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Mindfulness Meditation (Buddhist) - Inner Void from Vedhan Sri

Updated: May 18, 2023

Although the practise of mindfulness meditation has its roots in Buddhism, it has been adapted and secularised for application in fields as diverse as medicine, academia, and business.

The Buddhist practise of mindfulness meditation entails directing one's attention on purpose towards the here-and-now without passing judgement on what one sees or experiences in that instant. The purpose of practising mindfulness meditation is to cultivate a deeper awareness of the here and now, which includes one's thoughts, feelings, and the sensations occurring throughout the body.

The act of sitting in a relaxed position with one's eyes closed and concentrating one's attention on one's breathing is the fundamental component of the mindfulness meditation practise. Noticing the sensation of air going in and out of the nose or the rising and falling of the belly with each breath is one way to bring awareness to the act of breathing. When the practitioner's focus inevitably wanders away from the breath, they gently bring it back to the breath without passing judgement or offering criticism.

Meditation on mindful awareness can, with consistent practise over time, help cultivate feelings of increased calm, clarity, and focus. Additionally, it may assist in the alleviation of emotions of tension and anxiety, in addition to contributing to an overall improvement in well-being.

Mindfulness is a state of awareness that can be developed through formal meditation practise as well as through the practise of paying attention to mundane actions throughout one's day, such as walking, eating, or brushing one's teeth. When one participates in these activities with a conscious awareness, they can create a better sense of presence and involvement with the world that is going on around them.

Although it has its roots in the Buddhist tradition, the practise of mindfulness meditation has now been altered and secularised so that it may be used in a variety of situations. These settings include healthcare, education, and corporate environments. Its growing popularity is a reflection of a growing knowledge of the importance of mental well-being and the necessity for effective techniques to manage stress and anxiety in our modern lives. This recognition is largely responsible for the rise in its popularity.

In accordance with the Buddhist tradition, the following is a step-by-step instruction for practising mindfulness meditation:

1. Locate a spot that is calm, comfortable, and out of the way where you won't be interrupted and sit there. You should position yourself such that you are sitting with your legs crossed on a cushion or chair, your back should be straight, and your hands should be resting on your knees or in your lap.

2. Either completely close your eyes or keep them slightly ajar while concentrating on a single location directly in front of you.

3. Taking a few slow, deep breaths while breathing through your mouth and inhaling through your nose will help you relax. Relax your muscles and let go of whatever tension you may be holding.

4. Bring your focus to the way that you are breathing. Take note of the sensation of air passing in and out of your nose with each breath, as well as the rising and falling of your belly with each inhalation and exhalation. Be conscious of the entirety of the time that passes between each breath and exhale.

5. When new thoughts, feelings, or sensations come up, simply acknowledge them without passing judgement or making any sort of criticism, and then bring your attention back to your breath in a gentle way. Do not let your ideas distract you or cause you to engage in conversation with them. Simply keep an eye on them and let them go about their business.

6. Maintain your concentration on your breath for as long as you feel guided to do so, beginning with a little period of time and working your way up to a longer period of time during the course of your practise.

7. When you are ready to finish your practise, take a few moments to focus on your breath and then slowly open your eyes. Before you continue on with your day, stop for a moment to assess how you are feeling.

It is important to keep in mind that the practise of mindfulness meditation calls for patience, consistency, and a gentle perseverance. Do not let the fact that you find your mind wandering or that you feel restless at the beginning discourage you. You will progressively gain greater awareness and concentration as you consistently put in the effort to do so, which will ultimately lead to a deeper sense of calm and well-being.

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