change the mind and create a state of empowerment, stability, and release.
Catherine Kerr – Mindfulness Starts With the Body
According to Wikipedia, Catherine Kerr is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine and the director of Translational Neuroscience in the Contemplative Studies Initiative at Brown University. She received her bachelor’s from Amherst College before completing her PhD. at Johns Hopkins University. Her research primarily involves investigating the effects that body-based attention practices such as mindfulness have on the brain and the nervous system. Here she talks about whether mindfulness-based somatic awareness (cultivated by paying attention to one’s breathing and bodily sensations) can change the brain.
Pico Iyer – The art of stillness
Pico Tyler says, “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate…If travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, in dimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed.” Here he discusses strategies that one can use to steal back a few minutes out of every day, or a few days out of every month. If you feel overwhelmed by the demands of modern day living, this is the talk for you.
“Direct your eye right inward, and you’ll find a thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered.” – Henry David Thoreau
To help you put the principles you have discovered in this book into practice, we host Connect with Horses Mindfulness and Meditation workshops. At Les Sources Sacrées, our farm in Gascony, you will stay in our 200-year-old French farmhouse amidst the meadows, woods, orchards and vineyards of the sun-drenched south of France. You will be able to relax and recharge your batteries in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of France for three, five or seven days – longer if you should feel like it. You will discover how to:
-free yourself from immobilising fear and so dramatically increase your self-confidence,
-discover simple techniques to easily and effectively deal with stressful situations
-communicate more efficiently and with more assertiveness,
-find out how to accept and appreciate yourself,
-strengthen and deepen relationships at work and at home,
-eradicate limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering beliefs,
-develop more successful problem-solving skills,
-thrive on changes and challenges and
-gain a solid understanding of who you are now
If you would like to find out more about our Personal Empowerment Workshops, please send us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form at the bottom of this page.
Alternatively, you can read one of my books, French Womens’ Confidence Secrets, Mindfulness and Meditation in the south of France or Horse Riding Confidence Secrets. Click Here to read extracts and find out more about my books.
To make sure you do not miss out on any last-minute reductions or early-bird deals on the workshops, you can subscribe to my monthly MPower e-Magazine. Subscribing will provide you with an opportunity to escape for 10 magical minutes or a virtual visit to the south of France. To get an idea of what this is all about, Click Here to have a look at Nov 2016’s issue. When you subscribe, you will receive a free copy of my 10 Simple Steps to Instant Self-Confidence guide. Very handy in stressful situations.
Click Here to subscribe to my Mpower monthly magazine.