What is mindfulness meditation you might be asking yourself ? What does it accomplish? When we hear the word “meditation” we think of an addition to a yoga practice. I practice Anusara yoga, which also includes meditation. The image one gets of a meditation practice is sitting on a floor or mat and chanting your favorite mantra with music playing. This is the meditation most people are familiar with called concentrative meditation.
Mindfulness meditation has grown quite popular over the past several years and is based on the Buddhist practice of Vipassana which dates back over 2,000 years. The movement of mindfulness was initiated by Jan Kabat-Zinn. Research has shown that the practice helps in your overall well-being and health. Corporations and CEOs are including mindfulness in their organization by sending their employees to mindfulness retreats. A while back I saw a 60 Minutes program with one of my favorite News Correspondents, Anderson Cooper doing a piece on mindfulness meditation, where he attending a retreat. He was so uncertain he could not go long without checking his cell phone which they had to turn in. He was overjoyed he was able to complete it and over the week and especially enjoyed being phone free. He has become a champion of mindfulness meditation.
We live in a stressful environment, constantly rushing and not taking time to relax or time for feeling free and taking time for one’s self. When you worry too much, it contributes to mental illness, such as depression and anxiety and this can lead to suicide. Mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety, and negative emotions, calms your nerves when something or someone makes you angry.
Mindfulness meditation allows you to get to know you, get lost in your own thought, and helps you to love yourself more. It deepens your concentration skills, have more compassion, and a deeper insight into your life. When we begin to take time out of our day to practice mindfulness meditation, we eventually will feel happier and eventually will transform our life. Spend time with your mind and examine who you are.
How do you begin the practice of mindfulness meditation? Sit on the floor cross-legged or a straight-backed chair. Take time and examine your breath, such as the sensations, air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale. It involves both concentration and acceptance. Deliberately pay attention to thoughts and sensations without judgement. Allow thoughts to come and go, and if the mind wanders return back to the breath. Accept the presence of emotions without judgement and let it go. You have to practice to become comfortable with mindfulness techniques and if one method does not work for you, try another because it will improve both mental and physical health. Go with the flow and pay attention, if the process does not seem relaxing to you, over a time you will feel comfortable and greater happiness will be achieved.
Take time to what really really matters to you, your health and well-being, family, friends, getting more in tune with your spirituality, and a stress free environment. Accept your experience while you meditate and it will become easier, whatever comes your way during the rest of your day. Focus on the here and now and savor the pleasures that life offers you.
I suggest you consider a practice of Mindfulness meditation and it will transform your life.