Taking Hold of Your Mind: “How” Skills

  • See, but don’t evaluate as good or bad. Just the facts.
  • Accept each moment like a blanket spread out on the lawn, accepting both the rain and the sun and each leaf that falls upon it.
  • Acknowledge the difference between the helpful and the harmful, the safe and the dangerous, but don’t judge them.
  • Acknowledge your values, your wishes, your emotional reactions, but don’t judge them.
  • When you find yourself judging, don’t judge your judging.


  • Rivet yourself to now. Be completely present to this one moment.
  • Do one thing at a time. Notice the desire to be half-present, to be somewhere else, to go somewhere else in your mind, to do something else, to multitask—and then come back to one thing at a time.
    • When you are eating, eat.
    • When you are walking, walk.
    • When you are worrying, worry.
    • When you are planning, plan.
    • When you are remembering, remember.
  • Let go of distractions. If other actions, or other thoughts, or strong feelings distract you, go back to what you are doing—again, and again, and again.
  • Concentrate your mind. If you find you are doing two things at once, stop—go back to one thing at a time (the opposite of multitasking!).


  • Be mindful of your goals in the situation, and do what is necessary to achieve them.
  • Focus on what works. (Don’t let emotion mind get in the way of being effective.)
  • Play by the rules.
  • Act as skillfully as you can. Do what is needed for the situation you are in—not the situation you wish you were in; not the one that is fair; not the one that is more comfortable.
  • Let go of willfulness and sitting on your hands.