Oakville Zen Meditation

#426 Practicing mindfulness on-the-go Jan 22 23

MINI  Using non-dominant hand

                    This talk is part of a series called practicing “Mindfulness on the go”

Use your non-dominant hand in a mindful way for some ordinary tasks each day. 

These could include brushing your teeth, combing your hair, or eating at least part of your meal. If you are up for a big challenge, try using your non-dominant hand for writing.

This exercise always triggers smiling. We discover that our non-dominant hand is quite clumsy. Using it brings us back to Zen Master Suzuki teaching “ beginner mind”. 


Struggling to use your non-dominant hand can awaken our compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and others. It reveals also our impatience and can help us become more tolerant and more flexible toward ourselves. Besides, it helps us to discover that we are never too old to learn new tricks.

As Zen Master Suzuki Roshi said;” In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are only a few”.

What is the point of all of this you may ask?

Focusing on your non-dominant hand is a wonderful mindfulness exercise that can be done at any time. Remember: the practice of mindfulness is cumulative regardless of what drill you are using.

It is a wonderful exercise in controlling your mind because :

 1)   You are forcing it to focus on a specific target, here your hand, rather than

        having it wandering nonstop. This is mind training.

 2)  Thanks to neuroplasticity, the repetitive practice of forcing our mind in focusing

        on something has, again,  a cumulative impact on the quality of our mindfulness

       skills not only during meditation and also during the day.

 3)  It keeps you in the present moment, the only genuine reality of time.

 4)  It enables us to keep returning to the unlimited possibilities that are 

      always emerging if we decide to move away from our comfort zone.

Final words:

To bring new possibilities into your life, unfold your “beginner mind” in all situations.