Mindfulness Meditation Exercises
Mindfulness involves paying attention each moment to things as they are, with an open hearted and non-judgemental attitude. This is a process of observing thoughts, emotions, and sensations as they come and go, with an attitude of curiosity and acceptance.
Mindful awareness can be applied to experiencing every day activities such as eating, walking, washing the dishes, and having a shower. Practicing mindfulness can help us to be less caught up in stress, worry, low mood, by helping us to develop a greater capacity to engage in our lives by being more fully present.
Mindfulness is a skill that can be developed with practice over time. Making time to practice mindfulness meditation regularly can help us to become more mindful in our day-to-day activities, and can help us to step out of habitual patterns of stress.
The basic practice of mindfulness meditation involves intentionally placing our attention on the breath, and observing each rise and fall of the breath. It is natural that our minds will not stay aware of the breath for very long. The mind will inevitably wander off and soon we will be thinking, or planning, or worrying. The practice of mindfulness is to be aware when our attention has wandered, and then without judgement, gently but firmly redirecting our attention back to the breath.
At the beginning of practice it is likely that our minds will wander many, many times. While this can be frustrating, it is important to remember that the moment that we are aware that our mind has wandered, we are practicing mindfulness. Then we simply return our attention to observing the breath, again and again and again.
It is helpful to learn how to practice mindfulness with the guidance of an experienced instructor. Guided recordings such as the ones to the right can also help with learning to meditate.