The Traumatic Stress Institute fosters the transformation of organizations and service systems to trauma-informed care (TIC) through the delivery of whole-system consultation, professional training, coaching, and research.

Focused Attention Meditation:  A Tool for Building Capacity to Notice Our Reactions to Others

November 5, 2021 / by John Engel, MA

Monthly RC Mindfulness: Come Fill Your Cup - November 2021

Nearly 40 RC Trainers, Champions and staff attended the November 3rd RC Monthly Mindfulness session. This blog offers a brief summary of the session, initial feedback from participants, and resources to advance learning and practice.

Enjoy the read and remember that all staff, Champions, and Trainers at RC agencies are welcome to attend this free, monthly drop-in offering – share this registration link with your coworkers today.

Join us December 1st when we will engage in a 10-minute practice of choice (sitting, walking or body scan), then share about our practice experience in breakouts and large group. We will also share preliminary lessons learned from the Monthly RC Mindfulness survey. We really value your feedback and welcome you to complete the 2-3 minute survey using this survey link.

Session Summary

In our November session we shared a guided Focused Attention Meditation. In this 11-minute guided practice, participants were invited to experiment with different support anchors to stay connected to the present moment experience. Support anchors included feet, seat, hands and sound. Click below for an audio recording of the practice.

Focused Attention Meditation

RC Application

As RC treaters we may notice that our mind wanders during mindfulness practice. This is what minds do, it’s part of being human. The good news is that EVERYONE has the innate capacity to practice gently, and without judgement, noticing that our mind is wandering – that is a mindful moment! And with this awareness, we can then choose to direct our attention back to our chosen support anchor – feet, seat, hands, sound, etc. The more we engage in this type of practice, the stronger our mindfulness muscle becomes and we will notice that as RC treaters we will naturally apply this in daily work: "Oh, I notice that my mind is wandering and now I choose to redirect my attention to the client I’m serving or the colleague with whom I’m collaborating."

As you engage in mindfulness practices and build your capacity to notice your reactions to others, consider sharing about your experiences in a team or staff meeting to offer your colleagues an opportunity to learn from your experience. 

Invitation to November Practice

Explore the Focused Attention Meditation throughout November and/or mix your practice with sitting, walking or body scan meditations.

  • 2-3 times per week for 5-10 minutes per session
  • Set a specific time (if helpful), such as upon rising, mid-morning break, lunch time, pre-bed…
  • Mix and compare with walking and sitting meditation
  • Take care of yourself, seek support as needed
  • Notice your reactions to others and have fun with the practice!

Participant Feedback  

Whether you’ve participated in one or more of the Monthly RC Mindfulness sessions, we’d love to have your feedback as we consider future mindfulness offerings. You can access the survey here and it will take only 2-3 minutes to complete.

Resource and Reminders for Practice

Register for Monthly RC Mindfulness

Tags: Mindfulness

John Engel, MA

Written by John Engel, MA

John Engel is a Program Coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Institute of the Klingberg Family Centers, where he serves as a trainer and consultant for client agencies adopting whole system change to trauma-informed care. John also facilitates strategic change initiatives and product development for TSI, including development and launch of the Online ARTIC Scale. Additionally, John has been piloting mindfulness in the workplace, including design and delivery of a national training webinar entitled Mindfulness in the Workplace: Practices for Sustaining Trauma-Informed Care, design and facilitation of a day-long virtual training event, Mindfulness: The Inner Work of Racial Healing and Trauma-Informed Care, and a Monthly RC Mindfulness pilot in 2021. Since 2011, John has written a monthly column, The Fatherhood Journey, for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, with a mission of promoting public and private conversations about fatherhood.