You've probably already heard about Mindfulness Meditation and how it's benefits can empower anyone to walk their path of life in a more calming and peaceful way.
However, most of the time we're just picking up broad terms and ideas in conversations with peers and friends without really elaborating further on them or clarifying what those actually mean.
How many of us are really reinforcing their discussion points by giving practical real world demonstrations like in Charades games anyway?
Or maybe you couldn't quite articulate your thoughts about Meditation and struggled to share your knowledge on how to practice Mindfulness right.
After all, teaching is a profession that requires long years of studying and experience.
A primer on getting calm
If you don't know anything about Mindfulness yet, we recommend taking a look at our The Meaning of Mindful - What is Mindfulness article first.
We'd also like to take the opportunity to give credit to the ones that taught us all we know and share in this article. Our Review section is filled with tons of book assessments about the journey to spiritual enlightenment.
Our Best Mindfulness Books ~ Top 5 Practical Self Awareness Books compilation might be of special interest for anyone reading this article.
A practical Guide to Awareness
We've put together a practical guide on how to get into the right setting to practice Mindfulness and Meditation without much effort.
Feel free to bookmark this article!
We found it worked great as reference material throughout the process whenever we needed to refresh our memory.
It's always good to have something to rely on when things go south or when you need some motivation because you're just not in the right mood.
Before we can dive into the specifics of the exercises we have to clear some ground first, though.
Let's start by looking at some high-level definitions for both the meaning of Mindfulness and Meditation, before we patch them together formulating our practice plan.
Feel free to skip this step if you already know about the differences between those 2 terms.
The Meaning of Mindful
In short, Mindfulness means listening. Period.
It describes a state of mind in which we're fully present in the moment, aware of all our feelings and surroundings without judging them.
Think of it as the last step when reaching the top of the highest tower there is.
Standing at the top of it's platform, you're able to watch over everything that's happening.
With enough (emotional) distance to pause and take your time to reflect on how you should respond to it.
If this is too broad of a definition for you or you're eager to get a more detailed picture on right now, have a look at this more in-depth explanation of Mindfulness.
We've also prepared a list of common skills and benefits gained through the Practice of Mindfulness and how they can help to alleviate anxious thoughts and fears to get your thirst for knowledge going.
Meditation makes Mindfulness happen
Meditation is the tool that allows us to put our minds into different states of mind by intentionally focusing and gaining control over our emotions and body.
It is like the keyboard you're using when writing blog post, where the keyboard is Mediation and the blog post a state of mind like Mindfulness.
The blog post is a product of using the keyboard as a tool. As soon as it gets published, it has it's own life-cycle independent from that of the keyboard.
You can throw away the keyboard, but the blog post will remain.
Check out this Mindfulness vs Meditation article to learn more about their differences and why they actually can't be used interchangeably.
Basic Mindfulness Meditation Steps
Now that we know what both these terms mean, we can take a look at how working with them to experience the power of their benefits can look in practice.
Step #1 ~ Get yourself some Time
The great thing about Meditation is that we're working with our minds.
Although accessories that can support your practice efforts definitely exist, there's no need for you to own any gear or to be in any specific place to meditate.
However, there's one thing you will need: Time!
Set aside some time for yourself. It doesn't have to be long as long it gets focused.
As little as 1 Minute of Mindful Meditation Practice can be enough to get the magic going and experience the benefits of a peaceful awareness.
Step #2 ~ Comfortable Position
Make yourself comfy. You can practice Mindfulness however you like!
If you're most comfortable sitting, then sit. Rest your arms wherever you like and let them relax down through gravity. Your shoulders will follow naturally.
You can also stand or lie down for your practice.
Keep your back nice and straight. But don't force it!
Be relaxed about it, just be aware of your body experience and slow down a bit when you feel tension in the muscles.
While it is true that there are best poses to be in for Meditation, we want to get you going nice and easy, as soon and effortless as we can.
As a beginning practitioner you won't need the extra ~10 % you can squeeze out of your routine with specialized forms of body positioning and breathing patterns.
Step 3 ~ Observe and listen
Soften your gaze, close your eyes if you like to.
Feel the present moment.
If we were to pick the most important part of Time, we would choose Now.
Don't worry about the past or the future. Just exist and observe the moment.
Don't miss it!
Step 4 ~ Acknowledge emotions, let them pass
Your mind will start to wander naturally. This is fine!
The goal of Mindfulness is not to mute your thoughts and feelings. You're just trying to be fully present so you can live the moment with the awareness it deserves.
Any emotion you're experiencing is your way of expressing something you believe in or stand for.
This is not the time though. You're here to focus.
Let your emotions pass and redirect your awareness to the moment.
Just breathe. Don't focus on your breath, your body knows how to keep you running.
Losing your concentration is fine. Especially in the beginning. The more often you practice, the better your focus will become over time.
If you have a specific thought that limits your ability to concentrate and doesn't want to be let go of, it might be time to open up a dialog with it.
What is this feeling about? How does it make you feel?
Don't judge! You're well within your rights to have feelings!
Realize that this feeling is just reminding you of a difference between how things are and how you want them to be.
Trust yourself that you'll be doing anything you can to live how you dream of in the future.
And move on.
Step 5 ~ Return to calmness
You're in the now again.
Scan your body for any discomfort in your mind.
Try feeling the part you're observing while scanning.
You will likely find that you have to repeat Steps 3 through 5 a lot.
That's what is supposed to happen!
The 2 key things to focus on are:
Your new way of peaceful existence
As you spend time getting aware of yourself and the world around you, you'll probably notice a sense of calmness and patience.
Mindfulness can help you manage your thoughts and strengthen your emotion regulation skills. This changes will likely manifest themselves in other parts of your life before you even think about it.
Check out our 1-Minute Mindful Meditation Exercise Series [for Beginners] to keep the flow going and throw in some variety during your beginner journey.
We recommend to keep it slow in the beginning. Get the basics down before you move on to more complex Meditation techniques.
Maybe read a book about Mindfulness throughout the day and try to incorporate what you've learned in a little practice session before bedtime.
If you want to learn more about Mindfulness, we'd like to hand over the ball to the authors in the Review section. They've all got years of experience in Meditation and Mindful Being under their belt we can't compete with.
We've also compiled some Best Mindfulness Book Lists depending on common personal situations for the ones that don't like to browse through a lot of Review articles themselves