I’m so glad that you’ve found this page and are taking steps to learn how to practice mindfulness.
For many people, mindfulness sounds like a wonderful concept, but it's sometimes a little too intangible for them to get a grip on, or too impractical a concept for them to make use of in their daily lives. They like the idea of mindfulness, but don’t know how to begin practicing mindfulness in a meaningful way.
Let's face it, we’ve all heard about
"Living in the moment".
At one time or another we all talk about it. In occasional moments of inspiration we pause to reflect and we think to ourselves,
'Life is too short to spend time worrying about the future or the past.'
Unfortunately, most of us do no more with that inspiration. Most of us just go back to living on autopilot.
So stop for a moment right now, and consider once again just how valuable this present moment is. You are living it right now. This moment is all there truly is. If you can learn to master your mind and stay with this moment, you will transform your life into a far more liberating and joyous experience.
If you already practice meditation, or if you have tried some of the mindfulness exercises and the mindfulness activities on this site, you will have some grasp of what it is like to be mindful. Mindfulness is not just a fancy ideal. Mindfulness is real. Now it’s time to learn how to practice mindfulness in your life.
Become aware of this moment. You do not need to concentrate hard on it. Right now, within this moment there is a part of you that is saying "I am aware", and nothing more.
Just stop for a moment and listen. Listen not to your thoughts, but to the space between your thoughts. That space is awareness. It’s always there, always available to you. It is consciousness prior to thought, it’s your true self... the spiritual dimension of your being.
When you learn how to practice mindfulness, you learn to view life through the eyes of your true self.
There is no magical formula for turning mindfulness on, no button to press, no potion to take. All you must do is simply choose to become aware of this moment and to allow your true self, the clear light of "no-thought" to fill your awareness.
Most people find this a little tricky to master, but don’t be discouraged. These mindfulness exercises and mindfulness activities will help to "turn on the light" so to speak. You will also find that a focused mindfulness meditation exercise like listening to a mindfulness bell can really helps to develop your "mindfulness muscles", leading to a much clearer mind and a much more peaceful outlook on life.
Meditation teaches you how to relax, how to concentrate and how to rise above all the thoughts that circulate in your mind. When you meditate, you spend time in the timeless. You listen to silence.
Take what you experience in meditation; the silence, the clarity, the awareness, and open your eyes. Go out into the world. Live your life with this presence of mind. This is the art of mindful living.
For many people, mindfulness can seem like a bit of an intangible concept, and a difficult one to master as well. It’s not as though you can pull a lever, press a button and “hey presto...I’m in a state of mindfulness now and everything is perfect”. We are dealing with the mind here, and for most of us, the mind is a fairly undisciplined creature!
As I mentioned earlier, to become mindful simply requires a decision in this moment to “be aware”, but if you’ve tried some of these mindfulness exercises then you’ll know that it’s very easy to slip back into “unawareness” very quickly.
One of the best ways to anchor your awareness in this moment is to be mindful of your breathing. This is something that you can do anywhere, anytime. You might be driving home from work, mentally re-hashing all the things you did and said that day when all of a sudden a noise or movement catches your attention. You wake up to the moment and realize that you were lost in dreamland.
Now you simply make a new choice. You begin to pay attention to your breathing. Your mind follows the in and out movement of your breath, and the feeling of your chest gently expanding and contracting.
Resolve to keep your awareness with your breathing. You are still perfectly capable of walking around or performing any other action while you do this. Mindfulness is not about avoiding life or “zoning out from reality”. Nor is mindfulness about suppressing thoughts or feelings.
Whatever you experience in this world, whatever you think and feel, breathe it in, then breathe it out. Be conscious and aware of your experience, without judging. Just be. Just breathe. Live freely in this state of mindfulness.
How to practice mindfulness? Choose to be mindful in this moment, then choose it again and again and again. Commit to living mindfully. It might seem like a lot of work to start with, but with time and practice, you’ll find that mindfulness gradually becomes a natural state of mind, and you'll experience all the benefits of mindfulness with relative ease.
Specialized mindfulness bells are a fantastic tool for developing a great mindfulness technique.
Please click on the image for more information.
This article is copyright protected, however you may republish it online or in print media provided that you include the following credit, including the active link:
Article by Christopher Lloyd Clarke from www.The-Guided-Meditation-Site.com.
Visit our Mindfulness Homepage for expert advice and inspiring information about mindfulness
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Download a guided mindfulness meditation
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Try 'The Mindful Coffee Meditation'
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The Mindfulness Meditation "How To" guide