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Mind Appreciation – Meditation

Mind Appreciation – Meditation

To focus the mind, allow the body to become as relaxed as possible for the sake of delving deeply into ...
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Positive Future

Positive Future

Envision your purpose by a guided meditation positive future by Sean Fargo. This is a chance to connect within the ...
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Meditation: Tonglen

Meditation: Tonglen

Tara Brach leads a guided Meditation: Tonglen. The natural suffering we encounter is the gateway to compassion. Let loving awareness ...
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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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Leading With Purpose

Leading With Purpose

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation Leading with Purpose. This meditation explores leading with purpose whether you're in an organization ...
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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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Increase Loving Kindness

The Practice of Metta – Loving Kindness

Sharon Salzberg talks about Metta- the Practice of Loving Kindness. The kind of loving kindness that does not select but ...
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Gladdening the mind

Gladdening the Mind

Tara Brach leads a guided meditation about Gladdening the Mind. The Buddha taught the value of gladdening the mind as ...
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Mindfulness Exercise on Lessons From Nature

Free-Floating in Discomfort

Ines Freedman leads a guided meditation on Free-Floating in Discomfort. This meditation alleviates the discomfort of pain and increases calm ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness & Pain 3: Cultivating Wisdom

Oren Sofer talks about Cultivating Wisdom as Part 3 of Mindfulness & Pain. To understand suffering, we need to listen ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Introduction to Drawing Yourself

Marcia Rose introduces the "drawing yourself" exercise. First is to draw a part of yourself, either the hand or the ...
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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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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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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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Mindfulness, Addiction & Recovery

Mindfulness, Addiction & Recovery 5/5

This is Part 5 of Kevin Griffin's talk about Mindfulness Addiction and Recovery. He explores the recovery processes from addiction ...
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Hardwiring happiness

Hardwiring Happiness

As people internalize experiences of gratitude, they gradually become less greedy, less driven to prove themselves. Learn to hardwire your ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 9, Compassionate Body Scan

Compassionate Body Scan

Kristin Neff leads a meditation called the Compassionate Body Scan. It takes about 20 minutes to complete. Start with getting ...
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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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Faith In Ourselves

Faith In Ourselves

Sharon Salzberg talks about Faith in Ourselves. Thoughts are impermanent, they come and go at whim. It causes us to ...
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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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Clinging

Not Clinging

Joseph Goldstein talks about Metta - Not Clinging. When the mind is not clinging, it's not agitated, and eventually, it ...
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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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Integrated Body Scan

Integrated Body Scan

Sean Fargo leads the integrated body scan meditation. This meditation promotes calmness and peace of mind. It scans the whole ...
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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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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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Mindfulness of walking

Mindful Walking

Sharon Salzberg leads a guided meditation- Mindful Walking. Before you begin a meditation, find a long room or a quiet ...
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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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Mindfulness meditation

Pain in Meditation & Daily Life, 2/4

Ines Freedman leads Part 2 of guided meditation about Pain in Meditation & Daily Life. Ines Freedman had a condition ...
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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 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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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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Still quiet place within

Still Quiet Place Within

Gil Fronsdal talks about Still Quiet Place Within. As the mind turn inwards for meditation, the still quiet place within ...
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Lesson from Nature, Energizing Your Body

Energizing Your Body (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Energizing Your Body. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are ...
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Flowering of Compassion

Spiritual Bypassing

Frank Ostaseski talks about Spiritual Bypassing. True spirituality is not something high or mighty, it's grounded. Frank talks more about ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Experiencing Windless Days

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Windless Days. Walking in a windy day it's almost second nature to be ...
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Stillness In Samadhi

Knowing & Stillness In Samadhi

Phillip Moffitt talks about knowing and stillness in attaining mindfulness. Enabling what is felt by the mind and having the ...
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Keys to a long retreat

Keys To A Long Retreat

"Refrain from violence and work to end hatred" is a good way to reflect on during the long retreat. Attitude ...
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Lesson from Nature, Euphoria and Relaxation

Euphoria & Relaxation (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Euphoria and Relaxation. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Practicing with Imagination

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Practicing with Imagination. Yes can be called an attitude to being present and ...
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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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mindfulness meditations online

Teachers And Cults

Jack Kornfield talks about teachers and cults. He expounds the importance of independence or spirituality and truth; in order not ...
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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

Elevating Your Mood (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Elevating Mood. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Doing Nothing

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette Doing Nothing. A big part of learning mindfulness meditation is learning to do ...
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Embracing Each Moment

Embracing Each Moment – Talk

Anam Thubten talks about how embracing each moment 'as it is' leads to concentration and worry-free living vis a vis ...
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Doubt mindfulness

Dealing With Doubt

Sharon Salzberg talks about Dealing with Doubt. Doubt can be intentionally cultivated and serve as an exploration of truth ...
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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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Nature of Awareness

Guided Heart Meditation

Anam Thubten leads the guided heart meditation, to remind the memories of the heart, compassion, and loving-kindness, and awaken the ...
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Bonus 15-minute Meditation

Bonus 15-minute Meditation

Meditation is the act of improving our brain’s software programming through applied mental training. Listen to this 15-minute meditation from ...
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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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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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