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Nature of Awareness, Big Mind Guided Meditation, Loving Humanity, seven factors of awakening

Big Mind Guided Meditation

Guy Armstrong leads a big mind guided meditation. Good for calmness and relaxation, enforcing mindfulness and liberating consciousness ...
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mindfulness exercises

The Magic of Awareness – Talk

Anam Thubten talks about the gift of awareness and the hindrance of the ego. How this awareness can do magic ...
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Bonus 45-minute Meditation

Bonus 45-minute Meditation

Meditation is the act of improving our brain’s software programming through applied mental training. Listen to this 45-minute meditation from ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Tenderness

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette Tenderness. It's a feeling of the preciousness of our lives. The specialness of ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Investigating Aversion and Anger

We don't need to judge ourselves for being angry. In meditation practice, we see it and investigate it aversion or ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Failing Well

Matthew Brensilver talks about Failing Well. It's about perfectionism, failure and loving-kindness. In practice, failing is indispensable and important ...
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Nature of Awareness, Big Mind Guided Meditation, Loving Humanity, seven factors of awakening

Loving Humanity and Melting the Ice

Anam Thubten teaches us to turn our attention into the world, to look into our heart. To love humanity and ...
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Thinking

Thinking

Matthew Brensilver talks about the importance of the ways of thinking. There are so many Buddhist teachings, valuable insights which ...
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Gil Fronsdal

Journey of 3 Breaths

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Journey of 3 Breaths. Sometimes it's useful to be very modest with your meditation ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress, generosity, surrendering to life

Generosity

Marcia Rose talks about the seamless circle of the paramies of generosity. Paramies are the accumulated forces of purity within ...
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The Dragon and the 10 Gowns

The Dragon and the 10 Gowns

Jack Kornfield talks about how Buddha teaches the transformation of suffering into joy. He then proceeds to tell the story ...
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Fear and Doubt

Fear and Doubt

Ajahn Sumedho talks about Fear and Doubt. Fear is something that arises from not knowing and uncertainty. Doubt arises from ...
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Gentle Mindful Yoga

Gentle Mindful Yoga

Gentle Mindful Yoga begins with the centering, followed by a series of postures and movements, and concludes with a relaxation ...
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Practice as a Path of Happiness

Practice as a Path of Happiness

James Baraz talks about how practice leads us to a path of happiness. By which the purpose of life is ...
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The Power of Gratitude for Sleep

The Power of Gratitude for Sleep

We're not always aware what blessing a good night's sleep actually is. Through mindfulness exercise, bring happiness to your life ...
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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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Finding Possibility in All That Arises and Passes

Finding Possibility in All That Arises and Passes

Phillip Moffitt leads a themed meditation finding possibility in all that arises and (vanishes) passes. The breath, thoughts, feelings, anger ...
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Patience

Patience

One of the important qualities of Mindfulness Practice that supports us tremendously is that of Patience. Gil Fronsdal talks about ...
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Knowing that Attention is Present

Knowing that Attention is Present

Phillip Moffitt leads a meditation to attention mindfulness awareness, to be mindfully aware of the occurring, to know the occurrence ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Buddhism in Brief

There are 3 great vehicles of Buddhism. Vajrayana is the form we find in Mongolia and Tibet; the Mahayana is ...
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The kind heart

The Kind Heart

Whatever the mind thinks about something fondly, it becomes the mind's inclination. Joseph Goldstein talks about The Kind Heart. Cultivate ...
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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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The Multiplication of Courage

Working With Fear

The topic of working with fear shows the liberating power of the Dharma. Guy Armstrong says fear has haunted human ...
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Focused attention

Focused Attention & Concentration

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation focused attention and concentration. This meditation is useful to increase focus and mindfulness ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 10

Heartfulness Meditation

Wes Nisker leads a heartfulness meditation. To arouse compassion and love to the world we inhabit, to imagine the earth ...
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Simply Stopping

Simply Stopping

Sean Fargo teaches meditation beginners to practice simply stopping. Breathing in and out, to be simply still and present at ...
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Gil Fronsdal

Be Still and Gaze Upon Everything Kindly

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Be Still & Gaze Upon Everything Kindly. Buddha represents being still, tranquil in body ...
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Concentrate

Increasing Focus

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation about Focused Attention. When the attention wanders, just come back to the breathing. It ...
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Gratitude

Gratitude – Meditation

In this meditation say "Thank you" to all the people, to all that is around you and part of you ...
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Increase Optimism

How To Increase Optimism

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation on How to Increase Optimism. Envision yourself feeling healthy. Envision yourself to have forgiven ...
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Entering into difficulty

Entering Into Difficulty

Gil Fronsdal talks about Entering Into Difficulty. One of the important areas of life is what we know and what ...
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Wise Concentration

Wise Concentration

Marcia Rose talks about wise concentration. It's one of the 7 factors of awakening: mindfulness, investigation, energy, joy, tranquility, concentration ...
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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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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 23

Mindfulness Of Breathing

Mark Coleman leads the guided mindfulness of breathing, explaining the posture and parameters of the meditation, being relaxed and alert ...
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Twenty Minute Meditation

Twenty Minute Meditation – With Just Bells

Available for download, audible media of 20-minute meditation with just bells. Good for 20-minute meditations for invoking sleep ...
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Gil Fronsdal

Beautyful

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Beautyful. Someone skilled in meditation is someone who is skilled with the beauty of ...
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Mindfulness exercise, Judging Mind, no self no problem

Fear of Public Speaking

Our perceptions are unreliable, subjective and impermanent. Ajahn teaches how different audience perceive, and why public speaking is terrifying ...
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Mindfulness and Concentration

Lack of Continuity of Mindfulness and Concentration

Kate Munding reminds the importance of stillness in the practice of mindfulness and improves concentration especially in the world where ...
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Mindfulness exercise

Build a Happier Brain

Rick Hanson talks about Building a Happier Brain. Happiness is more than a feel-good moment. It's the foundation of physical ...
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Love Is The Answer

Love Is The Answer

Spring Washam talks about the topic Love Is The Answer. She also talks about opening the heart, freedom, and joy, ...
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loving kindness meditation

Loving Kindness Meditation

This meditation is the loving-kindness meditation by Kristin Neff. It's meant to generate feelings of goodwill and kindness both for ...
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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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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Self Conscious

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: A short instruction being mindful, Abide Conscious not Self Conscious. Be Conscious, not ...
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Seeing anew

Seeing Anew

Jack Kornfield talks about seeing things in a fresh way or seeing anew. Perfect for beginners who are contemplating for ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

How to Know which is Skillful in the Moment

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Resolve/Allow Learning How to Know which is Skillful In The Moment. Resolve is ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Relaxing and Cultivating Joy and Ease

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Relaxing & Cultivating Joy & Ease. Taking 3 deep breaths to settle in to connect ...
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Compassion

Compassion

Sean Fargo leads a walking meditation with compassion as the theme. Find a place to walk that is safe to ...
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overcome addiction binaural beats

Overcome Addiction (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat to Overcome Addiction. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Flowering of Compassion

It’s About Time

Wes Nisker does a little time travel (a talk on it's about time). It's about living in the moment, the ...
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The art of renunciation

Art Of Renunciation

Joseph Goldstein talks about The Art of Renunciation. Renunciation, goodwill, and compassion; these liberate you from afflictions of sense desires ...
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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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