30NOW Podcast

Welcome to the podcast, in which we discuss mindfulness, meditation and Buddhism. 

Are you engaged in mindfulness or another form of meditation and do you want to be further inspired in this? Or maybe you want to know more about the source of mindfulness and Buddhism? Then move on! Modern mindfulness training uses ancient techniques and insights from Buddhism. They still prove to be relevant and supportive to our modern lives. Like the Buddhist teachings, you are not asked to believe anything. But let yourself be included in the conversations and pick out what you can use.

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Meditation is practiced in various religious traditions and thus is not "exclusively" Buddhist. You could think of meditation as a break from your busy life, where you take a few deep breaths and turn your attention inward. What you discover is not necessarily something religious, but  yourself:  your thoughts, feelings, deeper beliefs, patterns and personality traits.

If you sit still for a while, you will notice that you are actually thinking all the time. You think about your agenda for today, how your friend is doing, about the garbage that still needs to be cleaned up, about a comment from a colleague at work, etcetera. Because your mind is always running, there is no space  to experience yourself and this moment. Of 30NOW meditation trains the mind to experience this space again and to return to the here and now. 

The process of meditating is similar to building your fitness through sport, or learning to play an instrument. Only if you practice and keep doing this for a long time, you will experience the effects.

The degree and time in which you experience the effect differs per person. There are people who notice strong effects after the first use, while others notice mild effects after two weeks or only two months. Give yourself the space and time to investigate this yourself. You will almost certainly have positive effects in the long run  experienced. Also view the tips routine with meditation

Hundreds of scientific studies have been conducted on the health effects of meditation. The results generally indicate that people who meditate regularly have better mental and physical health than people who do not meditate.

A few examples:

> Individuals reporting greater cognitive, mystical and fewer negative emotions during meditation reported greater self-compassion, flow and less psychological distress and more benefits from meditation in everyday life than individuals less engaged during meditation. source

> Meditation practice produced increases over time in daily experiences of positive emotions, which, in turn, produced increases in a wide range of personal resources (eg, increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, decreased illness symptoms). In turn, these increments in personal resources predicted increased life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms. source

> Mindfulness-based stress reduction, a form of meditation, has been shown to decrease the physiological acute stress response. source

> Physiological changes in the brain—an altered volume of tissue in some areas—occur through meditation. Practitioners also experience beneficial psychological effects: they react faster to stimuli and are less prone to various forms of stress. Source

Meditation can have a positive effect on the treatment of depressive symptoms, but usually especially if you are already on the way back from depression. In the case of depressive complaints, we therefore recommend that you first consult your doctor or practitioner before you start taking 30NOW.

No, meditation is basically very simple. But because of our often entrenched patterns and beliefs, it sometimes feels more difficult than you would expect. We are used to directly condemning or overthinking all thoughts, emotions and events.
You can say that the difficulty of meditation lies in its simplicity.

That is a common misconception. Meditating can have direct benefits for your own well-being, but at the same time people around you will experience that you feel better about yourself. That you pay more attention – to them too! – and that you are more patient or kind towards you  family, friends, your partner or colleagues. In short, meditation can help to improve relationships.

According to the dictionary, meditation stands for: “contemplation, reflection, concentration on the inner self”. There's little silliness about it.
It is a practical training in becoming aware of what is going on in yourself. It does come from the Far East, so the method is unknown to many people. In addition, it quickly evokes associations with incense, lotus poses, Buddha statues and meditation cushions. Funnily enough, these elements are not necessary at all in meditation.

Yes, anyone can learn to meditate. Meditation is a training of the mind and social status, religion or, for example, age are not an obstacle. It only requires an investment of time and perseverance  to meditate. Also view the tips for routine with meditation.

You can, but at 30NOW we bring theory and practice together so that you only need a quiet seat and a listening ear to experience the power of meditation. This takes less energy and effort than when you first read up on yourself and then gain experience in practice. In addition, you are there with 30NOW sure that you are easily in contact with experienced counselors and kindred spirits who are also working on this. 

No, definitely don't! While meditating you go in with your attention and you are not with your attention outwardly. It would be dangerous to combine this with cycling or driving. You can take a quiet walk outside; try this in a walking meditation. 

Yes, of course. Worrying is thinking in circles, and that is very difficult to break, especially at night. Through meditation you learn to notice those thoughts earlier and  to let them go with what view from a distance. With this the thoughts will make you less in control.

As with sports and playing an instrument, practice is needed to learn the skill. With meditation you train the mind to stay mentally fit; this requires structural repetition. Especially in the first four weeks, daily training is important to build a routine and experience concrete change. also watch routine with meditation.

No, you don't have to believe in anything! 30NOW uses effective meditation techniques that have been scientifically researched. These are separate from religion, gurus and beliefs. The point is that you yourself will investigate how meditation can work for you. For that you need some patience, trust and perseverance but no faith. 

Mornings are generally most pleasant when you start with 30NOW. But do follow the sessions at the time of the day that suits you best, so that you don't have to do any violence to yourself. Meditating is also fine  when you get home from work or before going to sleep. Also view the tips for routine with meditation.

Find a reasonably quiet, comfortable place where you will not be easily disturbed. It helps if you associate this place with tranquility; so not behind a full desk or next to a full laundry basket. But important is that  that you 30NOW can listen anywhere, so you can also just close your eyes.

If you meditate regularly, you can have spiritual experiences. Through the  exercises  focus more on the present moment. In this moment you can glimpse spiritual dimensions. Ultimately, being consciously present in body and mind is already a spiritual activity in itself.

Spiritual experiences you might have:
> Feeling of ultimate connection
> Energy flow that makes you feel wider and more in touch
> Experience of inner sounds, colors or shapes
> Experience of boundless, unconditional love
> Flow of goodness and acceptance
> Pleasant experience of the empty or transient nature of everything
> Dissolving your body in light or confluence with the environment
> Experiencing a continuous presence of an all-encompassing tranquility.

Although mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism, you don't have to be a Buddhist at all to practice mindfulness. The well-known American professor Jon Kabat-Zinn developed mindfulness training forty years ago by detaching the technique of meditation from the Buddhist context and making it accessible to Westerners. Religion is not involved in the training, but accessible meditation exercises, yoga and other ways to learn to live more consciously. Meanwhile, the MBSR (English: mindfulness-based stress reduction) and MBCT (English: mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) are very popular and fully accepted in the West.

Mindfulness refers to:

  • The mindfulness training, developed to teach people to live more consciously and to deal with stress, thoughts and emotions differently.
  • A form of meditation in which you become aware in a non-reactive way  of the sensations and situations of the moment: conscious, gentle attention.


Feelings are usually recognizable experiences in your body. For example, when you are stressed, you may feel tension in your neck and shoulders. You also feel emotions in your body, for example sadness as a lump in your throat or anger as warmth and palpitations. 

Thoughts are the images, memories, beliefs, judgments, and reflections that roam through your head, often causing feelings.

There are many things in life that are beyond our control. But it is possible to take responsibility for our own state of mind and change it.
Meditation is a method of bringing out concentration, clarity, emotional positivity and being able to see the true nature of things. You learn to see through the patterns and habits of your mind and to look at yourself and the world in a more open and free way.

To quote Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of modern mindfulness, "It's practicing your awareness, moment by moment, without judgment."

A state of clear, non-judgmental, and non-wandering attention to the content of consciousness. Regardless of the experience, whether the content is pleasant or unpleasant.
Developing this quality of mind will help: reduce pain, anxiety, and depression; improving cognitive function; it even produces changes in gray matter density in brain regions related to learning and memory, emotional regulation and self-awareness.

If you sit still for a moment, you find yourself thinking almost constantly. Your agenda for today, that funny Instagram post, how your girlfriend/boyfriend is doing, the garbage that still needs to be taken away, a comment from a colleague at work, worries about the future, etcetera. Because your mind can run like this, there is little room left to experience yourself and your surroundings in the moment. With meditation you train the mind to experience this space in the here and now. 

Mindfulness and attention are two terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, but they do have a difference. Attentiveness is the ability to notice details and to be alert to what is going on around you. Attention is the extent to which you put your mental focus on something.

What you may find as a disadvantage is that you have to routinely invest time and sincerely want to open up to the possible insights that meditation can bring. Meditation is not always suitable for  people with psychiatric complaints, such as untreated trauma or depression that is not yet in the recovery phase. Also view the tips routine with meditation.

Meditation teaches you to calm your mind, develop concentration and increase your awareness. with more  awareness of your thought patterns and emotional habits, you learn to look at yourself and your environment in a more objective and competent way. This will help you a little easier  to deal with life, and to go with it. You will understand emotions better and you can recognize your impulsivity and reactivity sooner and sometimes go  breaking through.

Another result is a sharper focus. Meditation can increase your ability to focus and concentrate. 

It can also help relieve sleep problems and insomnia by teaching you to stop worrying. Further frequently mentioned  benefits can be:

  • Feeling of happiness/peace of mind
  • Less emotional reactivity; less intense negative emotions and mood swings
  • More empathy
  • More creativity and self-development
  • Decrease in anxiety symptoms
  • Examples of physical benefits:
  • Lower heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Faster recovery from stress
  • Deeper and slower breathing
  • Muscle relaxation
    Able to deal with (chronic)  pain

The substantive line that we at 30NOW Following is a contemporary approach to Buddhist meditation. Central is the practice of mindfulness or attention: an acknowledging awareness of physical and mental experiences. Although there are differences in styles and content of the meditations offered, they all align with the principle of mindfulness. Meditations are also offered that can develop other qualities such as calmness, kindness and compassion.

See also 30NOW.nl/about-30now

If you meditate regularly, you can have spiritual experiences. Through concentration exercises you let go of your usual thoughts and patterns and focus on the present moment. In this moment you can experience a glimpse or strong power of spiritual dimensions. Ultimately, being consciously present with body and mind is already a spiritual activity in itself. Other spiritual experiences you could have:

  • Feeling of ultimate connection
  • Energy flow that makes you feel wider and more in touch.
  • Experience of inner sounds, colors or shapes.
  • Experience of boundless, unconditional love.
  • Flow of goodness and acceptance.
  • Pleasant experience of the empty or ephemeral nature of everything.
  • Dissolving your body in light or confluence with the environment.
  • Experiencing a continuous presence of an all-encompassing tranquility.

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You don't have to worry about meditation turning you into a hazy hippie. With meditation you train your mind; the exercises help you to train your attention. 

In your daily life you will probably experience a stronger concentration and more peace of mind. In addition, you are probably more likely to end up in a state of “Flow”. Psychologists use the word “Flow” for the mental state associated with intense concentration. A relaxed alertness in which distractions disappear and activities seem to come naturally.

In any case, not “dumber”! By meditating regularly you get more space in your head and you may also pick up new things more easily. It seems that people remember things better if they meditate regularly. But we can't guarantee whether you really get smarter!

This is an automatically translated version of 30NOW.nl - Translations may not always be accurate