Welcome!

I am Rhys Johnstone, mindfulness teacher and researcher. I help people to live with purpose, resilience and compassion.

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Welcome!

I am Rhys Johnstone, mindfulness teacher and researcher. I help people to uncover their purpose, focus and resilience.

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I've created mindfulness resources especially for you. 

I know how tough it can be out there. Maybe you're working from home, trying to juggle Zoom meetings with domestic duties or even home schooling. Perhaps you have to travel to work each day, worried about safety. Maybe you are not able to work at all. Perhaps you are isolated or living in close quarters with little personal space. Everyone has their own struggles.

I create courses and communities that bring together people to gain the support and skills we need to live with purpose, skill and self-compassion. To start, here are some some mindfulness-based resources we've selected to help you along your journey.

Join me for Mindful Yoga with Rhys

Regular practice and expert guidance to support wellbeing, resilience and performance. Live classes five times a week, recorded videos and a monthly masterclass.

 
Find out more
Three-minute guided meditation to help calm and focus your mind

Try this Free

Beginner's Meditation

A simple three-minute guided mediation to help calm and focus your mind.

Download Now
21 day mindful writing course

Create a Mindful Writing Practice

with this 21-day Course

21 days to creating a daily ritual that can help develop your purpose, resilience and focus.

Start now

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A weekly email containing exclusive information and insights, as well as carefully curated resources from some of the most current and authentic mindfulness sources.

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Follow the latest mindfulness trends with my blog

Follow my blog for mindfulness news, research and interviews.

So what is mindfulness anyway? And what can it do for me?

Mindfulness is a natural state of being that we all experience to some degree, but which is unfortunately often absent in our daily lives. Instead, mindlessness predominates, leaving us feeling disconnected and overwhelmed. The good news is that we can train ourselves to be more mindful, improving performance, relationships and wellbeing. Being more mindful helps us to navigate the complexity, uncertainty and change which face almost everyone today.

I create courses and communities that bring people together to gain the support and skills we need to live with purpose, skill and self-compassion.

Mindfulness is a state of awareness that naturally arises when we intentionally pay attention to what is going on in the present moment, in a particular way: without judging or overlaying conceptual analysis on what we observe. It is the act of simply noticing, before we form opinions and attempt to categorise or analyse our experience. It has a feeling of curious, friendly attention that is completely different from conceptual thinking. Mindfulness is also the act of catching ourselves when we default to mindless states of rumination and automatic patterns of thinking. We can train ourselves to prolong this open, accepting awareness, creating a stable attention that sees clearly without comparing, assuming or judging.

In training ourselves to be more mindful we choose an object of attention, such as the breath, and gently return our attention back to that focal object every time it wanders. By strengthening our mindfulness in these practice sessions, we become more mindful during our everyday activities and interactions.

It sounds simple, and it is. But it is not easy. This is because the mind is built to wander. Our incredible evolutionary advantage, the ability to imagine the future, make plans, and analyse the past, which has brought us to our dominant place on the planet, is also our Achilles’ heel. Untamed, the “monkey mind” leaps from thought to thought, often without our even being aware that we are thinking. And it forms deep grooves, repetitive thought patterns which are often unproductive and hold us back. It takes great patience to gently keep bringing the attention back to the present moment, and kindness to not spiral into self-recrimination, which is really just another way of disconnecting from the present moment.

So why would we bother to perform this difficult and seemingly boring procedure? It turns out that even a relatively small dose of mindfulness meditation (15 minutes per day) actually changes the physical structure and functioning of the brain, as seen in fMRI scans. These effects are associated with a host of beneficial changes in our thinking, emotions, behaviour and physical well-being. The more you practice and the longer you train consistently, the greater the benefits. Studies show that meditators make better decisions, are happier and more resilient, have better relationships, are more ethical, sleep better, are less prone to some chronic illnesses, maintain their cognitive abilities better as they age, and are less likely to resort to harmful coping mechanisms such as drinking excessively.

What’s the catch? You have to do it. Just as reading a book about running will not get you fit, no matter how many articles about mindfulness you read, it won’t make you more mindful. It is an experiential practice and it only works if you do it. It is also, paradoxically, counter-productive to try too hard, or hold on too strongly to any particular outcome. You have to just do the training and approach what comes up with an open mind.

It is best to get some support, an ethical trainer who emphasises the attitudinal and intentional components of the practice. Mindfulness is not a panacea for every issue. Not everything that comes up is pleasant and a kind, gentle approach is required. A community of practice can be a helpful way to stay accountable and to find support if the going gets tough. Mindfulness is also not recommended for people with severe mental/emotional challenges or trauma, unless they are working with a qualified professional with experience in these areas.

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