How to Meditate – The Many Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

There’s a common misunderstanding among most people that the main “goal” of life is to avoid pain and pursue pleasure (or at least to try to get comfortable). A lot of effort and attention is put on getting somewhere ‘better’, achieving something ‘different’, changing or improving ourselves, and getting more stuff so that we can feel better or be happy later.

Third-EyeA much more rewarding, kind, and adventurous approach to life is to develop an attitude of alert curiosity and awareness, regardless of whether our experience is seen as positive or negative. When we overcome prejudice and pettiness and the need for everything to happen the way we want, we open ourselves to a more full, joyful, passionate experience of life and as we endure both pain and pleasure we learn a lot about ourselves and life in general. We can also discover that we are already enough, and we already have everything we need, right here right now.

One method for practicing this approach to life is Mindfulness Meditation. This practice simply involves being completely awake, present, and aware of your current experience with total acceptance. There’s no need to judge any thoughts or feelings that arise as either good or bad… we’re not trying to get rid of anything. Simply be aware of anything you’re experiencing or thinking without judgement, and then let it go. This curious, gentle approach to self-observation helps us to accept ourselves as we are, and in the process become more understanding of others.

I now consider meditation to be the foundation of healthy, balanced living. With all of the benefits of meditation it doesn’t make sense not to include it in your daily routine. A few of these many benefits include:

  • Meditation reduces stress.
  • It improves concentration. 
  • It encourages a healthy lifestyle.
  • The practice increases self-awareness. 
  • It increases happiness.
  • Meditation increases acceptance. 
  • It slows aging.
  • The practice benefits cardiovascular and immune health

This video will briefly explain the benefits of mindfulness meditation and will demonstrate how to meditate as well as how you might incorporate meditation and mindfulness into your daily routine, including formal, informal, and intensive meditation practices.

To start your own meditation practice, I recommend scheduling it into your day so that you have a specific time set aside specifically for your formal meditation practice. Choose a calm, comfortable location and sit on the floor, meditation cushion, or chair. Begin by mentally ‘scanning’ your body, becoming aware of how everything feels and gently relaxing any tension you might be carrying with you.

Start by becoming aware of your breath. Following your breath will be the main focus on this practice. As you notice different thoughts come up simply label them “thoughts” and come back to following your breathing. Don’t be hard on yourself with this practice. Sometimes you may get carried away into thought or daydreams, and that’s OK too… simply pay attention to whatever comes up with an attitude of curiosity rather than judgement and keep coming back to your breath.

If you’re ready to get started with your own mindfulness meditation practice, you can download several free guided meditation audio / mp3 resources at the following links:

I’ll leave you with the infographic below, outlining several science-based reasons to start meditating.

Until next time,

Be present



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