2,000+ FREE MINDFULNESS EXERCISES

free mindfulness courses
mindfulness audio
top mindfulness exercises for anxiety
free mindfulness meditation scripts
mindfulness meditation videos
free mindfulness worksheets
top mindfulness ebooks
meditation quotes
Use Your Mind To Change Your Brain

Use Your Mind To Change Your Brain

Rick Hanson talks about using your mind to change the brain. According to studies on meditation, neurons improve and changes ...
Read More
Flowering of Compassion

The Flowering of Compassion

Mark Coleman talks about the Flowering of Compassion. Mark explains we live in a world of heartful connectedness. The real ...
Read More
Letting Go vs. Attainment

Letting Go vs. Attainment

Ajahn Sumedho talks about Letting Go vs. Attainment. You don't ever attain anything in meditation if you're meditating in the ...
Read More
Wise Concentration

Wise Concentration

Marcia Rose talks about wise concentration. It's one of the 7 factors of awakening: mindfulness, investigation, energy, joy, tranquility, concentration ...
Read More
Ambient Soundscape

Binaural Beat: Ambient Soundscape

Binaural Beat for Ambient Soundscape. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
Read More
Mindfulness for holiday stress

The Earth and the Buddha

The Buddha's teachings are considered to be a path to freedom in the heart and the mind. And the earth ...
Read More
Mindfulness meditation

Pain in Meditation & Daily Life, 4/4

Ines Freedman leads Part 4 of guided meditation about Pain in Meditation & Daily Life. Ines Freedman had a condition ...
Read More
Mindfulness meditation

Talk: At Once Here and Disappearing

Frank Ostaseski talks about At Once Here and Disappearing. Life and Dharma is a package deal. He talks about the ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Nature of Awareness

The Place of Acceptance

Ajahn distinguishes loving kindness from liking and fundamental acceptance. We need to free the heart from restrictions as it's the ...
Read More
Penetrating Equanimity

Penetrating Equanimity

Phillip Moffitt talks about Penetrating Equanimity. "Teach us to care and not to care, teach us to sit still." This ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Nature of Awareness

The Power of Lovingkindness

The practice of Metta makes the heart more responsive. You'll be surprised you don't even need to learn Metta in ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Relieving stress

Spirituality and Politics

Jack Kornfield leads a guided meditation about Spirituality and Politics. It's a lengthy broadcast starting with a beautiful song you ...
Read More
Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness & Pain 6: Compassion and Investigation

Learn how to bring up kindness toward yourself & use the power of mindfulness to investigate how you feel in ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Mindfulness meditation

Finding Ease

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

Meditation: Tonglen

Tara Brach leads a guided Meditation: Tonglen. The natural suffering we encounter is the gateway to compassion. Let loving awareness ...
Read More
Insight Practice

Insight Practice

Donald Rothberg teaches advanced meditative technology (just kidding). He talks about the 3 ways of seeing to aid in insight ...
Read More
Mindful sexuality

Love, Sexuality & Mindfulness

Matthew Brensilver talks about Love: Sexuality & Mindfulness. Love & Sexuality requires a lot of awareness and the sense of ...
Read More
Lesson from Nature, Relaxing Your Breathing

Relaxing Your Breathing (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Relaxing Your Breathing. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are ...
Read More
Flowering of Compassion

Trust In Being The Knowing

Ajahn Sumedho talks about Trust in Being the Knowing. That intuitive intelligence may include both right and wrong at the ...
Read More
Nature of Awareness, Big Mind Guided Meditation, Loving Humanity, seven factors of awakening

Loving Humanity and Melting the Ice

Anam Thubten teaches us to turn our attention into the world, to look into our heart. To love humanity and ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
mindfulness exercises guided meditation 8

Heartfelt Meditation

Joseph Goldstein leads a guided meditation on Metta. Metta is the feeling of kindliness, loving-kindness, and heartfelt. Of friendliness and ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
4 Minute Meditation by Tara Brach, Mindfulness Meditation

4 Minute Meditation

With this guided 4-minute meditation by Tara Brach, you can begin incorporating mindfulness into your life right here and now ...
Read More
Mindfulness for holiday stress, generosity, surrendering to life

Surrendering to Life

Many people try to find the answer to the suffering of human life. In parallel, the entire Buddha's teaching deals ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Lessons from Nature

Nature: Tropical Beach at Sunset

Nature Sounds: Tropical Beach Sunset. You calmly watch the sunset as the waves started to recede. The inland wind carries ...
Read More
Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness & Pain 4: Balance and Equanimity

Oren Sofer talks about Balance and Equanimity as Part 4 of Mindfulness and Pain. Wisdom and Balance are the two ...
Read More
Stories People Will Say About Us

Stories That People Will Say About Us

Sylvia Boorstein tells a story that leads to Siddharta, it deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery. We all have ...
Read More
Guided Meditation

Guided Meditation

This is an introductory Guided Meditation by Jack Kornfield. As he explains, he welcomes the newcomers to Spirit Rock and ...
Read More
Hardwiring happiness

Hardwiring Happiness

As people internalize experiences of gratitude, they gradually become less greedy, less driven to prove themselves. Learn to hardwire your ...
Read More
Open Awareness

Focused Attention And Open Awareness

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation that alternates between focused attention and open awareness. Direct the attention back to the ...
Read More
30 Minute Silent Meditation With Bells

30 Minute Silent Meditation With Bells

Are you ready to settle in for a thirty-minute silent meditation? This timed 30-minute silent meditation begins and ends with ...
Read More
Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Cultivating Well Being

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Cultivating Well Being. Take a moment to really know & feel. Your body is always ...
Read More
Coming To Your Senses

Coming To Your Senses

This "coming to your senses" guided meditation by Sean Fargo is the intermediate level of open awareness practice. This meditation ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Mindfulness meditation

Deep Sleep (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Deep Sleep. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
Read More
Meditation: A Forgiving Heart

Meditation: A Forgiving Heart

Tara Brach leads a guided meditation: A Forgiving Heart. Forgiving is the act of the heart to free it from ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Empathy

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

Donald Rothberg talks about empathy: its nature, what makes it hard and how to develop it. Empathy is the ability ...
Read More
Beautiful Water Sounds

Beautiful Water Sounds

Peaceful and soothing water sounds can help to relax and quiet the mind during meditation. Enjoy this free recording of ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Mindfulness

Pain: Local Intensity, Global Spread

Ines Freedman leads a guided meditation about Pain: Local Intensity, Global Spread. It's a body scan meditation that relieves the ...
Read More

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.

Try Our Free 100-Day Mindfulness Challenge

Free Mindfulness Exercises Delivered Each Day

Receive daily mindfulness meditations, worksheets and infographics to help you start each day mindful.

>
mindfulness exercises