Thich Nhat Hanh on Cell Phones + 11 Mindfulness Tips for Meditation & Daily Living.

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Mindfulness is probably one of the most powerful stress busters out there. It’s also a phenomenal way to become fully engaged with life. Practiced and taught by teachers in traditions ranging from Vedic and Tantric to Buddhist and everything in between, it’s a versatile practice that we often gain access to through meditation, but can easily transfer to everyday living.

Here are a few of the tips I used to share with my Joy for Life corporate stress buster workshop participants—with a bonus one at the bottom recently shared by Yin yoga teacher Bernie Clark, taught by a teacher he’s been working with lately: Thich Nhat Hanh.

Essentially, they’re all based on the amazing, life changing premise that we are not our thoughts. If we practice distancing ourselves from our thoughts and our minds, we recognize our essential, calm and strong self below the surface drama. If you’d like more of these tips, there’s six more on my blog.

11 Mindfulness Tips for Meditation and Daily Living


1. What can we see? Take a good look around you and notice what meets your eye. It’s nice to go beyond what we can observe and label, and notice more deeply. It’s not a sidewalk, it’s grays and browns and blacks and textures layered one upon the other.

2. What can we hear? For many of us, spring is here. Bird calls rise and fall. Lawn mowers charge the air. Windows are open—people are laughing inside. Sirens are blaring. Sound can become a mindfulness meditation, even it’s a sound we don’t usually like. We can practice simply noticing, and not reacting, letting the sound be what takes us out of our monkey mind.

3. What can we smell? That fresh-cut grass. The air coming in the window. What drifts in with it? Let yourself follow your nose.

4. What can we feel? If there’s a pen nearby, we can use that. What shapes, textures, and angles does it have? Or how about the sensation of your fingers hitting the keyboard? Let your intention and attention come there, and drop further away from your planning mind, racing ahead to the next thing on your to-do list.

5. What can we taste? I know a novelist who uses hard candies to help her stay out of planning what she’ll do when she’s wrapped up her writing for the day. David Romanelli’s Yoga + Chocolate workshops and yoga for foodies retreats work with this premise.


6. Watch your breath. This is my favorite way to practice mindfulness, because our breath is always with us. And the switch-over to the calming systems that work with the parasympathetic nervous system happens almost as soon as we start to pay attention.


7. Breakfast time. Really notice your food. What color is it? What textures does it have? What does it feel like in your mouth? Eating your breakfast can become a beautiful mini vacation from monkey mind.

8. Walking to work (or the bus). Here’s the perfect opportunity for a walking meditation. We can notice the sights, the sounds, the feeling on the bare skin of our hands, or the sensations of our feet touching and leaving the earth.,

9. On the bus/train. There are lots of ways to work this opportunity for peace. A few ideas: you can tune into one of your senses, close your eyes and notice simply notice your breath, or silently repeat a mantra.

10. Take time in the bathroom. Every day, no matter what we do for work, we have the opportunity to find peace—in the loo. It’s the perfect chance to take a moment to watch our  breath, or our thoughts—noticing them and letting them go.

11. Thich Nhat Hanh cell phone meditation. This is one I recently learned from Yin yoga teacher Bernie Clark. Instead of grappling with our phone to answer it right away as soon as we hear the first ring, we turn it into an opportunity for peaceful contemplation. Ring 1: we pull out our cell phone. Ring 2: we notice who’s calling. Ring 3: We notice our breath. Ring 4: We answer.



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anonymous Jun 25, 2013 11:02am

Beautiful article. Thanks for sharing, i love thich nahat hanh.

anonymous Apr 28, 2013 6:30pm

I love this article. Simple and to the point. Thank you for sharing this and helping me think about it. Many blessings, Nameste.

anonymous Mar 7, 2013 8:41am


anonymous Dec 23, 2012 1:29pm

[…] “Loneliness is the ill-being of our time. … Even when we’re surrounded by many people we can feel very lonely. We are lonely together. There’s a vacuum inside us. It makes us feel uncomfortable, so we try to fill it up by connecting with other people. We believe that if we’re able to connect, the feeling of loneliness will disappear. Technology supplies us with many devices to help us stay connected. We’re always staying connected, yet we continue to feel lonely. Several times a day we check email, send email, and post messages to social media sites. We want to share and to receive. We might spend our whole day connecting, but it doesn’t help reduce the loneliness we feel. This is the state of things at this moment in our modern civilization.” – Thich Nhat Hanh […]

anonymous Sep 26, 2011 7:02am

[…] […]

anonymous Aug 5, 2011 11:40am

[…] the first thing we’re told to do on our quest to control our monkey mind is to start witnessing our thoughts. I once had a yoga teacher in New York tell me and the rest of her class that we had a little […]

anonymous May 18, 2011 3:17am

[…] RELATEDThich Nhat Hanh on Cell Phones + 11 Mindfulness Tips for Daily Living […]

Bob Weisenberg Mar 24, 2011 11:45am

Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the new Elephant Yoga homepage.

anonymous Mar 24, 2011 5:59am

Those are fantastic tips, Lindsey! Gave me a nice break from my monkey mind. (as I now listen to the birds more closely…. snowed yesterday so my windows aren't open).

anonymous Mar 23, 2011 5:57pm

Wow! I love that cell phone tip. I'm going to do it.

Bob Weisenberg Mar 23, 2011 2:01pm

Just posted to "Featured Today" on the new Elephant Yoga homepage.

Bob Weisenberg Mar 23, 2011 1:54pm

This is a great way to put philosophy into daily use. Thanks, Lindsey

Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

Bob W.
Yoga Editor

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Lindsey Lewis

I’m a yoga teacher, life coach in-training, retreat host, business woman, and entrepreneur. I write, I paint, I draw, I dance. I get outside every day. I challenge myself. I meditate. Riding my cruiser bike along the seawall rocks my world. Being of service is essential. I’m committed to helping the world find their freedom. I believe in love. I believe in the human capacity to evolve, to grow, and to make the world a better place—even if it’s simply through our re-vitalized presence. Let’s connect! I’m at Libre Living.
and Facebook Also, Libre Retreats on Twitter @libreretreats