Mindfulness Exercises For Beginners

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Guided Big Sky Meditation

Guided Big Sky Meditation with Joseph Goldstein [Video]

Guided Big Sky Meditation: The Buddha taught, even if you carry your mother and father on your shoulders for 100 ...
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Instructions et méditation guidée [Audio]

Instructions et méditation guidée [Audio]

An audio guided meditation by Pascal Auclair, a much-appreciated teacher who immersed himself in Buddhist practice and study since 1997 ...
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Why Mindfulness is a Superpower Video

Why Mindfulness Is A Superpower [Video]

A short but succinct video discussing the real meaning and impact of mindfulness in one's life, and how even a ...
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Gratitude Journal 2

Gratitude Journal 2

This Mindfulness Exercise aims to help you bring kind awareness to the things you are grateful for by writing them ...
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best use of your time

Best Use of Your Time

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Use of Your Time, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how ...
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How To Get More Sleep

How To Get More Sleep

50 years of sleep science has proven that less than 7-8 hours of sleep wrecks your mood, health, brain, and ...
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Tranquil Body Scan Meditation

Tranquil Body Scan Meditation

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation Tranquil Body Scan. This improves calmness and awareness with your body. It also energizes ...
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Gil-Fronsdal

Seeing Things As They Are [Audio]

Seeing Things As They Are, by Gil Fronsdal: About Gil Fronsdal:Gil Fronsdal is the co-teacher at the Insight Meditation Center ...
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10 Minute Meditation

10 Minute Meditation

Enjoy this free 10-minute guided mindfulness meditation by Tara Brach. It doesn't take much time to feel relaxed and relieve ...
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Yoga nidra

Yoga Nidra – Meditation & Guided Relaxation

Yoga Nidra "Unwind" is a complete 16 min. training script that can help you relax deeply and touch a place ...
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increasing your quality of attention

Increasing Your Quality of Attention

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Quality of Attention, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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Coaching How to Communicate Like a Leader

Coaching: How to Communicate Like a Leader – Part 2.8 (Video)

This video discusses issues in communication and how you can communicate like a leader. A true leader is a good ...
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Advanced Dream Control

Advanced Dream Control

A discussion on achieving better control over dreams to bring about the reality that you want through transformation, transportation, & ...
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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 ...
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Guided Heart Meditation Metta [Audio]

Guided Heart Meditation: Metta [Audio]

Guided Heart Meditation: Metta. This is a journey that you start when you’re inside yourself, and also this journey will ...
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Equanimity and Faith

Equanimity and Faith

Sharon Salzberg talks about Equanimity and Faith. Equanimity is the evenness of mind, especially in difficult circumstances. Develop a mind ...
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The Power of Mindfulness Retreats

The Power of Mindfulness Retreats

Reboot and destress from the concerns of daily life with the power of mindfulness retreats. Here are some residential retreats ...
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How to Be More Mindful

How to Be More Mindful

What is “mindfulness”? Can you be more mindful – more alive, centered, peaceful and connected to the moment? Here are ...
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Forest Meditation by Tatiana Plakhova

Forest Meditation

This short forest meditation music is good for relaxation and calm to fight stress, anxiety and bring yourself into peace ...
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Investigating the Phenomenological Matrix of Mindfulness-Related Practices From a Neurocognitive Perspective

Investigating Mindfulness Practices

Research: Investigating the Phenomenological Matrix of Mindfulness-Related Practices From a Neurocognitive Perspective. Download this FREE PDF! ...
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Body Meditation

Body Meditation

Body meditation raises one’s life force and thereby better all areas of one’s life. It helps connect to and benefit ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Pain in Meditation & Daily Life, 1/4

Ines Freedman leads a guided meditation about Pain in Meditation & Daily Life. Ines Freedman had a condition in growing ...
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Untold Depths

Untold Depths

A piece of hour-long relaxing music to listen to at bedtime, using soothing sounds and hypnosis to induce sleep and ...
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Mindfulness Meditation with Deepak Chopra

Mindfulness Meditation with Deepak Chopra

Explore the cosmic consciousness with Dr. Deepak Chopra in this mindful guided meditation. Watch this video and learn more about ...
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Purification

Purification

Qoya is based on the idea through movement, we remember. We remember our essence is wise, wild and free. Using ...
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Meditations 1 by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Meditations 1

Meditations 1. The Dhamma talks included in this volume were given during evening meditation sessions, & in many cases covered ...
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Shadow Exercise

Shadow Exercise

Use the free shadow exercise worksheet to help open up the hidden depths of your creative self. It can also ...
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Mindfulness Exercises for Emotionally Disturbed Kids

Help Kids Develop Mindfulness

Individuals of all ages benefit greatly from developing mindfulness through introspective exercises. These activities train your mind to fully appreciate ...
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The Magic of Awareness

This Precious Human Life

Kate Munding shares how we can make the little moments in life become a different experience. That preciousness of human ...
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How to Inquire Productively

How To Inquire Productively

Inquiring productively based on the three aspects of "what", "why", and "so what" to make better sense of how others' ...
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Guided Meditation to End Your Day

Guided Meditation To End Your Day

Boho Beautiful Meditation is a 13 minute guided meditation to end your day up into a calming conclusion that will ...
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Truth of Rebirth And Why It Matters in Buddhist Practice

The Truth of Rebirth: And Why It Matters for Buddhist Practice

The Truth of Rebirth: And Why It Matters for Buddhist Practice ebook teaches Rebirth, Awakening, and release from Suffering in ...
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Take Action In Your Life

Take Action In Your Life

Are you stuck in analysis paralysis? Is there something you should be doing, but but you consistently find that you ...
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Benefits of meditation

Benefits of Meditation [Video]

Learn from David Gandelman of the Grounded Mind takes you through the basics of meditation practice and its mental, emotional, ...
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The Hero & Journey

The Hero’s Journey

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls."Join Jason Silva every week ...
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Skill in Questions How The Buddha Taught

Skill in Questions: How the Buddha Taught

The central role of questioning in the Buddha’s teaching may be connected to the fact that his teaching starts not ...
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Giving Kindness To Your Mind And Thoughts

Giving Kindness To Your Mind And Thoughts

Giving Kindness To Your Mind And Thoughts, a meditation script for teachers. This exercise is a beautiful introduction to long ...
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Building Confidence for Social Settings and Meeting New People

Building Confidence For Social Settings And Meeting New People

Building Confidence For Social Settings. This script is a worthy consideration for intermediate to advanced groups ready to explore the ...
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Awareness of Each of the Five Senses

Awareness of Each of the Five Senses

Awareness of each of the five senses is a guided meditation script that brings mindfulness to the senses. Practicing regularly ...
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Making Room for Gratitude – Meditation

Making Room for Gratitude – Meditation

How does it feel to be grateful? Throughout our busy lives, we often lose the chance to find stillness. Do ...
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Verbal Aikido How To Respond To Unreasonable Challenges

Verbal Aikido: How To Respond To Unreasonable Challenges

Resolve conflicts through the lens of Verbal Aikido to identify how you can listen with intent, respond with humility, 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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Life Has No Final Destination & Alan Watts

Life Has No Final Destination – Alan Watts

This video tackles the idea of existential purpose versus life having a final destination - an eye-opener that will surely ...
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Eugene Cash Intoxicated With Reality Audio

Intoxicated with Reality [Audio]

Eugene Cash talks about Buddha and his teaching on reality, or Dharma, and what it means to love ourselves, to ...
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Faith [Audio] by Kamala Masters

Faith [Audio]

Kamala Masters leader talks about faith, and have reflections on faith. We may express it in different ways, of course, ...
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Mindfulness for Beginners

Mindfulness is a term that often goes misunderstood. When we are new to meditation and mindfulness practices, we often mistake mindfulness to be something that we might eventually achieve after months, or even years, of training. However, mindfulness is not a state reserved for only the most advanced practitioners; it is an opportunity that continually presents itself in each unfolding moment. Mindfulness is simply the art of being aware, compassionately and openheartedly, in the face of whatever is present. It can be practiced by anyone, at anytime; there are no prerequisites required.

Understanding Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been around for centuries, with roots in various traditions and religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. Though it has been practiced for thousands of years, it is now touching modern day societies across the globe at a rapid rate. As our world becomes more interconnected, word is spreading about these ancient techniques – and at the right time. As our world becomes busier and busier, we have never been in such dire need of these teachings.

Mindfulness is the moment-to-moment awareness of whatever our direct experience is. Our direct experience includes all of our senses, both inner and outer. As such, it encompasses thoughts and feelings that crop up in the mind, visceral bodily sensations, and sensations stirred by the environment around us. Mindfulness is a deep sense of presence and of paying attention. It is non-judgmental, compassionate observation of the present moment reality.

Common Misconceptions

While it is important to understand what mindfulness is, it is equally important to address all that this practice is not. There are a few myths about mindfulness that stand in the way of our fully understanding what this term refers to. As we begin to chip away at these misconceptions, we find ourselves moving closer to a deep awareness of what this practice really offers.

Myth #1 – Mindfulness is a way to relax.

In the initiatory stages of mindfulness practice, we often hit our first barrier when we realize how hard it is to relax! We might have thought that mindfulness is a gateway to relaxation, but while we might naturally learn to relax into it, mindfulness is not an active practice of relaxation itself.

Many mindfulness meditations and practices include relaxation exercises to help the mind settle down and to enhance our ability to be with whatever is present in the moment; however, relaxation is not synonymous with mindfulness. When we practice mindfulness techniques we are simply called to observe whatever is present; in any moment this might be a sense of relaxation or it might be the complete opposite. All is welcome and all is held in compassionate awareness.

Myth #2 – Mindfulness is the same as meditation.

Mindfulness can be a form of meditation, but it does not have to be. It is an awareness that can be practiced in any moment, whether we are sitting down to meditate, walking the dog, eating a meal, or engaging in a difficult conversation.

Similarly, not all meditations are mindfulness meditations. Meditation comes in many forms, from loving-kindness meditation to Osho dynamic meditation to breathing-centered meditations. Some forms might be considered mindfulness-based but not all of them are.

Myth #3 – Mindfulness is about stopping one’s thoughts.

In truth, mindfulness asks us to do the opposite of stopping our thoughts; mindfulness asks us to allow them. Allowing our thoughts is not the same as condoning their content or becoming swept away by them; instead, we can witness them in their simplest form without becoming enamored by their stories.

The same goes for rising emotions and bodily sensations. There is nothing beneath the lens of mindfulness that needs to be actively stopped. Many thoughts, feelings, and sensations will naturally cease to exist as we practice mindfulness, but it does not happen by force.

Myth #4 – The purpose of mindfulness is to find happiness, bliss, or contentment.

Mindfulness is not about seeking or striving for anything. Yes, moments of contentment or bliss may arise while we practice mindfulness techniques, but this is not the aim. Through mindfulness practice we open at the heart to whatever is present – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and gently unfastens all of these labels. Everything is welcomed.

The Benefits of Mindfulness for Beginners

After unraveling the myth that says mindfulness is all about finding happiness, we might start to wonder what the point of it all is. It can seem confusing since most advanced mindfulness practitioners and teachers speak about inner harmony, balance, and peace. To bridge the apparent gap we might say that while the purpose of mindfulness is not to achieve infinite happiness and peace (or in other words, not to be anywhere other than exactly where one is), it is certainly a practice that can help us to uncover the blocks that keep us from a peaceful and harmonious relationship with the world both inside and out.

In the beginning stages of practice, we might find that mindfulness techniques lead us to:

  • Begin inquiring about the root cause of our thoughts and beliefs,
  • Explore our emotional landscape with greater curiosity,
  • Make healthier life choices, whatever that may look like in each moment,
  • Slowly detach from relationships, substances, and habits that do not serve our greater wellbeing,
  • Communicate more compassionately and effectively,
  • Pursue hidden or neglected passions that add meaning or a sense of purpose to our lives.

The compounding benefits of mindfulness practice are infinite, starting from these initial inquiries and insights we begin opening up to. Once mindfulness practice becomes a more permanent fixture, the areas of our lives that can be positively influenced by this practice are endless.

Some of the benefits of mindfulness, no matter what stage of the journey one is in, include:

  • Stress, anxiety, and depression reduction
  • Emotional regulation and balance
  • Enhanced cognition
  • Reduction of pain perception
  • Increased empathy and compassion
  • Increased resilience
  • Heightened creativity
  • Increased sense of connection
  • Improved heart health

Mindfulness helps us to compassionately explore our entire being (mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies included), offering us greater insight into the internal processes that are at work. As we get to know each of these bodies a little bit better, we gain insights and tools that we can then use to enhance our overall wellbeing. So mindfulness works not only directly but also indirectly, empowering and encouraging us to take charge of our wellbeing.

Three Simple Mindfulness Techniques for Beginners

As we begin our inquiry into what it means to live mindfully, we will undoubtedly come across various techniques and practices to enhance our understanding. From guided meditations and talks to worksheets and other exercises, the resources for exploring this new way of relating to oneself and the world are endless.

The following techniques are three simple mindfulness techniques you can practice on your own. They only take a few minutes but can be practiced at length as you become more comfortable with maintaining focused attention. For each of these exercises, it can be helpful to set a timer for five to ten minutes or longer to mitigate the tendency to check the clock. Once you are ready, come to a comfortable seated position with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. You may be seated in a chair, on a meditation bench, or cross-legged on the floor. Your hands can rest in your lap or on your thighs. Gaze forward and then gently close your eyes.

Simple Breathing Meditation

  • Once you are settled, draw your awareness to your breath exactly as it is in this moment. Without manipulating or changing it in any way, simply observe its natural rhythm, flow, and depth. Observe any sensations that are present as your breath enters your body and as it exits.
  • Whenever the mind wanders simply draw your attention back to the breath. You can liken your breath to an anchor that can help to ground you into the present moment when thoughts arise.
  • Continue to observe the breath for the remainder of the time you have allotted for this exercise. Consistency is more beneficial than length, so choose a time that you can commit to practicing again and again.

Mindfulness of Emotions

  • When challenging emotions arise, bring yourself to a comfortable seated position and open your heart to your experience with curiosity and compassion.
  • As the emotion passes through you, first note its presence by labeling it as a separate entity. For instance, you might notice “anger is present,” rather than reaffirming, “I am angry.” Notice what else is there, perhaps “irritation,” “constriction,” or “confusion.” Again, observe these as energy bodies of their own, not as something that you own.
  • Tune into the body next by observing any observable sensations that are present. Compassionately and curiously scan the body for whatever might be there. You do not need to search for anything; let your experience show itself to you. Simply note what arises without judgment.
  • Continue this mindfulness practice for the allotted time. Notice how energy moves and shifts as you sit, coming and going as swiftly as ocean waves.

Simple Body Scan

  • This meditation can be performed while sitting comfortably or while lying flat on your back with a straight spine. Take a moment to adjust your posture so that it is entirely neutral.
  • Take a few breaths into the belly to gently ease the physical body. Once you are settled, begin a simple body scan by drawing your awareness to your toes. Hold your attention here for a few moments as you observe any sensations that are present.
  • After a few breath cycles, gently carry your attention to your lower legs, repeating the observation in the same way. Simply notice whatever your experience of this body part is.
  • Continue this practice as you ascend slowly through the body. After you have reached the very top of the head, hold the entire body in your awareness for one final observation. Are there any energy currents present? Any areas of tension or constriction? Any feelings of release?
  • Once you have completed the exercise, return to your breath for a few more moments of quiet observation or until your timer runs out. Slowly open your eyes and return to the world around you.

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