How to Sit for Mindfulness Meditation

  1. Take your seat. Whatever you’re sitting on – a chair, a meditation cushion, a park bench – find a spot that gives you a stable, solid seat, not perching or hanging back.
  2. Notice what your legs are doing. If on a cushion on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you. (If you already do some kind of seated yoga posture, go ahead.) It’s good if the bottoms of your feet are touching the floor.
  3. Straighten – but don’t stiffen – your upper body. The spine has natural curvature. Let it be there. Your head and shoulders can comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae.
  4. Situate your upper arms parallel to your upper body. Then let your hands drop onto the tops of your legs. With your upper arms at your sides, your hands will land in the right spot. Too far forward will make you hunch. Too far back will make you stiff. You’re tuning the strings of your body – not too tight and not too loose.
  5. Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently downward. You may let your eyelids lower. If you feel the need, you may lower them completely, but it’s not necessary to close your eyes when meditating. You can simply let what appears before your eyes be there without focusing on it.
  6. Be there for a few moments. Relax. Bring your attention to your breath or the sensations in your body.
  7. Feel your breath – Draw your attention to the physical sensation of breathing: the air moving through your nose or mouth, the rising and falling of your belly, or your chest. Choose your focal point, and with each breath, you can mentally note “breathing in” and “breathing out.”
  8. Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. Don’t worry. There’s no need to block or eliminate thinking. When you get around to noticing your mind wandering – in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes – just gently return your attention to the breath.
  9. Practice pausing before making any physical adjustments. Such as moving your body or scratching an itch. With intention, shift at a moment you choose, allowing space between what you experience and what you choose to do.
  10. You may find your mind wandering constantly. That’s normal, too. Instead of wrestling with or engaging with those thoughts as much, practice observing without needing to react. Just sit and pay attention. As hard as it is to maintain, that’s all there is. Come back over and over again without judgment or expectation.
  11. When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions. Pausing for a moment, decide how you’d like to continue on with your day.

It’s often been said that to Practice Mindfulness Meditation is very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue.

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from www.mindful.org/mi more...

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Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of reality. Buddhist practices like meditation are a means of changing yourself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom. The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a path — a path which ultimately culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood. An enlightened being sees the nature of reality absolutely clearly, just as it is, and lives fully and naturally in accordance with that vision. This is the goal of the Buddhist spiritual life, representing the end of suffering for anyone who attains it.

Because Buddhism does not include the idea of worshipping a creator god, some people do not see it as a religion in the normal, Western sense. The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical: nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible. So Buddhism addresses itself to all people irrespective of race, nationality, caste, sexuality, or gender. It teaches practical methods which enable people to realise and use its teachings in order to transform their experience, to be fully responsible for their lives.

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Acknowledgements: Extract from the Buddhist Centre

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As expressed in the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, the goal of Buddhism is to overcome suffering (duḥkha) caused by desire and ignorance of reality‘s true nature, including impermanence (anicca) and the non-existence of the self (anattā). Most Buddhist traditions emphasize transcending the individual self through the attainment of Nirvana or by following the path of Buddhahood, ending the cycle of death and rebirth. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, and their specific teachings and practices. Widely observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral preceptsBuddhist monasticismBuddhist meditation, and the cultivation of the Paramitas (perfections, or virtues).

Extract taken from Wikipedia

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from Wikipedia

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Buddhism is a faith that was founded by Siddhartha Gautama (“the Buddha”) more than 2,500 years ago in India. With about 470 million followers, scholars consider Buddhism one of the major world religions. Its practice has historically been most prominent in East and Southeast Asia, but its influence is growing in the West. Many Buddhist ideas and philosophies overlap with those of other faiths.

Some key Buddhism beliefs include:

  • Followers of Buddhism don’t acknowledge a supreme god or deity. They instead focus on achieving enlightenment—a state of inner peace and wisdom. When followers reach this spiritual echelon, they’re said to have experienced nirvana.
  • The religion’s founder, Buddha, is considered an extraordinary man, but not a god. The word Buddha means “enlightened.”
  • The path to enlightenment is attained by utilizing morality, meditation and wisdom. Buddhists often meditate because they believe it helps awaken truth.
  • There are many philosophies and interpretations within Buddhism, making it a tolerant and evolving religion.
  • Some scholars don’t recognize Buddhism as an organized religion, but rather, a “way of life” or a “spiritual tradition.”
  • Buddhism encourages its people to avoid self-indulgence but also self-denial.
  • Buddha’s most important teachings, known as The Four Noble Truths, are essential to understanding the religion.
  • Buddhists embrace the concepts of karma (the law of cause and effect) and reincarnation (the continuous cycle of rebirth).
  • Followers of Buddhism can worship in temples or in their own homes.
  • Buddhist monks, or bhikkhus, follow a strict code of conduct, which includes celibacy.
  • There is no single Buddhist symbol, but a number of images have evolved that represent Buddhist beliefs, including the lotus flower, the eight-spoked dharma wheel and the Bodhi tree.

Extract taken from history.com

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