The practise of mindfulness meditation couldn’t be any easier: choose a comfortable seat, pay attention to your breath, and when your focus wanders, bring it back.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the fundamental human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not unduly reactive or overwhelmed by what is happening around us.
It’s not all in your head—you can cultivate mindfulness by sitting down for a structured meditation practise or by being more attentive and aware of your daily activities.
Visit our Getting Started page to learn more about mindfulness and how to practise mindfulness meditation.
How to Practice Mindfulness While Traveling:
Almost every job we do throughout the day, whether it’s brushing our teeth, eating lunch, talking with friends, or exercising, may be done more consciously.
We pay more attention to what we are doing when we are attentive of our actions. Instead than going through the motions, you are tuned into your senses, noticing your thoughts and feelings.
You may practise mindfulness even when you are too busy to meditate if you incorporate it into your daily life.
It’s a good idea to set aside some time to “practise” at the start. Otherwise, you may become preoccupied with determining when to stop. If you’re just starting out, a small duration, such as five or ten minutes, can be beneficial. You can gradually increase the time to twice as long, then 45 minutes or an hour. Use a kitchen timer or your phone’s timer. Many folks do a morning and an evening session, or one or the other. If you have a hectic life and limited time, doing something is preferable to doing nothing. When you have more space and time, you can do more.
Enjoy a decent area in your house, preferably somewhere where there isn’t too much clutter and where you can find some peace and quiet. Turn on the lights or sit in natural light. You can even sit outside if you prefer, but find a location with few distractions.
This posture exercise can be utilised as the first stage of a meditation practise or simply as something to do for a minute, perhaps to balance yourself and find a moment of relaxation before returning to the fight. If you have any injuries or other physical difficulties, you can adapt this practise to your needs.
How to Sit for a Mindfulness Meditation Session:
- Take your seat: Whatever you’re sitting on, whether it’s a chair, a meditation cushion, or a park bench, find a spot that provides a stable, solid seat, rather than perching or hanging back.
- Notice what your legs are doing: Cross your legs comfortably in front of you if you’re sitting on a cushion on the floor. (If you already do some kind of seated yoga posture, feel free to continue.) When sitting in a chair, the bottoms of your feet should be touching the floor.
- Straighten—but don’t stiffen—your upper body: The spine is naturally curved. Allow it to exist. Your head and shoulders should be able to rest comfortably on top of your vertebrae.
- Situate your upper arms parallel to your upper body: Then, place your hands on the tops of your legs. Your hands will land in the correct position if you keep your upper arms at your sides. You will hunch if you move too far forward. You will become stiff if you sit too far back. You’re fine-tuning the strings of your body, making sure they’re not too tight or too loose.
- Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently downward: You may lower your eyelids. You may lower them completely if you feel the need, but it is not necessary to close your eyes when meditating. You can simply observe what is in front of your eyes without focusing on it.
- Be there for a few moments: Relax. Concentrate on your breathing or the sensations in your body.
- Feel your breath: or, as some say, “follow” it—both outward and inward. (In some variations of this technique, the emphasis is on the outbreath, while the inbreath is merely a spacious pause.) In either case, focus on the physical sensation of breathing: the air going through your nose or mouth, the rising and falling of your abdomen or chest. Choose your concentration point, and mentally note “breathing in” and “breathing out” with each breath.
- Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places: Don’t be concerned. There’s no reason to stifle or suppress your thoughts. When you see your mind wandering—after a few seconds, a minute, or five minutes—return your focus to the breath gently.
- Practice pausing before making any physical adjustments: Move your body or scratch an itch, for example. Shift with intention at a time that is convenient for you, giving space between what you are experiencing and what you decide to do.
- You may find your mind wandering constantly: That’s also very natural. Rather than grappling with or dealing with those thoughts, practise observing without reacting. Simply take a seat and pay attention. That’s all there is to it, no matter how difficult it is to maintain. Return without judgement or anticipation time and over.
- When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them):Take a moment to listen to the sounds around you. Take note of how your body is currently feeling. Take note of your feelings and thoughts. Take a minute to consider how you want to proceed with your day.