How to meditate while leading a workshop

If you run a lot of workshops or facilitate group work, you probably have times when you are inviting people to work in small groups for short periods of time.  You might want people to reflect on a question for a couple of minutes, or work in small groups for a half an hour or even just take 30 seconds to write an insight.  Some people like to time this stuff out, pull out a stop watch and count the seconds, but there is a 2 for 1 technique you can use that gets the job done and sneaks in a few moments of meditation and mindfulness.

Your mileage may vary but it turns out that for me, a full in breath and out breath lasts about six seconds.  So now instead of timing things with a stop watch, i just sit and breathe.  Ten breaths equals a minute.  When I give a thirty second warning, I just take five breaths and call the group back.  Counting breaths is a well known meditation technique which focuses the mind, stills the thoughts and promotes mindfulness.  And if you are anything like me, that is a welcome practice in hosting strategic conversations and learning.   It’s good for you, and as a host, good for the group.



  1. Cool idea Chris. That’s a keeper!

  2. Chris, thanks for this practical tip. A pleasant week to you!

  3. Great Idea!!! I do this at red lights, but hadn’t thought to do it in a session I’m facilitating…Now I will! no more watches! thanks

  4. Lovely idea Chris! I lead meditation workshops and I work out my sessions based on the number of breaths we work on, but to apply it to myself will be something quite different. It’ll add to the focus and peace of the class.
    Thank you.

  5. Thank you Chris for this “simple” insight. And thanks to Amanda Fenton for the link…