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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: 4 Forms of Mindfulness of Breathing

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati 4 Forms of Mindfulness of Breathing. There are different kinds of awareness and here are ...
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The 3 Minute Breathing Space Meditation

The 3 Minute Breathing Space Meditation

Why do we need to return to breathing when we need space? Being aware of breathing brings a lot into ...
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Gratitude

Gratitude

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation about Gratitude. The feeling of deep appreciation and gratitude promotes mindful awareness and goodwill ...
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Letting Go vs. Attainment

Letting Go vs. Attainment

Ajahn Sumedho talks about Letting Go vs. Attainment. You don't ever attain anything in meditation if you're meditating in the ...
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Heart centered gratitude

Heart-Centered Gratitude – Meditation

We often take the heart for granted without noticing all of the work it does for us. Connect with your ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Working With Pain

Ajahn teaches Buddhist wisdom on life's difficulties. How pain is ever present in our life. And how we deal with ...
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Lesson from Nature, Soulmate Attraction

Soulmate Attraction (Binaural Beat)

Attracting your soulmate is possible with mindfulness. This binaural beat will help you reach the grounded, fully present state necessary ...
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How To Be An Earthling

How To Be An Earthling

Wes Nisker talks about the topic How To Be An Earthling. Earthlings, what are we doing here? Wes explores our ...
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How Do We Relate to Time Itself?

How Do We Relate to Time Itself?

The theme of this meditation is exploring our relationship with time. Everything is born in seasons of time. Cultures are ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 6, letting thoughts come and go

Letting Thought Clouds Come and Go

Tara Brach leads a guided body scan meditation on Letting Thoughts Come Come and Go. At some point, the mind ...
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Nature of Awareness

Mindfulness of Breathing

Mindfulness of breathing is fundamental in Buddhist meditation. This is the 1st thing on mindfulness of the body; to be ...
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Mindfulness Exercise on Lessons From Nature

Mindfulness of Depression 3/5

Rona Kabatznick leads Part 3 of the guided forgiveness meditation on Mindfulness Depression. Forgiveness of self is to open one's ...
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Art Therapy, Wise Effort

Wise Effort

Marcia Rose talks about the 3rd factor of enlightenment: wise effort. Wise effort is so intricate to energy, i.e., ever ...
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metta post obama

Metta in the Post Obama Era

Matthew Brensilver leads a guided meditation about Metta in the Post Obama Era. "Aspire to be safe for others." centering ...
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Ten Minute Meditation With Just Bells

Ten Minute Meditation With Just Bells

Available for download, audible media of 10-minute meditation with just bells. Good for worry-free time-crunched meditation ...
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Amazed

How To Be Amazed. Wow!

Gil Fronsdal talks about How To Be Amazed, Wow! There just so many things to be amazed in nature. The ...
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Teachings On Nature

Limits of Technique

Matthew Brensilver talks about Limits of Technique. So much of Dharma is improvisation. Techniques are there to facilitate understanding, but ...
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Befriending Yourself Mindfulness meditation

Befriending Yourself

Rick Hanson talks about Befriending Yourself. This practice aims to cultivate the deep sense of being a friend to yourself ...
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Bonus 30-minute Meditation

Bonus 30-minute Meditation

Meditation is the act of improving our brain’s software programming through applied mental training. Listen to this 30-minute meditation from ...
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Lesson from Nature, Increasing Intelligence

Increasing Intelligence (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Increasing Intelligence. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Working with Addiction

Working with Addiction

Tara Brach talks about Working with Addiction. She started with the story of the Hungry Ghosts. Attachments and addictions are ...
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Stress, Relaxation & Freedom

Stress, Relaxation & Freedom

Tara Brach talks about Stress, Relaxation, and Freedom. To be free is to be without the anxiety of imperfection. Stress ...
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The Floodlights Of Awareness

The Floodlights Of Awareness

Ajahn Sumedho talks about The Floodlights of Awareness that can help you become aware and secure as you navigate through ...
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Nature of Awareness, Big Mind Guided Meditation, Loving Humanity, seven factors of awakening

Letting In The Love

James Baraz explains that the relations we have, our connections are channels of positive energies that make us feel alive ...
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Deep Relaxation For Sleep

Deep Relaxation For Sleep

David Gandelman leads a deep relaxation meditation for sleep. David Gandelman is the founder of Grounded Mind, host of the ...
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Lesson from Nature, tranquil waterfall

Nature: Tranquil Waterfall

Nature Sounds: Tranquil Waterfall. You sit on a rock by the waterfalls appreciating its beauty and everflowing nature. The sound ...
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25 Minute Just Bells

Twenty Five Minute Meditation – Just Bells 5 Minute Intervals

Available for download, audible media of 25-minute meditation with just bells. The 5-minute intervals are good for meditation parts ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

The Earth and the Buddha

The Buddha's teachings are considered to be a path to freedom in the heart and the mind. And the earth ...
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Being Present for Whatever Arises

Being Present for Whatever Arises

Phillip Moffitt leads a meditation to be present for whatever arises or is occurring. To live in the current moment ...
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Two kinds of happiness

Two Kinds Of Happiness

Tara Brach talks about the topic Two Kinds of Happiness. The Buddha said I teach one thing only, and that ...
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Gratitude & Generosity

Gratitude & Generosity

Tara Brach talks about Gratitude & Generosity. Breathing in & out, letting go is one of expressing gratitude to the ...
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Evening affirmations of gratitude

Evening Affirmations of Gratitude

Affirmations offer inspiration and support. "I am grateful for the gifts I receive from others" is an example of the ...
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Right Concentration

Right Concentration

Shaila Catherine quotes the Buddha, "concentration is to understand things the way it is." When the mind is steady, it ...
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important thing enjoy your life

The Most Important Thing

Mark Coleman talks about The Most Important Thing on the Buddhist Path. Compassion and Loving-kindness enable us to be present ...
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Inspired Leadership

Inspired Leadership

Jack Kornfield talks about Inspired Leadership. He takes inspiration from various different leaders like the King of Thailand and George ...
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Gratitude and gladness

Gratitude and Gladness

Open to the sense of gratitude and gladness. Explore what these experiences are like and how it has the power ...
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Contentment

Contentment

Gil Fronsdal talks about Contentment. There's absolutely a lot of things in life to be content with. In mindfulness, contentment ...
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4 Minute Meditation by Tara Brach, Mindfulness Meditation

Appreciating the Little Things

Begin to take notice and appreciate the little things around you. Even these little things offer us a chance to ...
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Emotional Chaos to Clarity

Emotional Chaos to Clarity

Emotional chaos comes to the mind, and what contributes to it is the mind's clinging to what it wants to ...
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Nature of Awareness

Mind Like Fungi

A very fascinating talk "A Mind Like Fungi" by Ajahn Amaro takes you into Buddhist perspective. It talks about the ...
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helping hands

Life of Service

Mark Coleman talks about Life of Service. How wonderful and inspiring if the life of service we have is filled ...
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Lesson from Nature

Nature: Jungle Adventure

Nature Sounds: Jungle Adventure. Just outside your tent, you find yourself listening to birds and creatures of the forest. Sunlight ...
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self compassion

Self-Compassion Break

In this self-compassion break exercise, Kristin Neff teaches us how to take a moment to offer ourselves compassion in the ...
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Compassion

Compassion Q&A

Tara Brach holds a Q&A session on the topic of Compassion. Let the heart soften and open, bring mindfulness attention ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Seven Factors of Enlightenment

Guy Armstrong discusses the 7 factors of enlightenment. These are mindfulness, investigation, energy, rapture, calm, concentration and equanimity ...
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Meditation: Space of Awareness

Meditation: Space of Awareness

Tara Brach leads a guided meditation on Meditation: Space of Awareness. Perceive distant sounds, happening in silence. The mind is ...
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Gratitude And Gladness

Gratitude And Gladness

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation about Gratitude and Gladness. Most of the time, these two form a sweet blend ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Clear Seeing

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Clear Seeing. Sometimes the word "Vipassana" is translated as Clear Seeing. The "passana" ...
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Mindfulness exercise

Who Are You, Wanderer?

Jack Kornfield explains that our life is just but a moment of our journey. Who are we? We just wander ...
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Grounded Silence

Grounded Silence

David Gandelman a meditation expert and an exceptional guide bring you Grounded Silence meditation audio to help you experience mental ...
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The Power of Mindfulness Exercises

Though the term mindfulness might sometimes feel to be a relatively new term to arrive in collective consciousness, it is a practice that has been understood for centuries in other countries and communities of the world. While Western society as a collective is only just beginning to scratch the surface of what mindfulness really is and the widespread implications it has, Buddhists and Hindus have understood its powers for thousands of years, seeing mindfulness as a potent tool for transformation and deeper life understanding. For reasons that are quite understandable, more and more people are starting to explore this powerful practice as the fast-paced and highly interconnected world is leaving us feeling more disconnected from ourselves and from the world around us. As we begin to tap into our own personal mindfulness practice, we begin to intuitively understand how and why this teaching has held strong throughout millennia.

Observing the Nature of Reality

Mindfulness calls us to take a closer look at the present moment – exactly as it is. Through our direct experience, with preconditioned beliefs and ideas set aside, we expand our field of awareness by observing whatever we can sense in this very moment. Some of the ways we can tune into the present moment mindfully include basic techniques such as:

  • Drawing awareness to the breath
  • Witnessing thoughts and emotions without attachment
  • Observing bodily sensations, both surface and visceral
  • Tuning into each of our five senses without judgment and without seeking anything in particular
  • Compassionately and non-judgmentally interacting with whatever is present in the moment

Though it might at first seem simple, the truth is that it is and it isn’t. Much of the world, and the majority of the Western world specifically, has not been raised to interact with the world in a mindful way. It is a concept and a way of being that has not yet influenced most societies on a major scale. Learning to tune into the world mindfully is therefore a big step for many people and as such, it is a slow and continually evolving process. Mindfulness is a completely different way of being than most of us are used to and this is what can make it appear challenging.

However, with that said, it is a simple practice that once explored in a meaningful way has countless benefits, extending outwards from the core of our being like a ripple in water. Not only does everything in one’s immediate life change, so too does the surrounding environment. By quietly beginning to observe the stories we tell ourselves and tune into the assumptions we make about the world around us, we start to gain power over our thoughts, unveiling the true potential of mindfulness.

The Power of the Mind

While it might be commonly thought that our thoughts are a product of who we are, the assumption deserves deeper exploration. In mainstream Western culture, we often don’t probe our thoughts, leaving them to direct the show of our lives. We take them on as if they are our own, allowing them to speak for who we are. These unexamined thoughts influence our beliefs and our actions and the external world reflects back whatever energy we are radiating outwards. 

Mindfulness practice helps us to observe the opposite – to understand that our thoughts are not, in fact, an expression of who we truly are. Instead, our thoughts are viewed as separate energy bodies that do not belong to us. Though they are largely formulated by residue from our personal history and from the culture of our human and societal collective at large, our thoughts are not ultimately fixed and they are not “true” in any absolute sense.

When left unchecked, the conditioned and habitual mind makes all of our executive decisions. Through mindful observation of these mental movements, we begin to take some of that power back. When thoughts arise suggesting words to be said and actions to be taken, mindfulness intervenes as our ability to quietly observe the rest of that experience. At any moment, we might silently, compassionately, and non-judgmentally inquire:

  • What is arising in the silence?
  • What sort of energy is observable in the mind?
  • How does the physical body feel right now?
  • Is there movement towards or away from something?
  • What feelings or emotions are present within me right now and where?

Without seeking clear answers, mindfulness provides space for pure awareness of the present moment to arise. When we are mindful, we might pick up on subtle energies and deeper insights that the mind might not normally wish to address, such as:

  • Unhealthy decisions made based on cravings
  • Avoidance of opportunities for growth based on fear
  • Repressed emotions influencing our actions and decisions
  • Attachment patterns resulting from fear of being alone
  • Judgment of others to avoid looking within
  • Fear of being unloved, unaccepted, or rejected

These are only just a few of the infinite insights that can arise from mindfulness practice. While we might also be able to witness some of these ideas or notions without practicing mindfulness consistently, they resonate on a deeper level when we observe them from the heart space rather than from the mind. When we are quiet and approach whatever is present without rationalization, fear, or judgment, the power these observations hold is exponentially greater than when deduced from mental analysis. What we then come to know holds true power to transform our lives.

The Healing Powers of Mindfulness Exercises

Once we have tapped into mindful exploration of the self, mindfulness has the power to heal on numerous levels. As a human collective, we are beginning to understand how interconnected the mind and body really are, making mindfulness practices incredibly beneficial for physical ailments. On the level of the human body, mindfulness has countless positive benefits, including:

  • Reduction of one’s experience of pain, nausea, and fatigue
  • Lowered levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
  • Increased levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a calming brain neurotransmitter
  • Increased gray matter density in brain regions associated with emotional regulation, learning, memory, and perspective
  • Improved sleep habits and reduction of insomnia
  • Improved immune system functioning
  • Reduced blood pressure and lowered risk of heart disease

On a mental and emotional level, the potential for mindfulness to transform is just as powerful. As we start to observe the habitual patterns of the mind, we gain greater awareness and subsequent control over our thoughts and our responses to life. This heightened awareness, paired with the effects that mindfulness has on the physical body (such as reducing stress hormones and influencing the brain), is a large part of what leads to transformation of mind. Regularly observed effects of mindfulness practice include:

  • Greater capacity for focus and attention
  • Greater acceptance for the present moment
  • Deeper insights and powerful realizations
  • Deeper sense of connection to self and to the world around
  • Greater overall experience of peace and harmony

Mindfulness touches each individual in a different way. Where there is authentic willingness to open ourselves up to whatever exists in the present moment, there is great potential for transformation. Insights and growth cannot be forced, however; rather, when we surrender to whatever exists, wisdom unveils itself.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
Brené Brown

The Path of Presence

In her poem ‘When Death Comes’, Mary Oliver writes:

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

Mindfulness is, in essence, this sort of movement through, or interaction with, life. It is a wholehearted acceptance of whatever exists; it is a path of presence. As we learn to become more mindful in our everyday lives, not solely when in moments of meditation, we start to understand what it means to live in the present moment. Though feelings, thoughts, and emotions will continue to arise, our relationship to them changes. We become more curious about everything that exists in the present moment. Tendencies to judge, suppress, or reject things we ‘don’t like’ or deem to be ‘bad’ begin to lessen; instead, we practice the art of quietly sitting with whatever appears to be happening.

​Exploring the Power of Mindfulness

We can explore the power of mindfulness is numerous ways. From sitting meditations to written, reflective free mindfulness exercises, the paths of transformation through mindfulness are numerous and intertwining. Here are a few ways to explore the power of this practice.

1. Mindful Self-Inquiry

Even though mindfulness is commonly associated with meditation, mindful reflection on our observations can help to enhance our understanding of the mind and the ultimate nature of reality. To practice, take some quiet time to sit with these questions or to write down your answers. Let whatever comes come with judgment or analysis. Inquire:

  • What do you believe about yourself? Why do you believe these things, and would you label them as “truth”? Are these beliefs fixed or fluid?
  • What exists within your body right now? As you draw your attention to a particular sensation, does the sensation change at all? If you draw your attention away from this area, does the sensation change at all?
  • If you were to wipe the slate of your personal story clean, what would remain? What can you observe in the silent space created when all stories, beliefs, and ideas falls away?

2. Emotional Awareness and Acceptance

When difficult emotions rise to the surface, we often struggle to accept them. Part of the freedom that arises from mindfulness comes when we learn to accept whatever exists – “good” or “bad.” When emotions arise, practice:

  • Taking a step away from the outside world but sitting comfortably in an upright position and tuning into whatever is present. Note any stories or plot lines weaving themselves through your direct experience; tune into the raw sensation instead.
  • Note the emotions that are arising by simply labelling them, “anger,” “grief,” “irritation,” or whatever may be applicable. Refrain from attaching the I-self to these energies.
  • Draw your attention to the heart space, opening yourself up compassionately to whatever your experience is. Mindfully ease any judgment that arises and simply allow yourself to be right where you are without attaching to the energy that is there.

3. Become the Observer

We spend countless hours thinking – thinking about what we want to do next in life, thinking about ourselves, others, and the world, and thinking about everything we pass by in our lives. Left unchecked, thinking runs our lives.

  • Practice becoming the observer of your thinking by watching your thoughts as if they were weather patterns. Like the weather, thoughts move constantly, and as we begin to become more aware of their impermanence, they loosen their grip on our beliefs and our actions. When thoughts arise, simply acknowledge them by silently whispering, “I see you,” and then letting them go. Acknowledge and release. Acknowledge and release.

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