Updated: Mar 9
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being present in any moment, experiencing it fully mentally, emotionally, and physically with acceptance and without any judgments.
“Wherever you are, be there totally.” - Eckhart Tolle
Why is mindfulness important?
Being fully present in each moment free of judgment allows us to become an observer of our life patterns.
It allows us to experience each moment fully and completely thus empowering us to make choices, while in that space of observation that are in alignment with our highest and most wholesome purpose.
Who can benefit from practicing mindfulness?
Anyone who feels their life is out of control can benefit from starting a practice of mindfulness.
If you feel out of control, suffer from chronic stress, suffer from feelings of aloneness, fear, anxiety, not enoughness, and would like to have your burdens lightened, a practice of mindfulness would be a step towards experiencing more space for peace.
"Be still and know..." Psalm 46:10
How to start a mindfulness practice:
1. Set a timer.
When beginning a practice of mindfulness, it is good to set a time goal. This could be as simple as 1 minute, 5 minutes, or 10 minutes. Select a time that is realistic for you and your lifestyle needs.
2. Find a comfortable position.
The more comfortable you are when you begin, the less likely you’ll be distracted. Try your best to not fall asleep during this time.
3. Choose a point of focus.
This could be something sensory.
Visual - Perhaps you select to gaze upon a flower, a candle flame, the sky, or a large body of water.
Auditory - Perhaps you’d like to draw your attention to a specific sound such as the rolling waves, the sounds of birds chirping, or the rain.
Bodily Sensations - The most commonly used points of focus for a mindfulness practice is your breathing and the sensations that you notice in your body that are in relationship with your breathing.
If you are selecting something that doesn’t require your eyes to be open, allow your eyes to rest and let your mind come to draw all your attention and awareness to your focal point. Your other senses will become stronger as your attention becomes more focused due to your eyes being closed.
4. Become deeply curious about your focal point.
Have you ever watched a child explore something as simple as a rock or a stone? In this same fashion we will become deeply curious about our focal point. At the same time notice what arises as you become the observer of whatever you are choosing as your primary point of focus. If you choose to work with your breath as a focal point, it is much easier to maintain a practice of mindfulness as your breath is everywhere you go.
Notice what thoughts, ideas, daydreams come up. Notate them mentally and let your attention return to rest upon your point of focus. Notice what sensory experiences arise then let your attention return to rest upon your point of focus. Notice that your mind likes to wander. This is normal. It takes practice to train your mind and attention to rest where you’d like it to rest for the purpose of observation. Continue observing this dance of your mind and purposefully drawing your attention gently, kindly back to your original point of focus.
Once your timer has gone off, pause to thank yourself for the experience and journal or make a note of that experience.
Set an intention today to set aside time daily to practice a moment of mindfulness for the next 30 days.
“Any phenomenon fully experienced and understood becomes empty and produces wisdom.” - Meditation Dave