A heads-up about an exciting new project

April 8, 2017

This is an exciting time for us at Wildmind. We’re about to start developing our own app, which will feature an ever-expanding library of my guided meditations.

The app itself will be free, although to unlock all of the meditations will require a subscription of $3.99 a month. We’re hoping that this app will bring us the financial security that’s been so elusive over the last few years, freeing us up from financial worries so that we can focus more on helping people.

As with past projects, we’re using Indiegogo to crowdfund the development costs, and we’d love if you would support us.

The crowdfunding campaign doesn’t go live until Monday, but in order to … Read more »

None of us is broken

March 29, 2017

shocked woman

There are so many ways to freak out in response to life’s challenges, disappointments, and frustrations.

We can become anxious, and worried, and imagine catastrophic things happening — worst-case scenarios that make our hearts pound.

We can lose our tempers, yell, storm off, or simmer in resentment.

We can find someone else to blame, however indirectly they may have been involved in whatever it is that’s bothering us.

We can find ways to avoid the difficult feelings around the problem, by drinking, or binge-watching Netflix, or immersing ourselves in work, or comfort-eating.

We can make sure we don’t cross paths with someone we have problems with, or try to ignore mail that may contain bad … Read more »

Optimize your brain, body, and life with meditation

March 1, 2017

Until not long ago, scientists studying the nervous system believed that the adult brain was incapable of growing new cells. That’s now known to be false. In fact new cells are being born in the brain all the time. If they’re needed (that is, if the part of the brain that they’re in is being used intensively) then those cells become wired in to the existing networks of nerves, and that part of the brain grows. On the other hand, if they’re not used, they’ll be reabsorbed.

Even without growing new cells, the brain is constantly developing and pruning connections, though. Every new memory you create, every thing you forget, every new piece of learning, … Read more »

An easy mindfulness practice to help you relax

February 28, 2017

woman drinking coffee

Vidyamala’s online course, Mindfulness for Women: Declutter Your Mind, Simplify Your Life, Find Time to ‘Be’, starts March 1.

Do you always live to – or beyond – your limits? Would you get less done if you took regular breaks?

Many people live in a ‘boom and bust’ way, otherwise known as the overactivity–underactivity cycle. To varying degrees, many of us swing between high energy and low energy.

We do less when we are feeling tired and unmotivated; then, when we feel more energetic, we hectically try to catch up on all the things that we’ve got behind with and end up overdoing it and getting stressed out. This tips us straight back into feeling … Read more »

When in doubt, breathe out – the power of breathing properly

February 24, 2017

woman breathing

Vidyamala’s online course, Mindfulness for Women, starts March 1. Click here for details.

Breathing properly is immediately helpful because the first thing most of us do when experiencing stress and pain – be it mental, emotional or physical – is inhibit our breathing. Try this short exercise:

Make a fist with one hand. Notice what’s happened to your breathing. You’ll probably notice you’re holding it. Now imagine breathing into the fist. What does it want to do? You’ll probably find it wants to release a little.

The fist in this exercise is a metaphor for any kind of discomfort or stress. When we are not aware, we automatically tense against the stresses of life with … Read more »

Seven ways meditation can help you be a better lover

February 14, 2017

Although Buddhist meditation was originally practiced mostly by celibate monks and nuns, who were not only forbidden from having sex but even from having physical contact with the opposite sex, mindfulness practice can significantly enhance your love life. And by “love life” I don’t mean just sex, but your entire life with someone you’re emotionally and physically intimate with. But sex too!

Mindfulness Helps You Be Present for Your Partner

First, being mindful helps us to be present for our partner. So much of the time when we’re with another person, we’re not really there. Nowadays it’s common to see couples sitting together in a cafe, but focused on their phones. A modern prayer for … Read more »

Mindfulness for Women: Claire’s diary

February 13, 2017

Vidyamala Burch

Vidyamala’s course, “Mindfulness for Women,” starts March 1, 2017

The Mindfulness for Women online course, starting March 1 on Wildmind, is based on the book I co-wrote with Journalist Claire Irvin. Claire hadn’t meditated before we worked on this project so she gamely kept a diary of her efforts which are accessible, often hilarious, and moving. Here’s her diary of her first attempt to meditate:

Claire’s Diary Week One: Body Scan

It’s 9.30 on a dark early-spring evening. My husband Stuart is away and I’ve finally got Amelie, six, to go to bed (she will take any opportunity to delay bedtime, and an absent parent is as good an excuse as any). On

Read more »

Self-compassion is not self-indulgent

February 7, 2017

grey wolf

One common concern about self-compassion is that it’ll make us lazy and self-indulgent — that if we become more self-compassionate we’ll lack motivation. Self-indulgence means avoiding difficulties, which may benefit us in the short term, but which is detrimental in the long term. Self-indulgence is when we cop out. So we might imagine that when faced with doing something difficult, we’ll let ourselves off the hook in order to be “kind” to ourselves. But that’s the opposite of what actually happens.

Self-compassion means giving yourself support, understanding, and encouragement when you face difficult experiences. It helps you to face your difficulties.

Self-compassion recognizes that your long-term happiness is served not by avoiding challenges, but in … Read more »

How mindfulness can help all women achieve their potential

February 5, 2017
Vidyamala Burch

I am proud to come from New Zealand, which in 1893 became the first country in the world in which women gained the right to vote. More recently, New Zealand was also the first democracy to have all key Government roles fulfilled by women, e.g. Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Governor General. I also come from a long tradition of strong women and I feel I owe it to my courageous and heroic forebears to do all that I can to stand tall and true in my own life.

I want to let other women know about how mindfulness has transformed my life over the past thirty years, and how it can transform their lives … Read more »

The why and the how of life

January 30, 2017

woman walking on a road

You have two big decisions to make in life.

  • The first is, Where do you want to go?

This is your life’s “why” — your purpose.

  • The second decision is, What are you going to do to get there?

This is your life’s “how.” How are you going to live? What choices are you going to make that are in line with your purpose and that take you in the right direction? How are you going to navigate life’s dilemmas? How do you make choices? To what are you going to say “yes” and to what are you going to say “no”? Who are you going to travel life’s journey with?

Get the why and … Read more »