Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation has been practiced by Buddhists and others throughout most of the world for twenty-five hundred years, but only recently in the western world and only in the United States since the 1960s. Mindfulness is more than meditation however. Mindfulness Meditation transforms a person’s awareness into focusing on the present, on observation without criticism, on being compassionate with themselves and most importantly, that all thoughts and feelings including negative ones, are just thoughts. Thoughts and feelings come and go. You have a chance to act on them or to just let them go.

Thoughts Are Just Thoughts

What comes with the realization that thoughts are just thoughts and nothing more allows a person to understand that it is the thought or emotion that does the damage and not an action that put them in a bad mood. It’s not the mood itself but rather how we react to it.

Pre-Living and Re-Living

Practicing Mindfulness consists primarily on focusing your full attention on the present. We tend to re-live past events and re-feel the pain they gave us. We pre-live future disasters and pre-live how they might impact us. It is easy, therefore, to see why people live in a constant state of depression and anxiety. You can never really master Mindfulness because the ultimate goal is to be fully aware in every moment of life.

The Present Moment

Mindfulness Meditation trains the mind to see our thoughts as they occur so that we can live our lives as they unfold before us – in the present moment. This doesn’t mean we are frozen in the present time. We are still free to think about past and future events. You see the past as memory and the future as planning. Knowing where you are keeps you free from being enslaved or re-feeling past or future pain. 

Preventing Depression

We can’t stop negative thoughts, memories, emotions, or self-talk from happening, but we can stop reacting to them. We can prevent a cascade of negative feelings, thoughts and body sensations that take us into sadness, unhappiness, anxiety and depression. Mindfulness practice teaches us to step aside and let the negatives pass on by. Mindfulness shows us that being aware transcends thinking. Reflect on that for a moment. Pure awareness allows you to look at the world with open eyes and a sense of contentment begins to appear in your life.

See the World As it Is

Mindfulness allows us to see the world at it is, not how we think it should be, or what we fear it might turn out to be. Mindfulness allows us to pay attention to details on purpose, in the present moment, without judgement, to things as they actually are.

One-Minute Mindfulness Meditation

The one-minute Mindfulness Meditation focuses our attention on our breathing. To begin, sit in a straight-backed chair, in an upright manner with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Lean a little forward with your back away from the back of the chair. Close or lower your eyes. Focus your attention on your breath but breathe in a normal manner, preferably in through your nose and out through your puckered lips, as in giving a kiss or blowing through a straw. Concentrate on your breathing and nothing else. If your mind wanders or you become distracted, it’s ok. Just gently return to concentrating on your breathing for a full sixty seconds. Your mind may become still or it may not. Just remain still, relaxed and at peace, concentrating on your breathing for sixty seconds, then open your eyes, be aware of your surroundings and go about the rest of your day.

Three-Minute Meditation

The three-minute breathing space meditation should be performed twice each day. Try to schedule the same times each day when you won’t be interrupted.

Begin by adopting an erect posture in a chair as in the one-minute meditation, or standing if you prefer. Bring your thoughts inward and ask yourself: What are you experiencing right now? What are your thoughts and feelings? What body sensations are you feeling? Don’t try to make any changes, just experience them. Take in the tenseness or tightness of your muscles but don’t try to change them.

During the second minute concentrate your thoughts on your breathing, as in the one-minute meditation. Focus on your abdomen expanding as your breath fills it and relaxes as you exhale. With each breath, anchor yourself in the present. If your mind wanders, don’t be upset, simply return your concentration to your breathing.

During the final minute, transfer your awareness to other parts of your body, your posture, your facial expression, your blinking eye lashes, your bodily sensations, not to change anything but just to experience and be aware of your entire body for the final minute. 

This is the complete three-minute Mindfulness Meditation to be performed twice a day to affirm your place in the world. Your mind and body at peace, tranquil, dignified and happy.

Habit Releasers

The complete eight-week Mindfulness program consists of two elements. The first element is a series of short meditations amounting to twenty to thirty minutes per day using audio files. The second element is called “Habit Releasers,” an exercise in changing your mundane habits, like taking a different route to work or school, turning off the television for an hour every day, and other fun ways to break old habits that can trap you in a life of negative thinking. Habit releasers take you out of your rut and can present new opportunities to explore. During the eight-week program you will be asked to break one old habit each week.

Mundane Activities

Each day for eight weeks you will pay close attention to some of the mundane activities you perform without normally giving them a second thought. But now you will. Little things like taking out the garbage, securing the trash can lid so nothing can escape in the wind, drinking your first cup of coffee of the day, letting the fresh-brewed flavor burst forth in your mouth. There are special meditations for each week. None are difficult but all will free your mind making you more aware. 

Practice Attitudes

You will practice the attitudes of caring, patience, giving and gratitude with a little yoga and walking mixed in. By week five you will be exploring any upcoming difficulties, being aware of all body sensations, concentrating on your breathing, and centering yourself in the present moment. In week six we will judge ourselves. Acceptance is a big part of living Mindfully. In week seven we will judge our life, analyzing what drains our energy and make tiny changes in our life that fundamentally alter the way we feel. Week eight is a review of the past seven weeks plus increasing levels of mindful activities. You will notice yourself practicing Mindfulness throughout your entire day.

Remember, the most difficult move in yoga is the move to your mat. The most difficult part of performing Mindfulness is sitting in your chair and taking the first mindful breath. 

There are number of reference books, tapes and websites located in our Knowledge Base Resources page.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life. Review our Knowledge Base or the links displayed on this page for similar and related topics.