I promised resources on mindfulness.  Sticking with those that emphasize mindfulness without necessarily attaching a spiritual or religious component, here are some places to start.

Keep in mind that I’m not advocating “blissing out,” becoming a monk, or ignoring the world around you.  To the contrary, mindfulness involves engaging your mind more sharply than most people do.  Most people walk around ignoring themselves and their experiences. Changing that behavior — paying attention — enhances one’s experience and increases one’s self-efficacy.

Mindfulness Exercises. The sites in the later sections of this post provide numerous exercises that can incorporate mindfulness into a daily routine.  Here are some starters, however, if you want to dip a toe in the water:

> The Virtual Mindfulness Center has a variety of exercises for mindful body, sensory, and speech practices.  These are simple and effective.

> Aspacewithin.com provides exercises that involve modifying basic routines, asking questions about one’s experiences, and tracking one’s time.

> MindScience101 provides exercises involving meditation, slowing down, and journaling.

> BlissPlan provides some additional suggestions about meditation.

A word about meditation. Although far from conclusive, research suggests that meditation may have therapeutic effects, not only during meditation, but after.  In other words, taking time out to meditate may enhance your experience of time not spent meditating.  I will explore this concept in a later post.  This guide is a good basic online resource for meditation.

Mindfulness Research Centers.  Two of the major mindfulness research centers in the United States include the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and The Penn Program for Mindfulness at the University of Pennsylvania.  Other well-known programs include The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and the Center for Mindfulness at the University of California-San Diego.  Numerous other centers throughout the United States focus on mindfulness, too.  The Mindfulness Resource Guide is a wealth of information and resources about the study and practice of mindfulness.

Mindfulness and Society.  The Center for Mindful Inquiry and The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society focus on broader issues of integrating mindfulness into business and society.  MindingYourLife.net is one of many useful websites focused on bringing mindfulness practices to education.

Explore the sites above.  You may find practices that enhance the quality of your health, your work, and your interpersonal interactions.  And please, let me know if you have other resources we should use.