Mindfulness Meditation: Practice the Present Moment
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is a simple technique of consciously placing the mind on sensation of our ordinary breath.
This practice is about the mind, we use our breath as a tool because it is both portable and present. As long as you are doing the technique and coming back to the practice, you are doing it. So anybody can do it!
Your Practice will Take Practice.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice of awakening, not zoning out.
We practice being fully awake while we meditate, being aware of everything that arises in the present moment. Within our practice we simply notice what comes up without attaching ourselves to these thoughts, we allow them to surface and we allow them to pass.
Mindfulness meditation is practice for life. When things get difficult, your practice is always there for you. We can always return to the breath in complicated times.
Though simple, it is not always easy.
When we begin to practice, it does not feel natural to sit quietly and only focus on one thing. The practice requires both your focused attention and also a commitment to yourself. Yet, it is so simple that when your thoughts do happen to drift away (as happens to everyone for we are all human), all you have to do is invite yourself back to your focus on the breath. It is a kindhearted practice that provides a safe place to land, again and again. Even better, by engaging with the breath in this way, you are giving yourself a gift that will continue to grant benefits.
Your Life Will Change.
The benefits of a consistent meditation practice include more stability, clarity and strength.
Meditation helps us in multiple ways we may not realize at first, but as we move through our days:
- We are less reactive.
- More thoughtful
- More patient
- More aligned
This becomes evident when we encounter difficult or challenging times. Our practice helps us root ourselves to the present moment so that we can navigate difficult terrain with more ease. Meditation is like a gathering together; this is why it is the perfect anecdote to our daily life where we feel often scattered because we try to do so many things.
As many wise teachers before me have said, “we don’t meditate to become good at meditating, we meditate to become good at life.”
Essentially, meditation helps to widen the gap between stimulus and response so we have fewer knee jerk reactions. I’ve found that as a parent, a wife, as a human being...this is a game changer.
It’s being able to be aware enough that you can “catch yourself” and choose your response mindfully not reactively. This has made a big difference for me when I am tuned in.
In the space where we pause, we create more possibilities to choose how we want to be, how we want to show up for ourselves and for the people in our life, and even how we want to show up in the world
Much like we might lift weights or exercise to strengthen our bodies, we practice mindfulness meditation to strengthen our minds.
We get familiar with not only our mind but also our whole body. The breath is our home base and the connection between the mind and body.
Set up the practice with a sense of clarity & purpose, then it will become a refuge. (not an escape) It’s making friends with yourself, an invite to live fully in each moment
Learn the Technique.
Don’t get caught up in the experience of the practice, just do the technique, and the results come after.
Take your seat, get settled, and grounded.
Remember to find a seat that is “workable” for you. By this I mean comfortable to hold for a few moments of time and that will allow you to focus on your breath not any discomfort.
Place your attention on the sensation of breath moving through the edges of your nostrils.
The steps of the technique:
- Placement (focus your mind on the sensation of breath)
- Recognition (an awakening to drifting thought- “Oops. I’m thinking my ‘to-do’ list!”)
- Replacement (return to your focus, come back to the breath)
To begin a daily or weekly practice, it is helpful to establish a motivation (like journaling before your practice.) Take 3 minutes, write without stopping, and remember there are no right or wrong answers just your thoughts. As an initial prompt, I suggest considering why you want to establish a meditation practice in your life. What is your motivation?
Allow your answers to serve as your reminder. Naming your motivation and how you’d like to expand and awaken to your own daily life is just the thing to bring you back to your practice.
Could you use more awaking to the present moment in your life? We could all use a little more grounding!
I invite you to learn about my Online Yoga and Meditation Membership if you enjoy learning about this practice.
Contact me to learn more.