Mindfulness Exercises For Buddhists

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

Thich Nhat Hanh Steps of Mindful Breathing

Thich Nhat Hanh – Steps of Mindful Breathing

This video presents steps of mindful breathing by Thich Nhat Hanh. Watch this video to learn the steps needed for mindful breathing in your meditation ...
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Intuitive Awareness by Ajahn Sumedho

Intuitive Awareness

Intuitive Awareness is an essential aspect of the spiritual path. Meditation techniques for beginners can increase one's ability to feel and respond ...
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Quality or Virtue

Cultivating a Quality or Virtue

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Cultivating a Quality, 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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Increasing Productivity by Mastering Singular Focus & Mindful Meditation

Increase Productivity by Mastering Singular Focus & Mindful Meditation

This guided meditation helps focus on the present moment in order to improve one's productivity rate, offering helpful strategies to keep focused and clear ...
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snack preparation exercise

Snack Preparation Exercise

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Snack Preparation, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic- the emotions ...
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are you controlling relationships

Are You Controlling Relationships

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Controlling Relationships, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic- the emotions ...
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Alan Watts - The Beauty of Nothingness

Alan Watts – Beauty of Nothingness

Alan Watts talks about the fundamental reality that there is beauty in nothingness, that nothing is more fertile than emptiness. Nothingness is more fertile than Emptiness – Alan Watts visit us: www.facebook.com/thejourneyofpurposeMusic: ...
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Guided Mindfulness Sitting Meditation by Jon Kabat Zinn

Guided Mindfulness Meditation [Video]

Guided Mindfulness Sitting Meditation by Jon Kabat Zinn. He is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic ...
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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 enriching self-compassion ...
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Pascal Auclair

Cultivating Compassion [Audio]

Guided Meditation - Cultivating Compassion by Pascal Auclair:To heighten the guided meditation, we thought we could explore a little bit compassion and see if we can get in that field a little ...
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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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Heart Meditation 3 Domains of Forgiveness

Heart Meditation: 3 Domains of Forgiveness [Audio]

Heart Meditation: 3 Domains of Forgiveness. In the Buddhist teachings, the pre-requisite to really, fully waken up our hearts is the practice of forgiving ...
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building true power

Building True Power

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Power, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic- the emotions that ...
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Seeing anew

Seeing Anew

Jack Kornfield talks about seeing things in a fresh way or seeing anew. Perfect for beginners who are contemplating for contentment ...
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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 on mindfulness ...
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Sky Gazing Meditation with Chris Sharma

Sky Gazing Meditation with Chris Sharma

Mark Coleman leads Chris Sharma through a 6 minute Sky Gazing Meditation that will settle you down and open your mind. Be inspired to follow along ...
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Utilizing Precious Resources

Utilizing Precious Resources

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Resourcefulness, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic- the emotions that ...
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Open Awareness

Focused Attention And Open Awareness

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation that alternates between focused attention and open awareness. Direct the attention back to the breath then expand awareness ...
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Dan Harris How I Went from Skeptic to Meditator

ABC News: How I Went from Skeptic to Meditator

Dan Harris, a news anchor & writer, shares how an episode of panic attack on-air prompted a desire to discover meditation - and why he's sticking with it ...
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Sky Gazing FI

Sky Gazing

Connect to reality and awareness by following this mindfulness exercise on sky gazing. Simply look at the sky and allow yourself to dissolve into it ...
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Head Switching

Head Switching

Mental fitness, the practice of actively improving the mind, is the next major health revolution. Learn head switching on this FitMind Meditation Program.Head Switching and Mental FitnessIn a world riddled ...
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Meditation For Gratitude

Guided Meditation For Gratitude

This is a 10 minute guided meditation that is meant to help you start your day in a calm and loving way. This is day two of our full meditation ...
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The Problem with Over-Friendly People

The Problem with Over-Friendly People

Published on Jan 23, 2017Friendliness is a great virtue. Over-friendliness can be an unexpected problem. If you like our films, take a look at our shop (we ship worldwide): https://goo.gl/81j1IRJoin ...
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In Praise of The Quiet Life

In Praise of The Quiet Life

People with busy lives may be setting themselves up for envy, fear, deceit, and anxiety. For the sake of true riches, we may choose a quiet life ...
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Rewards & Risks To An Effective Culture [Video]

Rewards & Risks To An Effective Culture [Video]

Response-ability is the source of power and integrity, the power to influence your situation and the integrity to do so in alignment with your values ...
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Why Achievers Crash and Burn [Video]

Why Achievers Crash and Burn [Video]

Overachievers often crash and burn. Bestselling author Brendon Burchard gives insight into the four achievement factors that usually lead to them ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Pain in Meditation & Daily Life, 4/4

Ines Freedman leads Part 4 of guided meditation about Pain in Meditation & Daily Life. Ines Freedman had a condition in growing up that inflicts pain on her body ...
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Be the Light

Be the Light

Be the light. Become the best version of yourself through the Qoya movement and learn how to become physically being at one with your body. Qoya is based on the ...
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perceiving pointlessness in relationships

Perceiving Pointlessness in Relationships

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Pointlessness in Relationships, 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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Perspective

Perspective

Sharon Salzberg talks about Perspective. That there are so many possibilities for a shift in perspective. She further tells stories about how the world judges using a flawed perspective ...
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Your Job Is Not Your Job [Video]

Your Job Is Not Your Job [Video]

According to Fred Kofman, your job is not what you do, it's the goal you pursue. Find out why this is a crucial matter for any business ...
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shaping my day to day life

Shaping My Day-to-Day Life

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Shaping Daily Life, 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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Awareness And Intimacy

Awareness And Intimacy

In this mindfulness talk, Jack Kornfield discusses how to navigate intimacy as we develop greater mindfulness and self-awareness ...
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Visualizing Stress As A Storm

Visualizing Stress As A Storm

Visualizing Stress As A Storm is a useful guided meditation script to deal with high levels of stress. It makes creative visualization of storm and nature! ...
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How Do I Manage Self-Expectations by Eckhart Tolle

How Do I Manage Self-Expectations?

How do you manage self-expectations? According to Eckhart Tolle, managing your anger is important because anger rises out of your sense of powerlessness ...
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How To Make Good Decisions

How To Make Good Decisions

Make good decisions and take decisive action by following these 3 steps: make decisions sooner than later; set criteria; do intelligent research ...
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Repeated Phrase B

Repeated Phrase B

Repeated Phrase B is part of the FitMind Meditation Program. On this second repeated phrase meditation, we can focus on finding joy in the practice.Repeated Phrase B and Going with ...
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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' reasoning can really be ...
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The Ladder of Inference

The Ladder Of Inference

Fred Kofman's The Ladder of Inference explains self-reasoning in relation to conflict situations with other people, especially those in the workplace ...
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RAIN meditation

RAIN

RAIN meditation is a practice that can be used with any content of mind but typically applied to unpleasant, uncomfortable, or upsetting material.Did you like this RAIN meditation?RAIN is an ...
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What To Do About Insomnia

What To Do About Insomnia

An important solution to insomnia is to reacquaint ourselves with ourselves: spending more time systematically examining everything we're concerned about ...
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Meditation

Standing & Walking Meditation

Tara Brach leads a guided Standing & Walking Meditation. It's a wonderful way to feel being present when standing or walking or while we're on our way ...
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Opening the Third Eye Chakra Music Pineal Gland Activation Awaken With Binaural Beats

Opening the Third Eye Chakra Music: Pineal Gland Activation With Binaural Beats

Open and activate your third eye, otherwise known as the pineal gland, through meditation by listening to this chakra music with binaural beats ...
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Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness & Pain 5: Balance and Guided Meditation

Discover ways in redirecting the attention as a way of balancing coming out of the pain in Mindfulness & Pain 5: Balance and Guided Meditation by Oren Sofer ...
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Meditation instructions

Meditation Instructions

Joseph Goldstein leads a guided Meditation- Meditation Instructions. Notice the breath. Know the breath. Feel it, being relaxed, and simply be aware ...
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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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