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Mindfulness Meditation Instructions

 

How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation 

 

groupmedChoosing your Seat

 

How you sit for meditation is extremely important. It significantly enhances or hinders your meditation experience.

 

Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor or in a chair.

 

If on the floor, use a meditation pillow (such as a zafu) to sit on, so that your hips are higher than your knees, either comfortably crossed legged or kneeling, straddling the pillow. It helps to have a mat or cushion underneath you.

 

If you choose a chair, make sure your feet are flat on the floor inline with your knees. Using a firmer chair works better than a softer chair.
Do not sit with legs outstretched or your feet tucked under your seat. Do not cross your legs.

 

The goal is to be alert, stable and comfortable. Do not choose a sitting position that will cause too much pain or will cause parts of your body to lose circulation. Using smaller support pillows to prop your body is perfectly fine.

 

 

Posture

 

Sit up straight but not stiff or rigid.

 

Your torso should feel uplifted and your spine lengthened so that it elongates.

 

The top of your head is naturally inline with your spine and it will feel like it is effortlessly being pulled towards the ceiling or sky.

 

Your chin should be slightly pulled inward towards your neck. This will help straighten your head and neck.

 

Your body should feel securely grounded on the earth or chair but not straining. When the body trusts its position the mind quiets automatically because it stops struggling to gain balance.

 

 

Hand Position


Using a formal hand position helps keep you centered and focused. There are two hand positions, or mudras, we recommend.

 

Chin mudraChin Mudra:
Touch your thumb and forefinger together on each hand and place palms down on your thighs or knees. Your upper arms remain inline with your torso, close to your body. Your arms and hands should feel relaxed, with no effort or strain.

 



Dhyana Mudra:
DhyanaPlace your left hand on top of your right hand with fingers naturally extended and the palms facing upwards. Touch thumbs gently. Your hands rest in your lap, close to your body, near your belly. Once again, your hands and fingers should feel relaxed, without strain. The mudra description is a guideline, not something to try and get perfect.

It is perfectly acceptable to simply fold your hands if these mudras are not helpful for you. The main idea is to intentionally place your hands a specific way that is loose and comfortable, but also defined to help the attention stay alert. The only caution to folded hands is that sometimes it leads to leaning forward.

 

 

Eye Position

 

Your eyes should be loosely open or half closed glancing downward about two feet in front of you. Use an open gaze, not focusing on anything in particular. If you have excessive eye strain or if it feels too uncomfortable to keep the eyes open, you can gently close your eyes.

 

 

 

 

PeopleMedThe Technique

 

Now you are ready to meditate.

 

Mindfulness meditation is the art of awareness. There is no concentration in this practice. The technique will result in awareness of everything that is occurring, within and without, as it occurs.
It is pure, open awareness.

 

Take a slow, deep breath in, filling your belly, and a long breath out, releasing the air naturally. Repeat.

 

Allow your breathing to return to its normal pace.

Become aware of the feeling of your body and your breath as you sit comfortably.

 

Now become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and exits your nostrils. For some, its easier to feel the breath pass against their upper lip.
Do not try and change your breathing in any way.
Just continue to notice the sensation of the breath going in and out of your nostrils.

Feeling this point of contact is your anchor.
It remains constant throughout the meditation session.

 

While you continue to practice this, include the feeling of your body.

Notice how your body physically feels while you notice your breathing.

We are not trying to change anything, we are simply noticing what is.

 

MindfulnessContinue to notice your breath and your body, and include any sounds you hear in your environment.

As you notice various sounds, be aware of how they come and go.

Do not concentrate on the sounds, or intentionally identify them. Just include whatever you hear with the feeling of your breath and the awareness of your body.

 

While you are aware of your breath, your body and sounds in the environment, also be aware of your thoughts. Your thoughts are part of what is occurring right now, so you do not want to block them out.

You are just becoming aware of what naturally occurs every moment of your life.

 

Allow your thoughts to arise and pass.

Think about whatever comes into your mind. If feelings come up, allow them to be there.
Notice your mental activity. Do not resist anything.
However, include your breath and anything else you are noticing in this moment.

 

If you are only focusing on your thoughts, you have slipped into concentration on your thoughts. When you notice this has happened, simply include the breath, be aware of your body and hear the sounds in your environment.

 

As you continue to sit for meditation and feel your breath, notice sounds, tastes, smells, sensations, feelings and thoughts as they naturally come and go.

Mindfulness is the art of noticing the ever-changing quality and impermanence of all our experiences.

 

The insight gained from noticing the impermanent nature of everything in your field of awareness will create wisdom, calmness and clarity. In addition, it will uproot stress patterns and improve every aspect of life.

 Pie Graph

Practical Tips

 

  • We recommend 20 minutes of meditation each day.
  • We suggest you use a timer so you are not preoccupied by how much time has passed.
  • It is helpful to create a ritual with your meditation practice. Wear the same clothes to meditate, use the same space to sit, try to practice the same time each day.
  • Please read our Meditation Troubleshooting Tips page for additional information to help your practice.

 


If you have any questions feel free to Contact us.

 

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Happy Meditating!

 

Lou and Marilyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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