Welcome Back!

Please continue to stop by this page for a steady serving of mindfulness and heartfulness (updated almost daily)!

Note: For your convenience, all Guided Practices on this page are moving over to the mindfulness practice page of this site

Friday 3/24

Emotions themselves are not the enemy of mind/body balance.

Even though they can take us on a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs and all-arounds, it’s actually the denying of, stuffing down of, anesthetizing from, and ruminating on tough emotions, that exacerbates suffering and stress.

Some mindfulness practices suggest allowing emotions to be witnessed, labeled and observed in terms of their effects on the body.

One practice that you might try when strong emotions are present is called R.A.I.N.

R = Recognize when a strong emotion is present

A = Acknowledge that it is here, in this moment, and ALLOW it to be

I = Investigate the sensations associated with this emotion (ex: tension in the forehead, flushing of the face, tightening of muscles and gut)

N = Non-identify with the emotion, i.e. “I am not my emotions, they are events and I am the witness of them”

This distancing exercise might allow some space between you and your strong emotions.

Perhaps enough space to see beyond the intensity, to the cause, or to a letting go mechanism, and perhaps a skillful way of working through it.

Thursday 3/23

This is the book that can literally change your life — based on what we’ve briefly explored over the past couple of days.

This book breaks it all down, and provides PRACTICAL ways to influence your cellular aging in positive ways, which in turn helps you reverse previous cellular damage.

Check out the “free preview” button below the book image.

Wednesday 3/22

As we continue our exploration of Telomeres (see yesterday’s post if you haven’t been introduced to them yet), I invite you to look at the graph below.

You’ll see that our lives consist of decades where good health is abundant (our healthspan), as well as decades where decline and illness (diseasespan) interfere with our quality of living.

Some of the gray shading is due to nature (genetics), and the lack of gray shading can be attributed to nurture (good lifestyle choices).

Remember, not all genetics express themselves during a lifetime!

You play in important role in your healthspan.

What is the difference between PERSON A and PERSON B? Why does one begin to experience illness halfway through life, and the other later in life?

There is an increasingly loud voice in research that suggests that nurture is more important than nature — that it’s not what you’re born with, it’s your health habits that really count!

Tuesday 3/21

Get to know your Telomeres (tee-lo-meres)!

Nature? Or, Nurture?

Come to find out, that genetics, and your assumed preconditions don’t necessarily express themselves in your lifespan, if your telomeres are nurtured.

More on this over the next few days.

For now?

Begin to adhere to the wise and intuitive advice you’ve probably always been given — perhaps by parents or grandparents, about how to stay healthy.

Meet the FAB FIVE below and consider the role they play in your life.

Monday 3/20

Mind in a Jar

Imagine your mind (before meditation) as the jar on the left — clouded with thoughts and emotions.

When stress and anxiety build, the mind becomes stormy. Thoughts and emotions swirl and build pressure, as in the jar in the middle.

We lose our clarity and focus, and tend to react unskillfully to life events.

The jar on the far right is your mind after meditation.

Thoughts and emotions are still there, but they are settled enough so that you can see clearly, and make wise and skillful choices.

Sunday 3/19

Did you know that your brain is constantly changing and restructuring, based on your repeated thoughts and activities?

Be careful, because if you worry all of the time, you’ll become an expert worrier! Neural pathways will become ever more deeply ingrained.

Conversely, if you practice being IN the moment, without that pull to write a future worry story, your brain will develop new neural pathways that keep you more centered, calm and present.

Choose mindfully and wisely.

Interested in a deeper dive?

This book is a fascinating read!

Saturday 3/18

Friday 3/17

In preparation for the weekend — consider the attributes of mindfulness in this word bubble.

Add them to your weekend backpack!

Thursday 3/16

Mindfulness, aka heightened awareness, applied in the ordinary and extraordinary moments of your life, can reveal your auto-tendencies, biases, and assumptions.

HOW YOU SEE YOUR WORLD, has everything to do with your experience in it.

If you find that your world vision is impaired or limited, try employing those attitudes of compassion, beginner’s mind, patience and non-judgment, in an effort to bring more clarity to your moments.

Wednesday 3/15

Tuesday 3/13

Here’s an article I wrote in 2017 titled, Breaking News!

I’m re-posting to continue the discussion of our stories.

Every day, we’re told stories that are simply not true! They’re bold statements, repeated over and over, in ways that normalize the content.

But, sheer repetition doesn’t change the fact that these stories and statements are predominantly false.

They’re based on outdated information, mis-information, disproven theories, limited perspectives and outright bias.

And the worst part about it is, that the teller of these stories gets away with this injustice!

You may ask…WHO is this storyteller?

Actually, it’s YOU.

Most of your waking moments, you’re telling your self a series of stories that ultimately shape each decision you make, and step you take.

The dominant voice inside your head has been given authority to dampen your biggest dreams, or encourage you to make choices that compromise your well-being.

Some of the stories you tell your self (especially those about your self and your performance) are so judgmental, critical and cruel, that you would never dream of telling them to another human being.

Maybe these stories were told to you a very LONG time ago, by parents, care givers, relatives, coaches, preachers and teachers.

Often times, they were cautionary tales, reinforced in order to protect you from the evils and dangers in the world.

Perhaps, at this point in your life, you’re beginning to realize that they no longer fit the YOU that you have grown to be.

Face it, many of your stories are no longer useful, or protective, because these stories were never really yours in the first place.

Your stories may produce fear, jealousy, anger, resentment and separation. They may create self-doubt, or worse, self-loathing.

These false statements that continue to fill your head, may be holding you back from a personal and professional evolution, that currently, you envision only for others.

Here’s the truth. These stories are routines – habits of mind. They’re woven into the very fabric of you. You may even be convinced that they are YOU.

There’s a useful attitude that we teach in mindfulness training. It’s called “beginner’s mind”.

It’s an invitation to observe this internal, fake news from a distance, with fresh eyes.

Only after you’ve begun to non-judgmentally view your behaviors and patterns, can you ease the control they hold over you.

You can then break habits, and rewrite the stories that you tell your self.

Mindfulness is many things. But to keep it simple? Mindfulness is self-awareness. Self-awareness leads to liberation.

There’s a fresh, new, empowering set of habits waiting for you, just beyond the auto-news-stories that currently dictate your life.

Here’s a tip:

Breaking News is what is in the present moment.

Everything else is either old news, or a prediction.

Monday 3/12

Mondays are “start of the week — new beginning days”.

This poem speaks to reinventing, expanding and change.

Take this attitude into your week?

What if you Lost the Book?

What if you lost the book
about who you are?
What if you lost the script
that tells you what to say
to play your part in other people’s drama?
What if you lost the map of the complicated route
to some place you’re supposed to be
that you’re not?
What if you lost the radio signal
telling you and telling you and telling you?
What if in the silence
you looked up from the blank page
and discovered this place, green and thriving,
spreading out from you into the world?
What if the best you could do—the very best thing—
is to feel your way along,
to keep your eyes on the road,
to keen your ears to the voice within
that already knows who you are?
Without the book—
finally, a true story.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Saturday 3/11

I’m heading down another alternate path.

I’ve begun to write a book called, “Growing Up, While Growing Old”.

By the time it’s complete, I will be, for sure.

I say that, because I’m not in a rush — one of the many lovely by-products of growing up and realizing that moving slowly and with purpose, gets the job done with care and ease.

The phases of life have always fascinated me. In fact, I wrote and self-published a book back in 2009, called It’s ALL a Change of Life. Some of those words may join this endeavor.

My intention for this book gets summed up like this;

Learning is available throughout our lifetime.

We are the stewards of our experience.

The person in the mirror changes over the years, and the invisible one who is watching does too!

In other words…embrace change and open to the wisdom that you are gathering in every mindful moment!

Happy Weekend!

Friday 3/10

Excerpt from Waking Up by Sam Harris

Having spent years observing my mind in meditation, I find such sudden transitions from happiness to suffering both fascinating and rather funny — and merely witnessing them goes a long way toward restoring my equanimity. My mind begins to seem like a video game: I can either play it intelligently, learning more in each round, or I can be killed in the same spot by the same monster, again and again.

SO good!

Thursday 3/9


There’s a fascinating book called Peak Mind by Dr. Amishi Jha, that I believe should be required reading for all with a brain (literally)!

Peak Mind by Amishi Jha reveals simple exercises to lift the mental fog, declutter the mind, and strengthen focus.

Peak Mind (2021) provides a cutting-edge overview of the science of attention – looking at the various ways your mind focuses and pays attention, as well as the factors that cause our mental vigilance to lapse and weaken over time.

Here are just a few (teaser) terms/activities that I found very interesting.

Flashlight Exercise: Your attention, like shining a light on a subject, can be either a floodlight (broad, no real focus on one particular thing), or a flashlight — really illuminating the one object of your attention. Dr. Jha suggests an exercise using the flashlight; focus+notice+redirect

Ruminative Loop: When the mind is stuck on the same thought/problem.

Meta-Awareness: Awareness of the content and processes that are in our mind, moment by moment…in other words, awareness of awareness.

If I had to recommend a book to you that would help reveal your strengths/weaknesses with attention, memory and focus, this would be the one!

Spoiler Alter: At the end of the book, you can read the AMAZING personal story of Dr. Jha and what brought her to this field.

Wednesday 3/8

Happy Birthday to my late, great Mom, Gloria.


I’m sharing one of the many poems that Mom wrote. It speaks to self-love and empowerment.

Know your power

Know your worth

Stake your claim

On your piece of earth.

Who you are

What you do

Your life — your fate

Is up to you.

All life’s event

You cannot control

But no one can steal

Your heart or your soul.

Guard them well

And you will find


And peace of mind.

~ Gloria Wesolek

Tuesday 3/7

Words…they can be wonderful gifts, or destructive weapons.

The language of mindfulness is intentionally loving, soft, non-perscriptive and even poetic, in order to embrace and bring safety to even the most weary traveler.

Mindfulness is where you’ll hear words like, ease, effortless, invitation, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, etc.

Yesterday, out of nowhere (that I know of anyway), came this song to my lips.

Remember WORDS, by the Bee Gees?

Before you listen, please except the invitation to listen to the words you craft and use today, with people both close and not so much, AND the ones that are spoken inside of you — with an audience of one, the most precious one…YOU.

Words (Bee Gees – released 1968)

Smile an everlasting smile
A smile can bring you near to me
Don’t ever let me find you down
‘Cause that would bring a tear to me

This world has lost its glory
Let’s start a brand new story now, my love
Right now, there’ll be no other time
And I can show you how, my love

Talk in everlasting words
And dedicate them all to me
And I will give you all my life
I’m here if you should call to me

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words and words are all I have
To take your heart away

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words and words are all I have
To take your heart away
It’s only words and words are all I have
To take your heart away
It’s only words and words are all I have
To take your heart away

Monday 3/6

Variety in your meditation keeps it alive and fresh!

There are LIVE (you can join my complimentary Wednesday a.m. RESET live/zoom meditation group @ 8-8:30am PST) and RECORDED practices available to you.

Here’s the practice page for Chris Germer, a mindfulness+compassion leader.


IF you’d like to get the Zoom link for my Wednesday a.m. sessions, email me at cassie@thealternatepath.com

AND, you can also access new and older recordings on the PRACTICE page of this site!

Happy Monday!

Intentions for the week?

Sunday 3/5

Today…be deliberately easy on yourself. Notice when harsh judgment arises and see if you can soften your inner tone and even deliver a more loving message to body, mind and heart.

Saturday 3/4

Just Be.

Everything in life misses us, when we’re not present.

Friday 3/3

An excerpt from PositivePsychology.com

Self-talk is the internal narrative you hold about yourself. It’s your inner voice and you may or may not have spent much time thinking about it or giving it any attention.

The truth is, our self-talk can actually have a much bigger influence on the way we see ourselves, and the world around us than we realize.

If positive self-talk seems like foreign territory to you, it might be difficult to know where to begin in terms of effective positive statements and phrases to try.

It’s important to know that not everyone’s positive self-talk will be the same, and you should try a few different approaches to find the ones that ultimately work for you.

Here are ten just to get you started:

  1. I have the power to change my mind.
  2. Attempting to do this took courage and I am proud of myself for trying.
  3. Even though it wasn’t the outcome I hoped for, I learned a lot about myself.
  4. I might still have a way to go, but I am proud of how far I have already come.
  5. I am capable and strong, I can get through this.
  6. Tomorrow is a chance to try again, with the lessons learned from today.
  7. I will give it my all to make this work.
  8. I can’t control what other people think, say or do. I can only control me.
  9. This is an opportunity for me to try something new.
  10. I can learn from this situation and grow as a person.

Thursday 3/2

Today and every day, choose happiness! Liv knows how…we ALL know how, we just forget.

Session Four: 3/1/23


Mindfulness Route Map

Embodiment occurs when there is an alignment among our intentions, thoughts, physical bodily expression and action.

When this happens, we can be present with a certain ease of being, living with intentionality, presence and care.

With meditation feeding the roots, awareness grows, and your tree of life blossoms!

Recommended Reading by Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Coming to Our Senses Series

In this series of four books, Jon updates the material in his 2005 book, Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness. Each book opens with a brand new foreword. There is no question that if mindfulness was important when Coming to Our Senses first came out in 2005, it is infinitely more important now—personally, societally, and globally.

Book 1: Meditation Is Not What You Think

Meditation Is Not What You Think, addresses the essence of mindfulness, what it is, where it comes from, and why it is so important. You can think of this book as the what and the why of mindfulness, both in terms of your personal life, and in terms of the planet and the threats it is facing, all stemming from human activity, and in particular, the human mind when it doesn’t know itself.

Book 2: Falling Awake

Falling Awake describes various ways to cultivate mindfulness as a formal meditation practice and as a way of being. You could think of it as the how of mindfulness, what it takes to cultivate it in your own life in ways that might be deeply satisfying, meaningful, and ultimately, liberating;  or put differently, to engage in the practice as a love affair with what might be most important to you. It includes instructions for both literally and metaphorically tapping into your sensory experience in both formal practice and in everyday living. It provides detailed instructions and guidance in the body scan (lying down meditation), sitting meditations, standing meditations, gentle mindful hatha yoga, and walking meditation. It also describes how to utilize all your sense doors to take up residency in awareness, moment by moment by moment, fully embodied, and paradoxically, outside of time – not only during formal meditation practice but in everyday living, which, when all is said and done, is the real meditation practice.

Book 3: The Healing Power of Mindfulness

The Healing Power of Mindfulness, is about the science of mindfulness and what is known about its potential for handling stress, pain, and illness more effectively, and ultimately, for healing — for coming to terms with things as they are in ways that can be life affirming and transformative, and that take us beyond the confines of our own habitual self-centeredness. In engaging the present moment in this way, even in the face of the unpleasant and the unwanted, a boundless spaciousness within the very nature of awareness itself is revealed. That boundless spaciousness not only recognizes and values the deep interconnectedness of the world, it also reveals new possibilities of being and acting that are intrinsically both freeing and loving. You could think of this book as elaborating the promise of mindfulness, both inwardly and outwardly. That promise is different for each one of us, and the only way to experience it is through throwing yourself into the practice wholeheartedly, as so many scores of thousands of people have done through the vehicle of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) and other mindfulness-based programs now broadly available. 

Book 4: Mindfulness For All: The Wisdom to Transform the World

Mindfulness For All: The Wisdom to Transform the World, addresses how the practice of mindfulness is applicable and relevant not just to our own individual bodies and wellbeing, but to the body politic and the future of humanity. It addresses the potential realization of mindfulness through our cultivation of everything that has come before in the earlier volumes. Part I emphasizes that we need to keep in mind that we are simultaneously practicing mindfulness not just as individuals but also as members of the human species, Homo Sapiens Sapiens. This means that we need to adopt an evolutionary perspective on what might be possible if we are to find authentic ways to wake up to our own true nature as human beings (as Homo Sapiens Sapiens, or the species that is aware and aware that it is aware) and face the ever-increasing disruptions, challenges, and threats that our precocity and creativity as human beings, along with our tendencies toward mindlessness and self-centeredness, greed and delusion, have created, along with all the beauty, mystery, and wonder. This evolutionary perspective on the role of mindfulness in healing and transforming the body politic is especially relevant as we move more and more deeply into the third decade of the 21st Century. It inevitably and axiomatically includes racial, economic, and social justice and environmental justice as inevitable and necessary outgrowths of the cultivation of mindfulness, and a ripening into greater wisdom and compassion, necessarily reflected in our laws and in our actions in facing the universal threats that we ourselves have created. Part II brings us full circle, to contemplate the uniquely personal, situated in what we know about the universe and our place in it. It celebrates the poetics of mindfulness, through our personal practice and through its embodied flourishing in the more than human world, the world we will leave to our children and grandchildren. 

Monday 2/27

I’ve been following Neale Donald Walsch for a long time.

I just love how he cuts through simple reality to reveal tools for living with more awareness.

Sharing his FB post from yesterday.

Sunday 2/26

For those who were able to attend the Feb 1/2 Day Retreat today, I’m grateful for your heart and participation.

For those who were unable to attend, you were missed.

The PDF Doc below is embedded into this page. Scroll from within the document in order to see all the content.

I’m sharing the poems that I chose for the retreat in hopes that they will continue to inspire you and those you love.

Saturday 2/25

This February Course is based on LOVE, COMPASSION and KINDNESS – and the effects of turning those superpowers INWARD is what mindfulness is all about.

Tomorrow at the 1/2 day retreat, we’ll lace the essence of this trio into our practices.

Please come with an intention for yourself for the day; i.e. to be present to your body/mind with kindness and patience, to show up with a “no fix” attitude – accepting what comes in each moment.

Self-love has many facets.

The Cycle of Self-Love below can help you shape your intentions for this retreat, and beyond.

Friday 2/24

Happy Friday!

How does your garden grow?

Thursday 2/23

My message yesterday, invited you to mind your stress (both internal and external) this week by catching it as soon as it arises.

Where do you feel it? Can you label the sensations?

Can you insert a breath or another grounding anchor to disrupt the pattern?

In order to become a good steward of stress, you must be able to skillfully tune in aka EMBODIMENT.

The MINDFUL MOVEMENT practices below, help us be in our bodies+observing+feeling = body awareness.

Why do all of this?

It’s the difference between Internalization/Maladaptive Coping/Breakdown and RECOVERY.

Note: click to enlarge/open diagram below in another window

Chart above is an excerpt from Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Masterclass Course

Wednesday 2/22:

Monday, 2/20:

Greetings from AUSTIN!

This week, let’s bring it all together and then come together for a Sunday love retreat.

Friday, 2/17: Compassion and Mindfulness – an interview from Greater Good Science Center

Session Three: 2/15

Mindfulness Route Map

Our journey to heightened awareness is laced with CHOICE.

Every moment presents an opportunity to choose more skillfully, our response, no matter what the circumstances.

SLOWING DOWN our automatic reactivity allows us the time to appraise stress in the critical moment, and weigh the most appropriate response.

By Jennifer Paine Welwood

Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I gain the embrace of the universe; Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.
Each condition I flee from pursues me,
Each condition I welcome transforms me, And becomes itself transformed.
Into its radiant jewel-like essence.
I bow to the one who has made it so,
Who has crafted this Master Game;
To play it is purest delight –
To honor its form, true devotion.


3-Step Breathing Space

There’s a new practice that comes from the world of MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) called the 3-Step Breathing Space; another way to pause and come to your senses.

KEY insight to this practice? We can be IN and KNOW the world both experientially and conceptually, which has the capacity to enrich our lives.

Here are the steps with an audio practice:

Step 1: Becoming aware of body sensations, moods/feelings and thoughts

Step 2: Gathering our attention – anchoring awareness to the sensations of breathing

Step 3: Expanding our awareness to include a sense of the body as a WHOLE

Mindful Communication – learning to be mindful of our speech, and the skill we have with listening, are avenues well worth exploring!

Try this exercise below with a partner; a spouse? a friend? a work colleague? You choose.

Have a timer handy and be prepared to be silent when it’s your turn to listen, and to speak from the heart when you are the speaker.

Each person has 2 minutes to be speaker, and listener.

Four Attitudes of Mind

Trying to include these attitudes of mind into this month of self-love and care can help reframe even the toughest situations.

This week, take a look at Compassion and Joy, and see how they fit into this month of self-love and care!

  1. Befriending: an intrinsic orientation of mind or underlying tendency toward experience that is curious, friendly, and kind
  2. Compassion: an orientation of mind that recognizes pain and the universality of pain in the human experience, and our capacity to meet that pain with kindness, empathy, equanimity, and patience
  3. Joy: an intrinsic attitude of mind that includes gladness of the heart, soft-heartedness, and tenderness. It supports a capacity for appreciation, contentment and gratitude
  4. Equanimity: a quality of inner balance imbued with awareness, care, and compassion that is fully engaged with the events of every moment, both inwardly and outwardly

Speaks to attitude, perspective and choice:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

~Viktor Frankl

Mindful Movement w/Jon Kabat-Zinn – Standing Postures (10mins)

Mindful Movement w/Lynn Koerbel-Standing Postures (43mins)

Tuesday 2/14

Happy Valentine’s Day!

When we practice Loving-Kindness meditation, we send heartfelt wishes, first to the self, then to loved ones, then to community, then to the difficult ones in our lives, and finally to all beings on the planet.

Take a moment to send these, or your own wishes – beginning with the self:

“May you be Happy, May you be Healthy, May you be Safe and Secure, May you be at Peace”.

Update: Monday 2/13


Perhaps you’re beginning to notice your ability to respond skillfully in each moment – no matter what is happening?

Turning toward, and allowing experiences of all kinds to be as they are, with patience, kindness and care are the beginnings of a different kind of response to life.

This Wednesday, we’ll venture further into the worlds of REAPPRAISAL, INSIGHT AND WISDOM.

Update: Sunday 2/12

Non Judgment!

Let’s hear what JKZ has to say about this powerful mindfulness skill.

Happy Sunday.

Update: Saturday 2/11


The most powerful healer of all?

It’s the weekend. If you don’t have work today, maybe you can squeeze in a nap?

If you can’t squeeze in a nap, maybe you can choose to go to bed a little earlier tonight and/or sleep in a little later tomorrow a.m.?

I know you have stuff to do that has potentially been piling up this past week.

I also know that the most important thing is that you take care of YOU, so that you can be effective and healthy.

Meditation and Sleep are two different animals. Feed them both this weekend?

Ommmm and Zzzzzzzzzz……

Update: Friday 2/10

Here’s Jon Kabat-Zinn (creator of MBSR), talking for a couple of minutes about NON-STRIVING. Well worth the watch.

Update: Thursday 2/9

Let’s face it! We can get STUCK in disempowering patterns. The good news is that we have a CHOICE. This poem illustrates the point so well!


In session one, we talked about offering a route map to mindfulness, and explored the concept of stabilizing attention — which is an ongoing effort.

During this session, we continue on that route map to offer ourselves NEW WAYS OF KNOWING AND BEING — utilizing the formal and informal tools that can be laced into more and more of our waking moments.

Follow your Mindfulness Route Mapforge a new path and stay in your lane!

Pulling threads from MBSR Class 2 and 3, we remind ourselves of the the pillars or attitudes of mindfulness related to those sessions, which are Non-Striving and Non-Judgment.

As we travel through this week, let’s employ, with intention, those attitudes as often as we can bring them to mind.

Learning mindfulness involves first learning to see and recognize the climate of our minds.

  • Are we in automatic pilot, running off habitual ways of thinking and behaving?
  • Are we in a more receptive, present moment awareness that can be with what is?
  • Are we conceptual, ruminative, or overthinking things?
  • Are we conceptual, but in a creative free-flowing mode of mind?

Stabilizing and training our attention enables us to better see the current climate of our minds, including seeing:

  1. The mind switching in and out of modes
  2. The space between stimulus and reactivity
  3. The point at which stimuli are assigned a feeling tone (pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral)
  4. The beginnings of evaluative elaboration

Mindfulness training supports the development of this capacity to recognize, and begin to understand the what and the how of the mind.

Update: Tuesday 2/7

Patience is a virtue!

Update: Monday 2/6


Beginner’s Mind.

No matter what happened over the weekend, last week, last year, earlier in your life, this is a NEW moment.

This breath? You’ve never taken the same one before.

Fresh week. Fresh you.

Update: Sunday 2/5

Update: Friday 2/3

It’s a rainy Friday here in San Mateo, CA.

Instead of feeling “blue” because of the lack of blue in the sky, I’m feeling “cozy” with the clouds.

Wherever you are, I hope you notice the pleasant and unpleasant aspects of weather and all things, and know that this is life — complete with likes and dislikes and neutral stuff too.

Message for today? Allow…

Update: Thursday 2/2


This course shouldn’t be hard work. Remember to take it all with ease.

Also remind yourself that a little practice is better than none at all and that maybe you DO have time (even when the mind says you don’t) to practice.

There’s a DOSE/RESPONSE relationship when it comes to brain and behavioral benefits from meditation. In other words, the more you do, the better the payoff.

Excerpt from Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom meets Modern Psychology:

“The first psychological gesture of mindfulness is to turn toward present-moment experience so as to UNDERSTAND IT – this is the first step in developing a willingness to meet vulnerability rather than flee from it.

The second gesture of mindfulness is to develop the capacity and willingness to stand near present-moment experience with an attitude of caring curiosity, no matter how difficult the present experience.”

Session One: 2/1


Our tendency is to be on autopilot, while driving without a map. Mindfulness training provides a route and potential transformation through these stages: Stabilizing attention, New ways of knowing and being, Responding skillfully w/reappraisal, insight and wisdom, and Embodiment.

Pulling threads from MBSR Class 1 and 2, we remind ourselves of the axiom I (Intention) + A (Attention) + A (Attitude). The pillars or attitudes of mindfulness relating to those sessions are Beginner’s Mind and Patience.

As we travel through this week, let’s employ, with intention, those attitudes as often as we can bring them to mind.

In other words, let’s pay attention on purpose.

The overarching theme for Session One is: Stabilizing Attention. What does that mean?

Mindfulness training enables us to learn how to choose more intentionally what we pay attention to, and how we pay attention.

Points to consider:

  1. Attention is the gateway to experience
  2. Attention is rooted in protective awareness and intentionality
  3. Attention can be trained, but is also, in part, automatic (not a bad thing)


  1. The nature of our experience is determined by which stimuli we attend to, which we only peripherally attend to, and which are ignored.
  2. Bringing intention to our attention is the fist pivotal step in the journey toward thriving rather than surviving, the shift from habitual reactivity to responsiveness.
  3. When we stabilize our attention, our unfolding moment-by-moment experience slows down. We can see the content and processes of the mind more clearly.

What we pay attention to, and how, are trained throughout this mindfulness program!

Why February?

The HEART of mindfulness practice is the cultivation of the Four Attitudes of Mind (to be explored one per session)

  1. Befriending: an intrinsic orientation of mind or underlying tendency toward experience that is curious, friendly, and kind
  2. Compassion: an orientation of mind that recognizes pain and the universality of pain in the human experience, and our capacity to meet that pain with kindness, empathy, equanimity, and patience
  3. Joy: an intrinsic attitude of mind that includes gladness of the heart, softheartedness, and tenderness. It supports a capacity for appreciation, contentment and gratitude
  4. Equanimity: a quality of inner balance imbued with awareness, care, and compassion that is fully engaged with the events of every moment, both inwardly and outwardly


Suggested Home Practice

INFORMAL Practices (engage with these ideas/concepts throughout the week):

For half of the week, practice bringing BEGINNER’S MIND into your life. Be Curious. Be Open. Pretend you’re doing the practices, having conversations and performing mundane tasks for the first time!

For the second half of the week, practice PATIENCE and notice when your’s runs low. What are the circumstances? Who are the people? What are the vents that bring on impatience for you?

Notice how that feels (physically and emotionally) and choose in the moment to let go of the need to rush through life.

For a day or two, notice a PLEASANT EVENT that you can recall in the day.

For a day or two, notice an UNPLEASANT EVENTS that you recall in the day.

You may wish to jot down the experiences, and their correlating emotions.

Is it easier to explore pleasant, or unpleasant events? Which can you recall more readily?