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Nature of Awareness, Nature of Aversion

Trust

James Baraz talks about trust in relation to self-discovery. And how it relates to believing, and how it facilitates the ...
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metta post obama

Metta in the Post Obama Era

Matthew Brensilver leads a guided meditation about Metta in the Post Obama Era. "Aspire to be safe for others." centering ...
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Finding Possibility in All That Arises and Passes

Finding Possibility in All That Arises and Passes

Phillip Moffitt leads a themed meditation finding possibility in all that arises and (vanishes) passes. The breath, thoughts, feelings, anger ...
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Bonus 30-minute Meditation

Bonus 30-minute Meditation

Meditation is the act of improving our brain’s software programming through applied mental training. Listen to this 30-minute meditation from ...
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Nature of Awareness

Mind Like Fungi

A very fascinating talk "A Mind Like Fungi" by Ajahn Amaro takes you into Buddhist perspective. It talks about the ...
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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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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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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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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 22

Understanding Feelings

Kevin Griffin leads a guided meditation- Understanding Feelings. Kevin urges to be kind to yourself, to lose judgment and understand ...
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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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Commitment

Commitment, Attachment & Love

Jack Kornfield talks about Commitment, Attachment, and Love. Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without ...
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Calming anxiety binaural beat

Calming Anxiety (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Calming Anxiety. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Nature of Awareness

Happiness of Renunciation

A monastic life with renunciation of many things may not be perceived as a happy life. But Ajahn teaches that ...
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How the Dalai Lama Did Not Say Something New

How the Dalai Lama Did Not Say Something New

Sylvia Boorstein talks about how the Dalai Lama teaches the same old teachings, which is good! Expounds that what's important ...
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Freedom

Feeling Free

Joseph Goldstein talks about Feeling Free and the 4th noble truth. The 4th noble truth is the way of practice ...
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Lesson from Nature

Nature: Jungle Adventure

Nature Sounds: Jungle Adventure. Just outside your tent, you find yourself listening to birds and creatures of the forest. Sunlight ...
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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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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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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Noticing Absence and Little Cessations

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Noticing Absence & Little Cessations. It's always useful to refamiliarize yourself with yourself as if ...
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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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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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Gil Fronsdal

Guided Body Scan

Gil Fronsdal instructs the alert posture before starting the guided body scan meditation. Taking long slow in-breaths to connect with ...
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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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Guided Metta Meditation

Guided Metta Meditation

Joseph Goldstein leads a guided Metta meditation. Metta is loving-kindness, is a general feeling of friendliness or goodwill towards others ...
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Big Flower, Small Flower

Big Flower Small Flower

Gil Fronsdal talks about Acharias- women who have become gurus of the Buddhism teachings. He said the path of the ...
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How to build confidence

How To Build Confidence

Gil Fronsdal talks about How To Build Confidence. Confidence is a personal quality and how we relate, to show up, ...
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Working with Transforming Judgment Mind

Working with Transforming Judgment Mind

Donald Rothberg talks about working with transforming judgment mind. It talks about daily life and limiting factors and sometimes unconscious ...
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Equanimity, The Sweet Joy Of The Way

Equanimity, The Sweet Joy Of The Way

Spring Washam leads a guided meditation on Equanimity: The Sweet Joy of the Way. Equanimity is the quality of mind ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Peripheral Awareness and Fading Away

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Peripheral Awareness and Fading Away. Tuning in to your breathing refamiliarize yourself what it's like ...
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Good Fortune, Bad Fortune

Good Fortune, Bad Fortune

Phillip Moffitt tells a story about fortune: good or bad and leads us to a liberating paradox of mindfulness. How ...
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Gil Fronsdal

Journey of 3 Breaths

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Journey of 3 Breaths. Sometimes it's useful to be very modest with your meditation ...
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Anxiety and Tranquility

Anxiety and Tranquility

When we experience anxiety, we feel a desire to escape the negative sensation and achieve tranquility. In this talk by ...
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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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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Relaxing Mental Formations by Being Present and Letting Go

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Relaxing Mental Formations by Being Present and Letting Go. In a very open way just ...
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headache relief binaural beats

Headache Relief (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Headache Relief. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Lessons from Nature, Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance can help us move towards mindfulness, awareness, and compassion. Listen to Tara Brach talks about Radical Acceptance ...
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Connecting with the Earth

Connecting with the Earth

Phillip Moffitt leads a meditation to appreciate the body and connecting with the earth element: it's textures, weight, & firmness ...
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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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Guided meditation

Guided Meditation

Joseph Goldstein leads a Guided Meditation to mindfulness. Feel relaxed and aware at the same time, breathing in and out, ...
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Three Minute Mindfulness of Sounds Meditation

Three Minute Mindfulness of Sounds Meditation

This 3-minute meditation will guide you through a process of becoming mindful of sounds. Something that you can do anywhere ...
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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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Gil Fronsdal

Pausing

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Pausing. To practice generosity to the people you're with and if you're alone to ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 13

Building Joy

Joseph Goldstein talks about "Mudita" as the life in the happiness of others; building joy if you will. To be ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Developing Compassion

Jack Kornfield talks about Developing Compassion. The Buddha said the freedom of the heart is love. Compassion is the quivering ...
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Listening To The Sound Of Silence

Listening To The Sound Of Silence

Ajahn Sumedho talks about Listening to the Sound of Silence. In meditation, we establish awareness. This awareness contemplates on the ...
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Golfing With Monkeys

Golfing With Monkeys

Tara Brach talks about Golfing With Monkeys. She started with a story of monkeys proliferating in a golf course in ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Space

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Space. The idea of making space for things to appear, some people are ...
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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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Gil Fronsdal

Drink Your Joy

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Drink Your Joy. In meditation, there are positive states that can come along, sense ...
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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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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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