Focused Attention And Open Awareness | Mindfulness Exercises

Let’s begin by taking a moment to allow your body to settle (2 seconds).

Find a comfortable position that allows your spine to be long but with a natural curve in the low back (2 seconds).

You can close your eyes or keep them open with a soft gaze downward a few feet in front of you (2 seconds).

Let the belly and shoulders relax (5 seconds).

Today I’ll guide you through a meditation

that alternates between focused attention and open awareness (2 seconds).

In focused attention we keep directing our attention back to the breath (2 seconds).

In open awareness we expand our awareness

to include whatever is arising with an attitude of curiosity and spaciousness (2 seconds).

Before we start take a full breath in (2 seconds)

and a long breath out (10 seconds).

Now allow the breath to find its natural rhythm in and out (20 seconds).

As you breathe, the breath can be like an anchor or a foothold

as you observe what’s happening around you (2 seconds).

As you allow yourself to notice whatever is arising,

you decide for yourself if you want to dial up or dial down how aware of the breath you are

in a given moment (10 seconds).

In open awareness, thoughts, sensations, feelings,

and sounds will come and go.

Some will float by like clouds in the sky

and others will be sticky taking us for a ride (2 seconds).

But whatever arises try to just notice them,

watching them arise and pass away (20 seconds).

If you start to feel distracted, you can ground yourself by focusing on the breath again

then returning to open awareness (15 seconds).

Now bringing your attention back again to focus on the breath,

letting awareness of other things fade to the background (5 seconds)

breathing in (2 seconds)

breathing out (40 seconds).

You can bring focused attention to the breath

by following one complete cycle of breath (5 seconds)

the inhale (2 seconds)

the exhale (5 seconds).

The phases of the inhale and the phases of the exhale (20 seconds).

Take a moment now to appreciate your effort in doing this practice (20 seconds).

Remember that you can connect with a sense of open awareness

as you go through your day

and come back to the focused attention on breath to find calm in the body and the mind (10 seconds).

Lets finish this open awareness and focused attention practice now

by taking a full breath in (2 seconds)

and a long breath out (5 seconds)

*ding* (15 seconds).


Integrated Practice: At your next meal, practice mindful eating. Bring an open awareness mindset to this practice; see how much of the experience you can be present to including the flavors and textures in the food, the sounds occurring around you and as you eat, the colors and smells, etc.



Reflection Questions:

In what ways did the mindful eating practice affect your experience of eating?  

How can you apply this type of practice to other areas of your life?


mindfulness exercises


  • Develop Your Mindfulness Habit With 28 Daily Meditations, Mindfulness Worksheets, Journal Prompts and Detailed Infographics, All Designed With Evidence-Backed Research.
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