be mindful

May Meditation Series: Diffuse awareness

This type of meditation is about noticing. Just noticing. Not controlling or fixing or changing or judging. Just noticing. You can practice with watching clouds, watching the rise and fall of your belly with breathing, watching animals or children play...the options are limitless. Simply observe. If you notice a thought, don't cling to that thought or push that thought away. Simply notice it and go back to noticing your surroundings.

This meditation is great for practicing non attachment and acceptance. It's good for getting us outside of ourselves, our egos, and our thoughts. Its also good for relaxation.

I suggest starting this practice daily. Start with doing a discrete 2-5 minute practice and go from there.

May Meditation Series: Focused attention

We all have monkey minds. Our minds chatter, swing from thought to thought, and, sometimes, even hurl shit at us.

To help tame the monkey mind, we can practice mindfulness to focus our attention.

One of my favorite ways to practice is four square breathing.

To do this:

1. Breathe in for four counts. Keep your focus on your in breath. Maybe notice the air passing through your nostrils or your abdomen expanding.

2. Pause. Hold your breath for four counts.

3. Breathe out for four counts. Again, notice the sensation of breath passing through your nostrils or your abdomen falling.

4. Pause for a count of four.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 four times.

Your mind may wander and monkey around. If it does, label it "thinking" and return to focusing on your breath.

 

May Meditation Series: Mindfulness Snacks

Meditation doesn't have to be formal or last for extended periods of time. Sometimes, there is just as much benefit from doing random mindfulness throughout the day. The idea is to simply control your focus whenever you can/whenever you think of it. It will help with attention, help get unstuck from old patterns, help avoid being a mindless zombie, help cultivate excitement and gratitude, etc.

There are three basic ways to focus attention and be mindful.

1. Observe. Just notice. Look at your surroundings, your body, your thoughts. Move your eyes, move your head. Cultivate awareness and curiosity.

2. Describe. Put words to your experience. Lable what you notice. Try to avoid judgement. You can do this silently, in your head. You can also use this skill in conversation or by journaling.

3. Participate. Show up. Throw your whole body and mind into what you're doing. Let go of judgement or expectations or self consciousness.