7 Minute Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness is a major classification of meditation practices, known as vipassana, or insight meditation. Sometimes just called breath centered meditation. While it is taught in various ways, depending on your guide or the lineage of the practice, the practice always has some main characteristics. You being by gathering your attention on your breath and slowly move to a wider and wider scope of attention, observation - such as noticing sound in your environment. When thoughts (or feelings and sensations) pull your attention from your breath you simply note the thought as best as you can with out judgment and instead of dialoguing with it or following it, you gentle relax more. In addition, just as sound rises and falls - you relax with everything that is in the field of your awareness. You relax with your breath, in your set, as present as possible with each moment as it’s happening.
Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years. It is a non-sectarian technique, which focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations or actions in the body. (Such as watching your breath rise and fall in your belly). Through this observation-based, self-exploratory technique the habits and conditions that influence one's thoughts, feelings, judgments and sensations become clear. It becomes easier to notice and understand how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering. Benefits that quickly arise are increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace. Personally, I love Vipassana because it is not about “rising above” our human experience -- or becoming “enlightened”. Instead, it is a means to become present, fluid, and peaceful — in our lives and the world -- as it is actually happening in the moment. I’ve come to believe that “enlightenment” is simply being fully present and open. I think this poem by Thich Nhat Hanh, and quote from John Kabat-Zinn capture the flavor of Vipassana Meditation:
In the Present Moment
Learning to Surf