Practice this Basic Technique of Mindfulness Meditation DailyDec 9th, 2012 | Category: Mindfulness Meditations
This is the Mindfulness Meditation, week one practice.
Like an athlete or musician practices for a performance, Mindfulness Meditation is our daily practice for living life to its greatest potential. Each day for the first week, listen to this file three times a day, practicing the methods within.
Please practice using this prepared practice. There are three components to this practice. First, practice directing your attention to the breath. Second, practice returning your attention to the breath anytime you notice feelings, thoughts or sensations. The goal is NOT to stop thinking, feeling, or having sensations. The purpose is simply to note when you do this, and practice bringing your attention back to a focal point, in this practice, the breath. The third part of this practice, is to begin to notice how easy and natural it is, to stay in the present when we notice out attention drifting into either the past or the future. Notice during this week times when you mindfully and intuitively return form distressing thoughts, feelings or sensations back to your breath and the present.
As you sit in your chair with your body relaxed and posture in alignment, close the eyes and breath in, noticing what it feels like to breath in. Scan your body, and let lose any muscles that are holding tension, relax the jaw, let the shoulders drop. Let the eyelids and hands be having with relaxation and just breathe. You do not have to try to speed up or slow down the breath during this exercise all you have to do is breathe, and pay attention to the breath. There is not really a right way or wrong way to do this exercise, it is simply an exercise to practice bringing your attention to the breath.
As you pay attention to the breath, observe the breath, noticing the tempo of the breath, the temperature of the air, and how the air flows in and how it flows out. We breathe every day, often without noticing it, and by practicing an awareness of the breath, we are really practicing an awareness of this moment. After all, this moment, this breath, is really all we have, and of course, as long as we are breathing in this moment, even if life surrounds us, we are ok. As you breath in and out, label the breath, call it by its name. Label the in breath in, and the out breath out. Saying to yourself, “in” and “out”. Notice the air as you breath in and that point where the air in your lungs turns around and becomes and out breath.
As you pay attention to the breath, you will also notice you are aware of sounds, sensations and experiences apart for your breath. The practice is not to stop noticing those things, but rather when we notice our thoughts follow these awareness’s to return our attention to the breath. If you notice yourself thinking, about anything at all, you do not have to try to stop thinking, rather just note that thought, and instead of following it, simply say to yourself, that is a thought and bring your attention back to the breath. If you become aware of emotions and feelings, during this time, it is OK to have them, the practice in not to suppress them, but rather to just note them, so say, “that is a feeling” and to let it be without following it, returning your attention to the breath.
Over the next 2 minutes, continue breathing, in and out, and paying attention to the breath. I will note the beginning and the end of this two minutes with the sound of a metal bowl or bell. The practice is of course, to simply note when your mind begins to follow a thought, your feelings or awareness of sensation,, and to gently return your attention to the breath. It does not matter if you need to this many times, the value is in developing the practice of returning to this moment, by returning awareness to the breath.
Although almost everyone can see the value in this exercise, most will discover the real value comes with practice. During this week, as you practice this exercise, begin to be aware of and notice when you intuitively begin to practice mindfulness in other situations during the week. For example, if stressed in traffic, you might notice when you become aware of this stress, that you automatically focus on your breath rather than letting the stress become a thought you follow. By the end of your first week of practice, you will begin to notice ho natural and easy it is, in a variety of different situations and places to mindfully focus on one moment at a time.