Meditation is not what you think. – Lama Anagarika Govinda
Mindfulness Meditation is a practice where you observe moment-by-moment what is happening within your emotional, physical and mental experiences. It is experiencing whatever is at any given moment without judgement, resistance or avoidance. It is accepting things as they are without wishing to change anything because whatever you pay attention to changes in quality.
The purpose of meditation is to calm the mind so that you can be aware of the whispers of the inner self which usually gets drowned in the noise of your thoughts and feelings. A deeper purpose of meditation is to tune the various aspects of your self into a harmonious whole. In our daily life we are pulled in different directions, moment to moment, resulting in stress, anxiety and depression.
Thinking is not meditation, neither is emptying the mind. Meditation is more about being able to quieten the mind whenever you want it to be quiet. So it is you who have control over the mind rather than being controlled by the fluctuations of the mind.
Meditation is a way of being, not a technique. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
What is your current state of being? Pause and reflect on it. Is your mind scattered thinking of a score of things at once or are you able to pay attention to what you are doing at this moment?
Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn was the first person to introduce Mindfulness Meditation into mainstream medicine. He is the founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme which is gaining popularity all over the world.
Mindfulness meditation practice has its roots 2500 years ago when the Buddha sat down under the Bodhi tree and gained enlightenment. This points to fact that the purpose of meditation is to realize that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. The word ‘realization’ means to become fully aware of reality as it is. We have to begin from wherever we find ourselves and start on this journey towards awakening to the higher self.
Mindfulness Meditation Techniques
Mindfulness meditation practices are gaining popularity to provide the tools to handle stress, anxiety, depression and many other conditions. Mindfulness meditation practices emphasize becoming aware of the moment and what is going on in it. It can be practiced at any time of the day just by becoming aware of your breathing.
Have you noticed how you are either thinking of what happened or what might happen in the future? Have you noticed that you are hardly ever in the present moment? Mindfulness practice helps you come into this moment and be here totally with your whole attention.
Mindfulness is about paying attention. It is about focusing your attention in the present moment and this creates positive energy in your body and mind.
Pause. Breathe. Just Be.
Some techniques to practice mindfulness meditation are:
- Sitting Meditation
- Walking Meditation
- Body-scan Meditation
Mindfulness Meditation can be practiced by anyone and the benefits can be felt in just a few weeks. All it takes is 10-30 minutes of practice per day. In the following video you can see how two people tried it out. One is David Sillito, Culture Correspondent at BBC and another was Fiona Assersohn who suffered from chronic pain.