How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a simple yet challenging practice that teaches us to be fully present in each moment of our lives, strengthens concentration and equanimity, and cultivates wisdom and compassion.
- •Sit down.Posture is a very important part of meditation. Don't lie down or you'll fall asleep--meditation isn't a relaxation exercise, it's about concentration.
- •Your body should be attentive but also at ease.Low-body rooted, spine long, base of skull gently lifted. Relax your upper body; your spine should grow out of the strength of your low belly. Invite the roof of your mouth to soften.
- •Eyes can be open or closed.If they're open, soften your focus.
- •Feel yourself as a breathing body.Don't control the breath. Just allow the body to receive each inhale and release each exhale. Where do you feel the breath--the nose, the belly?
- •Notice the qualities of the breath.If the breath is deep, notice that. If the breath is shallow, notice that. Notice and accept the breath however it is.
- •When your mind wanders away from the breath, notice that.This is important: Your mind will wander! That's OK. Mindfulness is the process of noticing when the mind wanders. We're not trying to clear our minds or turn off our thoughts--that's impossible! If your mind stops producing thoughts you're probably dead and that's no good.
- •Gently and kindly bring your awareness back to feeling the breath in the body.Do this over and over. Don't judge yourself or get frustrated if you're distracted by thoughts, feelings, plans,or memories. That is the nature of mind. Just notice the sense of quiet, pure awareness that exists under all that noise.
- •That's it! You're meditating!It's simple yet difficult. Practice every day and your concentration will improve. Good luck!