What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us and Mindfulness Meditation is applying the same principle while meditating.
We often feel that we know what mindfulness is because it is innate – born within us. However, this energy lies dormant and so there is a need to cultivate it through established methods. It is about stopping and pondering – where we are, what are we doing, where are we going etc. In the mad rush in our everyday lives, we seldom pause to understand our feelings, emotions and thought processes.
Mindfulness meditation is one step above our regular meditation exercises. It reduces stress. It makes us aware about us, our environment and forces us to think about the welfare of others. The moment we decimate our ego, we are on the road to recovery.
Mindfulness meditation helps us to disregard judgment and expose ourselves to the inner intricacies of the mind.
A Few Things to Know About Mindfulness:
- Mindfulness is not something that we do not know. We are familiar about it because we know what we are doing.
- It does not need us to change. But it exhorts us to adopt scientifically proven methods to deflect attention to what is more important for us.
- Mindfulness is about exploiting our true human nature that stands uncorrupted.
- It is easy to learn.
- Anyone can do it.
- It helps us to focus on our breath – the present moment.
- Mindfulness helps us to become resilient – for example – if you are depressed, it makes your recovery faster.
What Meditation is all about?
We need to understand that meditation begins and ends in the body. It enhances the awareness about our own bodies, minds and thoughts. Moreover, meditation also calms our mind and relaxes our nerves. Also it helps us connect with our soul.
Related: 9 Reasons to do Meditation everyday
Here are a few simple steps to practice mindfulness meditation
- Be seated in such a way that your body posture is erect. No stooping or hunching forward or backward. You can do this meditation in the garden or at home or at office.
- Take a few deep breaths. Relax your mind.
- Ensure that your feet are touching the floor. Establish ties with Mother Earth – she has an abundance of positive energy. If you wish, you can also sit cross-legged.
- Straighten your upper body so that spine’s natural position is maintained.
- Let your hands drop onto the tops of your legs.
- Make sure that you are comfortable.
- Drop your chin a little.
- Let your gaze fall gently downward.
- Lower your eyelids.
Few other tips to keep in mind
- There is no need to close your eyes while meditating.
- Be there for a few moments. Relax.
- Now start doing your regular chores.
- Even while you are walking, you can still focus on your breath.
- Make every breath your friend.
- You can repeat it as many times as you want.
- Observe people around you – the way they talk, walk.
- Observe signages, trees, shrubs etc… You will discover something new every day.
If your attention wavers, do not worry about it. Let your attention wander and return to you back. There are 3 DON’Ts which we can start following strictly.
- Don’t Judge yourself.
- Never Pull yourselves down.
- Don’t Obsess about the content of thoughts.
The reality is that our mind is like a child – a vulnerable child that gets attracted to many things – not all of them may be healthy. We have to wean ourselves slowly and gradually. Being aggressive is not going to be of any help.
This is what is called as practice. Your mind wanders, you allow it to do so and come back. Then you focus on your breath. The more you start practicing it, the wandering will happen at lesser frequencies.
Being mindful means paying close attention to what’s happening in the moment.
Put simply, mindfulness is about being present in the present moment and observing what is happening inside your mind and in your body. It is about being aware about what is happening around you.
It is important that we do not judge our feelings. Just accept them as they are. Make sincere efforts to change them – albeit gradually.
When we are not mindful, we are in an autopilot mode where we tend to do things without any thought or consideration. If you start doing mindfulness practice, you will respond more and react less.
Often we get stressed out trying to do too many things at one time. Try to do one thing at a time. Take breaks and rejuvenate yourself. Don’t do the same task for hours together. Divide the task into manageable chunks.
Rather than hurriedly gulping your food, if you start sensing it and eating it, you will start relishing your food.
Once we start getting used to mindfulness, we will realize that there is often a tingling sensation in our body from head to toe. This happens when we are relaxed and are focused on our breath. If you are not getting it, this means that you need more practice regards your mindfulness.
Finally – Let go. There is nothing better than that!
Venkatesh Ganapathy presently works as associate professor (marketing) in presidency business school, Bangalore. He joined academia after two decades in the industry. An avid blogger who primarily writes about lifestyle, nutrition and cinema. He maintains a keen interest in content writing to support digital marketing efforts. You can reach out to him at email@example.com