Outstanding Leadership Through Positive Development Approach

Being a leader in today’s challenging world is quite a difficult role. It requires self-accountability, engagement, and will. It involves empowering others, rather than exercising power. Regardless of duty or work position, in essence, leaders have a responsibility and a sense of ownership derived from internal locus of control. Most leaders take a leadership role due to their job requirements, and ‘do the right thing’, rather than ‘doing things right!’ Meanwhile, some assume leadership beyond authority, by taking further initiatives beyond their task-role, due to their sense of responsibility, involvement, and care for deed doing. I would call them as ‘outstanding leaders’. Who may these outstanding leaders be? What differentiates them from others? How can you be one? Is it your skills, yours sources of power, motivation…? Perhaps your calling…


Not long ago, leadership research has tried to explain leadership by distinguishing leaders from managers; today further differentiation is made among leaders, highlighting outstanding leaders on the basis of humanistic and positive development approach. Long-years’ research and investigation sought to solve the dilemma of “leaders born or made”, to understand leaders’ power sources, and to identify the critical roles leaders played while influencing followers. In essence, it’s been concluded that, while managers, through their positional power, produce order and consistency –i.e. planning, organizing, staffing, controlling and problem solving; leaders, using both positional and personal power sources, produce change and movement –i.e. establishing vision and direction, aligning, inspiring and empowering people. Furthermore, leadership has been identified as a dispositional trait open for development, where some leaders are born, and with the adequate nurturing, all leaders can be made! Hence, with the humanistic approach, the scientific and technological developments, changes in the social and work life culture, and the growing demand for higher sense of responsibility, consideration of leadership and leader’s role shifted towards nurturing and development of human skills, resources and attitude.


Leadership is not defined by the exercise of power but by the capacity to increase the sense of power among those led. The most essential work of the leader is to create more leaders.

– Mary Parker Follet.


Today, leaders’ role is shifting from ‘leader-follower relationship’ towards ‘leader-follower empowerment’, which involves producing self-engaged and committed leaders out of own followers. Here lies the question “How?” How would you, as a leader, both meet the needs of the society and empower your followers –let’s say the subordinate, when are expected to deliver an outstanding leadership? This is a great challenge… Being a leader is already challenging enough! So, naturally, outstanding leadership may seem beyond your ability. The truth, it is not! It simply requires certain personal skills and characteristics, such as authenticity, social and emotional intelligence, self-engagement, mindful attitude, and passion, which you may nurture and embody all in one! These characteristics, in essence, are the foundation to your ‘Personal Power1’ that you use as source for your leadership. No such leader is born overnight, however through positive development approach, they are made!


So, let’s get back to ‘how.’ According to research2, leaders with high level of positive psychological capacities (hope, optimism, resilience, self-efficacy), and self-awareness and self-management skills, have greater ability to exert authentic leadership. Such leadership style involves genuine, transparent relationship and future oriented behavior, and enables positive motivational direction and empowerment –that is the critical elements for change making and leader creating. Perhaps among the most prominent example from field of practice is Google’s Search Inside Yourself Leadership3 (SIYL) program. Since 2007, Google has been cultivating social and emotional intelligence, in cooperation with mindfulness4 practices. Why? To achieve stellar work performance, outstanding leadership, and well-being at Google.


It all began through identifying the magical touch of emotional intelligence and mindfulness: that these skills make people better leaders, who create positive work climate, more emotionally expressive, genuine and more sociable, friendlier and more democratic, more cooperative, more likable, and ‘fun to be with’, more appreciative and trustful5; and that these practices cultivate mindful attitude, develop self-regulation and management skills, and foster internalized positive attitudes and behaviors, such as empathy, awareness, compassion, openness, curiosity, and acceptance without judgment6.


What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

–Dr. Jane Goodall


That is not all! In fact, these interventions foster and flourish another important personal characteristics for outstanding leadership –self-engagement. Self-engaged leader has a very high sense of responsibility, commitment, and accountability over his/her work, such that own performance, as well as the outcome matters a great deal7. In a way, it brings forth the awareness of one’s calling; which involves the energy, power and motivation to making a difference; dedicating time and effort for meaningful and purposeful cause, finding ways to be able to do what he/she does, and feeling that what he/she does is the right thing to do! So, such interventions for positive development serve not only to the development of authenticity and outstanding leadership skills in current leaders, but also to the creation of new and more leaders.


The person who influences me most is not he who does great deeds but he who makes me feel I can do great deeds.

–Mary Parker Follet.


Follet8, long years ago, has expressed the vitality of leader’s role in transforming followers into leaders, and inspiring them to great leadership. Although it’s been precisely 100 years after her words, both academia and practice world still discuss leader’s influential role, and seek ways for establishing outstanding, empowered, and empowering leaders. I believe we have progressed immensely in the past century, through shifting from exercising power to increasing sense of power in followers; from employing positional power to enhancing personal power, and from authority as means of influence to using knowledge for mutual growth and development.


You might now be wondering about your place and state of being… Where are you, as a leader? You may be an influencer who brings out the leader in others. Or, you might be an influencer who has been created by an outstanding leader… Or, you are simply struggling to nurture your leadership skills, going along a lonely path, without the empowerment of a leader! No matter your position or field of authority, no doubt that you are an influencer at a leader’s role. How I know it? You have read these lines, all the way till the end! And I believe that once you take the ride of positive development approach, grow your awareness on your self-engagement level for what matters to you; cultivate your positive characteristics, such as empathy, mindful attitude, compassion, gratitude, together with positive psychological capacities, the outstanding leader deep within you will naturally surface, blossom and flourish.

Good luck and enjoy the ride!


How? By…

  • Being fully aware of your resources, skills, abilities, aspirations, values and causes that matter to you.
  • Identifying the meaning and purpose to your efforts, in making what you do.
  • Predicting the source of the energy, motivation and power to do what you do.
  • No matter what, doing the right thing, rather than doing things right.
  • Making a difference, for the benefit of yourself and all around you.
  • Empowering the sense of self-engagement and passion for what you do.
  • Cultivating positive psychological capacities, social and emotional intelligence skills, and positive developmental approach, through receiving support – such as training, coaching, mentoring, etc.
  • Instilling and nurturing all the above in others, so as to create new outstanding leaders.

1 French and Raven’s Five Forms of Power – Understanding where power comes from in the workplace.

2 Luthans, F. and Avolio, B.J. (2003) Authentic Leadership: A Positive Developmental Approach. In: Cameron, K.S., Dutton, J.E. and Quinn, R.E., Eds., Positive Organizational Scholarship, Barrett-Koehler, San Francisco, 241-261.

3 Tan, C. M. (2014). Search Inside Yourself, the unexpected path to achieving success, happiness (and world peace), HarperCollins, e-book.

4 Understanding Mindfulness, Dr. Shirli Ender Buyukbay, August 7, 2017

5 Bachman, W. (1988). Nice guys finish first: A SYMLOG analysis of U.S. Naval commands. In R.B. Polley, A. P. Hare, & P.J. Stone (eds.). The SYMLOG practitioner, 133-153. New York: Praeger.

6 Shapiro, D. (1992). A preliminary study of long term meditators: Goals, effects, religious orientation, cognitions. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 24, pp. 23-39.

7 Britt, T.W., Dickinson, J. M., Greene-Shortridge, T. M. & McKibben, E. S. (2007). Self Engagement at work. In Positive Organizational Behavior Ch. 11, edited by Nelson, D.L. & Cooper, C. L., Sage Publication, London.

8 Mary Parker Follet, The New State (1918)

Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

Throughout the history of mankind, human beings –mostly philosophers have questioned the essence of knowledge, our thought systems, and how we process information. Perhaps, Socrates’ phrase “All I know I know nothing” is one of the best known philosophical quotes of all times. Socrates, in essence, emphasizes that one cannot know anything with absolute certainty, but can feel confident about certain things. However, within a philosophical perspective, it is open discussion, especially when analyzing how we know what we know. I will be discussing the Theory of Knowledge within the attention and awareness (mindfulness) perspective; attempting to explain how mindfulness may be related in the mechanisms of learning –that is, the transfer of information into knowledge.

Today, information and knowledge has become the most valuable asset. Despite its abstract form, it has more value than any tangible agent –such as land, machinery, etc. Looking back in history, during technological revolution era (20th century) it was the weapons, vehicles, and tools; in the industrial revolution era (19th century) it was the machinery; and in the medieval era (13th-18th century) it was the land that majorly seen as the most valuable asset for the power holders. Today, none of the tangible agents -land, machinery or technological vehicles, is as worth as the agents that involve information and knowledge. This argument justifies itself even more, when considering current leading companies –Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, etc., whose market worth rely on the basis of information and knowledge they manage. When looking into future, the power agent is transforming towards information, knowledge, management of “Big Data” and a collective knowledge. Soon, not later than 20 years, we will be sharing and “enjoying” our life with the artificial intelligent (AI), where robots will be replacing our jobs, and possession of information and knowledge will no longer be the valid asset.

I feel your sense of frustration and sense of helplessness from afar. We either shut our eyes to it, or accept the bitter truth of the reality. If you are interested in getting more into it, I recommend you Noah Yuval Harari’s latest talk at the World Economic Forum 2018, at the link Nonetheless, with all the bitter truth, while the world has its own pace of development, my intention is to shed a light and share a bright-sight on what’s available for us, and what we can do in regards to information and knowledge.

Another weirdly bitter truth that made me utterly surprised to find is the “not so recent” developments in the field of Epistemology (Theory of Knowledge). Scientists –such as Jean Piaget, Joseph Jaworski, Ernst von Glaserfeld, Jere Confrey, have proposed that the knowledge we possess actually may not be absolutely correct, asserting that knowledge is subjective. They explain the theory of knowledge, as well as the mechanisms of learning within a Constructivist approach. This approach sees learners as active agents, who construct and internalize new knowledge based on their observation, interaction, and experience with objects, rather than passively receiving from the environment. It is how we transfer information to knowledge. Since this process is based on “experiential reality”, that differs from person to person, knowledge is regarded as subjective. So, according to the “new” understanding of knowledge and learning, what we know might not be absolutely true; whereby we better constantly revise our knowledge through seeking validation. But how?

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know”                                                                                                   – Albert Einstein

Is there a way we can know what we don’t know? What does “I don’t know that I don’t know” mean? How can we be aware of our knowledge? Sounds like a trap: you do not know that you do not know! This trap-like state brings to mind Albert Einstein’s famous words –“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” This, in fact, knowing what we know, as well as knowing what we don’t know, is only the open and clearly visible tip of a giant iceberg. Underneath lays a whole world of the unknown!

So, the key to bringing what’s in the unknown onto surface is attention and awareness. It is our awareness that keeps us at the clear open space, and our attention that assists us in the mechanism of processing information. In order to widen our awareness of knowledge, we need to pay attention to the pieces of information scattering around us. It is easier said than done! Because, while constantly bombarded with information –valuable or useless, we either give attention to, or ignore what’s approaching. Our attitude –attention or ignoring, changes over context, needs, interests, or even sometimes coincidence. We frequently find ourselves randomly come across various streams of information –such as a billboard, book cover, paper headline, social media post, web link, or a word of mouth, that have a triggering effect on our attention towards transforming a piece of information into knowledge.

The process goes through the four stages of learning, called conscious competence. James Atherton has explained this process using a self-awareness tool that is used for better understanding others and ourselves (Johari Window – Joe Luft and Harry Ingham, 1955). Atherton, modeled the Johari window for the “knowing and not knowing” issue, explains knowledge within the conscious competence framework (see figure below). Most learning (knowledge acquisition) takes place when we get to a conscious competence from a conscious incompetence level; or move from the “knowing that we don’t know” area (Blind) to “knowing that we know” area (Clear).


Now just think of a time you had a weird physical or emotional sensation bothering you: you were aware of it, however you did not know what the feeling exactly was; or could not name it. When giving enough attention and awareness, you could come to the stage of consciously identifying the feeling, and become to feel and know the sensation you were surrounded with.

The “knowing and not knowing issue”, within the four stages of competence


While the above example is an easy one, a more complex and challenging task is identifying a physical or emotional sensation that is there within, however you are neither aware nor know of its existence. This is hidden in the Unknown area. Imagine a stressful and tough day. You have gone through unpleasant experiences, and finally are at the end of the day, sitting “calmly” eating your dinner. All of a sudden you begin feeling stiffness on your shoulders and back, uneasy turning your head sideways. This sensation is most probably an outcome of the stressful day you had. By the time you had it, you most probably had experienced some sort of tension at your muscles, however you neither sensed it, nor knew of it. It was there all along, but hidden, at the unconscious incompetence level. The tension revealed itself with a much worse pain, unexpectedly, grabbing your attention. Starting from that moment, the pain (piece of information) has been a triggering agent to revive your awareness towards finding its source and remedy.

We may generate plenty more examples to refer to our unconscious incompetence level. For instance, have you ever done mountain climbing, or scuba diving; written a book in Chinese, or a movie script; maybe baked a wedding cake, or a royal meal? You have no idea whether you know how to do them, or if you have any interest at all. You might want to learn and do them. Interesting part is that, the idea itself might have not even occurred to you until you read the above lines.

This unknown unconscious incompetence area is as deep as the ocean. Millions of ideas, activities, or competencies are hidden deep in there. It all depends on a “random” stimulus to get your attention tangled towards an idea, realization, or point of attraction that would lead you towards the conscious incompetence. Once an idea, a piece of information, or a skill-set drop into the conscious incompetence area (Blind), it provides the opportunity of knowledge acquisition, that would widen the clear are. Of course, it is up to our choice and interest, to go forward in the observation, interaction, and experience process of constructing knowledge. At this point we may move on to the Clear area, or stay at the Blind. Such path of transfer is applicable for all sorts of skills and competence –manual, cognitive, and physical. For further read on “knowing what you know issue” click the link to Atherton’s article

If you have read so far till the end, you deserve the truth about what “knowing what we know” issue is connected with today. Or why it is important to be aware of. Today, knowledge and managing information is the agent of power. To be strongly accountable in holding this power, one first needs to know him/herself, be attentive and aware of own skills and competences; and later be competent to know and manage others. Mindfulness –attention and awareness– practices are among the most powerful tools to bring what’s hidden in the unknown area, which may lead the individual to conscious competence through self-exploration.

Hence, in your next meditation session, I invite you to let the meditation process surface and reveal what there is hidden within the Unknown. Let yourself explore the unexpected stimulus to reveal itself, give your focused attention to it, as the Zen Philosophy says “sit on it” with awareness. This attention and awareness to a new piece of information will guide you towards clarity, to the Clear zone. Hence, you’ll be transferring that piece of information into knowledge through exploring, observing, interacting, and experiencing.

Enjoy it!


Show Me Your Attitude, I’ll Show You The Way!

Yin-Yang is a fascinating symbol in the Chinese philosophy, describing how the opposite forces –i.e. black-white, dark-light, hot-cold, good-bad, etc. are interconnected, complementary, and interdependent. They go hand-in-hand. In fact, their relation with one another intensifies and gives rise to each force. We may sense heat, through the presence of cold. We may perceive light, if only darkness is present. The darker it is, the stronger we are able to identify the light. The presence of these opposite forces, as in the yin-yang, is called dualities. We are surrounded within dualities, where an impeccable balance exists.

Despite the marvelous balance in life, we tend to lose, or simply are unaware of its presence. Have you wondered why? First, we better clarify what balance is. Semantically balance is; (1) an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady; or (2) a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportion. Our sense of balance or imbalance is very much linked to our capacity in managing our internal resources –such as self-awareness, self-confidence, self-regulation, autonomy, authenticity, hope, resilience, (self) compassion, gratitude, etc. In cases where we fail equal or proportionate allocation of energy, time, weight, attention, or significance to elements around us, we gradually lose our strength in managing these resources that actually are vital for our optimum functioning and well-being.

What makes us maintain or lose our balance? Think of each event we encounter or experience, people we converse with, or a feeling or thought we have. What do we do? We automatically evaluate and conclude with a judgment. We evaluate and judge all that is around us. We have a particular attitude towards the phenomena in our life –mostly positive or negative, and sometimes neutral.

Let’s clear this with a simple example: think of a thermometer that says it is +13 Celsius. Relatively, based on our experiences and contextual environment, we tend to come up with a positive or negative judgment. Through a process of evaluation we judgmentally conclude that it is hot or cold, good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant. However it doesn’t change the objective fact that it is +13 Celsius. Nevertheless, in more complex and emotionally charging situations –such as when involved in conflict of thought or a disagreement with someone or with own self, we may find ourselves fiercely reacting, or peacefully responding. The more emotionally triggered we are, the less we get to have a positive or neutral attitude.

So what is attitude? Semantically, it is a ‘settled way of thinking or feeling about something.’ Colloquially, it is how we respond –or at the verge of responding with feeling, thought, or behavior, to a phenomenon. We may create balance through adopting a particular way of attitude towards what we encounter in life -negative or positive; good or bad; beneficial or threatening; or neutral. The more we have negative attitude, the greater we grow to be off-balance. In fact, by nature, we are genetically hardwired towards a negative tendency –the so-called negativity bias. Our mind is highly skillful in spotting the negative –as threats, dangers, etc. to keep us safe, as well as prepare us for fight or flight. Despite our natural inclination, we have the ability to regulate and adopt a particular desired attitude, even at emotionally challenging situations.

So here comes the golden question: what sort of attitude are we to adopt, so as to maintain an impeccable balance in our life?

From a mindfulness perspective, Jon Kabat-Zinn emphasizes the importance of a non-judgmental attitude in a purposeful attention to the present moment experiences. Interestingly, during the process of a focused attention practice, we explore a lot of things -that we like, or do not like. We judge ourselves with a negative attitude, realizing that our attention has drifted away to thoughts. Similarly, we tend to praise ourselves for doing so well in the practice; nonetheless our attention has already drifted away –into a positive judgment! Either way, our mind and attention wanders, and it will always drift away into thoughts or stories. Neither positive nor negative judgment, but a neutral attitude facilitates our practice; through realizing that the mind goes off and we’ll bring it back. Just as in the +13 degrees Celsius example, our attitude towards the mind wandering, need to be an objective (neutral) one. Once we are able to adopt such attitude towards new explorations, new experiences, and new feelings, we may become more skillful in minding the positive.


Show me your attitude, I`ll show you the way!

So, our optimum functioning and well-being rely on our ability of regulating our behavior. And our actions and behaviors have direct link with our intention and attitude. In my previous article (How would you want to lead your life? Accidentally or Intentionally?), I tried my best to explain how our intention is the antecedent of our outcomes –or end result. It is manifested with our actions or behaviors. Likewise, our attitude defines the characteristics of our behaviors, determining the path towards our desired outcome.

If these concepts displayed on a linear path, it would start with intention, following attitude, then action or behavior, which all lead to outcome. [Intention -> Attitude -> Action/Behavior -> Outcome.] So, while our intention to reach an outcome has deterministic effect on our actions and end result, our attitude –linked to our behavior, has crucial impact on the quality of the end result.

A long story short, now that we know we are able to develop our skills in regulating our attitude, why shouldn’t we!!! This way we can facilitate our course of life, through adopting a desired attitude along the process of setting our intention and behavior towards our goals. We are built in with the ability to manage our perception and ourselves over what is happening around us. It is not what happens, but how we react to it that counts! So, meanwhile our mind keeps spotting the negatives –errors, failure, flaws, threats, etc., we are able to consciously choose to take a neutral attitude, by simply taking the phenomenon objectively and as it is. Such attitude is vital, as long as we do not let the mind entirely do its job, but take charge. This way we may create a great impeccable balance –opposed to a huge imbalance; where all phenomena will seem more pleasant, rather than depressing.

Let’s conclude with a practice –as practice makes perfect! In your next meditation practice, I invite you to particularly observe your attitude. At each inhale and exhale, focusing on your breath, observe your attitude and how it reacts/responds when your mind drifts away to thoughts, feelings, or stories. Ask yourself whether you are taking it compassionately (positively), or judgmentally (negatively); or may be just (neutrally) accepting the fact that it has wandered off, again! With each exploration (positive-negative-neutral), guide and train your mind in adopting a gentle, compassionate and if possible neutral attitude towards its acts.

How Would You Want to Lead Your Life? Accidentally or Intentionally…

“To be or not to be! That is the question!” These are Hamlet’s famous words, in his overthinking between the two extremes –life and death. He essentially questions the very purpose of his existence, seeking the meaning in living. Shakespeare, genius of all times, may have not been aware that Hamlet’s quotes would be valid for all times. However, it seems that it is so! Don’t we all find ourselves, every now and then, questioning the meaning of our existence, and often wonder our life purpose. In my perspective, what happens between birth and death is the essence of life, so we better make the best of it. And our very existence lies on our intentions: the intention to live, to explore, to learn, to enjoy, and to make the best of it!

“Our intention creates our reality.”  – Wayne Dyer

You might be wondering how… Before getting to that, first we better clarify what intention entails. Intention is directly linked with a purposeful life, as Carol Ryff explains, that involves clear comprehension of own goals and sense of direction. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn it represents the act of engaging and responding with a purpose. We give direction to our life, set goals, and choose what to happen and experience through our intentional acts. Every choice we make –or do not, involves some sort of intention that determines the course of life. It is the seed that creates the future.

Think of the last meeting you had at work; or the last conversation you made with someone. How did it go; or what did you start with? Do you think you had a total random course of direction and result, or you had a purposeful set of ideas and actions towards a desired outcome? Most probably it was purposeful –intentional, rather than –accidental! It is the intention with which we sit at a meeting or engage in a conversation, that determines the desired outcome. As Gary Zukav states, we continually perform, consciously or unconsciously “fundamental creative acts” that are relied on choice of intention, and create consequences, which the chooser takes on responsibility.

Intention is the seed, action is the plant, and outcome is the flower!

In concrete cases, such as business plans, we are more clearly aware about our intentions, both in terms of setting them and putting them into action. However, in cases where emotional aspects are involved –such as an unresolved conflict within ourselves or with someone we care for, we are less aware of our intentions. Unconsciously skipping the intention-action steps, we may find ourselves ending up with the outcome, unaware how we got there! At that point, if we are happy with the result, we get to be lucky; but if unhappy, we try altering the outcome.

So what do we do? Are we to live by on automatic, letting our path be determined by randomly chosen attitudes and behaviors? Or are we to take the lead and choose for ourselves; draw the paths we wish to walk through; and form the desired attitude and behavior, which will turn into action and later on to outcomes? If your pick is for the first one, no need for any action taking; keep on living as you do! However, if you prefer the latter, then read on!

“Every intention sets energy in motion, whether you are conscious of it, or not!” – Gary Zukav

Scholars such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Shauna Shapiro, Ellen Langer, Denise Reid, etc. emphasize the importance of intention within the mindfulness field of study. They commonly propose that a mindful state of being involves a purposeful attention on what is available at the present moment. Though differently defining, they highlight intention as inseparable component: “paying attention on purpose” (Reid, 2011), “active attention to intention and awareness…” (Langer & Moldoveanu, 2000), and “attention in a particular way, on purpose…” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). Scientific research in mindfulness show that, the act of “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment in a non-judgmental way” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994) leads to a peaceful, balanced, and relaxed state of mind; and physical, psychological and emotional health and well-being.

In colloquial terms, intention –as a vital component of mindfulness, is important for our health and well living. For a mindful state of being –or in practicing mindfulness, the activity of paying attention is suggested to involve a purpose, a goal, or a determined direction, rather than random one. Think of a short practice of mindfulness… Focusing on the breath… The action would be paying attention on the breath… The intention would be keeping the attention on the breath… Each time our mind in thoughts, ideas, or feelings drift away from the breath, we would simply be taking our attention back to the breath… While the mind would have its own agenda –as drift away to other thoughts or time and place, our job –through our self-determined intention, will be to bring it back!

Paying attention to the breath, with the intention to keep it there, is among many practices of mindfulness. In what do they serve us? They allow us to be aware of our intention. They open our sight to clearly notice our energy in motion; help us to consciously make our choices, and assume the responsibility; and finally enable us to be less surprised and more pleased with the result!

Here is a practice sample. Very simple… Sit in a comfortable seat, spine and back straight, keep your eyes closed –or half open (to avoid any stimuli taking your attention away!); let your shoulders, arms, and hands loose; and take a deep breath… Let it go… Take one more deep breath, and let it go again… Take one last breath; this time let it go slowly! Your breath is what is with you at all times, in the here and now. Use it as the anchor to the present moment. While breathing in and out, focus your attention on your breath… At each inhale, observe your chest rising; and at each exhale observe it going down… Notice the cool air you breathe in through your nostrils, and the likely warmth of the air you breathe out… When you notice that your mind has gone wandering, notice that it has wandered. Since the intention during this practice is to keep the attention on the breath, gently bring it back to your breath.

You may use a timer, programed to five minutes, and gradually increase by a minute, every two-three days. Enjoy the practice!