Oakville Zen Meditation

#193 Mindfulness on the go exercise #1 Oct. 2 17

Mindfulness on the go: Practical exercise #1 using your non-dominant hand

Mindfulness is to pay attention, to focus on the present moment and any of its components.

To be mindful is two fold:

To be like a mirror: reflecting things as they are in the present moment using a thoughtless mind that is without a pre-conceived mindset in a non-analytic, non-discriminating and non-decisional way.

By doing so the mind is anchored on the focusing object and cannot wander in its virtual, immaterial world.

To control the mind rather than been under its control as we are most of the time since a focused mind is a mind under control.

The practice of mindfulness should not be limited to formal sitting /walking meditation. It should be extended during the day as often as possible because its positive effects are cumulative.

Here is a simple mindfulness exercises that anyone can practice on the go.

Exercise #1 using your non-dominant hand.

This great mindfulness exercise always evokes laughter & frustration.

Start with simple, ordinary daily tasks such as brushing your teeth, combing your hair, or eating part of each meal.

Use your non-dominant hand with a non-analytic, non-judgmental open mind like a beginner mind.

This is a wonderful exercise to experience the present moment good or bad and its surrounding realities and to pause your mind from its crazy, relentless run around in its immaterial and virtual worlds.

When you are up to bigger challenge, try using your non-dominant hand for writing.

We discover that we are very, very clumsy with the other hand. So clumsy, that we have to be very concentrate, very mindful while using our weaker hand.

While focusing 200% on using this new clumsy instrument, our mind is stuck to new stuff.

Since the mind / brain cannot deal with 2 thoughts at the same time, it cannot anymore wander around. No choice but to obey.

Using our non-dominant hand brings us back to what Zen teachers call “beginner mind” that is a mind fully concentrated, without any pre-conceived opinion, ideas, judgment and decision in which we are trapped. It is an open mind.

“In the beginner mind there are may possibilities, but in the expert one there are few” said Zen Master Suzuki.

While struggling with our non-dominant hand your mind comes open to new stuff and fully concentrated to a new task.

This simple mindfulness-based exercise helps us also to become more compassionate for self, more flexible, more patient, more compliant and that we are never too old to learn new stuffs.

Learning new physical & mental tricks has been show to be extremely beneficial regarding our brain anatomy and functions the neuroplasticity.


Mindfulness enables us to experience the realities of the present moment and what it is composed of such as using our hands.

Being mindful to the present moment and its various components such as your body, your actions and your surroundings using you 5 senses liberate us from our relentless thinking mind in which we are totally trapped all the time.

Being mindful is to press the “pause” button of your restless mind running around non-stop like a rabbit in a virtual world.

When your mind is stuck with this specific exercise, that is your clumsy hand, it and cannot do anything else! This is pure mindfulness in action. Your focused mind rather than your wandering one is under your control.

You can do this exercise anytime during the day, during any occasion and for a short period of time.

You will discover and experience the concrete reality of life of the present moment and its components, the only ones that exist and are real since what is in the mind is just immaterial and virtual until proven otherwise.

Thank you arnaud