Category: Mindfulness Exercises

Waves crashing

Down the Rabbit Hole

I placed my Zafu (meditation cushion) on the floor and sat facing the wall. I set the timer on my phone for twenty-five minutes and took my seat. I relaxed my gaze and focused my attention on my breathing.

In, out, in, out. The gentle rhythm of my breathing lapped against the shore of my mind like small waves born from a quiet ocean. I sat on the shore and looked out across the water as a seagull lazily circled before settling down to bob peacefully on the tide.


I whipped around to see a Buddhist monk running down the shore towards me, his saffron robes billowing behind him…

tree on hill

Mindful Sitting

To assemble a chair we look to the instructions rather than to an esoteric discourse on its qualities once fully assembled. With this in mind I would like to provide a detailed explanation of sitting mindfully in Zazen (literally, “sitting in Zen”).

Find a quiet room and choose a seat on the floor facing a blank wall. Fold one to two bath towels to use as a seat and sit as close to the wall as you can. Fold your legs in front of you, either one in front of the other or cross-legged. The towels should provide enough elevation of your pelvis to allow both knees to make contact with the floor. This will create a stable tripod position…

sunset lake


This blog presents a challenge for me: in a way, I have to sell mindfulness practice to the reader knowing full well that mindfulness has no monetary value. In fact, I ended my last post by saying that mindfulness practice is pointless! Nothing could be more antithetical to the western ideal of a worthwhile endeavor. All the same no one would take the leap of faith required to begin a mindfulness practice for themselves if there weren’t at least a minimal amount of salesmanship involved in how the exercises are presented.

Trying to explain the benefits of mindfulness practice is akin to trying to focus on a star in the night sky: as soon as we gaze directly at the star it disappears from our vision; it is only with an unfocused and relaxed gaze that the star reappears. If we can blur our vision of ourselves and appreciate the gestalt of our self-hood then, and only then, can we begin to appreciate any semblance of a “result” from our mindfulness practice…

Mountain lake

My First Time

I feel like it would be fitting to talk about my first experiences with mindfulness as a topic for my first blog entry. I practice a form of mindful meditation called “Zazen.” Zazen is translated as “sitting in Zen” and is one of the simplest meditation practices there are. A quick search of Google will provide the reader with as detailed a description of Zazen as they desire but I will describe it briefly here to give some context.

First, one assumes the seven-point sitting posture. The seven points refer to the position of the legs, spine, hands, shoulders, tongue, mouth, and eyes. Once a comfortable posture is assumed then one begins to focus on one’s breath. As we breathe in we count “one” in our head, as we breathe out we count “two.” In, “three,” out, “four,” and so on until we reach “ten” at which point we simply start over at “one” again…