Mindfulness Exercises For Buddhists

Deepen your Buddhist practice with our free mindfulness exercises, guided meditations, mindfulness worksheets and more. 

Taming Your Inner Critic by James Baraz

Taming Your Inner Critic

In this audio, James Baraz talks about taming your inner critic. Listen to him as he presents ways you can make friends with your judging mind ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

The Dharma of True Friendship

Kate Munding shares a story about how the Buddha advised on friendship; also shared her own story about the friendships she had when only a few were good ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress, metta

Metta: Near and Far Enemies

The practice of Metta is an exploration. How Metta is relevant in the unfolding of the Dharma? How the heart responds as we identify loving kindness ...
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Journaling

Mindful Journaling

This Journaling Mindfulness Exercise will guide you on how to reflect on some of the wonderful things that you are grateful for in the past day, few days, or week ...
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Mindful of Your Food and Eating

Mindful Of Your Food And Eating

Mindful of Your Food And Eating. This script encourages heightened awareness of one’s experience during a simple bite. It also sparks healthy conversations ...
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Richard Davidson The Four Constituents of Well-Being

Four Constituents of Well-Being, Richard Davidson

Richard Davidson talks about the four constituents of well-being. These constituents are rooted in specific brain circuits that exhibit neuroplasticity ...
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Recovery Meditation Spoken Word For Sickness Healing

Recovery Meditation: Spoken Word For Sickness Healing

Our healing guided meditation and visualization combine spoken word and music to assist you in your recovery from recent surgery, illness or pain ...
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Meditation A Way of Awakening

Meditation: A Way of Awakening

Meditation: A Way of Awakening. Meditation can be a very deep inquiry into the mind. It can be undertaken in intensive retreats. Practice it anytime too! ...
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Grand Central Station by Sharon Salzberg

Grand Central Station

In this video, Sharon Salzberg takes the formal meditation practice of Lovingkindness (also known as Metta) to Grand Central Station in New York City ...
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Take Action In Your Life

How To Take Care Of Yourself (While Taking Care Of Others)

How do you balance taking care of yourself and others without sacrificing your dreams or suffering burning out? Here are four strategies: 1. Focus on your circle of influence: With ...
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Heroism In The Face Of Racism [Video]

Heroism In The Face Of Racism [Video]

In this video, a man in his quest for wholeness heals an old wound, finding his heroic and compassionate spirit along the way despite experiencing racism ...
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Hot Air Balloon Ride A Guided meditation for Kids Childrens Visualization For Sleep & Dreaming

Hot Air Balloon Ride: A Guided meditation for Kids, Children’s Visualization For Sleep & Dreaming

Hot Air Balloon Ride is an all-ages guided meditation video that promotes peaceful and restful sleep in children through relaxing imagery ...
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Nature of Awareness

Peaceful Warrior in Modern Times

Hatred never ceases by hatred. James Baraz discusses how love is the only way to end hatred as we are called to be peaceful warriors in these modern times ...
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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 healing effect on the body and mind ...
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Instructions Gathering the Scattered Mind [Audio]

Instructions: Gathering the Scattered Mind [Audio]

The purpose of mindfulness is to gather the scattered mind, to bring back the mind to the present moment, to have a mind that is not wavering or wandering ...
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Freedom

Feeling Free

Joseph Goldstein talks about Feeling Free and the 4th noble truth. The 4th noble truth is the way of practice leading to the end of suffering ...
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How To Increase Optimism

How To Feel Balanced

Sharon Salzberg talks about How to Feel Balanced. It's the truth that liberates, not the efforts to be free. The form of practice is tyranny. The end is balance ...
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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 from life’s wisdom and to follow life ...
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The Mind Like Fire Unbound

The Mind Like Fire Unbound (ebook)

The Mind Like Fire Unbound revolves around the idea that the mind released is like a fire that has gone out. Read & learn how to extinguish it yourself ...
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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 in the present moment, the mind is not ...
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Tibetan Healing Sounds

Tibetan Healing Sounds

Listen to 11 hours of Tibetan healing sounds produced by Tibetan bowls for meditation, relaxation, and calming effects to help you fall asleep fast ...
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Finding the missing peace

Finding the Missing Peace

Finding the Missing Peace describes a selection of meditation tools and techniques for beginners that will help you find peace and live a harmonious life.Here Is Your Free Ebook:https://mindfulnessexercises.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/amaro_finding_the_missing_peace.pdf Posture and ...
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Bhikkhu Analayo

Exploring the Four Satipatthanas [Audio]

Exploring the Four Satipatthanas, by Bhikkhu Analayo:We are aware of the body in the sitting posture. And we allow the mind to rest in the body, just as the body rests in ...
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Lesson from Nature

Tracing Back The Radiance [Audio]

Tracing Back The Radiance, by Ajahn Amaro:(chant)For those of you who might be wondering, that wasn’t just a random creation of ___. Just looking to brighten up the evening, but ...
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Neural Self-Hacking at reWork 2014

Neural Self Hacking at re:Work 2014

The modern workplace is a hothouse of stress. Bill Duane shows how to focus attention, foster compassion & sustain high performance through mindfulness exercises ...
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judging your future

Judging Your Future

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Judging Your Future, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this ...
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Gratitude is not in the words

Gratitude Is Not In The Words

Gratitude is not in the words but in the heart, which expresses it. What meaning do you draw from these words? How does the heart express gratitude? ...
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“Me Too” In Popular Mindfulness Communities

“Me Too” In Popular Mindfulness Communities

See how the "Me Too" movement in Popular Mindfulness communities had spread. Get a better understanding of power through the stories of the victims ...
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Wisdom

Wisdom

Philosophy means, in Ancient Greek, the love of wisdom. But the word wisdom can sound very big and forbidding; what does it really mean to be wise? And how might ...
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How to Set Standards Collaboratively [Video]

How to Set Standards Collaboratively [Video]

Set standards for your team through collaboration in a way that establishes a shared commitment and reinforces a culture of autonomy and respect ...
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No Such Thing As Constructive Feedback [Video]

No Such Thing As Constructive Feedback [Video]

Have you ever experienced receiving feedback from others, especially in your workplace? Understand the concept of "constructive feedback" in this video ...
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How to Bring the Joy to All You Do

How to Bring the Joy to All You Do

Four proven steps that will encourage anyone to bring about and spread joy in everyday life with more meaning and intention ...
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Finding The Breath

Finding The Breath

Finding the Breath is a breath-centered meditation, this very simple guided meditation script offers a brief introduction into mindful 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 patterns ...
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Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem

Having high self-esteem has very little to do with the progress of our careers. Rather, it is largely about coming to terms with ourselves ...
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Progressive Relaxation

Progressive Relaxation

This progressive relaxation technique is a proven way to chill out, release all the tension from your body, and get some sleep. Follow the online worksheet ...
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Guided Mindfulness Meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh [Video]

Guided Mindfulness Meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh [Video]

Guided mindfulness meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present & at one with those around you and with what you are doing. Published ...
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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 ...
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How To Succeed Beyond Your Wildest Dreams (4.3)

How To Succeed Beyond Your Wildest Dreams (4.3)

You can achieve success beyond success by always choosing to act with integrity. Find out how you can base your success on the things you can control ...
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Pleasant schedule

Scheduling Something Pleasant

Scheduling one or more pleasant activities into our daily life can make us more energized and help improve our thoughts and mood & positive experiences ...
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Margarita-Loinaz

We are the Earth [Audio]

We are the Earth, by Margarita Loinaz: About Margarita Loinaz:Margarita Loinaz, M.D. has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1977 in the Tibetan and Theravada traditions with an emphasis on Dzogchen ...
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Joseph Goldstein

Reflections On Race And Diversity [Audio]

Reflections On Race And Diversity, by Joseph Goldstein:First, to say that the ___ just the first part, round, kind of sharing some thoughts about this. Then, the open discussion, we ...
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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 the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact, bhikkhus ...
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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 an evaluation of our self worth ...
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The Science of Mindful Eating

The Science of Mindful Eating

Being mindful has many benefits, and recent research indicates that those benefits include helping obese individuals control their eating habits and maintain or lose weight.A 2010 study found that those ...
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Mindfulness and Buddhism

While mindfulness in and of itself does not require we practice Buddhism, we cannot practice Buddhism without understanding and embodying mindfulness. Buddhism is a religion and philosophy that has stood the test of time, having been founded over 2,500 years ago by Siddhartha Gautama. As a cornerstone of Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness practice has been explored and embodied for centuries. Its presence is so strong and deeply rooted that mindfulness, often referred to as sati, is often considered the first step one takes towards enlightenment.

Understanding Sati

Sati is the first of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, though it is a component of each and every stage. According to the Buddhist tradition, mindfulness can be defined as, “moment to moment awareness of the present moment.” It is not something we can possess or hold onto; rather, it a process we experience again and again.

Mindfulness, or sati, can also be understood as:

  • Bare attention, or non-conceptual awareness
  • Correct view, or clear seeing
  • Non-judgmental awareness
  • Awareness of reality
  • Remembering, or bearing in mind

Remembering, as it is understood in the Buddhist sense, does not refer to the recollection of past events by the egoic mind; rather, it is a reminder to pay “bare attention” when the mind has wandered, or when we have moved away from the present moment. In this way, mindfulness has the ability to remind us to focus on what is happening right here and now. Not only is mindfulness the art of paying attention, it is also what calls us back when our attention has flittered away.

Mindfulness in the Buddhist Tradition

The Buddhist roots of mindfulness are powerful reminders of what this process or practice is and what it is not. Happiness or relaxation are often falsely associated with mindfulness; meanwhile, Buddhism reminds us that mindfulness is not conditional in any way. In the Buddhist practice of mindfulness, everything is observed without judgment. While what is observed in the mind might be noted as happiness, the presence of this state is not necessary for the practice to be complete or “correct.”

Many modern views of mindfulness focus on the idea of the primary or individual self, harbouring, however unconsciously, the notion of the separate self. Buddhism, on the other hand, views life as a conglomerate of flowing energy that creates our thoughts, our feelings, and our experience. Through movement towards enlightenment, the self is liberated from its sense of separateness.

It is important to note that the separate self does not need to be rejected or judged in any way; rather, it is something that Buddhist mindfulness practice eventually moves us through. Our experience of the separate self can be observed just like anything else. This understanding is a crucial component to the expansion of one’s mindfulness practice. These ancient insights provide us with signposts to help us move past our attachment to our experiences and our stories and our strong sense of the separate self. They encourage us to witness the present moment reality from a clearer, or more absolute, vantage point.

How Buddhism Promotes Mindfulness

Buddhism promotes mindfulness through a variety of techniques and modes of exploration. To better understand the ways in which it is practiced in this tradition, mindfulness can be explored through its four foundations: mindfulness of body, mindfulness of feelings, mindfulness of mind, and mindfulness of dhammas.

1. Mindfulness of body

Including mindfulness of breathing, awareness of the body, contemplation on the reality of the physical body, reflection on the material reality, and awareness of the body’s impermanence

2. Mindfulness of feeling

Different from emotion, feelings in this sense are broken down into awareness of risings that are: pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant; bodily and mental; worldly and unworldly

3. Mindfulness of mind

Involves awareness of mental states such as distraction, concentration, hatred, lust, or retraction

4. Mindfulness of dhammas, or mind objects

  • Awareness of Five Hindrances (desire, anger, sloth, worry, doubt)
  • Awareness of the Five Aggregates of Clinging (form, feeling, perception, mental-formations, consciousness)
  • Awareness of the entry points of consciousness (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind)
  • Mindfulness of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (mindfulness, investigation of dhammas, energy, joy, relaxation, concentration, and equanimity)
  • Mindfulness of the Four Noble Truths (suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path leading to the end of suffering)

These four cornerstones provide a framework through which we can begin to explore mindfulness. Typically, we would explore one at a time, beginning with breath awareness and then moving outwards from there. Eventually, we reach the Four Noble Truths, coming to understand intuitively (rather than intellectually or theoretically) how one can move towards the absence of suffering.

The End of Suffering through Mindfulness

According to Buddhist philosophy, we suffer not because we are inherently “wrong” or “bad” but because we do not understand the reality of nature. Buddhism introduces us to the three marks of existence: impermanence, suffering, and insight. Mindfulness and contemplation of these aspects of our existence help us to move through our suffering as we gain a deeper understanding of the absolute reality of nature.

The Pali word for suffering is dukkha, a term that can be more completely understood as:

  • The physical or mental suffering that comes from the cycle of life (the transition through birth, growth, illness, and death)
  • The emotional aspect of our humanity, including sorrow and grief
  • Attachment to things that, by nature, change constantly
  • Lack of satisfaction or the feeling of expectations not being met

We gain insight into dukkha by increasing mindfulness of the Buddhist understanding of life. As we come to understand and accept the flow of nature and the impermanency of everything (from thoughts to physical possessions), we begin to overcome whatever rests at the root of our suffering. This deeper level of awareness increases our experience of contentment with whatever exists. We find ourselves in greater flow with the cycles of everything life comprises of.

​Buddhist Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness practice in Buddhism is often believed to be highly associated with meditation, but it much more than this. The practice of being mindful can be carried throughout every aspect of our lives, touching the ways we interact with others, the way we walk, the way we eat, and the way we do just about anything. In studying Buddhism philosophy, it is not uncommon to find ourselves becoming instinctively more mindful of how we tread on this earth on a daily basis and of our interconnectedness to all things.

There are a variety of different ways we can deepen our awareness of the present moment. Countless online resources exist to help guide us into deeper levels of understanding. Three techniques and practices with roots in the Buddhist tradition are listed below.

Breath Awareness

Mindfulness of body is most simply explored through awareness of the breath. To practice, come into a comfortable seated position with the spine straight and the shoulders relaxed. You may sit cross legged on the floor or in a straight-backed chair. Rest your hands in your lap or on your thighs as you come into a state of stillness.

Draw your awareness to your breath without changing it in anyway. Keep your focus on this movement of energy into and out of your body, calling upon mindfulness to help refocus your attention when the mind wanders.

Keep the heart open, remaining compassionate towards whatever you experience. Refrain from judging the present moment in anyway. Continue to breathe mindfully, drawing your attention back to the breath again and again. You may sit here for any period of time that suits your needs.

Loving Kindness Meditation

Within the Buddhist tradition, Loving Kindness meditation, or Metta meditation, is a practice that helps to keep the heart open and compassionate. It supports insights as through this practice, we come to realize our interconnectedness on a more profound level.

To practice, come to a seated position with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Take a few moments to settle into the space and then draw your attention to the center of your chest. Breathe through this space.

Once you feel grounded, bring yourself to mind. With eyes closed, observe the presence of yourself in your mind’s eye exactly as you are. Open your heart to this individual and when you are ready, softly repeat the words:

May you be loved, may you be safe, may you be happy, may you be at peace.
May you be loved, may you be safe, may you be happy, may you be at peace.

Take your time with this, allowing yourself to be completely present with these words as they permeate the image of your own being. Sit with this moment for as long as you need.

When you are ready, repeat the practice with three more people:

  • Someone you are close to
  • Someone you feel neutral towards
  • Someone you have a challenging relationship with

With each of these individuals, take your time to bring their image and essence to mind, repeating the same blessings to them.

May you be loved, may you be safe, may you be happy, may you be at peace.
May you be loved, may you be safe, may you be happy, may you be at peace.

Finally, repeat the same kind words to the Universe at large, holding the entire world in your awareness. Imagine all beings being blessed with light, love, and peace.

Allow all images to dissipate as you come back to silence. Focus on your breath for a while observing whatever arises in your field of awareness. When you are ready, you may slowly return to the physical world by gently opening your eyes.

Vipassana Meditation

Also known as Insight Meditation, Vipassana is a meditation technique that dates back to the earliest days of Buddhism. With roots in India, Gotama Buddha came upon the practice over 2500 years ago. It offers insight into the three marks of existence and moves us towards liberation from suffering. Vipassana is taught in 10-day retreats as the entire practice is considered to be a mental training.

The practice helps us to see things as they are and guides its students to pay focused attention to the sensations of the physical body. It is based on open observation and helps to connect the gap between mind and body.

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