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Lesson from Nature

Body Healing (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Body Healing. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Lesson from Nature

Nature: Dusk at the Oasis

The orange sky reflects the setting sun. You find yourself peacefully listening at Nature: Dusk at the Oasis. Soothing winds ...
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Forty Five Minute Meditation

Forty Five Minute Meditation – Just Bells With 5 Minute Intervals

Available for download, audible media of 45-minute meditation with just bells. The 5-minute intervals are good for parts of stress ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Relaxing the Mental Formation

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Relaxing the Mental Formation. Allowing the peripheral awareness, become aware of what's happening in the ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Exploring the Breath

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Exploring the Breath. What is your relationship with your breathing? Very broadly, is it a ...
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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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Relieving stress

Relieving Stress

Sean Fargo leads a meditation to relieve stress. Instructing the body and mind to mindfulness, relaxing and feeling without judgment ...
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Opening Your Senses

Opening Your Senses

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation "opening your senses." It allows experiencing visceral sensations with open awareness, seeing, sensing and ...
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Sacred body

Strong Back, Soft Front

Frank Ostaseski says to live in this world, we need a strong back and that is not enough. We need ...
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Relax the eyes

Relax the Eyes

Gil Fronsdal talks about Relaxing the Eyes. One of the important aspects of meditation is to have a relaxed mind ...
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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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Gil Fronsdal

Guided Meditation on Breath

Gil Fronsdal leads a guided meditation on the breath as a fundamental practice for mindfulness and to familiarize the self ...
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Mindfulness exercise

Impulse To Freedom

Anam Thubten urges us to find out about the thought of our impulse to freedom. A spiritual impulse which is ...
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Mindful sexuality

Love, Sexuality & Mindfulness

Matthew Brensilver talks about Love: Sexuality & Mindfulness. Love & Sexuality requires a lot of awareness and the sense of ...
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Everything is Spiritual Practice

Everything is Spiritual Practice

Sylvia Boorstein leads a spontaneous meditation and tells that the spiritual practice happens even when in community with others, so ...
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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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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Reassurance of the Breath

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Reassurance of the Breath. There's a saying- to breath at ease is closely related to ...
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Empathy

Empathy: Its Nature, What Makes It Hard, and How to Develop It

Donald Rothberg talks about empathy: its nature, what makes it hard and how to develop it. Empathy is the ability ...
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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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mindful eating

Mindful Eating

Sharon Salzberg leads a short meditation on Mindful Eating. Having tea can be a time for meditation. First observe the ...
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Beauty, Hope, and Fear

Reflection on Monet Poem

Marcia Rose reflects on the Monet Poem: Monet refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller. And another, Shoveling Snow With Buddha ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Resolution to Present Details

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Resolution to Present Details. In Mindfulness, to be resolved, to be present attentively ...
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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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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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Mindfulness

Everybody’s Crazy

Listen to Ajahn Sumedho as he talks about grasping and non-grasping of emotional habits in Everybody's Crazy. There's so much ...
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Right speech

Right Speech

Joseph Goldstein talks about Right Speech. Right thoughts and understanding is the 3rd of the 8-fold path to awakening. It ...
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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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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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Nature of Awareness

Being a Sacred Warrior in These Tough Times

"I decided to stick with love, hate is too great a burden to bear!" said Martin Luther King. James Baraz ...
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Lesson from Nature

Lucid Dream (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Lucid Dream. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Purification Through Love

Purification Through Love

Spring Washam talks about Purification Through Love which is actually Metta, Loving-kindness. She explains how Loving-kindness purifies the soul, how ...
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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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Ambient Soundscape

Binaural Beat: Ambient Soundscape

Binaural Beat for Ambient Soundscape. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Lesson from Nature, depression and anxiety binaural beat

Depression & Anxiety (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Depression & Anxiety. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are ...
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Sleep Appreciation – Meditation

Sleep Appreciation – Meditation

Allow your body and mind to drift into complete and total rest; letting go of any visuals in your mind's ...
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Mindfulness exercise, Judging Mind, no self no problem

No Self, No Problem

Anam Thubten talks about No Self No Problem. No self is an old concept in the Buddhist sutras. To Anam, ...
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Meditation instructions

Meditation Instructions

Joseph Goldstein leads a guided Meditation- Meditation Instructions. Notice the breath. Know the breath. Feel it, being relaxed, and simply ...
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One Minute For Goodness

One Minute For Good

Sean Fargo leads a one-minute guided meditation. This practice is good for a quick morning meditation to relieve you of ...
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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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Wishing Ourselves And Others Well

Wishing Ourselves And Others Well

Taking the time to wish ourselves and others well can be a powerful tool for achieving greater peace and serenity ...
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Mood and Mindfulness

Mood and Mindfulness

Phillip Moffitt explains mood and attitude are the hidden aspects that many fail to realize mindfulness. Mindfulness is defined and ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Ripples of Happiness

Matthew Brensilver talks about Ripples of Happiness. Practicing in the spirit of generosity and compassion deeply benefits not just others ...
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I Would Have Wanted More, But I Never Wanted Other

I Would Have Wanted More, But I Never Wanted Other

Sylvia Boorstein brainstorms about "I would have wanted more, but I never wanted other." She explains the power of choice ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Walking Meditation

Matthew Brensilver leads a guided Walking Meditation. Walking meditation gives a different experience of awareness with visual feelings and movement ...
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Working with trauma

Working with Trauma

Tara Brach talks about Working with Trauma. Loving-kindness creates a space for you. Bring to mind the people that love ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Go Inside and Ask: What Do I Want Most?

Anam Thubten gives insight about self-discovery. To ask what do I want most. That what we know 'everybody wants happiness' ...
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Patience

Patience

Listen to Guided Meditation on Patience by Marcia Rose. With patience being the most important and necessary quality with mindfulness ...
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Tension Release, by Vidyamala Burch

Tension Release, by Vidyamala Burch

Stress and tension can cause aches and pains all over the body. This short meditation will release you from suffering ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

The Dharma of True Friendship

Kate Munding shares a story about how the Buddha advised on friendship; also shared her own story about the friendships ...
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Mood emotions

Mood & Emotions

Joseph Goldstein talks about Mood & Emotions. Moods are very different from emotions. Emotions are something that arises from experiences ...
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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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