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Lesson from Nature

Focus Booster (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat to Boost Focus. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Working with Difficult Emotions

Working with Difficult Emotions

Guy Armstrong discusses about the sufferings brought about by the emotional pain. Sadness, grief, all other difficult emotions, how you ...
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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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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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Gil Fronsdal

Attention Focused Narrow

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Attention Focused Narrow. There's a saying, in doing mindfulness practice, we look at reality ...
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Increase Optimism

How To Increase Optimism

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation on How to Increase Optimism. Envision yourself feeling healthy. Envision yourself to have forgiven ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Noticing Ease and Effortlessness

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Noticing Ease and Effortlessness. Settle in your body, put it at ease. Put your mind ...
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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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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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Spiritual Journey

Spiritual Journey

Donald Rothberg leads the spiritual journey meditation towards perfecting mindfulness. To look deeply to oneself takes more courage than the ...
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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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Being Present

Being Present

Sharon Salzberg explores intimacy within the context of how we relate to ourselves in Being Present. How do you relate ...
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The Way It Is

The Way It Is

Ajahn Sumedho talks about The Way It Is. He talks about lifestyle as a Buddhist monk, the mindful state of ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Mindfulness of Clear Seeing

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Clear Seeing. Sometimes the word "Vipassana" is translated as Clear Seeing. The "passana" ...
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Five Minute Meditation

Five Minute Meditation – With Just Bells

Available for download, audible media of 5-minute meditation with just bells. Good for worry-free meditation for 5 minutes ...
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Patience and Perseverence

Patience and Perseverence

In this talk, Phillip Moffitt focuses on patience and determination. Patience is the willingness to start over while determination is ...
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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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Body Scan

Body Scan

Body scan is a guided meditation by Sean Fargo that helps to promote calmness. This offers an opportunity to release ...
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Befriending Yourself Mindfulness meditation

Befriending Yourself

Rick Hanson talks about Befriending Yourself. This practice aims to cultivate the deep sense of being a friend to yourself ...
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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 exercises guided meditation on emotions

Guided Meditation On Emotions

Jack Kornfield leads a guided meditation on emotions. Allow yourself to rest into the space of loving-awareness to acknowledge your ...
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Opening To Gratitude

Opening To Gratitude

Sean Fargo leads the Opening to Gratitude meditation. This meditation teaches to appreciate the gifts, to be thankful while thinking ...
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Noting Your Emotions

Noting Your Emotions

Kristin Neff leads a guided meditation Noting Your Emotions. It's a practice of noting whatever arises in the experience. First, ...
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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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Art Therapy, Wise Effort

Wise Effort

Marcia Rose talks about the 3rd factor of enlightenment: wise effort. Wise effort is so intricate to energy, i.e., ever ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness & Pain 2: Four Ways to Practice with Physical Pain

Oren Sofer talks about Four Ways to Practice with Physical Pain - Part 2 of Mindfulness & Pain Series. Pain ...
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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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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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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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Marcia Rose reflection poem

Poem Reading with Marcia Rose

Marcia Rose reflects on the Monet Poem: Monet refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller. And another, Shoveling Snow With Buddha ...
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Letting life be, Just as it is

Letting Life Be, Just As It Is

Tara Brach leads a guided body scan meditation about Letting Life Be Just As It Is. Sense sounds not just ...
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Mindfulness happiness

Gratitude

Oren Sofer leads a guided meditation of Gratitude. The secret of gratitude is that it can be cultivated and strengthened ...
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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 for anxiety

Mindfulness, Addiction & Recovery 3/5

This is Part 3 of Kevin Griffin's talk about Mindfulness Addiction and Recovery. He explores the recovery processes from addiction ...
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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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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 ...
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Penetrating Equanimity

Penetrating Equanimity

Phillip Moffitt talks about Penetrating Equanimity. "Teach us to care and not to care, teach us to sit still." This ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: 4 Forms of Mindfulness of Breathing

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati 4 Forms of Mindfulness of Breathing. There are different kinds of awareness and here are ...
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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 ...
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Mindfulness Exercise on Lessons From Nature

Vision

Matthew Brensilver talks about Vision. Seeing is feeling. Visual feeling is one part of mindfulness that can be very useful, ...
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Nature of Awareness, Big Mind Guided Meditation, Loving Humanity, seven factors of awakening

Hatred Never Ceases by Hatred

Hatred does not cease from hatred; hatred ceases by love alone. This is an ancient and eternal law. James Baraz ...
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Mindfulness exercise

H.E.A.L. Steps to Happiness

Rick Hanson talks about HEAL Steps to Happiness. Taking in the good have 4 fundamental steps: Have, Enrich, Absorb, and ...
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Lesson from Nature

Nature: Lazy Summer Day

Nature Sounds Series: Lazy Summer Day. You find yourself enjoying the soft rain as it fell on a warm summer ...
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Opening Your Senses

Opening Your Senses

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation "opening your senses." It allows experiencing visceral sensations with open awareness, seeing, sensing and ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

How to Know which is Skillful in the Moment

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Resolve/Allow Learning How to Know which is Skillful In The Moment. Resolve is ...
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Nature of Awareness, Nature of Aversion

Sex, Violence And The State Of Grace

Ajahn Amaro explains about spiritual discipline in fighting addiction. How sex, violence and the state of grace are intricately related ...
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The Dragon and the 10 Gowns

The Dragon and the 10 Gowns

Jack Kornfield talks about how Buddha teaches the transformation of suffering into joy. He then proceeds to tell the story ...
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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 ...
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Embracing Each Moment

From Difficulties To Freedom

In this audible, Ajahn chants Buddhist teaching. It seemingly paves the way to freedom from a life bound of hatred ...
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Having A Sky Like Mind

Having A Sky-Like Mind

Tara Brach leads a guided meditation Having a Sky-like Mind. Sounds disappear and appear in the open space of awareness ...
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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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