Created on: April 23, 2010 Last Updated: December 15, 2010
Mindfulness meditation is...Stop. Breath in...Breath out. Inhale...Exhale...Notice the rhythmic cycle of your breathing...Notice how it feels to have your lungs expand with air, and your ribs as they rise and fall...Turn your attention to the temperature of the air as you inhale, perhaps to the texture of the air as you exhale...Other thoughts may or may not enter your mind...If they do you can be aware of them, without assigning any importance to these thoughts...You can accept these as merely thoughts, the unimportant chatter of the mind, and let them dissolve away.
When you engage in mindfulness meditation practice, you can simply attempt to be present in the moment. And you may note, now, that the previous sentence was purposefully worded to avoid saying "you need to be present in the moment". Mindfulness is about training your mind and body to let go and just be. There is no single mindfulness meditation technique that leads to automatic success, it is a process. Anything and everything that leads up to the final achievement of a quiet, present mind is just fine.
Eventually, as a practitioner of mindfulness meditation, you may reach the point that you are present in the moment, free of thoughts and distractions. During your meditation you may simply be noticing, without judgment, all sensations of the body, all wisps of thought that pass through the mind.
Until you reach that point, you may find that your mind is busy with thoughts each time you attempt to take a deep breath and invite stillness. That is okay, in fact it is expected in the beginning. It is important that you allow yourself to experience this and to be okay with this. There is no need to attach yourself to the subject of these thoughts. It is unnecessary, at the moment, to actually feel the feelings that underlie these thoughts. Simply recognize that you are having thoughts, and that they may have feelings attached, and let them pass away by returning your attention to your breathing.
As you practice your mindfulness meditation techniques you may notice that with the mind quiet the sounds of the room around you seem louder. You may hear the busy day or night outside your window. You may hear the buzz of your computer or the ticking of a clock. You may, in fact, notice the sound of your own breathing. This is okay. This is good. These sounds are providing you with an opportunity to be present in that space at that time.
Eventually, you may practice mindfulness meditation so successfully that mindfulness becomes a habit and life seems richer and almost more real. In fact, you may find that during a practice of intentional mindfulness meditation you reach a state of such deep and profound silence and stillness that you simply...are.
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