Mindfulness Meditation Practice

mindfulness meditation“The breath is the intersection of the body and mind.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

1. Set aside time each day to develop a personal meditation practice. When undertaken with discipline, meditation can lead to clarity and peace of mind.

2. Select a place where you can sit, uninterrupted.

3. Practice meditation for at least 5-10 minutes in the morning and 5-10 minutes at night.

4. Sit in an erect and upright position on a chair or on a meditation cushion. Have a sense of regality in your posture, an inner confidence and a sense of self-worth.

5. Softly focus your eyes on a spot on the floor about three to four feet in front of you.

6. At the same time, heighten attention on all five senses: touch, taste, scent, sight, and sound.

7. Feel your hands resting gently on the top of your thighs. Hear the sounds of traffic or birds outside the window. Smell the scent of rain, or dinner cooking on the stove. Taste the mint you recently finished. Experience, through your senses, the colors, shapes, scents and sounds of everyday things.

8. Now, bring your attention to the natural flow of your breath as it goes out and comes in.

9. Heighten attention on the out-breath, as you practice letting go of all thoughts and feelings.

10. At the end of the out-breath, notice a small gap, a space in time, before the in-breath occurs.

11. Repeat the process of maintaining attention on the breath as it goes out and dissolves.

12. When you find yourself lost in a thought: “What should we have for dinner?” for example, or if you feel an emotion like anger or envy, or even joy, silently, within your mind, simply label that thought, “thinking,” and bring your attention back, very gently, to the out-breath as it slowly goes out and dissolves again.

13. At the end of the out-breath, notice the gap, and then bring your awareness to the in-breath.

14. Repeat this pattern of following the breath over and over again.

15. At the next instance that you realize you are caught in a thought, swept away by a story in your mind, simply label the thoughts, “thinking,” and return your attention once again to the out-breath. Withhold self-judgment.

16. Continue the pattern of following the breath out, labeling arising thoughts as “thinking,” and returning attention to the out-breath.

This first appeared in Ambassador Magazine, Detroit, Michigan

Join Dr. Donna Rockwell for the free April 18 Webinar “Mindfulness: The Way to Happiness and Meaning.”

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About the Author

Donna Rockwell, Psy.D. Dr. Donna Rockwell, Psy.D., L.P. is a licensed clinical psychologist, adjunct faculty member, community outreach worker, columnist, and mindfulness meditation teacher. Dr. Rockwell specializes in both mindfulness and celebrity mental health. She works with clients in her private practice and teaches public meditation classes. You can watch Dr. Rockwell on YouTube or read more of her blogs at The New Existentialists.

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