This guide is a great starter point for anyone brand new to mindfulness and meditation. This meditation practice is all about observing rather than actively visualizing or repeating a mantra.
Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit, either cross legged on the floor or in a chair where you can keep your back straight. If you are sitting on the floor, a cushion or bolster can help keep your hips above your knees and make your seat more comfortable.
Set a timer if you have something scheduled right after your meditation. Wondering how much time you have left can be very distracting!
Start your meditation by closing your eyes and breathing consciously for 30 or so respiration cycles. Focus your attention on the sensation of each inhale. Notice the feeling of coolness as the breath flows through the nasal passageways. Observe the fullness of the lungs at the zenith of inhalation and the dissipation of tension as you exhale.
After 30 or so conscious breaths, allow your breath to return to its natural rhythm and depth.
Now, bring your attention to whatever is arising in your Experiential Present. From a point of removed awareness, observe that your mind is thinking. If you have no thoughts currently occupying your mind, allow you attention to rest in the void, in that absence of thought. Sooner or later your mind will engage in presenting thoughts. With full attention, observe these thoughts without engaging them. Do not try to wish them away or try to change the thought stream to pleasant or positive things. Simply observe the presentations of your mind as you would watch a movie. You may notice emotional information is present or accompanying your thoughts. Just observe. You may experience physical sensations. Just observe. There is no need to judge anything that occurs. Nothing is right and nothing is wrong. We are only concerned with monitoring whatever it is that is arising within your Experiential Present.
When you notice that your attention has become “absorbed” in a mental movie, bring your attention back to that point of removed observer. Do not feel frustrated that your attention has drifted away and become caught up in your thoughts. This is counterproductive. The success of this mindfulness meditation is in the noticing that you have drifted and in bringing the attention back. Mindfulness must be approached with patience, persistence and compassion for yourself and for your mind. Remember, your mind is simply operating in the way you have trained it to! Or perhaps it is better to say that you have never taught it to operate in any other capacity, particularly in this mindful way.
Click here to start your journey into mindfulness meditation.