Sustaining Your Practice
Mindfulness and meditation practice are like exercise for the mind: the benefits really
start to become evident over time. Consistency is key: even 10 minutes of daily practice,
whether formal or informal, can make a difference. Connecting with a community of
practitioners can also foster greater learning and ongoing motivation. This page includes
information about additional resources on campus, in the community, and online to
support your ongoing growth and development. This list is by no means exhaustive,
but we have tried to highlight resources that are both accessible and at no or low
cost to students.
Many of these resources are secular, or non-religious. Some of these resources are
associated with Buddhist ideas and traditions, given Buddhism's rich history of emphasizing
mindfulness and meditation. In these cases, we have elected to include resources that
support an inclusive form of Buddhist practice. This approach does not ask participants
to "convert" to Buddhism, it does not require belief in supernatural or metaphysical
ideas, and it can be compatible with one's existing spiritual or religious preferences.
While many additional resources can be found online and in the community, we encourage
you to approach these with a balance of openness and healthy skepticism.
Delta Beta Tau
bills itself as "a co-ed service fraternity founded on the Buddhist principles of
generosity, morality, patience, diligence, meditation and wisdom. Our members are
not necessarily Buddhist and it is not our intention for them to become Buddhist.
It is our deepest wish to share the practice of wisdom and compassion with all students."
They developed from the Dharma Bum Temple
community here in San Diego. Delta Beta Tau also offers weekly meditation in the
evenings. Check their site for information on time and location.
In addition to a variety of free guided mindfulness and meditation exercises online,
UCSD Center for Mindfulness
offers classes and workshops, weekly support groups, and extended retreats. Website
description: "The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is a multi-faceted program of
professional training, education, research and outreach intended to further the practice
and integration of mindfulness into all aspects of society."
The Dharma Bum Temple
, located in University Heights, offers multiple opportunities for mindfulness and
meditation practice, educational talks, group discussion, and community service. Website
description: "The Dharma Bum Temple is a home for the study and practice of Buddhism,
yet we do not advocate one particular school of Buddhism. Our community is simply
a bridge for people to learn how to make change within their own life and be of benefit
Located in Escondido, Deer Park Monastery
is a mindfulness practice center and monastic training center founded by the Vietnamese
Buddhist monk, author, scholar, and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh. Although offerings
to the public are limited to certain days of the week and scheduled retreats, it is
a good choice for both beginning and experienced practitioners who want a change of
pace from the urban environment. Website description: "Deer Park is a place to quiet
the mind, look deeply, and enjoy the wonders of life within and around us through
the practices of sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindful eating, deep relaxation
meditation, and sharing togetherness. We invite all who wish to cultivate peace and
happiness in their lives to plan a visit — for a day or for a retreat."
is a good resource for articles, guided meditations, interviews, and podcast episodes
on various aspects of mindfulness. Although they do have a subscription model, Mindful
is a non-profit and much of their content is free to non-subscribers. Website Description:
is a mission-driven non-profit. We’re dedicated to inspiring, guiding, and connecting
anyone who wants to explore mindfulness—to enjoy better health, more caring relationships,
and a compassionate society. Mindful
is the voice of the emerging mindfulness community. We’re the place to go for insight,
information, and inspiration to help us all live more mindfully."
Much like UCSD Center for Mindfulness (see Community Resources above), UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center
focuses on research, training, and education. Of note are their free guided meditations
and weekly podcasts. Website description: "MARC's mission is to foster mindful awareness
across the lifespan through education and research to promote well-being and a more
is an interesting, no-frills website that serves as a blog for the musings and insights
of author Alfred James. His entries are interesting because they reflect how he has
incorporated mindfulness into different aspects of his life. This is a good resource
with how you might weave mindfulness into more aspects of your life.
Oh, the wide and wild world of apps... This was a challenging section to put together,
as there are currently dozens and dozens of apps focusing on mindfulness and meditation.
Most of them have a "free" component, but ask for a subscription fee for access to
their core content. Many of the apps are "glossy" and user-friendly, but the quality
of their content varies. And while there are apps that are not-for-profit, many of
the most popular apps are money-making ventures. Let the buyer beware. This article from Mindful, and this article from WIRED, discuss some of the concerns and contradictions inherent in mindfulness and meditation
When considering an app, ask yourself a few questions: Will it help you to practice
regularly? Will you be able to resist the urges and distractions that our phones are designed to promote? If you are using a paid app, is the content demonstrably better and more helpful
than that which is freely accessed? If you are using apps with social or "gamification"
components, will this be helpful to you or might it promote unhelpful social comparison
Only you can answer these questions based on your unique preferences. Below you will
find some recommendations for apps with free content, as well as a few for apps with
some free content and subscription models.
receives the highest recommendation for students on a budget. Its content is free,
and it includes thousands of guided meditations, talks, courses, and online discussions.
It also includes a timer with a variety of settings, including different types of
bells and ambient sounds such as wind, waves, birdsong, and flowing water. The one
significant drawback to Insight Timer (especially for beginning practitioners) is
the wide-open, unstructured nature of the content. If you are new to meditation, I
encourage you to stick to content created by reputable teachers such as Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Kristin Neff, Elisha Goldstein,
and Thich Nhat Hanh.
also has plenty of free content, but it does not compare to the diverse offerings
on Insight Timer. What it lacks in volume and variety, it makes up for in structure
and progression. Smiling mind is a good way to build a basic foundation in mindfulness
Of the apps with free initial content and monthly or yearly subscriptions, these are
put together by clear and engaging teachers who appear to be very interested in ongoing
support to the community. Waking Up
and 10% Happier
provide responses to emailed questions within a day. 10% Happier offers access to
meditation coaches if you buy a subscription.
There are lots of great books on mindfulness and meditation, and you can access most
of these at our campus library or at one of our city or county libraries. Check out
the City of San Diego Public Library and San Diego County Library websites for information about how to access their e-books and audio-books. The following
books are good for both beginning and experienced practitioners...