Techniques for Mindfulness at Work

Front Page Forums Dharma Practice in Daily Life Techniques for Mindfulness at Work

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Frederic 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #2486


    Hello all!

    It makes a lot of sense that our practice needs to continue in between meditation sessions, as this is the other 95% of the day!

    I tend to be the least mindful while at work. When the work starts to pile up, I tend to go into go-mode. To a certain degree, I think it’s unavoidable – when it needs to get done, it needs to get done.

    When things are a little slower, I try to take time to come back to myself: be more introspectively aware, like listening to thoughts, feeling my emotions, and zeroing in on bodily sensations. For those of you who have a 9-5 grind (mine’s actually 6AM – 8PM, I have kids!), what are some techniques to employ in order to be more mindful throughout the day.



    Chris Gagne

    As an Agile coach, this is something I think about a lot and hope to speak at more conferences about.

    A few things come to mind:

    * As you walk around, try to make it a walking meditation. In fact, hold the intention to be as mindful as you can in body, speech, and mind. This is somewhere we eventually get in practice anyway, so congratulate yourself whenever you find that you had and held the intention. I think the rest will follow.
    * Consider starting the Mindful Review practice. This will help build up your mindfulness during the day, just as writing down your dreams makes remembering your dreams and lucid dreaming easier.
    * If you find yourself in disagreement with a coworker, see if you can take a few minutes out to practice loving kindness for them as well.
    * If you have time, consider taking part of your lunch break to practice formal walking or even sitting meditation. You may find that the second half of your day is so much more productive that it was worth the investment.

    I used to use an app on my phone to fire off random alarms to remind me to check in (sort of like spontaneous introspective awareness in Stage 2) and found it of limited use, but you may find it worth trying.



    Hello Chris,

    Thank you for your thoughtful response!

    – During my lunch break, I generally try to meditate, and I definitely feel like it gives a momentum push for the rest of the day.

    – Mindful Review is a good idea, I’ll try to see if I can incorporate this into my practice.

    – When I am disagreeing with a co-worker, that’s when being mindful gets really hard. It’s as if the emotions say, move out of the way mindfulness, I’m more important. Looking back on incidents where mindfulness opportunities may have been missed, it’s clear that I didn’t react in the best way. But in the heat of the moment, it’s tough. Definitely a work-in-progress here. I have taken up the practice of lovingkindness with people I come in contact with, whether they be loved ones or strangers. Even people who cut me off in traffic, lol. It gets easier and easier to do as I practice.

    – I did use the app on my phone to chime a bell every so often, and it worked pretty well, except for when I was really slammed. I think it’s getting to the point now where I’m checking in more than is necessary for a bell to remind me (unless the bell went off every 15 minutes, but I don’t think my co-workers would appreciate that!). It’s more the moments when I get sucked in when I need the bell most, but I don’t think the AppStore has an app for this yet :).

    Appreciate the help Chris!




    Small thing to add: staying mindful off-cushion is working in the same way than on the cushion.

    You set an intention to stay mindful and when you notice you aren’t anymore, you reinforce positively the “coming back”, you renew the intention and you keep going. This positive reinforcing is as important here, and I know from experience that it’s easier to blame oneself in daily life, as the sense of self is stronger when interacting with other people. It’s the same process and you aren’t in control of it.

    Something to try also is to take a few moments to relax and renew the intention just before a triggering situation. You’ll lose awareness but it’s okay, it’s part of the process.

    Finally, I’ve found that the practice of listening (active listening, deep listening, non violent communication, etc.) and to learn how to communicate efficiently is extremely fruitful in daily life. Not easy, but it pays off enormously and you’ll benefit from it in all of your relationships. I’ve learned the hard way that, in fact, I didn’t know how to listen and share my experience. Still a work in progress though!


    • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by  Frederic.


    Hi Frederic,

    Thanks for the feedback. I am doing my best with positive reinforcement. The difficult part is, I need to unlearn something I’ve been doing 99.999% of my life!

    Regarding your advice around renewing intention before a triggering situation, how do I know when a triggering situation will occur? Do you mean situations like meetings where you know it’s likely to encounter reactive moments?

    Yes, deep listening is tough! But I have noticed that I’ve gotten in fewer oops moments when I do intentionally listen.



    Yes, when you know you’ll have a meeting with difficult people or a reactive situation.

    I find listening amazing as a practice!

    I wish you the best

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.