When it comes to making mindfulness work “for real”, I suggest that variety is the spice of life. There truly is more than one way up the mountain, and there are dozens of ways to help everyday folks to more effectively engage with the experience of living.  Welcome to the new frontier of applied mindfulness: Mindfulness out of the ashram. Mindfulness for the rest of us.

Thanks to ABC News anchor Dan Harris for legitimizing the purposeful pause, and to Google’s SIY founder Chad Ming Tang for highlighting the power of simple, basic breath practices.  Both reflect an expanding definition of mindfulness and increased interest in using traditional skills in modern way.

While the traditional Buddhist approach to mindfulness training has been focused on sustained practice leading to a transformation of consciousness, there is increasing noise from the market for an offering someplace in between. Acknowledgement that some of us need training wheels for the ride, and that the simple act of pausing for a moment of conscious awareness carries benefit of it’s own.

The People’s Pause, for example, is a mindfulness training platform founded on strategic pauses for intentional breathing practices.  The simple act of intentionally pausing throughout the day helps regulate body physiology and stimulates engagement in a state of wider awareness.  Training in diaphragmatic breathing takes minimal instruction up front, and a diagrammed ToolKit provides structure for application.

The current boom in mobile practice support, mindfulness apps and online instructional offerings has put DIY practice support at the forefront, along withincreasing debate about what really works. The truth is, we’re all in discovery mode on a new learning frontier.

What’s your experience with applied mindfulness? What works in meeting your practice support needs and what doesn’t?  Let the conversation flourish!