The ‘Core Four’: Small But Mighty Mindfulness Tactics

The ‘Core Four’: Small But Mighty Mindfulness Tactics

Mindfulness is often “sold” as a magic fix for happiness and for life.

It’s not!

It is, however, a fantastic foundation from which one can find the awareness that then enables a range of other strategies to create positive mental health and positive emotions like happiness and contentment.

This article, by Greg Sazima via Psychology Today, provides four core principles of mindfulness that if practised and mastered will undoubtedly allow for more happiness …


  • While longer-form meditation practice has its benefits, many patients are better suited to brief tactics.
  • Brief training in four “core” brief tactics can be of particular help in managing the stress of medical care.
  • These include breath meditation, scanning, visualization/rehearsal, and gratitude/compassion.
Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

Source: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

Hello there! I’ve been absent from the PT blog for a couple of months, managing some family medical drama and then digging into a new book project with a colleague (Mindfulness in Medicine, to be published by Springer later this year). In this brief interlude, artificial intelligence has swiftly bullied us toward an uncertain future or a grand new age, depending on what you read from day to day. To test the supposition, or at least my (diminishing?) added value in providing tips and tactics on mindfulness for your use in your jobs and lives, I posed a query to Chat GPT about its ability to meditate…

It’s important to note that while ChatGPT can simulate aspects of a meditative state metaphorically, it does not possess consciousness, subjective experience, or the ability to actively engage in meditation as humans do.

(“Yet,” I could hear it faintly whisper.)

It did a little better with a haiku about a giraffe with a sore throat…

Giraffe’s throat feels strained

Laryngitis, hush my song

Whispers in the wild.

In any event, I’ll stick to my mindful noggin and hot-dog fingers to preview today some ideas germinating out of the new project. It’s a “policy” book on how we can apply mindfulness concepts and tactics, in ways large and small, in every crack and crevice of the health care system, from the basic office visit to procedures and surgery, from individual interactions to system-wide strategies. And, as I belabor incessantly in this blog, they are for use by both our patients and ourselves as health professionals—for better health care as well as our own improved coping with a wonderful but stressfulburnout-laden profession.

One tension point in understanding the use of meditative tactics in mainstream medical work is an old topic of debate within the “mindfulness industry”: whether only longer-form meditation sessions, lasting 20 to 30 minutes or more, are truly of some or any benefit, versus the briefer yet more flexible benefit of short meditative exercises and routines, especially in particular settings and situations.

My own conclusion is “Lāmō jīvita bhinnatā”* Having trained in the “more is more” orthodoxy of longer-form vipassana training, with daily longer sittings and multi-day retreats for deeper dives into the prospect of experience of non-duality (or, mostly unearthing deeper conditioning), I have a deep respect for that path. Yet as a shrink, I recognize that many of the folks I work with want or need a simpler and more practical way of developing and utilizing the capacity of mindfulness…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE