MIndfulness meditatiion derives from Vipassana, otherwise known as Buddhist Insight Meditation. You will find it taught as a secular or as a spiritual practice depending on your teacher. Mindfulness is often defined as a core skill that centers around your ability to be fully present in the current moment. Mindfulness meditation defines further what "fully present" means when it goes into examining the sensations in your body, focusing on your emotions, and providing insight into your ways of thinking.
Opening to Now
People coming to mindfulness for stress reduction (as opposed to self-awareness) often have a false idea that their goal is to keep clearing their mind. Though this may be true of other forms of meditation, it's not true of mindfulness. Clearing your mind may indeed happen but it's not the goal. The goal is to be fully present with what is. This focus matters.
In previous entries, you have walked through the very basics:
1. Using the Breath as Home
2. Working with the Body
3. Working with Your Emotions
4. Working with Your Thoughts
Take the time to really work through each of these components as you build your practice.
What to Initially Expect
New meditators frequently experience some very similar things. It's good to have a little bit of an expectation so you know what normal looks like during this experience. Students often report:
As you begin this practice, really take the time to learn each of the pieces. Be prepared for some mental shifting as your mind becomes healthier. You may experience these three initially common experiences or you may not. Everything depends on the individual.
Mindfulness meditation teaches a very important skill: To stay and not runaway from what is happening in the present moment. This is a fundamental skill and a hard one to learn. Our minds love being distracted, particularly if the present moment is uncomfortable in any way.
We will build further on these concepts next week.
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