At Green Living 2016, Singapore's eco-living event held at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, Mindfulness Coach Erin gave a sharing about the importance of practicing mindfulness in sustaining our personal well-being, for the greater good of a more peaceful community. She talked about what mindfulness is and isn't, the stress we experience when we dwell in the past or the future, as well as why we should train the mind to pay attention to the present.
Erin also led the audience through some simple mindfulness practices to observe their inner experience. All in all, the audience was really supportive and curious, and we hope they took away something valuable from the short 30-minute session!
Special thanks to Reed Exhibitions for inviting Mindful Moments to participate in Green Living.
Find out how to improve your personal well-being with mindfulness by registering for our 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program, of which many positive research outcomes are based.
I get this a lot as a mindfulness practitioner and advocate - many tell me they would love to practice mindfulness, but simply can't squeeze out much time to do it. This usually happens when our idea about mindfulness is pretty much limited to sitting still for a (very) long time. I completely empathize with their concern, because to be honest, when you're already pressed for time to complete work deadlines, finish up your chores, and spend time with your family, who can afford to idle around on a cushion, not moving, and doing nothing?
But here's the thing: mindfulness does not have to be practiced in stillness, and it is certainly not doing nothing. When we are practicing mindfulness, we are actually training the mind to pay attention to the present moment, and that can take a lot of work on our part. While some mindfulness practices take place sitting or lying in stillness, others can be practiced in movement. Not all mindfulness practices are long - some can be short, or really, really short. And what's also beautiful about mindfulness is that it can be practiced almost anywhere, anytime.
How about practicing mindfulness while brushing your teeth? You might wonder how you could do that. All you need is something to place your attention on. Feel the motions of your hand and the brush moving up and down, back and forth; feel the sensations of brushing on the teeth, the gums, the tongue; feel the minty coolness and notice the taste of the toothpaste; notice the temperature of the water in your mouth. Notice the present state of your body instead of running through your to-do list in your mind.
Or how about when you're commuting on an MRT train? Instead of looking down at your phone (it is scary how uniform commuters look when everybody's heads are bowed down at their gadgets), notice your posture and the way you are sitting or standing; feel the floor at the bottoms of your feet; feel the texture of the pole you're holding on to; feel our breath in and under your nose.
You can also practice mindfulness when you're vacuuming your home, washing the dishes, driving, crossing the road, taking a shower, eating a meal, unlocking the door... The list is endless! Simply pay attention to what's present in your immediate environment - physical sensations in your body, movements, sounds, etc. This kind of daily life mindfulness practice, which we call informal practice (in contrast with formal practices of sitting on the cushion or chair or lying on the floor for a longer period of time), can last a few minutes or even just a few seconds or moments, but the benefits are tremendous.
That said, it is worth noting that both formal and informal practices are important in mindfulness training, and the best way to practice mindfulness is to find a balance between them both, which complement each other. While formal practice deepens our concentration and wisdom through observing the nature of our mind and body, informal practice allows us to incorporate awareness in our daily lives. When both practices are integrated as a way of life, we are training the brain's cognitive flexibility to effectively regulate our emotions, change our relationship with stress, and improve our health and well-being.
The author Erin is a Mindfulness Coach and Founder of Mindful Moments Singapore. Learn more about the research-based mindfulness training program she teaches.
We just launched an informative 3-minute video (2:50 to be exact) about what mindfulness is not. Click on the video to watch and clear your misconceptions about mindfulness!
What's the big deal about mindfulness? You might have wondered. You see it everywhere in the news and media; you've received emails and newsletters about mindfulness events; perhaps you've read an article or book about mindfulness; maybe you've even engaged in a little mindfulness practice yourself. You've noticed that companies, institutions and other organisations are paying increasing attention to this field and beginning to conduct mindfulness workshops and training for their employees and stakeholders. Why the fuss over this seemingly new discipline?
The fact is, mindfulness is getting a lot of attention, and it is not all just media hype. It is being increasingly backed by scientific research spanning the fields of neuroscience, psychological therapy, healthcare, education, and parenting - just to name a few. The proven benefits of practicing mindfulness has, in the recent decades, attracted more and more people to incorporate mindfulness in their daily lives.
This free information session, conducted by Erin Lee from Mindful Moments Singapore, will cover the background and develop of mindfulness, applications and research of this field, as well as an introduction to the classic 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program, on which many positive research outcomes are based. Participants will also be invited to join in a little experiential mindfulness practice, and have their questions about mindfulness answered.
The event offers two sessions: Session A at 2:30 pm, and Session B at 4:00 pm. Participants will only need to register for one of the sessions. If you're bringing family and friends, please register a seat for each attending person.
Click here to register for a seat through Eventbrite.
The Free Mindfulness Information Session conducted by Mindful Moments Singapore is back on Saturday 28 May 2016.
You may have read or heard (a lot) about mindfulness and how it has been incorporated into many fields and disciplines such as healthcare, psychology, holistic wellness, education, parenting, and even business and leadership, as well as corporate wellness. Over the last three decades, there has been an exponential growth in the number of mindfulness publications, indicating a rising interest in the practice of mindfulness. But this does not mean that mindfulness is a fad; it has developed from a traditional Eastern practice into a well-researched, evidence-based healing approach that is practiced in a secular way and taught through a structured program.
The Mindfulness Information Session is organized by Mindful Moments to spread awareness of mindfulness and inspire mindfulness as the way of life. This will be a chance for you toask any questions you may have about mindfulness. The event is free and adults from all walks of life are welcomed to register and sit in. The talk on Saturday 28 May 2016 will be conducted by Erin Lee, founder of Mindful Moments Singapore, Mindfulness Coach, Hypnotherapist and HypnoCoach® at Light On Life Singapore.
Session A starts at 2 PM, and session B starts at 3:30 PM. Participants will only need to register for one of the sessions. For each session, Erin will begin with a talk about the background, development, applications and benefits of mindfulness as well as an introduction to the classic 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program. She will also bring participants through a short mindfulness practice as a group. Next, participants will be invited to ask questions about mindfulness and the MBSR program we offer. Last but not least, Erin will conduct individual consultations and intake for participants who are interested in registering for the March 2016 MBSR Program.
Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
There is no need to show your ID, although we welcome adults from all walks of life to participate in this event. The MBSR program is most suitable for adults aged 18 and above.
What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
By car: you may park your vehicle at Singapore Shopping Centre, Park Mall or Plaza Singapura.
By MRT: 3 min walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station
By Bus: 7, 14, 14A, 14e, 16, 36, 36A, 36B, 65, 77, 106, 111, 124, 128, 162, 162M, 167, 171, 174, 174e, 175, 190, 700, 700A, NR6, NR7
Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?
Please contact Erin via email at email@example.com
Is my registration/ticket transferrable?
Once you have registered for a session, you may also wish to bring your family and friends whom you think may benefit from knowing more about mindfulness. Please also register a seat for your family or friends who are coming with you, as there are limited seats at the event.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
There is no need to bring a printed ticket. You can simply verify your email address with us when you arrive on that day.
Singapore Shopping Centre - 190 Clemenceau Ave #02-19, Singapore 239924
Some people, when asked if they would consider practicing mindfulness, would almost immediately respond: "But I can't sit still for even one minute!"
A common misconception about mindfulness, is that the practice requires one to sit quietly, cross-legged on the floor, with your eyes closed, and... basically do nothing. You are not allowed to move or talk, and you are supposed to empty your mind.
The truth is that a mindfulness practice is far from doing nothing. In fact, there really is a lot of work involved. It might look like a practitioner is just sitting there, not thinking, not feeling. But there is so much more to the experience.
In a typical mindfulness practice, we are training our mind to focus and pay attention to the present moment; we are observing the nature of our mind systematically and non-judgmentally; we are inviting curiosity into the experience and learning to accept that whatever that comes up we are okay with it. We are developing the capacity to watch the endless stream thoughts and emotions in our mind without engaging with or reacting to them. We are cultivating patience, building compassion, and collecting moments of equanimity.
Mindfulness is also not just practiced sitting. We regularly practice mindful walking, and do gentle stretching or balancing movements mindfully. Mindfulness should also be practiced in daily life - when we are eating, showering, driving, cooking, sweeping, working, or conversing with someone.
What other possible misconceptions of mindfulness do you think we could address?
Learn and practice mindfulness with us at our 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program.
About The Author
MiMo founder Erin Lee is a Mindfulness Coach and MBSR Teacher at Mindful Moments, and advocate of mindfulness as the way of life. She conducts the classic 8-Week MBSR Program, as well as the 8-Week MBSR Workplace Program.
Are you a mindfulness practitioner and have meaningful experiences or thoughts about mindfulness that you'd like to share? You can contribute an article on the MiMo blog! Please contact Erin to find out more.