Showing posts with label Meditation Techniques. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meditation Techniques. Show all posts

Meditation Techniques



All kinds of meditation, according to our definition, are “techniques.” 


  • Unlike many of the daily social behaviors usually examined by sociologists and anthropologists, a method is a purposeful activity that is not taken for granted. 
  • A method is systematic in the sense that its processes are well-defined; nevertheless, this does not rule out the possibility of spontaneous or even creative aspects, such as when random ideas are the focus of meditation. 


It is continuous, in the sense that the intentional activity is either continuous (as when sustained attention is directed toward an image) or repetitive (as when a word or a sound combination is repeated over time), rather than sequential (as in the Hatha Yoga or Tai­j sequence of postures and movements, the nonrepetitive chanting of the entire Lotus Sutra in Buddhism, or the Book of Psa). 


  • A method is separated from other activities in terms of time, posture, and place, as well as via particular rituals. 
  • And it is done in order to accomplish specific results, which we will discuss more below, at least in part by using universal processes that are inherent in the structure of the human body and mind. 


The technical elements of meditation are viewed with ambivalence in many contemplative traditions. 


  • For example, content-oriented contemplative prayer and imagery are common, devotional traditions stress a personal relationship with God, and apophatic practices generally emphasize “unmediated” communion with the divine or “direct” revelation of ultimate truth. In all instances, this may lead to a negative attitude about meditation's technicalities. 
  • However, this does not rule out content-­oriented, devotional, or apophatic activities from our definition; rather, we put a greater focus on their technical elements, as opposed to the traditions' emphases. 
  • The ambiguity over the technicalities of meditation is often expressed directly in paradoxical expressions, such as Meister Eckhart's concept of a "pathless way" in the thirteenth to fourteenth centuries, or the Zen Buddhist notion of a "gateless gate." 
  • At other times, a strong skepticism of meditative techniques is juxtaposed with exhortations to meditate, such as when the “Platform Sutra” depicts Huineng, a seventh-­ to eighth-­century Chinese Zen master, claiming that he “has no techniques” (wu ji-­ liang), but in the same work exhorting his disciples to continue practicing “straight sitting” (duan-­zuo)
  • The contradiction is well-explained in “The Epistle of Prayer” in the Christian context: “It is not possible for a man to achieve perfection in this task unless these two methods, or two more like them, arrive first.” 
  • The beauty of this piece, however, is its suddenness, which comes without means.” 
  • Jiddu Krishnamurti is most known for his anti-meditation stance (“the truth is a pathless land”), yet others have viewed his method as a kind of systematic contemplative awareness training. 


A new collection of essays on the Zen practice of shi-kan ta-za (lit. "just sit") oscillates between insisting on the practice's lack of method and describing clearly technical elements such as attention to the lower abdomen, specific breathing practices, and a strong focus on correct bodily posture.  


  • Sheng Yen, a Buddhist teacher from Taiwan, calls one of his meditation methods "the way of no method." 
  • The strong goal-­orientation inherent in the concept of a method is one explanation for this skepticism or ambivalence. 

Techniques are used to produce certain results, yet actively pursuing outcomes may, paradoxically, make achieving them more difficult. 


  • The pursuit of a goal may distract the mind's attention away from the actual practice, and it may include a mental concentration so intense that it fails to see realities that are more transient and transitory. 
  • A technical approach may also promote apathy, as if the transformational benefits of meditation would happen on their own, almost mechanically or magically, rather than requiring a strong feeling of agency and personal involvement. 
  • It may also obstruct the personal commitment needed in certain contemplative traditions, such as the Sikh practices detailed in this book by Kristina Myrvold. 

A reliance on techniques is sometimes seen in the Christian tradition as standing in the way of God's grace, as in the following quotation from Jacques Philippe's Time for God about meditative prayer: 

"St. Jane Frances de Chantal used to say, 'The best method of prayer is not to have one,' because prayer is not obtained by artifice'—by technique, we would say ­today—­but by grace". 


In general, meditation's technical emphasis may be compared with prayer's content-­orientation. 


  • While both meditation and prayer seek to achieve specific results, prayer usually does so directly via its content, while meditation usually does it indirectly, in a nonlinear manner, using technical elements that build on universal processes. 
  • For example, prayer may seek to obtain forgiveness of sins by asking for it, or it may seek to achieve intimate contact with God through the expression of devotion, whereas meditation may seek to achieve its transformative effects at least in part through cross-­cultural elements that go beyond such content, such as directing one's attention to the breath, or repeating certain sound co­ordinates. 
  • The primary benefits of meditation come from the systematic application of a technique rather than any intentional effort, and such processes are usually outside the individual's direct control.
  • While the result of prayer may sometimes be out of one's control, it is usually thought of as relying on God's grace rather than any processes inherent in the human mind or body. 
  • Even technical elements are given content-oriented interpretations in various traditions, such as when the breath is interpreted as an expression of existence's transience in Buddhist settings, as a connection to cosmic energy in Daoist and Yogic contexts, or as the breath of life in Christian situations. 



Only from the viewpoint of an outsider can the universal processes involved in such elements be seen, regardless of the cultural context in which they are employed. Because this makes it easier to measure, scientific definitions of meditation tend to concentrate on its technical elements. 


  • Meditation involves “use of a particular method (well defined),” according to one often cited definition. Instead of or in addition to "technique," other definitions include words like "[psychoactive] exercise," "[mental] training," and "[self-­regulation/emotional and attentional regulatory] practice." 
  • Meditation's technical orientation is sometimes contrasted with other practices' content orientation by stating that meditation emphasizes "process rather than content," whereas non-meditative practices like self-hypnosis, visualization, and psychotherapy "aim primarily at changing mental contents..." such as thoughts, images, and emotions. 
  • However, in our view, meaningful content is not precluded from the concept of meditation as long as technical elements are included. 
  • When it comes to identifying meditation as a method, individual agency is a critical component of the practice approach. 
  • Meditation is something that the practitioner does, not something that is done to him or her. 



Our definition excludes so-called spontaneous or natural meditations, such as the Buddha's famous childhood experience of meditative bliss: 

"I recall once, when my father the Sakyan was working, and I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, then—quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful mental quali­ties." 


Most traditions, however, recognize that contemplative practice always takes place in a context, and that elements of the environment may be as important as the meditation method itself in initiating transformational change, as Sarah Shaw argues in this book for the Buddhist example. 


  • Individual or community meditation may be performed, and even communal meditation can include a lot of individual agency, as shown by the fact that monks who have been practicing meditation together for years don't always know what each other is doing. 
  • The degree of reliance on a teacher or master will also vary, ranging from no reliance beyond the initial instruction to so-­called guided meditations, in which all stages of the practice rely on continuous instructions from a teacher or a tape recording, as in some of the Sikh practices discussed in this volume by Myrvold. 
  • The master's function in Morten Schlütter's koan practices is an in-between scenario, in which the meditator is constantly given fresh koans to contemplate in addition to the original technical instructions.



You may also like to read more about Meditation, Guided Meditation, Mindfulness Mediation and Healing here.



7 Step Mindfulness Physical Sensations Exercise

 


Whether it's a chair, the ground, your bed, or the air surrounding you, your body is always in contact with something. This is a fantastic approach to tune in to your current situation. 

You can be aware of these places of touch at any moment, whether in meditation or in your regular life. 

Because the feelings are often easy to detect, this is an excellent practice for beginners. 

“Mindfulness is the acceptance of the present moment with awareness and balance. It doesn't get much more straightforward than that. It is accepting or opening to the present moment, pleasurable or unpleasant, precisely as it is, without clinging to it or rejecting it.” ~ SYLVIA BOORSTEIN


Instructions


  1. This exercise may be done in any posture, however I recommend doing it while sitting. Close your eyes and focus your attention on your body's posture. Make whatever modest modifications necessary to put your body at peace. 
  2. Begin by observing the areas of the body that are in contact with anything else. Can you feel your feet making touch with the ground? Pay attention to the sensations in your feet. There isn't anything exciting to do. Simply pay attention to how your feet are feeling right now. 
  3. Continue until you can feel your back end making contact with the chair or cushion. Take note of the upper thighs' touch and pressure with the chair. Rest your consciousness here, paying attention to how this feels in your body. 
  4. Bring your focus to your hands, wherever they may be. Feel the locations where your hands are contacting, where you're sitting on your lap, or where your knees are resting. Concentrate on the part of the hand that is making touch with something else. 
  5. Now look for places on your body where you can feel the feeling of the garments. You can run your hand over your body to see whether this sensation is present. The locations where the garment ends and the skin is exposed, such as the arms, neck, and ankles, may be the easiest to feel. 
  6. Finally, pay attention to the feel of air against your skin. You may notice that the temperature of the air on the palm of your hand differs from the temperature on the back of your hand. If you're sitting outside, you could notice the breeze. There is no such thing as right or wrong. Don't be afraid to speak from your personal experience. 
  7. Bring attention to the places of touch throughout the day once you've completed this practice. Feel your body come into touch with the chair whenever you sit down. When you stand up, take note of where your feet are on the ground. 



DEALING WITH OVERWHELMED FEELINGS 


When you first start exploring body awareness, you may realize that multiple sensations are vying for your attention at the same time. 

Try utilizing a mental note or a short phrase while monitoring a certain part of your body to help keep your attention focused. 

  • Consider the phrase "feet. feet. feet" while tuning in to the feet. 
  • Alternatively, if you believe a command would be more effective (which it often is), try “feel my feet. feel my feet. feel my feet.” 
  • Link your inhales and exhales to the rhythm of the words. Congratulations on your achievement! It's as easy as that. You're chanting mantras.


You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.





Mindfulness of Breath and Body



Finding the Breath in Your Body is a direct experience. When people strive to become more conscious of their breathing, they may picture or picture it. They may also be thinking about their breath. They even say to themselves from time to time: Hey, I'm breathing, see, I'm breathing in, that was a long breath, now I'm breathing out... 

None of these strategies will help you stay focused on the breath (although mental labeling might assist.

Feeling the breath is the key to awareness in breathing exercise. It's crucial to keep your breathing practice from becoming conceptual or cerebral. 


Mindfulness allows you to connect directly to an experience rather than getting caught in its notion. Breath is a bodily sense that may be immediately felt, rather than a notion. 

  • You may think a lot about breath—for example, when you take the time to learn about the science of breathing and breath regulation—but mindfulness requires you to let go of the notions and focus on the "felt sense"—how you actually feel your breath. 
  • This relaxes your cognitive functioning and helps you to learn on a more intuitive level. 
  • After reading this, close your eyes and simply feel your breath in your body to get the felt feeling. 

You can find yourself focusing on one region, or you could notice that your breath is felt throughout your entire body, in moving portions of your body, or in specific places of your body, such as your belly button or nose. Wavelike sensations or little ripples of movement may be felt in various parts of your body. This is when you feel your breath rather than thinking about it. 


You can examine some of those particular regions since you may observe your breathing in a number of places in your body. 


Concentrate your physical and sensory focus on your abdomen. 

  • Put your hand on your abdomen to get a better sense of it. 
  • Are you able to breathe without needing to do anything? 
  • Your stomach is swaying back and forth. 


Take a minute to notice any feelings in your abdomen, then return. 

What did you pick up on? 

  • We're guessing you had a rising and falling experience, an expanding sensation, inflation and deflation sensations, and maybe a contraction in the conclusion. 
  • Perhaps a little moment of silence before the next breath began. 
  • Not what you're envisioning or thinking about the breath, but what you're feeling—the felt sense—is what you're striving to become aware of. 


Another place to pay attention to your breath is in your chest and neck.

Take a few deep breaths in your chest. 

  • What are your thoughts? It's most likely something similar to your abdominal breathing, but a little more widespread. 
  • Do you feel your shoulders heaving slightly when you engage in the action? Remember that everyone's experience with mindfulness will be different, therefore you can't feel the breath wrongly. 


Now pay attention to your nostrils: 


Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths through your nostrils. 

What do you think you've noticed? 

  • As the air rushes in and out, you could get a sense of cold or warmth. Maybe you're getting a tickle on the top of your lip. Perhaps you're aware of a little movement in your nose. 
  • Finally, as your mindfulness meditation practice progresses, you'll want to identify one area to focus on that will serve as your own personal anchor. 
  • Although your breath is your anchor, it might be beneficial to focus your attention on a specific place of your body where you feel your breath. 
  • Choose your belly, chest, or nose as your anchor for sensing the breath once you've investigated these three distinct anchor sites.

Select a location depending on what is most obvious, simplest, or most fascinating to you. If you're having trouble deciding, simply select one—they'll all function just as well. What matters is that you are at ease in your surroundings. 

Alternatively, some people may feel the breath most vividly as it moves through their entire body, which can also serve as a general anchor. 

It may take some time to find your place, so try out a few different ones at the start of your meditation practice until you find one that works for you.


You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.



19 Step Mindfulness Eating Exercise



Now we'll move away from bodily mindfulness and hearing mindfulness and focus on the sensations of taste, smell, and sight, beginning with the food we eat. 

“Let us establish ourselves in the present now, eating in such a way that solidity, joy, and tranquility be attainable at the time of eating,” says renowned Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. 


Eating allows you to feed your body while also feeding your mindfulness practice. 


“To be entirely involved with what you are doing right now is the actual secret of life. And instead of calling it work, acknowledge that it is actually play.” 


This technique can be done in any position, however being motionless while eating is beneficial. 

This reduces distracting stimuli and allows you to concentrate on the event. This may be done with any food. 


Instructions

  1. Starting with something simple, such as raisins, berries, or a handful of your favorite vegetables, is a good place to start. Begin by visually observing the meal. 
  2. Take note of the many colors, shapes, and sizes. Observe your want to consume while you gaze at the food. There's nothing wrong with being hungry, but desires should be allowed to come and go. 
  3. Return your attention to the meal. After that, look into the food's odor. Some meals have more potent odors than others, and you may need to hold the meal up to your nose to detect them. 
  4. Allow yourself to be fully immersed in the sensation of smelling. 
  5. Simply refocus your attention to the fragrance in front of you when your mind begins to want. 
  6. Take a minute before you eat to appreciate the energy that went into its creation. People toiled to cultivate and deliver this food to you. Nutrients, rainfall, and sunshine were all given by Mother Nature. 
  7. Perhaps someone else prepared, cleaned, or packaged it for you. Bring to recall all of the energy that came together to produce this meal from numerous sources. Slowly take up the food now. 
  8. If you're using any utensils, pay attention to the sensation of touch as you use them. Consider how the food or utensil in your hand feels. 
  9. Is the meal cold, heated, stiff, or soft? 
  10. Observe your impulse to chew and swallow fast as you place the food in your mouth. Instead, begin by feeling the food's temperature. 
  11. Can you feel the form of the food in your mouth? Take note of the texture of the meal as you begin to chew. Do you notice any changes while you chew? 
  12. Take note of the tastes. You could find it difficult to do more than name what you're eating, such as "It's a raspberry." 
  13. Make an effort to delve a bit deeper. Is there a variety of flavors? 
  14. As you continue to chew, pay attention to how the flavors change. 
  15. Tune in to the sensation of swallowing when you swallow each bite. How does it feel as the food passes down your throat? 
  16. You could also feel compelled to take another taste right away. 
  17. Take a moment to see whether any flavor lingers in your tongue. You may keep eating this way as long as you remind yourself to slow down and be present. 
  18. Continue to notice any new sights, scents, tastes, sensations, or ideas that come to mind. 
  19. Allow yourself to feel grateful for the food that is sustaining your body after you have finished eating. Allow your thoughts to relax into a sense of gratitude for the energy and life around you. 


What to When you Start to Hurry while Eating?


Mindful eating is a patience-testing practice that also demands some self-control. 

  • If you try to eat slowly, you may find that you have a strong desire to eat faster. 
  • Most of us normally begin preparing our next piece of food while still eating our previous meal. 
  • Slow eating is the cornerstone of mindful eating. Simply pause, breathe, and slow down if a hunger takes over.


You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.



12 Step Mindfulness Sounds Exercise


The focus of mindfulness practice is frequently on the body's feelings and the mind's ideas. 

Tuning in to your other senses, on the other hand, might help you feel more present and alert. 

You can utilize the noises around you as the object of your awareness, just as you did with the breath in the first exercise. 

Sounds come and go throughout the day, providing a steady focus point for your attentive attention—practically it's difficult to eliminate all sound, no matter where you live or what you do for a job. 

Investigate your auditory experience while meditation. You may incorporate this practice into your daily life by pausing to listen carefully to the noises around you at any time. 


Instructions 


  1. Begin by settling into a comfortable position and closing your eyes. 
  2. Bring your attention to your breathing, but instead of focusing on the physical sensation of breathing, pay attention to the sound of your body breathing. 
  3. Listen for any sounds coming from the breath as you inhale and exhale through your nostrils. 
  4. Open your ears to the various noises around you. You may hear passing automobiles, noises within your home, or sounds from nature. Tune in to whatever is present. 
  5. The mind is accustomed to recognizing what it hears. When you see a car pass by, you know it's a car. Rather of naming and describing what each sound is, attempt to concentrate on the real listening experience. 
  6. Consider your ears to be microphones that only pick up sound. Recognize how the noise rises and falls, how far away it appears to be, and from what direction it is coming. 
  7. Tune in to one sound that catches your attention for a few seconds. Immerse yourself in the music of that sound. 
  8. Then, with your mind open, listen for additional sounds. Continue to listen, investigate, and open up while listening carefully. 
  9. Return to the breath for a minute at the conclusion of the session. 
  10. Encourage the mind to focus completely on the sound of the breath in the body without forcing or straining. 
  11. Maintain some awareness of the noises in your life when you open your eyes and return to your existence. 
  12. Throughout the day, notice the act of listening and allow it to lead you back into present-time awareness. 


What to do When You are Distracted by Sounds?


Noises such as construction, birdsong, or people chatting loudly might pull you away from your practice. 

  • Make the act of listening a part of your practice while you're distracted. 
  • Try to put aside any judgment or criticism regarding the source of the sound and imagine yourself hearing it for the first time. 
  • Try to eliminate any words from the sound and refrain from identifying the source of the sounds right away. 
  • Any aversion that occurs should be noted, but don't reject noises that you can't control.


You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.



6 Step Mindfulness Focused Attention Exercise


The mind is a potent weapon. You learn to train and operate with this instrument in a deliberate, concentrated manner via mindfulness practice. 

This exercise allows you to experiment with your mind's power, teaching you how to gently guide it in various directions. 

You'll also see the auditory and visual thinking patterns of the mind. Bring a sense of wonder and amusement to this exercise, and don't take yourself too seriously. 


Instructions. 


  1. You will need to close your eyes for this exercise. Take a time to pay attention to how your body is relaxing. Allow the muscles to relax while keeping the spine as straight as possible. 
  2. Try to recall the room or location where you are seated with your eyes closed. Can you imagine where your body is lying in the room? In your mind's eye, try to see the room. Consider the floor, the walls, and any doors that may be there. See what more you can think of to fill in the blanks in your head. 
  3. Imagine yourself somewhere tranquil as you leave the room. It might be a beach, a forest, or any other location that you consider to be your "happy spot." Visualize the area around you in the same manner. Make an effort to include as many information as possible. 
  4. After you've let go of the vision, think of a song or melody you're familiar with. In your thoughts, try to hear the words or tune. 
  5. Now use your thoughts to alter your perception of the tune. Reduce the volume of the song in your thoughts to make it silent. Increase the volume a little. Investigate what it's like to slow or speed up the tune. 
  6. At the conclusion of this practice, take a minute to acknowledge the strength of your own mind. You can conjure up images, play music, and change the experience in any manner you like with just a little effort! 


What to do if when you realize that your focus is slowly slipping while meditating. 


  • You may find yourself lost in a long stream of thinking for several minutes before you know it. 
  • If you lose concentration during a meditation session, go back to the last item you recall carefully watching, and if that doesn't work, go back to the breath. 
  • You have the option to teach your mind to remain present once you notice it has drifted off. Return to your practice as often as you need to.


You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.



6 Step Mindfulness Exercise to Find the Breath


The body breathes continually, and the breath moves continually. Not only is your breath the ideal place to start, but it's also a constant that you can return to whenever you need a little centering. 

You will softly locate the breath in the body in this initial practice. Nothing has to be figured out, no issues need to be solved, and nothing extraordinary has to be done. 

Return to your firsthand sense of body breathing on a regular basis. You're teaching your mind to focus on a single event without being distracted. 


Instructions

  1. Find a body posture that is comfortable for you. Sitting is frequently advised since it keeps the body alert and energetic. You can also try standing or resting flat on your back. You can use a yoga mat, a meditation cushion, or a chair to sit on. For a few minutes of silence, choose anything that feels comfortable and sustained. 
  2. Allow the eyes to shut gently. Try lightly staring at the floor or ceiling if you're more at ease with your eyes open (depending on your position). Allow the eyes to settle in one place and relax. The goal is to keep your practice as distraction-free as possible. 
  3. Bring your attention to your stomach. See if you can feel the natural rising and falling by relaxing the muscles there. Assume the body is breathing on its own. Observe the movement from the navel to the obliques with each inhalation. Like thus, take a few deep breathes. 
  4. Raise your awareness to your chest. Pay attention to the expansion of the lungs and the lifting of the chest when you inhale. Feel the constriction and movement as you exhale. Try following the sensation of your breath from the start of your inhale to the finish of your exhale. 
  5. Pay close attention to the nostrils now. Here, the sensation of breathing may be more mild. Take a deep breath and see what comes up for you. As you breathe in, you may feel a tiny tickling at the tip of your nose. On the walk out, you may notice that your breath is somewhat warmer. 
  6. In one of these three areas, focus your attention on your body's breathing. Refocus on the immediate feeling of the breath when the mind wanders. For a minute or two, keep an eye on your breath. Bring this awareness into your daily life when you finish this term of practice. To assist the mind stay present, stay in touch with your body's breath. 


Our Mind, The Wanderer

The mind's natural instinct is to wander. Even the most experienced meditators suffer from wandering thoughts! The brain was created to analyze data; it's simply doing its job. 

Instead of perceiving this as a problem, consider it a chance to improve your awareness. 

Bring forgiveness, curiosity, and patience to these times, and bring your attention back to the breath anytime it wanders.


You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.



11 Mindfulness Terms to Know



  1. TONE OF FEELING: The sensation of something being pleasant, bad, or neutral. Hearing a bird chirp, for example, may have a nice feeling tone, whilst scratching may have an awful feeling tone. 
  2. GROWING EDGES: Areas in which we have room to expand. We are frequently faced with challenging situations in which we must battle, but we also have a strong chance to learn. 
  3. HOOKED IN and UNHOOKED: When we become completely immersed in a situation, we lose control over how we act. Unhooking is the process of letting go of an experience and regaining consciousness. 
  4. LOVING-KINDNESS: The act of caring for the well-being of others and the quality of doing so. Loving-kindness is an act of extending one's heart to others and greeting them with kindness. 
  5. MANTRA/PHRASE: Phrases and mantras are utilized as an object of consciousness in various techniques. A phrase, often known as a mantra, is a brief line that is used to nurture an intention and to keep focused on a goal. 
  6. MEDITATION: Meditation is simply the act of setting aside time to cultivate a mental or emotional quality, usually in quiet. Meditation may be done while walking, cleaning dishes, or eating, however it is most commonly done in a seated position. 
  7. MONKEY MIND: A mental condition in which the mind jumps from branch to branch, much like a monkey does. 
  8. NOTING: The act of mentally expressing what we are feeling. Noting is the act of silently uttering something in one's brain in order to perceive something clearly without being engrossed in it. 
  9. PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM: The component of the central nervous system involved for downregulation, such as decreasing the heart rate, relaxing muscles, and boosting gland activity.
  10. PRESENT TIME EXPERIENCE: Whatever is going on in our lives right now. What arises into our experience on a moment-by-moment basis is what we call the present-time experience. It is always changing, full of many sensations, and always present.
  11. SENSE-DOORS: Smell, taste, hearing, touch/feeling, sight, and cognition are the six basic senses that may be accessible in our mindfulness practice. We observe phenomena originating and passing via the sense-doors.


You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.


7 Keys to Creating and Establishing a Mindfulness Practice


To create mindfulness in your life, you don't need anything unique or "additional." 

The hardest thing is generally getting started, but as you figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle, it gets simpler. 

Pay attention to what feels easy, fluid, and "correct" while you practice, as well as what produces friction and resistance. 

To help you start a mindfulness practice, use the activities in this article, the advice for getting started, and your own intuition. 

I've heard a lot of various methods to get started in my years of teaching, and they're all slightly different—personalized to the individual. 



Here are a few tips to help you get started on the path to mindfulness:

 



    1. FORMALIZING A PRACTICE 


    I struggled to practice meditation when I first started; it seemed like a chore. 

    But as I practiced more frequently, it became second nature to me. I even began to look forward to my daily minutes of mindfulness. My confidence and interest in mindfulness developed as the advantages of my practice began to manifest in my daily life, and meditation became more simpler and more fun. 

    • All you have to do is show up and put forth a little effort to practice mindfulness. 
    • The important components you'll work on as you develop your mindfulness practice are listed below. These will form a framework to base and build on your mindfulness practice. 


    2. SETTING A SCHEDULE FOR MEDITATION.


    It may seem tough to find time to meditate with your hectic schedule. This is a typical difficulty in my experience dealing with people from all over the world, but you can surely find time to practice.

    •  Making mindfulness a priority is the key. 
    • Setting aside dedicated practice time, getting up a few minutes earlier than normal, or setting a calendar reminder to practice in the afternoon are all helpful.
    •  You don't have to commit to 30 minutes of practice each day right away; start with 5 minutes. 


    3. CREATING SPACE FOR PRACTICE. 


    You may have difficulty locating an appropriate practice location. Keep in mind that this may be done almost anyplace. 

    Let go of the notion that there are “good” and “bad” places. 

    • You may also designate a spot in your house to meditation—find a place that is somewhat peaceful and calming. 
    • If your workplace or work environment is too cluttered, consider practicing in your car first. 
    • If you're comfortable, you can also use public locations like beaches, parks, and peaceful highways. 


    4. CHOOSING AN OBJECTIVE. 


    You wouldn't be here unless you have a certain goal in mind. 

    What motivates you to seek out a more mindful way of life? 

    • Whatever your response, it is beneficial to remind yourself of this underlying aim on a regular basis, connecting with what motivates you. 
    • The mind may try to persuade you not to meditate or that you don't have enough time. 
    • Fighting these impulses is sometimes fruitless. Instead, bring your attention back to your main goal. Keep in mind what is important to you. 


    5. CONSISTENCY BUILDING. 


    The exercises will allow you to explore mindfulness in a variety of ways in your life. 

    • Try to utilize one mindfulness exercise at least once a day, always having your mindfulness objective in mind. 
    • Consistent practice aids in efficient mind training. 
    • When you practice every day, you soon develop the habit. 

    It's similar to going to the gym: if you just attend once a month, you're unlikely to see immediate effects. If you go twice a week, though, all of those small small moments of exercise add up, and you become stronger. 

    Mindfulness is a long-term commitment; as you practice, your mental muscle grows stronger. 


    6. GETTING IN TOUCH WITH A FRIEND. 


    • Support from friends and family may go a long way toward promoting new behaviors. 
    • Once a day, invite a friend or family member to practice with you. 
    • This will offer you a sense of accountability to someone other than yourself, which is always beneficial. 
    • You'll also have the chance to communicate with someone else about your experience, which will benefit you both as you progress through practice together. 


    7. MAINTENANCE OF A JOURNAL. 


    Get yourself a journal to keep track of your mindfulness practice. 

    Take a few brief notes when you've finished practicing for the day. 

    • What was the outcome of your practice? 
    • Is there anything fresh or fascinating that has come up? 
    • What are your thoughts? 

    Writing down your mindfulness experience may help you grasp it better, ingrain your newfound insight into your mind, and offer you something to reflect on. I still go back and look at my first meditation diary again and again, and I like seeing how far I've come.




    You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.





    8 Research based Benefits of Mindfulness


    Mindfulness has been researched in clinical settings with the use of brain imaging equipment and intensive psychological assessment. 

    Despite the fact that mindfulness research is still in its early stages, researchers are finding tangible proof of the anecdotal claims that meditators have made for generations. 

    Many studies show that just a few weeks of practice may lead to changes in behavior and brain activity, with individuals sustaining the favorable benefits for up to a year after completing a mindfulness-based training program. 

    Understanding the study may help you understand why you're undertaking this exercise in the first place, as well as provide you a peek of some of the potential advantages. 



      1. REDUCTION OF STRESS. 


      In 2010, a group of academics reviewed previous data and concluded that mindfulness was useful in reducing anxiety and stress. 

      This was true whether or not the subjects had previously been diagnosed with anxiety or stress problems. 


      2. WORKING MEMORY AND FOCUS HAVE BEEN IMPROVED. 


      Mindfulness, according to research from the University of California, Santa Barbara, helps people stay focused and utilize newly learned knowledge more successfully. 

      Participants reported much reduced mind wandering after just two weeks of mindfulness practice, which is a promising outcome. 


      3. BENEFITS FOR THE BODY. 


      Mindfulness has been shown to have several bodily advantages. 

      Regular meditation has been shown in studies to improve digestion, enhance the immune system, lower blood pressure, speed up the healing process, and reduce inflammation. 

      It's not only about taking care of your mind when it comes to mindfulness! 


      4. BETTER SLEEP IS REQUIRED. 


      According to Harvard Health, studies demonstrate that mindfulness can aid in falling and staying asleep. A meditation practice, regardless of when you perform it, is likely to help with this. 


      5. SOLVING PROBLEMS IN A CREATIVE MANNER. 


      Researchers revealed in a 1982 study that meditation might help people solve issues more creatively. 

      Cultivating mental calm allows you to think in fresh ways, see challenges from various perspectives, and work more efficiently toward a solution. 

      This can also help you deal with stress in the family, at work, and in everyday life as a side effect. 


      6. LONELINESS FEELINGS ARE FEWER. 


      Loneliness has been linked to bad health consequences. After just eight weeks of mindfulness meditation, participants in a research at the University of California, Los Angeles reported feeling less lonely. 

      This was true whether the people were alone or in the company of a group of friends. Furthermore, individuals who only exercised mindfulness found that they felt more connected and content. 

      After a prolonged research of loneliness in the UK, British Prime Minister Theresa May even named a Minister for Loneliness in January 2018. 


      7. SELF-ESTEEM HAS BEEN IMPROVED. 


      This is something that many of us battle with. Mindfulness practice has been demonstrated to improve self-esteem in people from all walks of life. 

      It can help you enhance your body image, feeling of self-worth, and overall satisfaction with who you are. 


      8. REGULATION OF MOOD. 


      Although mindfulness is not a replacement for adequate medical treatment, it is a valuable tool for regulating mood disorders and difficulties. 

      If you're dealing with depression, anxiety, or mood swings, mindfulness may be able to assist you.

      Mindfulness has been shown to assist people with and without mood disorders calm their emotions.


      You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.





      9 Key Defining Aspects of a Mindfulness Practice



      You've come here because you've decided to start looking into mindfulness. It's a significant step that ought to be acknowledged and applauded. Take a moment to congratulate yourself. 


      Let's take a look at the many latent behaviors you'll be developing as you begin to grasp mindfulness practice:




        1. BEING ENTIRELY PRESENT.


        • This is the most well-known and fundamental mindfulness meditation technique, yet it takes practice to master. 
        • As you practice, you may need to bring your thoughts back to the present moment several times. 
        • You'll find yourself more naturally able to relax in present-time awareness as you continue to train your mind to remain present. 


        2. CLEARLY SEEING. 


        • This part of mindfulness may also be thought of as a recognition of what you're going through. 
        • You are able to recognize pain when it occurs. 
        • When anxiety is there, you may identify it as such. 


        3. LETTING GO OF JUDGMENT. 


        • You are acquiring the knowledge to clearly understand what you are feeling in the current moment. 
        • You could observe that your mind categorizes anything (a sensation, a concept, etc.) as good or terrible, correct or incorrect, positive or negative. 
        • You may let go of such value judgements through mindfulness practice. 
        • You may remind yourself that you don't have to trust every judgment that comes your way. 
        • Accept anything you find in your thoughts, including any sentiments of "liking" or "disliking" it. 


        4. EQUANIMOUSNESS. 


        • Equanimity is the trait of being calm and composed, particularly when confronted with tough or unpleasant situations. 
        • Regardless of how simple or challenging the experience is, the amount of energy and effort you put into it can stay constant. 
        • You'll learn to go through challenging situations with balance and stability if you do it this way. 


        5. PERMITTING EVERYTHING TO FIT IN. 


        • There are many different kinds of experiences in life, and you may find yourself welcoming some in while excluding others. 
        • “Everything belongs,” says English monk Ajahn Sumedho to his students. 
        • You don't have to omit any idea, emotion, or experience when practicing mindfulness. 
        • Pay attention to whatever comes up and create room for the unpleasant. 


        6. CULTIVATING THE MIND OF A BEGINNER 


        • Approach new information with a sense of wonder and a desire to comprehend it. 
        • You can slip into "autopilot" when you have a better awareness of the world around you, believing that you know exactly how things function and what you're doing.
        • Work to build beginner's mind, viewing experiences and circumstances as if it's your first time, to promote a good mindfulness practice. 
        • Keep your mind open to fresh ideas and be aware of when it begins to close. 


        7. PATIENCE IS AN ESSENTIAL QUALITY. 


        The majority of individuals come to mindfulness and meditation with a specific objective in mind. They want to learn to manage their anxiety, deal with daily challenges, or work through their anger. 

        • It's fine to set goals, but remember to be patient; being too fixated on a single conclusion will stymie your development. 
        • Patience necessitates a small amount of faith in the exercise, your teacher, and yourself. 
        • Keep your goal in mind, and keep in mind that change takes time


        8. FORMING A FRIENDSHIP. 


        It's not about punishing yourself with mindfulness! 

        • Kindness is an important component of practice, and it begins with being nice to oneself. 
        • You might become reactive and unable to see clearly if you lack kindness. 
        • When practicing, be kind with yourself and your experience. 
        • Act as though your mind is an ally rather than a foe.  


        9. YOU ARE HONORING YOURSELF. 


        • To begin practicing mindfulness, you don't need to have a clear mind, be totally calm, or be a master of compassion. 
        • Begin wherever you are, and give yourself credit for showing up in the first place. This is a workout, not a competition. 
        • You are not being evaluated, and if you are having difficulties, it does not indicate that something is wrong with you or your thinking. 
        • Be honest to yourself and give yourself room to grow.




        You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.






        Mindfulness Meditation - Natural Exhalation


        Breathing and breathing control are central to many meditative and yogic activities (such as pranayama, as mentioned earlier). You inhale from one nostril, catch your breath, and exhale through the other nostril with one technique (holding your finger over the first nostril to direct the flow of breath). Another technique is to shorten your breath and breathe in and out quickly.

        There are several distinctions between mindfulness practices. In one mindfulness exercise, you consciously lengthen your breath and remain conscious that you are doing so. Some mindfulness methods, like the one popularized




        by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, also include breathing in and out while repeating a sentence, such as "Breathing in, I quiet the breath, breathing out, I smile." Each mindfulness technique has a slightly different effect. In the act of introducing mindfulness to the breath, certain people purposefully relax it.

        This book's mindfulness exercise focuses on the uncontrolled, completely normal breath. This exercise does not cause you to lengthen, shorten, catch, or deepen your breath in any way. This recommendation is made for two major reasons.

        To begin with, allowing the breath to be normal is better than attempting to control it.

        Your mind and body will become exhausted if you meditate for a long time—ten to twenty minutes or more—and spend the whole time trying to regulate your breathing. Allowing your breath to flow naturally is quick and easy to maintain.

        Second, and most critically, ordinary breathing helps one to be present in the present moment. Being conscious of situations just as they happen is one of the fundamental tenets of mindfulness practice. We learn not to attempt to regulate our life experiences, but to let them unfold naturally. While we do not actually become silent, this cultivates a quiet embrace of life. However, if your breath is shallow, keep it that way.

        Take a moment to note how shallow the breathing is. Allow your breath to be as long as it needs to be. And so on. Rather than influence, we develop skills in observation and acceptance.


        You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.



        Mindfulness Meditation Anchored in Breath

        The meditation anchor works in a similar manner to a ship anchor. A ship can be at sea for days, being rocked and turned by the waves, but when a sailor drops an anchor, the boat remains put, not pitching about or running aground.

        We use an anchor in meditation to protect our minds from being knocked about by a sea of feelings, stimuli, experiences, sounds, and emotions.




        We use the breath as our anchor in the mindfulness exercise learned in this book, but other anchors, such as sounds or body stimuli, may also be used. Other meditation techniques include focusing on an image, a candle flame, a certain body part, or a mantra (a repeating word).

        There are a number of apparent reasons to use our breath as a source of stability. To begin with, it is still with us. One thing we can count on when we are alive is that we will be breathing. Second, it is fairly open and easy to feel for the majority of people. 

        The majority of novice meditators will easily add mindfulness to their own breathing. Third, the breath is normally neutral—we don't have strong emotions about it. 

        Breath is a great meditation object because it is neither enjoyable nor bad, because if we choose an anchor that evokes intense negative or positive emotions, we will spend more of our time manipulating our feelings rather than being present with the breath.


        You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation and Healing here.