Author: mvrilyn nguyen

Beginning Your Meditation Practice

During shelter in place, one of the most important habits I’ve formed is a daily meditation practice. It wasn’t easy, but it is so worth it — I promise!

Are you looking to start your meditation practice? Feeling that you need clarity and focus throughout your day? Meditation has helped me to be more intentional with every action through my work, meals, movement and everyday life.

Here are a few tips to get you started into your meditation practice. You don’t have to do them all at once, feel free to pick and choose what most resonates with you. Let’s start the journey within:

  1. Do it first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to start the day, to focus inward and on yourself before dealing with the rest of life’s happenings. I know, getting out of bed is the hard part, but I promise you will feel so much better!
  2. Set your timer for 5 minutes. When you’re just getting started, you may find a 5 minute meditation is easy to accomplish. I think it’s a perfect start! As you begin to get into the groove of your meditation practice, begin to increase each session by another 5 minutes. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself meditating with ease and comfort for longer amounts of time. But start off small!
  3. Create a zoned off space for your meditation. For me, it is on my yoga mat in the corner of my bedroom. For you, it might be a comfortable chair, in your garden, on the porch step, your bathtub, underneath a sunny windowsill… pick a spot. It will help to create a routine. Once you have your spot, you have the option to create it in a way you love with cushions, plants, altars, blankets and rugs. The limits are endless! For me, less is more.
  4. Playing some background music. It could be white noise like ocean waves, or some acoustics that feels soothing to you. Some times I love listening to birds chirp, other days I like heavy bass. Have fun with this!
  5. Count your breaths. When I studied at the temples, one of our leaders asked us to meditate for ten minutes and many of the younger children could not sit still. She asked us to count our breaths and I found this to be so helpful. Now in my classes, I use this method of counting after each breath as a way to help bring focus.
  6. Scan your body. Deepen your awareness of your body, starting from the crown of your head, to your jaw, your shoulders, core, and sit bones on the floor. Notice your hands on your lap or the bend of your knee, the legs and feet onto the floor.

So, give it a try and comment below on any other tips that work for you to settle into your meditation practice.

Meditation is a powerful tool that can enhance your wellness journey and be life changing. I encourage you to incorporate a daily meditation into your new week and am sharing the below Body Scan tip on my IGTV.

Black Bean Patty

So it’s 4th of July weekend and we are spending the time quarantining together with the family. My brother decided to make burgers and as a vegetarian, I had black bean burgers made by yours truly! The brioche bun was also homemade, I followed Michel Roux’s recipe here.

This is the tastiest burger I’ve had in a long time and the patty definitely had some “meat” to it if you know what I mean. I omitted peppers from this recipe but feel free to throw them into the saute pan for some extra heat this summer!


28oz black beans
1/2 onion diced
3 garlic gloves minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika powder
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c oat flour
1/2 c shredded pepper jack cheese
2 eggs
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sriracha mayo
salt and pepper to taste

(makes 6 patties)


  1. Spread the black beans on a sheet pan and dry out in the oven for 15 mins at 325F / 160C
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft
  3. Put into a food processor with the remaining ingredients and pulse to your desired texture
  4. I like mine a bit chunky!
  5. Form into patties
  6. Cook on a cast iron skillet on medium heat for a nice sear about 5 mins on each side
  7. Top with your favs, I’m keeping it simple with cheese, bella mushrooms and fried shallots.

Let me know in the comments, what are your favorite burger toppings?

Friday Favorites

So lately I’ve been asking, how are you feeling? No, no, how are you REALLY feeling? 

As our shelter in place has been extended for another month, a whirlwind of emotions have been coming over: fear, uncertainty, confusion, loss, just to name a few… I have to remind myself to feel my feelings then understand why am I feeling this way? does it really serve me? 

Now that the world is under shelter in place, I have found myself to have so much more time to do things I normally wouldn’t. Meditation has been helping quite a lot to navigate through my feelings. Then I begin to find other outlets through self care, such as teaching yoga, working out and creating a better skin routine. I found myself reaching for the same things the past two weeks, here are my favorites: 

  1. Buff – we don’t have available n95 masks so I am using this to provide some protection against people who don’t know how to practice safe social distancing
  1. Tone It Up App – I’m so glad that the girls, Karena and Katrina, have been able to provide their workouts and app for free during this time. I have been able to get my workouts in the living room and bond with my roommates. 
  1. Digital scale – For some reason, I left my scale at my parents house when I moved out to the Bay Area and have always forgotten to bring it up with me. Now that we’re going through the shelter in place, there’s no way I’m getting my scale anytime soon, but I wanted to bake so I purchased a cheap scale. I have to say, it’s small and sleek, works great so far and I was able to make a delicious cheesecake! Since it’s small the placement of the window is tucked under any large bowls you’re working with, so just a heads up. Other than that, it doesn’t take much space in the kitchen, which I love! 
  1. Instant Coffee – dalgona’s anyone? This has been so popular on the internet and I have to say that while it is delicious and fun to drink, I also ran out of regular coffee so have been drinking this as regular coffee in the mornings before jumping onto a morning conference call. 
  1. FRE moisturizer and serum – I did receive these from the company to try out and I have to say its a great way to stay moisturized
  1. Dry shampoo – need I say more?