Did you know that mindfulness meditation is based on vipassana, a Buddhist practice that dates back 2,500 years? Compared with other forms, mindfulness meditation can definitely hold its own but the influence of vipassana teachings and principles is strong and undeniable.
But what is mindfulness meditation? What sets it apart from all the other forms of meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is all about being in the present, being aware, and accepting reality without judgement. In a way, its also about openness and understanding. Its major aim is to keep a person grounded and in touch with reality to truly understand whats going on inside and outside of himself or herself.
What its not is escaping or drifting off to a different state to momentarily forget the things happening around and within you. On the contrary, it is about heightening awareness and consciously experiencing every moment of your life.
Simple Step-by-Step Mindfulness Meditation Guide for Beginners
Find a quiet, comfortable spot and sit on a chair or the floor. Straighten your spine but keep your neck and back relaxed. Hold that position without tensing your muscles. Close your eyes and maintain your posture all throughout.
Let your thoughts come and go. But, dont let your mind wander into the past or the future. As soon as you catch yourself thinking about your past or brooding about the future, correct your thoughts. Steer them towards the present and do your best to stay there.
Focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Stick to a relaxed pace and notice how your body reacts. Pay attention to how your chest gently expands and deflates, how your stomach rises and falls with every breath.
Welcome all thoughts of the present. Whether its positive or negative, just let it be and try to take note of each one. Allow it to float in and out of your mind.
In case you find yourself distracted or struggling to maintain your calm, turn to your breathing. Focus on how the air goes in and out of your body. Use your breath as your anchor. Understand that getting distracted during meditation is normal for beginners. But as you practise more and improve your meditative skill, distractions will occur less and less.
At the end of your meditation session, spend a couple of minutes of just sitting and being conscious of where you are, as well as your surroundings. Just observe and revel at the present. Once youre done, stand up slowly.