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BBC Mind Set Meditations

You will need:

a Chair;

a Body;

some Air;

your Mind.

That’s it.


Breathing Meditation

Stream here.

Right click here to download (control click on a Mac & you can add to iTunes/iPhone)

You’ll find written instructions here (they’re worth reading to familiarise yourself with the technique).

Chocolate Meditation

Reconnecting with your senses is one of the core benefits of Mindfulness. Many traditions use fruit or nuts as the focus for a meditation. But you can use any food at all, so here’s one for chocolate. It’s led by Professor Mark Williams, my co-author on ‘Mindfulness’. Stream here or right click here to download (control click on a Mac & you can add to iTunes/iPhone)

Breathing Space Meditation

Stream here.

Right click here to download (control click on a Mac & you can add to iTunes/iPhone)

You’ll find written instructions here (they’re worth reading to familiarise yourself with the technique).

person whose mind isn’t wandering, isn’t meditating…..

When you did the meditations, did you feel restless and uncomfortable? Discover a few aches and pains? Perhaps there was a long list of things that needed doing RIGHT NOW, THIS MINUTE. Maybe you had wild swings of energy. One moment you were bubbling with enthusiasm, then suddenly . . . exhausted. And the powerful emotions that swept you along – the frustrations and disappointments, the feelings of inadequacy followed by the bitter taste of defeat as yet again you realised that your mind had wandered away with itself. You probably felt that your mind was so chaotic you will never be able to focus for more than a few seconds at a time. What a mess . . .

This is normal.

It’s your first lesson.

Minds wander. It’s what they do.

This leads to the central guiding principle of mindfulness: you cannot fail. Realising that your mind has wandered away from the breath IS the meditation.

It IS a moment of mindfulness.


Mindfulness is . . .

…full conscious awareness.

It is paying full conscious attention to whatever thoughts, feelings and emotions are flowing through your mind, body and breath without judging or criticising them in any way.

It is being fully aware of whatever is happening in the present moment without being trapped in the past or worrying about the future.

It is living in the moment not for the moment.


Mindfulness is not . . .

a religion. . .

…nor is it ‘opting out’ or detaching yourself from the world. It’s about connecting and embracing life in all of its chaotic beauty, with all of your faults and foibles.

The aim of mindfulness is not to intentionally clear the mind of thoughts.

It is to understand how the mind works.

To see how it unwittingly ties itself in knots to create anxiety, stress, unhappiness and exhaustion.

It teaches you to observe how your thoughts, feelings and emotions rise and fall like waves on the sea.

And in the calm spaces in between lie moments of piercing insight.


You are not your thoughts.

You are the observer of your thoughts. It’s a subtle distinction that’s only perceived with practice.

Your thoughts are a running commentary on the world; a ‘best guess’ of what’s truly happening. Often, your thoughts will reflect the powerful emotional currents swirling through your mind, body and breath. Sometimes they are true, sometimes they are a frantic work in progress, sometimes they are wrong.

Mindfulness teaches you to take the long view, to put your thoughts, feelings and emotions into a broader context. And when you do so, your most frantic and distressing thoughts simply melt away of their own accord, leaving behind a calm, clear, insightful mind.


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What can mindfulness do for you?

What is Mindfulness?

Frantic World

Carry on breathing… to cope with anxiety, stress and depression

Back to BBC Mind Set page