Somewhere in this process you will come face-to-face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. Mindfulness, also called wise attention, helps us see what we’re adding to our experiences, not only during meditation sessions but also elsewhere. ? The Dhamma is revealing itself in every moment, but only when the mind is quiet can we understand what it is saying, for the Dhamma teaches without words. Don’t let a day go by without asking who you are…each time you let a new ingredient to enter your awareness. ? Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness. As we encounter new experiences with a mindful and wise attention, we discover that one of three things will happen to our new experience: it will go away, it will stay the same, or it will get more intense.
We use mindfulness to observe the way we cling to pleasant experiences and push away unpleasant ones. ? Advertisements Summit Outpatient offers customized treatment programs designed to bring counseling and healing to those struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Text available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, unless otherwise noted. When in the grip of these emotions, your capacity for higher "rational brain" thinking is diminished, and you are likely to revert to rote behaviours stored in the basal ganglia.
Please support MindfulnetMindfulnet is run on a non-commercial basis and receives no external funding or support. By mid 2012 Mindfulnet was receiving an average of  4500 hits per month, and feedback from site users suggests that they find it a valuable, much needed resource. All donations, however small will enable us to continue providing Mindfulnet as a free resource for everyone. New research suggests combining mindfulness meditation and running into a mental health program could help reduce depression. While previous studies have found that aerobic exercise and meditation can impact mental health, a study published last month in Translational Psychiatry combines the two.
The study included 52 participants—22 diagnosed with depression. For eight weeks, volunteers meditated for 30 minutes and completed 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a week. Brandon Alderman, lead author of the study, hypothesizes that meditation and running together might strengthen neural mechanisms in the brain. So while the exercise most likely increased the number of new brain cells in each volunteer’s hippocampus, Dr. Meditation Misconceptions and Techniques - Mindful Muscle Meditation Misconceptions and Techniquesin Breathing Exercises · Meditation Techniques There are many reasons we can come up with as to why meditation is difficult. Your mind is a shrieking gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill utterly out of control and hopeless.
It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart…” ? This of course would be an attachment to stillness, and like any strong attachment, it leads to delusion. You will get tired of looking at yourself alone, and that fatigue will make you deaf and blind to everything else. One of the most significant negative habits we should be aware of is that of constantly allowing our mind to run off into the future.
By waiting, we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness. The Mindful Word invites you to reprint, copy, distribute, and alter CC-licensed text as long as you provide a clickable link back to The Mindful Word and share-alike. Practitioners develop the ability to recognise when thoughts arise, and observe them in a detached manner, without the need to become involved in them (thus not triggering an emotional or "automatic" reaction). Researchers tested their ability to concentrate and mood before and after the eight weeks of training. The other individuals in the study without a diagnosis of depression also reported a decrease in ruminative thoughts, anxiety, and an overall improvement in motivation.
Alderman said, the meditation may have helped to keep more of those neurons alive and functioning than if people had not meditated.
All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. Steady practice is keeping mindful in every posture, whether sitting, walking, standing or lying down.

But what holds us back?by Rushi VyasWhen we hear the word meditation, as visual thinkers, we usually get the image of someone sitting alone, cross-legged with eyes closed, in some peaceful scene in nature such as by a mountain, a river, or open field. It teaches the heart to be more accommodating, not by beating it into submission, but by making it clear that accommodation is a gratifying choice. When coming out of sitting, don’t think that you’re coming out of meditation, but that you are only changing postures.
I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Deep down, we believe we can’t really be happy just yet—that we still have a few more boxes to be checked off before we can really enjoy life. A quick Google Image search of the word ‘meditation’ yielded nearly 300 images, only 3 of which depicted a person with eyes open. Every single image showed one person meditating alone (well, there was one showing a dog meditating alone).It’s no wonder people feel meditation is this elusive skill that only a select few are privileged to practice. In this article, we’ll dispel 5 common misconceptions people have of meditation and mindfulness. Meditation is as natural to us as breathing when we let go of the social constructions around it. What’s already available in the here and now is plenty for us to be nourished, to be happy.
Only that kind of insight will get us, each one of us, to stop engaging in the compulsive, self-sabotaging behaviors of our species. Fortunately, we have the power to wake up, to touch enlightenment from moment to moment, in our very own ordinary and, yes, busy lives. Even masters of meditation can’t do this.Meditation is the act of focusing your attention fully on the present moment. When we create distance between our true identity and our thoughts then we can laugh at them, realize our own thought patterns, and then sometimes experience moments of thoughtlessness.The key is not to treat meditation as a means to an end.
Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of meditation:“It’s not really about sitting in the full lotus, like pretending you’re a statue in a British museum. It’s about living your life as if it really mattered, moment by moment by moment by moment.” [1]It’s ok if you think during meditation. I have been meditating everyday for five years and I still have thoughts arise every single time I meditate. Meditation is the act of realizing you are thinking and then returning your attention to something other than that stream of incessant thoughts. Using your breath, a mantra, or a chant can be useful for this.If you notice you’re thinking during meditation, good! One of the most effective meditations I like to practice does not involve sitting at all; it is a walking meditation. In fact, most of the time when I walk now, I am meditating.No, I am not covered head-to-toe in scrapes and bruises because I walk around with my eyes closed (those come from being clumsy).
While it isn’t just about walking meditation, it is about treating those everyday activities such as walking or washing the dishes, as a meditation.
Similarly, our sister site Mindful Strength, realizes the power of treating strength training as a moving meditation [2].This is good news if you’re someone who “just can’t stop moving,” but wants to meditate. In fact, in Zen Buddhism, it is recommended that you keep your eyes slightly open and focused on a specific point a few feet in front of you.If you’re like some of these young monks when you’ve tried to meditate before, try keeping your eyes open next time.
You may not want to read this, because this might dismiss your excuse for not meditating.Sure, excessive noise and disruptions can be a detriment to your meditation practice.
Just ask Puppetji.But sometimes the noises can be gifts to your own mindful attention on the moment.
All it involves is bringing one’s attention fully to somatic sensations, whether standing or sitting, as well as all of the sounds and sights around.Using our breath as an anchor, we can just bring our attention to the state of witnessing every sensation non-judgmentally. When we notice a thought, simply bring our attention back to the sensations in our body such as our feet on the floor of the train.Sometimes, meditation can even involve us creating the noise. Many traditions from Christianity and Gregorian chants, to Hinduism and Buddhism, involve chanting as a way to meditate. Developing a meditation routine is challenging largely because we often feel it needs to be a solitary endeavor. This could not be further from the truth.Most eastern traditions in which meditation is a key component emphasize the value of a community or sangha. Usually, there is some individual practice that goes on in daily life as well, but the sangha is a central focus for sustaining the practice.For some this may mean a religious community such as a church or a specific Guru or monastery.
With the internet and many websites involving social networking, you’re only a few clicks away from exploring a community that might better suit you.
Group meditations can be some of the most powerful too.In Detroit, a dance meditation practice has started to grow and I can attest to it being one of the most transformational meditations I have participated in [3].

In a room full of 30+ people, a meditative soundtrack is played for 1-2 hours and everyone dances.You dance only with yourself and avoid physical contact with others so as to keep your energy focused on your own body and emotions. But the effect of having others so close in the room adds to a communal energizing effect felt throughout the meditation.You don’t have to be alone. In fact, finding others to meditate with can help you sustain your own practice.So What Techniques Are Right For Me?The only way to answer that question is to try. Meditation teachers and researchers rely on the breath as it is the one autonomic function of our body that we do have direct conscious control over. So even as your life circumstances change, your breath remains.Find a quiet space where you can be alone and distraction free.
When your lungs are full breathe out slowly through your mouth.Count each breath (in-breath with out-breath) up to 10.
You can compensate for this awkwardness either by finding a partner to do this with, or going to a place that isn’t too crowded.Stand still for a moment and start by bringing your attention to the in-breath and out-breath. Turn off your phone or leave it at home.Focus your attention on the sensations in the rest of your body. If your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath and your feet.Look up and observe your surroundings. Let go of any thoughts that might come up about your “life situation,” such as work, relationships, bills, etc.
Moving slowly helps our mind move slower as well, especially if you haven’t practiced meditation for too long.You may try to sync your steps with your breath or recite a short mantra with each step such as, “Peace. Fully to walking.As this practice deepens, you’ll realize you can do it anywhere and at any speed. At the bottom of that article are directions for a body scan, though it is geared to someone trying to sleep. That same technique can be adapted to your waking hours.In fact, I often do a body scan when I go on runs.
I am not Christian, but there is a certain energy when I am in a service or at a wedding and everyone begins chanting the same prayer together.
When I’ve been able to turn off my internal mental commentary (which doesn’t happen as often as I’d like), sometimes just listening to the prayers is very meditative for me. If you’re not religious, but have a group of friends who would be willing to try something new, the best way to experience chanting would be to find a local Kirtan in your area.
While many of the chants may be in Sanskrit, they usually make a strong effort to be non-denominational. If you want to try on your own, here’s what you need:A group of friends who you know have a genuine interest in trying something new. All they need is an interest in giving it an honest effort.A place where your chanting will not disrupt a ton of neighbors. A common one is “AUM,” but you can make variations in any language that have a positive message, unlike Larry and Richard here.Musicians (if you have them in your group). This allows everyone to get over awkwardness and fall into a rhythm and meditative pattern.Focus your attention on the chant.
You can always ask someone to join you in breathing meditation, or walking, or a body scan. Sometimes, body scans are better with multiple people as one person can verbally lead the others through it using their voice as an anchor.But this partner meditation is particularly good for people you are close to such as a partner or friends. You may both either be seated on the ground or in a chair, just make sure your eyes are across from one another at a pretty equal level.Close your eyes for thirty seconds and take a few deep breaths.
Make sure you’re comfortable but try to sit with your spine straight.Open your eyes and look directly into your partner’s eyes. You may blink, but your attention will focus on your partner’s eyes.You may imagine you are sending all of your love to the other person. If any negative feelings arise or other thoughts, gently bring your attention back to the positive feelings you have. Feel what it’s like to have someone looking into you with loving energy.Sometimes, this is an awkward five minutes. Many times, people feel profoundly shifted from this experience and may even cry tears of joy at some point during the meditation. But the act of giving love and receiving it in a non-physical way, simply through looking at someone else, is a moving gift that we often ignore in our day-to-day interactions.A key for this meditation is that both people have to be fully willing participants. Don’t walk around in public places and just stare at people making them feel uncomfortable.

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