Mindfulness Meditation

Sit comfortably with your spine straight. It doesn’t matter if you are leaning against a wall, in a chair or sitting in the lotus position. Close your eyes and feel your own presence. Feel you inside yourself, and come home to yourself. Notice any outside sounds and listen without judgment. And now bring your attention to your breath. Simply notice the sensation of breathing – the feeling of cool air as it enters your nostrils, the sensation in your diaphragm as you breathe out. Continue to simply focus on your breathing.

As thoughts enter your mind, notice them but override them by focusing back on the breath. If any irritations come up – acknowledge them, but again re-focus back on your breath. If you find your mind drifting off on a fantasy or hooking into a story, don’t try and push it away – simply focus back on the breath. If your ego mind tries to convince you that you are wasting your time, and that there are far more pressing things to do, override it with your breath. Do this for 20 minutes every day – preferably in the morning before you consume caffeine or a heavy meal. The greatest obstacle to meditation is the commitment to do it regularly. It’s far more beneficial to meditate every day for a short period than to do it intermittently for long periods. No matter what your experience during your meditation, you will be amazed at the difference it will make to your everyday life. Through meditation, you access the Source Energy and bring it into your everyday life.

Practising mindfulness in our everyday lives means to perform consciously all activities, including everyday automatic activities such as breathing, walking, driving, eating etc., and to assume the attitude of “pure observation” through which clear knowledge, that is clearly conscious thinking and acting, is attained.

Mindfulness is the opposite of being stuck on automatic pilot!

Mindfulness is a meditative path evolved from the Buddhist practice of vipassana. It is not a technique; it is a state of awareness. The state of mindfulness is the result of a deliberate choice to be fully aware of what is happening. You drop your defences and choose to take what comes. Since some of the stuff that comes up may be negative, you need compassion and nonviolence towards yourself.

Most of the time, our clear or quiet mind is cluttered with noisy chatter. Awareness lowers that noise. In a state of mindfulness, you pay attention to the present moment and as you do, the other things fall away. When the mind has become silent, when you have lowered the noise, then the signal that is the beauty and reality of spirit will simply emerge. That signal is always present, but as the raging sea prevents us from seeing beneath the waves, the signal of quiet spirit is often hidden by the noise we make.

Mindfulness meditation is a skill and involves the training of our attention. It has great therapeutic value in preventing depression (hence it is used widely now by psychologists in cognitive therapy), reactivity, stress, conflict and other life-drainers.

For many of us, our thought space can get taken up with worrying about the future, fears from the past and reacting to the world based on internal judgments, criticisms, anxieties and other feelings that overwhem us. Ironically, the process of paying attention to challenging emotions actually allows more space for changing their negative impact, and for positive experiences to flourish and be embraced. Mindfulness meditation draws our attention away from the internal analytical dialogue

Make contact with the present moment, come back to the here and now, notice what you can see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Engage fully in whatever you are doing.

Imagine the many forms of water and throwing a stone in – surf, a running river or a still pond. Our aim when we meditate is to create a still pond, so that we can see the ripples the stone creates. When our mind is clear, we are able to choose what the Buddhists call “Divine Right Action”.