Why do people meditate?

ubc-nitobeWant to know why people meditate? Have a look at my guest article in this month’s UBC Healthy newsletter.  @HealthyUBC.



How combining meditation and change management began

meditation_change_management_resiliencyIncreasing personal and organizational change resiliency by combining mindfulness meditation with change management expertise – on the surface, this doesn’t even make sense.

I was asked to tell my story because it is unusual.

The global Association of Change Management Professionals’ (ACMP) Vancouver chapter was curious about how a cancer diagnosis led to creating mindfulness meditation in the workplace. This happened in 2011 which was a time that was pretty bold to do so.  Then, this turned into unveiling and documenting the business benefits of this unique combination.

With much gratitude, it has become an honour to help people discover the important life practices of mindfulness and meditation.

Warmest wishes,

~Wendy Quan, founder, The Calm Monkey.

The Calm MonkeyTheCalmMonkey is an innovator in training and certifying passionate meditators to become mindfulness meditation facilitators in their workplace or community, and helps organizations implement self-sustaining mindfulness programs. The first and only online and in person training of its kind.

Help The Calm Monkey win the Best Community Impact award!

With much gratitude, The Calm Monkey is nominated for the Small Business BC’s annual ‘Best Community Impact Award’.


The Calm Monkey is an innovator in training and certifying passionate meditators to become mindfulness meditation facilitators in their workplace or community, and helps organizations implement self-sustaining mindfulness programs. The first and only online and in person training of its kind.

As the world increasingly discovers the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, The Calm Monkey needs to grow to meet the demands.

Please help us pass the first hurdle for this award by voting here.  This will help us reach and help more people in the world.

With much gratitude,

~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey.


Join an innovative meditation study!

meditation guinea pig

Join my meditation study

Are you going through a change that you are finding challenging?  If so, perfect!  You are invited to join an easy, free experiment that is likely going to help you through your change.

What would you do in this study?  A simple, specific guided meditation for 15 minutes, at least 3 times over the next couple of weeks. Then answer a quick survey for me.  That’s all!

Why?  I have done this meditation live with groups and it showed to help 83% of the participants more positively and resiliently go through their change. You can benefit too through a guided meditation recording.  This meditation has been recommended by Dr. Andrew Miki, clinical psychologist.

Is it free?  Yes, it’s free and to thank you for participating, you are welcome to have both the 15 minute and 5 minute versions of this Dealing with Change guided meditation recording. My only request is that you not download the recording unless you participate in this study.

When do you start?  You need to start now, as the deadline to do this meditation at least 3 times ends on November 30, 2016.


Please invite your friends!  Share this as everyone is welcome to join in.

~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey.

The Calm Monkey is an innovator in training and certifying passionate meditators to become mindfulness meditation facilitators in their workplace or community, and helps organizations implement self-sustaining mindfulness programs. The first and only online and in person training of its kind.



Guided meditations for the workplace

Just released – guided meditations for work!

These 15 minute guided meditation recordings are perfect for your breaks at work.  Treat yourself or a stress-out coworker to these meditations specifically tailored to help make your work life more enjoyable. These can also be used in your personal life, too.

Please enjoy an introductory price of 30% off the recordings.

Meditations for the workplaceHere are the titles:

  1. Reducing Stress. Reduce stress through a mindful body scan, cultivating a sense of peace.

  2. Reducing Anxiety. Calm anxiety by getting grounded and knowing that all is okay.

  3. Reducing Feeling Overwhelmed. Feel more space and lightness when there is too much to do and not enough time.

  4. Dealing with Change. Create a better experience through a difficult change, even when the circumstances remain unchanged.

  5. Breathing Freely. Tune in and allow your body to receive the type of breath you need in this moment to improve your state of being.

Many people have been enjoying The Calm Monkey’s professionally crafted guided meditations since 2014.  These same recordings have been provided to organizations and individuals who graduate from The Calm Monkey’s Mindfulness Meditation Facilitator Training course, so they can lead meditation sessions for others.

All meditations have been written by Wendy Quan of The Calm Monkey who is a certified organizational change manager, conference speaker, and a the pioneering industry leader who teaches and certifies passionate meditators to become successful mindfulness meditation facilitators.

“Helping to create a better experience of life”

Wishing you a peaceful day.

~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey.

Why mindfulness matters to your daily life

If you notice you have unease, anxiety, tension, stress or worry in your life – start to notice that your mind is not in the present moment in such moments.

When I describe mindfulness to people, I start by giving the common definition, as per Jon Kabat-Zinn, which is this:

Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose,
in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to things as they are.

But then I see a sea of confused faces looking at me, so I then say:

“And why would you care to learn and practice mindfulness?  Because when you are present, that means you’re not thinking about the future or the past, so you learn to create a better experience of life.”

Here is a wonderful reminder from Eckhart Tolle:

Not enough presence

This is one big benefit of practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation are called a ‘practices’ because they take practice, you may not think you’re getting it right, and they do take some effort. Definitely worthwhile.

Have a wonderful day,

~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey



5 most common meditation struggles for beginners

Meditation on the beach

Meditation’s biggest challenges

If you are new to meditation or just thinking of giving it a try, read this article to know how to overcome the 5 most common struggles:

1. “I can’t stop thinking”

Here’s the thing:  you shouldn’t expect a blank mind, actually. This is one of the biggest misunderstandings about meditation.  Once you learn that meditation includes observing your thoughts but not attaching to them, then the relief is quite astounding.  You are not a bad meditator just because you have distracting thoughts.

2. “I don’t have time to meditate”

Meditation does not mean you need to carve out 30 or 60 minutes per day, especially as a beginner.  People feel the benefits of meditation even with 5 or 10 minutes per day, or even pausing during your busy day to take 3 deep, slow, mindful breaths.  And if you don’t think you can set aside 10 minutes per day, just question whether you need to be watching that TV show or browsing the internet.  It’s a matter of priority, right?

3.  “I fall asleep when I try to meditate”

Sometimes you might just simply be tired and need to sleep. But often, our brains are conditioned to think ‘my eyes are closed, it’s time to sleep!’.  With practice, we learn to stay alert even with our eyes closed.  Also, sitting up straight, but relaxed, will help you stay awake.  Don’t flop on the sofa to meditate!

4.  “I don’t want to sit there and do nothing”

Another misunderstanding about meditation is that you sit and do nothing. Meditation is actually a very active activity – you are actively concentrating on the object of your meditation and noticing when your mind has wandered, without judgment, and then return your attention to your meditation.  You learn to be a curious observer during meditation so it’s far from ‘doing nothing’.

5.  “My body hurts during meditation”

Although there are a few formal meditation traditions that suggest you should not move a muscle during your meditation, it’s generally fine to adjust for comfort.  It may take some experimentation for you to find a good meditation position (sitting in a chair, on a meditation cushion, on a meditation bench, etc). During the meditation, if you need to move, it’s fine to move slowly and mindfully.

I have taught over 1,000 people how to meditate, and these are the top 5 most common challenges that people have.  How about you?  If you have any questions about meditation, I welcome emails at Wendy@TheCalmMonkey.com. I hope this has been helpful to you.

~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey