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CoachingJanuary 9, 2018by Ray Kinsella0The Mindful Minute

None of us is so busy that we can't spare a minute from time to time. Literally, one minute. Just one. When you're waiting for the train in the morning, or waiting for the bus; when you arrive at your desk or you're waiting for your computer to boot...Just one single minute.

None of us is so busy that we can’t spare a minute from time to time. Literally, one minute. Just one. When you’re waiting for the train in the morning, or waiting for the bus; when you arrive at your desk or you’re waiting for your computer to boot…Just one single minute.

There’s a really effective meditation practice you can so that lasts exactly one minute. It’s extraordinarily handy and portable and you can fit it in pretty much anywhere – even the lavatory at work if you can’t find anywhere else.

When you do this practice for the first time you’ll need to time yourself for exactly one minute. You can use an egg time for this, or ask a friend to time you.

The meditation here is very similar to the mindfulness of breathing, but instead of just watching each breath, you set out to count them. You let the breath just breathe itself, in what ever way you normally breathe, and you pay particular attention to each breath – counting at the end of each out-breath. You just count each breath you take over the course of exactly one time minute so that – at the end – you’ll know precisely how many breaths you take in a minute.

Begin by sitting in a chair with your feet square on the floor in front of you and your body arranged more or less symmetrically. Find a posture that is relaxed, upright and dignified. Then, closing your eyes, bring your attention to the breath and begin to follow each in-breath and each out-breath. Do that for a few breaths and, when you feel you have a sense of your breath moving in the body, start your one-minute timer and begin to count your breaths.

Breathe in, breathe out, and (mentally) count ‘one’. Breathe in, breathe out, and count ‘two’. Breathe in, breathe out and count ‘three’….and so on. Keep going for exactly one minute. Then, when your timer sounds or your friend calls time, remember what number you were on.

People vary, and the number of breaths you take is neither here or there for our purposes. The main thing is to remember how many breaths you took in that minute: 6, 10, 14, 18 or whatever. That way, when you’ve got a minute to spare and you want to become more mindful you can set out to count your 6 or 18 breaths – whatever you found.

You can do this before an important phone call or before getting out of the car on your way to an important meeting. You can do it as a preparation for a presentation or as a way of getting yourself back to centre after a disturbing encounter. You can do it pretty much anywhere, any time and for whatever reason. If you dot a few of these through your day it will make things run better – whatever you’re doing.

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