Mindfulness Exercises For Beginners

Learn mindfulness with our free mindfulness exercises for beginners.

Who Is Pulling The Strings?

Who Is Pulling The Strings?

Read "Who Is Pulling The Strings?" as it elaborates the fourth of the Brahma-vihāras - upekkhā or equanimity to explain ...
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Be the Pebble

Like the Ocean Floor

We are often caught up in a stormy sea of stress & anxiety. This mindfulness exercise will help you become ...
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The Gift of Rest

The Gift of Rest

Discover mindfulness exercises ways to give the gift of rest to your body. Mindful meditation is also an excellent choice ...
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Working with a Nightmare

Working with a Nightmare

Working with a nightmare is a powerful way to reconnect with the “juice” of life. It can relieve anxiety and ...
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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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The Best Of Mozart Slowed Down 432Hz

The Best Of Mozart – Slowed Down @ 432Hz

Enjoy the best piano sonatas by Mozart specially recorded at the natural frequency of the Cosmos, 432Hz, for a unique ...
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Self Compassion vs Self-Esteem

Self Compassion vs. Self-Esteem

Self compassion is a way of relating to ourselves and gives us a sense of self worth, whereas self-esteem is ...
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Brain on Mindfulness: No More Questions, Your Honor

Brain on Mindfulness: No More Questions, Your Honor

Remember when the Japanese were in the news, because their businessmen were so stressed out that they were having heart ...
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Gratitude Journal 3

Gratitude Journal 3

This Mindfulness Exercise guides readers on how to keep a gratitude journal, where they would write a detailed entry about ...
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Focused Attention to Settle The Mind

Focused Attention to Settle the Mind

Focused Attention to Settle the Mind. As we focus attention on the breath, the mind and body begin to relax, ...
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Free Mindfulness Tests

Mindfulness Test

Have you taken up a mindfulness test? Get ready to test yourself and tap your consciousness to learn more about ...
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Mystery of aliveness

Meditation: Mystery of Aliveness

Tara Brach leads a guided meditation on The Mystery of Aliveness. Sense the body, space, and everything that's happening. Become ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Pain in Meditation & Daily Life, 2/4

Ines Freedman leads Part 2 of guided meditation about Pain in Meditation & Daily Life. Ines Freedman had a condition ...
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A Guided Mind Adventure Story for Sleep Visit Pyramids Incas sleep hypnosis sleep meditation

A Guided Mind Adventure Story for Sleep: Visit Pyramids, Incas, sleep hypnosis, sleep meditation

Go on a meditative mind trip that takes you across the Pyramids and the Inca Trails and then finally culminating ...
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The kind heart

The Kind Heart

Whatever the mind thinks about something fondly, it becomes the mind's inclination. Joseph Goldstein talks about The Kind Heart. Cultivate ...
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Nature of Awareness, Nature of Aversion

What Is Your Original Face?

Anam Thubten leads us further in our longing to self-discovery. How awakening our consciousness reveals our original face ...
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How to Alleviate Overwhelm with Mindfulness

How to Alleviate Overwhelm with Mindfulness

Alleviating overwhelm isn't easy. That's why we created some useful tips and tools to bring mindfulness into one of your ...
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caring for yourself in an integrated way

Caring For Yourself in an Integrated Way

Here is your online worksheet:https://mindfulnessexercises.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Caring-for-Yourself-in-an-Integrated-Way.pdf Instance 1 330 Mindfulness WorksheetsStep-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation ...
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Equanimity Meditation FI

Equanimity Meditation

The equanimity meditation helps us to examine feelings towards people, and correct them when there's a mistake. This leads to ...
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Tony-Bernhard

The Simplicity of Karma [Audio]

The Simplicity of Karma, by Tony Bernhard: About Tony Bernhard:Tony Bernhard first encountered the dharma in 1965 and became one ...
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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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The Hole in the Road

“The Hole in the Road”

Look out for the hole in the road! This story demonstrates that awareness is the first step toward positive change, ...
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fueling your happiness

Fueling Your Happiness

Fueling your happiness with the practices of mindfulness exercises will help you to increase your ability to feel and respond ...
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Empathy can prolong suffering

Paul Bloom: Why Empathy Is Not the Best Way to Care

Empathy is not the best way to care because it can prolong someone’s suffering. Compassion is a better strategy to ...
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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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Achieving More Balance in Your Life

5 Ways To Achieve More Balance In Your Life

There’s always another level of balance and proficiency in managing your life. Here are five strategies to help you achieve ...
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The Shape of Suffering A Study of Dependend CoArising

The Shape of Suffering: A Study of Dependent Co-arising

The Shape of Suffering: A Study of Dependent Co-arising presents a clear explanation of "dukkha" - the suffering and stress ...
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Flowering of Compassion

Spiritual Bypassing

Frank Ostaseski talks about Spiritual Bypassing. True spirituality is not something high or mighty, it's grounded. Frank talks more about ...
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Outpatient Program for Chronic Pain Patients

Outpatient Program for Chronic Pain Patients

The 10-week Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program used the practice of mindfulness meditation to train chronic pain patients in self-regulation ...
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Open Up

Open Up

We sometimes don’t want to tell those close to us about who we are and what we want. Don’t hesitate ...
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building inner strength

Building Inner Strength

Building inner strength is an important aspect of the process of ongoing self-improvement. Find the answers to all the doubts ...
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How to Believe in Yourself

How to Believe in Yourself

Brendon Burchard shares valuable information on how you can rebuild & strengthen faith in yourself- even when the situation encourages ...
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A Dialog with Ram Dass and Eckhart Tolle

Ram Dass with Eckhart Tolle

Ram Dass and Eckhart Tolle get together for the 1st time on the same stage to talk about spiritual awakening ...
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Get Some Headspace by Andy Puddicombe

Get Some Headspace

Create a happier mindset by making meditation part of your daily routine. Listen to Andy Puddicombe about the practice of ...
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Giving Yourself Compassion for a Difficult Situation

Giving Yourself Compassion For A Difficult Situation

Giving Yourself Compassion for a Difficult Situation. It guides readers and listeners to practice self-compassion in the face of their ...
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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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Daily Practices for Love and Happiness

Daily Practices for Love and Happiness

Everyone wants to be loved. There is no one who does not want love. The same is true for happiness ...
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Daniel Goleman: How Attention Helps Us To Succeed

Daniel Goleman: How Attention Helps Us To Succeed

Daniel Goleman, author of “Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence,” explains how attention and cognitive control contributes to success in ...
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Sharon Salzberg

How To Be Mindful at Work [Audio]

How To Be Mindful at Work by Sharon Salzberg talks about how happiness can be attained in the workplace practicing ...
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Larry-Yang, All Beings

Guided Metta: All Beings [Audio]

Listen to this audio of Guided Metta: All Beings by Larry Yang. About Larry Yang: Larry Yang, a longtime meditator, ...
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Redemption

Redemption

Jack Kornfield talks about the topic of Redemption. In the practice of loving awareness and compassion, redemption is bestowed by ...
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Exploring the Five Senses

Exploring the Five Senses

https://mindfulnessexercises.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Exploring-the-Five-Senses.pdf ...
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Triggers to Sustain Habits Video

“Triggers” to Sustain Habits [Video]

Set a trigger and maintain the right routines or good habits to keep you energized and motivated in whatever you ...
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Exercising Mindfully

Exercising Mindfully

Here is your online worksheet:https://mindfulnessexercises.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Exercising-Mindfully.pdf Instance 1 330 Mindfulness WorksheetsStep-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation ...
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Not To Be Angry All The Time

How Not To Be Angry All The Time

This 3:18 minute long video uncovers the surprising idea of optimism as the root of anger - and why this ...
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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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