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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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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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True Wisdom Of The Eagle And Condor

True Wisdom Of The Eagle And Condor

Spring Washam talks about the merging of wisdom and compassion: True Wisdom of the Eagle and Condor. How one grows ...
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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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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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Gratitude

Day 7 Gratitude

Allow yourself to feel benefited from the gift of gratitude. Allow yourself to feel appreciation. This is Day 7 gratitude ...
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mindfulness exercises

Deep Epsilon Sleep (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Deep Epsilon Sleep. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are ...
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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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Practicing with Darkness and Light at the Winter Solstice

Practicing with Darkness and Light at the Winter Solstice

In this meditation practice, Donald Rothberg talks about embracing the darkness and inviting in the light especially in this time ...
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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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Reflections on the Splendor of Generosity

Reflections on the Splendor of Generosity

Phillip Moffitt talks about Reflections on the Splendor of Generosity. This particular meditation is to acknowledge the practice of compassionate ...
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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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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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Redemption

Redemption

Jack Kornfield talks about the topic of Redemption. In the practice of loving awareness and compassion, redemption is bestowed by ...
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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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Mindfulness exercise

Just One Thing

Rick Hanson talks about the topic Just One Thing. The basic idea is to focus on just one thing each ...
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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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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Many Kinds of Thoughts

Shaila Catherine talks about Many Kinds of Thoughts. A liberated one will think what he wishes to and will not ...
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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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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Breath and Peripheral Awareness

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Breath and Peripheral Awareness. Taking an upright alert posture. There's a connection between posture & ...
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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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laser focus

Laser Focus (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Laser Focus. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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The Mystery of Uncertainty

The Mystery of Uncertainty

Jack Kornfield talks about The Mysteries of Uncertainty. One must always approach with a beginner's mind to gain the grace ...
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How To Feel Safe, Content & Connected

How To Feel Safe, Content & Connected

We have 3 overarching needs. Needs that help us be safe by avoiding harms, help us be content by rewards ...
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Remembering Motivation

Right Livelihood & Redemption

Jack Kornfield talks about the mystery of human life and the topic of redemption in relation to having the right ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 20

Working With Emotions In Your Body

This is a soften, soothe and allow meditation- Working with Emotions in your Body by Kristin Neff. Choose a difficult ...
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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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Nature of Awareness

Peaceful Warrior in Modern Times

Hatred never ceases by hatred. James Baraz discusses how love is the only way to end hatred as we are ...
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surrender

The Art of Surrender

Frank Ostaseski talks about the experience of surrender in The Art of Surrender. Listen to what he says about dying ...
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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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Clarity of the mind

Emptying the Mind

Gil Fronsdal leads a guided meditation on Emptying the Mind. He explains the power of here. Here is the present ...
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How To Focus Your Attention

How To Focus Your Attention

This guided meditation by Sean Fargo is about How To Focus Your Attention. Relax and stay alert at the same ...
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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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Mindfulness exercise

Intimacy

Rick Hanson talks about Intimacy, how our experiences in childhood can impact our relationships later in life and what people ...
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karma and intention, boredom

Karma and the End of Karma

Guy talks about Karma and the End of Karma. Why is it important to teach Karma? It is the science ...
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Awakening Joy For Kids

Awakening Joy for Kids

Are you a parent who’s looking to pass on to the next generation, mindfulness? James Baraz offers this mindfulness talk ...
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MoMy Life As A Monk

My Life As A Monk

Ajahn shares about his life as a monk. His first contact with meditation in the Buddhist practice, and how that ...
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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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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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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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Affectionate Breathing

Affectionate Breathing

In this guided meditation, Kristin Neff walks us through the practice of affectionate breathing as a means of developing compassion ...
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Guided Meditation With Sound

Guided Meditation With Sound

Jack Kornfield leads a guided meditation with sound. He uses bells in this meditation to appreciate appearing and disappearing ...
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Filling Your Cup – Meditation

Filling Your Cup – Meditation

Do you think you feel empty and forgotten to appreciate things in your life? You can always come to this ...
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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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Waking Up in a Changing World

Waking Up in a Changing World

Mark Coleman talks about Waking Up in a Changing World. Climate change is here to stay. We can only mitigate ...
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Mindfulness & Pain

Mindfulness & Pain 1: Introduction

This is Part 1 of Oren Sofer's guided meditation about Mindfulness and Pain (Introduction). Allow feeling the weight of the ...
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loving kindness for the earth

Loving Kindness For The Earth

Einstein said a human being is part of the whole universe. Wes Nisker talks about Loving Kindness for the Earth ...
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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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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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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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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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