Mindfulness Exercises For Beginners

Learn mindfulness with our free mindfulness exercises for beginners.

Guided Forgiveness and Gratitude

Guided Forgiveness and Gratitude [Audio]

Listen to this Guided Forgiveness and Gratitude meditation.Guided Forgiveness and Gratitude, by Pascal Auclair:_ the reflections on universal well-beingMay I ...
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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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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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Identify and Eliminate the Sources of Conflict [Video]

Identify and Eliminate the Sources of Conflict [Video]

Explore the essential ideas of Constructive Collaboration and why it is important to identify the core elements of conflict & ...
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Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh

The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh

This video shows an intimate encounter with the Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh. Appreciate Thich Nhat Hanh’s calligraphic meditation ...
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mindful family calendar

Mindful Family Calendar

Explore mindful family calendar with the practices of mindfulness exercises to bring awareness to improve the lifestyle of your family.Here ...
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Help Me Stay Sane During A Period Of Joblessness

Help Me Stay Sane During A Period Of Joblessness

How do you stay sane and maintain your self-esteem during a period of joblessness? The key lies in freedom from ...
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Whole Body Breathing

Whole Body Breathing

This Whole Body Breathing Meditation Script can be useful in guiding beginners to do whole-body scanning to promote calm, relaxation ...
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Earth Descent Meditation

Earth Descent Meditation

With free online worksheet, visualize your awareness dropping deep within the Earth with this Earth Descent Meditation by Buddhist teacher ...
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Being Positive

Being Positive

Being positive in your life with mindfulness exercises can help you to increase the ability to distinguish between positive or ...
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Waking Up in Every World by Anushka Fernandopulle

Waking Up in Every World [Audio]

Breathing in and out as part of mindfulness or meditation can change the internal dialogue to a supportive dialogue that ...
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Tame Your Mind [Video]

Tame Your Mind [Video]

This video helps you to tame your mind, open your heart, and reclaim your life's most difficult moments. Watch this ...
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4 Steps to Avoiding Overwhelm

4 Steps To Avoiding Overwhelm

Feeling overwhelmed by a lot of things going on in your daily? In this video, you will learn 4 big ...
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Is There A Purpose To Living

Is there a Purpose to Living?

Nature has no purpose. Purposelessness is what makes us perfectly rational human beings. We must trust ourselves to a nature ...
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Whats Been Important in Your Life

What’s Been Important in Your Life

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on What's Been Important, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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how to optimize your marketing efforts

How to Optimize Your Marketing Efforts

Here is your online worksheet:https://mindfulnessexercises.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/How-to-Optimize-Your-Marketing-Efforts.pdf Instance 1 330 Mindfulness WorksheetsStep-by-step guidance for developing mindfulness for your health, relationships, career, meditation ...
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How To Relax and Wind Down at End of Day

Relax and Wind Down

Relax and wind down at the end of a busy day by trying these 4 steps. Don't get stuck in ...
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Relaxing Sleep Music

Relaxing Sleep Music

If you're struggling with insomnia or feeling tired, this selection of relaxing sleep music by Jason Stephenson might help you ...
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Guided Standing Meditation [Audio] by Ayya Anandabodhi

Guided Standing Meditation [Audio]

Guided Standing Meditation by Ayya Anandabodhi. In preparation for 15-minute walking meditation, standing meditation is where mindfulness starts ...
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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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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Resolution to Present Details

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Resolution to Present Details. In Mindfulness, to be resolved, to be present attentively ...
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Do You Cry Is It Normal To Cry

Do You Cry? Is It Normal To Cry?

Eckhart Tolle says it’s normal to cry and talks about some of the things that make him cry. He also ...
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Kamma and the End of Kamma

Kamma and the End of Kamma

Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech and mind. And what is ...
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Roots of Empathy & Impact

Roots of Empathy’s Impact

Mary Gordon discusses the research showing that Roots of Empathy reduces aggression, boosts emotional literacy, and creates more caring children.Instance ...
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Tony-Bernhard

Quarrels and Disputes [Audio]

Quarrels and Disputes, by Tony Bernhard: About Tony Bernhard:Tony Bernhard first encountered the dharma in 1965 and became one of ...
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Share an Uplifting and Hopeful Story

Retelling an Uplifting Story

This mindfulness exercise guides you on how to share an uplifting and hopeful story that can reduce stress or even ...
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One Complete Cycle of Breathing

One Complete Cycle of Breath

Great for beginners, this 1 complete cycle of breath guided meditation by Sean Fargo teaches to find the posture which ...
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Practice as a Path of Happiness

Practice as a Path of Happiness

James Baraz talks about how practice leads us to a path of happiness. By which the purpose of life is ...
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Grief, Love and Groundlessness

Grief, Love and Groundlessness

Matthew Brensilver leads a guided meditation- Grief, Love and Groundlessness. When we choose to love, grief becomes a facet of ...
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3 Deep Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress & Anxiety

3 Deep Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress & Anxiety

If you’re in need of a way to reduce your feelings of anxiety & stress, try out these 3 deep ...
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Relieving Anxiety

Relieving Anxiety

Relieving Anxiety opens with a gentle breath awareness practice. Then, it moves into a series of positive affirmations to help ...
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The Hush at the End of the World

The Hush at the End of the World

Join these 3 senior Buddhist monks from the Thai forest tradition of Ajahn Chah as they embark on a pilgrimage ...
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Lesson from Nature, Difficult Emotions

Working with Difficult Emotions

Difficult emotions are complex occurrences that can be most simply understood as a combination of physical sensations and thought patterns ...
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Working With Attachment And Addiction

Working With Attachment And Addiction

Tara Brach talks about Working with Attachment and Addiction. The guided meditation script is useful in gaining back freedom and ...
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Mindful Breathing Exercises for Stress

Mindful Breathing Exercises for Stress

3 mindful breathing exercises for stress reduction: Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing), tactical breathing, Ujjayi Breath (victorious breathing) ...
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Understanding Your Emotions

Understanding Your Emotions

Understanding Your Emotions. This meditation script is designed to visualize emotions and understand them with their physical sensations & thought ...
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RSA Replay Search Inside Yourself

RSA Replay – Search Inside Yourself

The Search Inside Yourself course and Mindfulness Tools For Sustainable Growth workshop explore mindfulness practices to help both leaders and ...
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Mantras for Deep Inner Peace

Mantras for Deep Inner Peace

These 8 Mantras for Deep Inner Peace can have a powerful effect in calming your mind. Use it as background ...
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wisdom video

Wisdom

What does it really mean to be wise? Find out how wisdom relates to various concepts such as realism, gratitude, ...
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Listen to this Mindfulness in Close Relationships

Mindfulness in Close Relationships [Audio]

Listen to this Mindfulness in Close Relationships by Matthew Brensilver. You can also read the transcription of the audio here ...
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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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Guided Metta Meditation with Joseph Goldstein [Video]

Guided Metta Meditation with Joseph Goldstein [Video]

Short introductory dharma talk on Metta followed by a guided meditation with Buddhist teacher Joseph Goldstein. Some Q&A with the ...
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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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Without and Within

Without and Within

Ajahn Jayasaro wrote this book Without and Within to introduce the practice of Buddhism and to elaborate on various topics ...
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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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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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