The value of choosing to pay attention

A bowl of muesli with many different ingredients

In recent weeks, I’ve spent quite a lot of time reflecting on Jon Kabat Zinn’s definition of mindfulness. He describes mindfulness as paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. This first quality of paying attention ‘on purpose’ might appear quite a straightforward proposition, but it’s worthy of closer inspection. Paying attention on purpose means that we actively choose to pay attention – we exercise a choice. Adding

Becoming more familiar with our emotional furniture

A favourite phrase that we first heard from the Zen teacher Ken Jones, describes the awareness that arises through mindfulness meditation practice as a process of becoming more familiar with our emotional furniture. As we mark World Mental Health Day today, this analogy of our emotional furniture is a really helpful one that merits further investigation. What is our emotional furniture? We could say that we all have a unique

Learn to run with a new perspective

Stuart running in Kent.May 2020

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a regular running route as part of your routine. After a while it becomes very familiar. You know the gradients where you may need to increase your effort. You know the flats and the descents and how you like to run those. There’s no problem with having a regular running route of course, but what can happen from a mindfulness-based perspective, is

Running with motivation, intention and attention

The beginning of the new year is a favourite time to set ourselves new goals for the months ahead. Often top of the list is some form of exercise regime. If running is on your list, it may be that you want to start for the first time, make it a more consistent habit or perhaps you’ve targeted a race or some other kind of challenge that will require you

Hill reps and how to run them mindfully

Woman practising mindful running

Hill reps are a great addition to your training to help build strength and endurance, as well as speed over shorter distances. Where can a mindful approach to our running help maximise the benefits of a hill rep session? It’s all about cultivating relaxation. What is a hill repeat? As the name suggests, a hill rep training session involves running up an incline over a specified distance and intensity. We

Facing anxiety when running

What can mindfulness offer when we find worry and negativity taking over our run? (This article was first published in the August 2019 issue of Women’s Running) The 10k race is underway. You’re in the zone and feeling optimistic that you will break the elusive 60-minute barrier! That soon fades at the 6K mark when fatigue sets in and people start to pass you. Your watch doesn’t lie – you’re

What is mindful running?

RUN:ZEN teacher running

At RUN:ZEN we offer a variety of workshops and events that teach mindful running. When people are signing up, there are often two questions they are curious about having answered. First, ‘What does mindful running actually mean?’ and second, ‘Why might I find it useful?’ So, we’d like to start to unpack mindful running for you in the way that we experience and teach it. So what is mindful running?