• You are here:
  • Home »

Mindfulness Exercises For Buddhists

Search From 2,000 Free Mindfulness Exercises

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

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 companies ...
Read More
Generosity and Gratitude

Generosity and Gratitude

Donald Rothberg talks about the relationship between Generosity and Gratitude. It's the spirit of giving is based on the feeling of Gratitude ...
Read More
Are We Who We Think We Are

Are We Who We Think We Are?

I am who I think you think I am. Are we who we think we are? A video on the complex world we live in today & truth of science ...
Read More
increasing engagement with your life

Increasing Engagement with Your Life

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Increasing Engagement, 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 ...
Read More
Visualizing the Calm

Visualizing the Calm

You will learn to use the power of visualization, or mental rehearsal, to find a greater sense of calm when faced with a situation that is distressing ...
Read More
closing down in relationships

Closing Down in Relationships

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Closing Down, 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 ...
Read More
mindfulness exercises guided meditation on emotions

Guided Meditation On Emotions

Jack Kornfield leads a guided meditation on emotions. Allow yourself to rest into the space of loving-awareness to acknowledge your strong emotions ...
Read More
mindfulness exercises guided meditation 13

Building Joy

Joseph Goldstein talks about "Mudita" as the life in the happiness of others; building joy if you will. To be delighted in the happiness of others and continue to increase ...
Read More
Recognizing the Dhamma A Guide

Recognizing the Dhamma: A Guide

Any interpretation of the Dhamma or Vinaya must be judged. Perhaps the most important point that these principles make is that it has to be judged by the results that ...
Read More
Robert Thurman: Love Your Enemy

Robert Thurman: Love Your Enemy

This clip features Professor Robert Thurman breaking down the idea of why one should love his or her enemy, and how this benefits both self and others ...
Read More
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 show that you care about a person ...
Read More
Mark Coleman

Turning Towards Suffering with Heartfulness [Audio]

Turning Towards Suffering with Heartfulness, by Mark Coleman:So, this evening, in a similar way that Mary talked beautifully yesterday about the first foundation of mindfulness being very sensual, fundamental, foundational ...
Read More
On Being Out of Touch With One's Feelings

On Being Out of Touch With One’s Feelings

We tend to fall out of touch with our feelings. One way to address this problem is to ensure that we have allocated a lot of time to self-observation ...
Read More
Bonus 5-minute meditation

Bonus 5-minute Meditation

Meditation is the act of improving our brain’s software programming through applied mental training. Listen to this 5-minute meditation from FitMind.Did you like this 5-minute meditation?There’s a common misconception that ...
Read More
Lesson from Nature, Allergy and Sinus Relief

Binaural Beat: Allergy & Sinus Relief

Binaural Beat for Allergy & Sinus Relief. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played into each ear ...
Read More
Confidence

Confidence

One of the most apparently trivial but in truth crucial ingredients behind success is the thing we call Confidence. What is it, where does it come from, and how might ...
Read More
How To Take Care of Yourself

How To Take Care of Yourself

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 all the ...
Read More
Strategies for Mindful Parenting

Strategies for Mindful Parenting

Mindfulness is a state of consciousness that allows you to lead a happier life. It allows you to stay aware of your thought processes and make better decisions. Mindfulness is ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
Patience

Patience

One of the important qualities of Mindfulness Practice that supports us tremendously is that of Patience. Gil Fronsdal talks about Patience ...
Read More
4 Ways to Become More Disciplined

4 Ways to Become More Disciplined

Have you ever struggled to be more disciplined? Do you find yourself going through phases where you're motivated and on task, and other times where you lose all consistency? Try ...
Read More
5 Things That Complement My Daily Meditation

5 Things That Complement My Daily Meditation

Are you one of the people that self-meditate daily? Check out these 5 things that complement daily meditation and enhance your daily routine ...
Read More
Taking Refuge in Your Own True Nature

Taking Refuge in Your Own True Nature [Audio]

Taking Refuge in Your Own True Nature is a guided meditation lead by Tara Brach a meditation teacher, psychologist and author. For contentment and calm ...
Read More
Lectio Divina FI

Scriptural Meditation

Scriptural meditation generates a distinct feeling of being connected with God, being blessed, and feeling loved. Ideal for relaxation and groundedness ...
Read More
Settling Into Presence by Eckhart Tolle

Settling Into Presence

A guide to help you settle into presence and rest in the depth of an “unfilled” moment, enabling you to experience the depths of life and to be thankful ...
Read More
Knowing that Attention is Present

Knowing that Attention is Present

Phillip Moffitt leads a meditation to attention mindfulness awareness, to be mindfully aware of the occurring, to know the occurrence of the present ...
Read More
Body Scan B

Body Scan B

Body Scan B is part of the FitMind Meditation Program. It is designed to help you feel and bring awareness to the myriad of sensations throughout your body.Body Scan B ...
Read More
Jon Kabat-Zinn Compassion and Mindfulness

Jon Kabat-Zinn: Compassion And Mindfulness

We are inherently compassionate. The spaciousness of compassion is pure awareness. Mindfulness can help unlock that compassion in us ...
Read More
Practicing with Anger

Practicing with Anger

Practicing anger is a crucial theme in practice. There are many reasons for anger being quite confusing and yet being challenging to working with anger when the need arises ...
Read More
Realizing Intention

Realizing Intention

Find your purpose, discover what intentions will help you to realize this, thoroughly examine them, and then use them to act with your purpose in mind ...
Read More
Repairs DNA And Brings Positive Transformation

Repairs DNA & Brings Positive Transformation

Use this 9-hour long 528 Hz music, known as the "Love Frequency" or "Miracle Tone", and transform your life and repair your DNA ...
Read More
Guided Meditation

Guided Meditation

This is an introductory Guided Meditation by Jack Kornfield. As he explains, he welcomes the newcomers to Spirit Rock and orients about the schedules and practices ...
Read More
The Desire to be Well-Informed Vs. the Desire to Stay Sane

The Desire to be Well-Informed Vs. the Desire to Stay Sane

In the conflict of desires to be well-informed vs. to stay sane, losing your focus is easy. Maintain your inner sanity through the practice of equanimity ...
Read More
Being Present for Whatever Arises

Being Present for Whatever Arises

Phillip Moffitt leads a meditation to be present for whatever arises or is occurring. To live in the current moment and be present without judgment ...
Read More
Stress Relief With Breathing

Stress Relief With Breathing

Stress Relief with Breathing. This meditation helps to heighten our awareness of the effect of negative thinking. It explores the power of the breath ...
Read More
opening your heart and mind to gratitude

Opening Your Heart and Mind to Gratitude

Gratitude offers us the ability to improve our state of mind each and every day. Enjoy this free worksheet to open your heart and mind to gratitude ...
Read More
The Motivated Follower

The Motivated Follower

One trait of a great leader is the ability to inspire the follower to be motivated. A leader cannot give out motivation, they must inspire it within ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More
mindfulness exercises guided meditation 23

Mindfulness Of Breathing

Mark Coleman leads the guided mindfulness of breathing, explaining the posture and parameters of the meditation, being relaxed and alert at the same time ...
Read More
The Five Hindrances

The Five Hindrances

Joseph Goldstein holds a Q&A session about the 5 hindrances. The 5 hindrances are sensory desire, ill will, sloth, restlessness, and doubt ...
Read More
Don’t Push

Don’t Push

Read about the Buddha's teaching on caring in action as explained by this book by Ajahn Amaro.that investigates the second of the brahma-vihāras - karuṇā ...
Read More
measuring your presence

Measuring Your Presence

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Measuring Presence, 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 ...
Read More
9 Meditation Scripts for Anxiety

9 Meditation Scripts for Anxiety

7 Mindfulness Exercises for Relaxation. Exploring a variety of mindfulness exercises for relaxation can help us to truly feel what it means to be at peace ...
Read More
Guided Meditation for Anxiety Stress & Sleep

Guided Meditation for Anxiety, Stress & Sleep

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by stress & anxiety. With mindfulness meditation, we can overcome these feelings. This free guided meditation is your aid ...
Read More
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, but we have this common yearning ...
Read More

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.

Browse More Categories

>