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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Quick Mindfulness Talk: Relating to It

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Relating to It. There're only two things over going on, there's what's happening ...
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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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Lesson from Nature, Pain Relief

Pain Relief (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Pain Relief. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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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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Transforming Suffering nature

Transforming Suffering

Learn how to deal with life's circumstances that are challenging in Transforming Suffering. What are the things that are difficult ...
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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 Multiplication of Courage

The Multiplication of Courage

James Baraz talks about the power of community. There is a kind with creativity or collective intelligence, and sometimes multiplication ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Seven Factors of Enlightenment

Guy Armstrong discusses the 7 factors of enlightenment. These are mindfulness, investigation, energy, rapture, calm, concentration and equanimity ...
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Mindfulness exercise

Being For Yourself

Rick Hanson talks about Being For Yourself. To learn how to do this, we apply the wisdom from Buddhism and ...
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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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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 & 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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Tending Yourself, Tending The World

Tending Yourself, Tending The World

Jack Kornfield tells about tending to yourself and the world by caring for each other. He tells a story about ...
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Nature of Awareness

What Are We Doing Here?

Ajahn shares wisdom about how the Buddhist teachings of enlightenment have a purpose in the world. Much about our own ...
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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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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 Exercise on Lessons From Nature

Mindfulness of Depression 2/5

Rona Kabatznick leads Part 2 of the guided forgiveness meditation on Mindfulness Depression. Forgiveness of self is to open one's ...
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Mindfulness Exercise on Lessons From Nature

Mindfulness of Depression 4/5

Rona Kabatznick leads Part 4 of the guided forgiveness meditation on Mindfulness Depression. Forgiveness of self is to open one's ...
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Gratitude

Gratitude

Gil Fronsdal is a world-renowned Buddhist teacher and scholar. In this free mindfulness talk, he discusses the importance of Gratitude ...
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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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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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1 Minute Meditation

1 Minute Meditation

Fitting meditation into your day doesn’t have to be a challenge. Try this free 1-minute mindfulness meditation by Tara Brach, ...
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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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Lessons from Nature

Nature: Heavy Rain

Nature Sounds: Heavy Rain. Climbing to a mountain temple, you are greeted by heavy rain. You continue walking over the ...
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Nature of Awareness

Mindfulness With Attitude

James Baraz shares that the first day of the retreat is a detox process. You will feel the resistance of ...
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Lesson from Nature

Chronic Fatigue Assistance (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Chronic Fatigue Assistance. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are ...
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Beauty, Hope, and Fear

Beauty, Hope & Fear

Jack Kornfield talks about Beauty, Hope, and Fear. The real beauty is inner beauty. If your heart is pure, then ...
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The Joy of Virtue

The Joy of Virtue

Jack Kornfield talks about Joy of Virtue or Happiness of Integrity. Relating virtue to morality without harming any form of ...
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Nature of Awareness

The Importance of Appreciating our Benefactors

James Baraz tells a story about the importance of appreciating our benefactors. These mentors and inspirations should be considered streams ...
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Nature of Awareness

Sacred Fertilizer

Sacred Fertilizer- sometimes we need a powerful dose of challenges, tribulations, crisis such as loss of loved ones or unbearable ...
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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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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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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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Body Appreciation – Meditation

Body Appreciation – Meditation

Inspire gratitude by helping the body connect in unity with the mind. Offer thanks to your unique body as you ...
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mindfulness at work

Real Happiness at Work

Sharon Salzberg talks about Real Happiness at Work- Mindfulness at Work. Sharon talks about its impermanence and how we can ...
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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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Mortality and the Poignancy of Life

Mortality and the Poignancy of Life

Matthew Brensilver says that if we are unafraid of death, life would be more open. Further, he reflects on the ...
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Pain & recurring thoughts

Pain & Recurring Thoughts

Tara Brach holds a Q&A session about Pain and Recurring Thoughts during meditation. There are times when pain is manifested ...
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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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Meditation: Space of Awareness

Meditation: Space of Awareness

Tara Brach leads a guided meditation on Meditation: Space of Awareness. Perceive distant sounds, happening in silence. The mind is ...
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Nachiketa and the Lord of Death

Nachiketa and the Lord of Death

Jack Kornfield tells the story of Nachiketa who puts his ego before him unafraid to face the Lord of Death ...
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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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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

Choosing the Long Path of Practice

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Choosing the Long Path of Practice. The idea of a fast way to enlightenment ...
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4 Minute Meditation

Fifteen Minute Meditation

Tara Brach leads a 15-minute guided meditation. This meditation is good in increasing mindful awareness and beneficial for sleep ...
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Mental Subtractions of Positive Events

Mental Subtractions of Positive Events

Imagine what your life would be like now if you hadn't experienced the positive events, and affirm them by doing ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Finding Ease

Oren Sofer leads a guided meditation Finding Ease. This meditation aims to reduce stress and anxiety. It allows being mindfully ...
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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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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 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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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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