How do you cultivate mindfulness in your daily life? Meditation (specifically mindfulness-based meditation or mindful meditation) is a great way to cultivate a spirit of gratitude and love into your life. If you're like a lot of individuals who are new to mindfulness or meditation, here's a quick presentation on how to get started.
We live in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, decoherence, disintegration, distraction, and dissonance. We are so distracted these days that we aren’t even aware of how much the “noise” has taken over our lives. Computers, tablets, cell phones which are all meant to create and fill our lives with noise. It is hard for some people to let go of these distractions but once you do, you will wonder why you didn’t set these items aside for longer periods of time. When you practice mindfulness, you are getting rid of the noise. You are paying attention to your thoughts, your feelings, your physical body sensations, and your surroundings.
The definition of mindfulness is “to consciously pay attention to something in the present moment without judgment.” Paying attention means giving your attention to certain things that you are surrounded by or in this present place and time. The term “on purpose” means that you decide to intentionally pay attention to something specific. To be “in the present moment” means that you are focused on the here and now and get let go of any thoughts from the past or future. To be “non-judgmental” means that you are not comparing, judging, or being critical of yourself or what arises while giving your undivided attention.
The true purpose of mindfulness is to increase our awareness, to cultivate insights into how our mind works and the meaning of everything in the material world we live in. We are always looking for ways to calm our minds and bring peace to our world. Mindfulness brings about self-acceptance, self-understanding, and rids us of needless suffering. We bring upon ourselves unwanted emotional and behavioral problems simply by trying to avoid discomfort and throwing ourselves into some other sort of change-seeking activity. We pass up so many beautiful moments by listening to all the noise inside our head and not fully appreciating the beauty of any given moment.
When you become mindful, you realize that you are not your thoughts; you become an observer of your thoughts from moment to moment without judging them. Mindfulness awareness is a cultivated presence that can enhance our resilience to face challenges that arise in our daily lives. Mindfulness-based meditation is the most well-known type of meditation. Mindfulness-based meditation is about being aware of the sounds and activities happening around you. Meditation is a mind-body practice with several methods and variations found in multiple cultures and spiritual traditions throughout the world. All meditation practices are grounded in cultivating present-moment awareness.
For those of you who still have questions about learning to mindfulness meditation, I created a list that you'll find below.
Mindfulness meditation is about awareness and acceptance first and changes second. With regular practice, you won’t find yourself letting your thoughts wander and you won’t get distracted by or caught up in the past or future negative thoughts. This is because mindfulness can help you declutter and clear your mind, calm your brain, and allow it to settle down for a spell. Mindfulness meditation is an unmanipulated experience of being fully present, on purpose, and paying attention in the present moment without judgment. It’s almost a flow-like type of meditation because you are allowing your mind to be fluid and your thoughts flow from one thought to the next, without censure or control.
If you live in a noisy environment, you don’t have to block out the outside music or screaming children, you let your mind be aware of the sounds without becoming too focused. When meditating, our bodies undergo structural changes, which demonstrates the profound impact of simply sitting down with eyes closed. MRI images have shown a complete change in the brain’s different departments, which results in a relaxation response in the rest of the body. Many people are put off by meditation because they start with a practice that either is too difficult for them or doesn't suit their temperament. Whichever technique you choose, remember that sustained effort is necessary; the mind is naturally active and resists settling down.
Without distractions, we can allow ourselves to set our intention to pay attention. When you allow yourself to focus on one thing, you notice everything about the moment and the object of your intention. Mindfulness meditation doesn't just change you; it can transform your life. Increasing your mindful presence is a skill that can help you improve every area of life. Undertaken as a steady practice, meditation allows the mind to relax and settle that encourages our inherent qualities of stability, clarity, joy and mental strength to emerge.