Mindfulness Meditation Technique

How To Practise Mindfulness Meditation

Getting The Hang Of The Basics



Getting the hang of the basics of mindfulness meditation technique is fundamentally very simple.

As we discussed in The story of the leper and the dirty river - the hardest aspect of how to practise mindfulness is just doing it!

You are probably familiar with the 4 stages of learning in the model of conscious competence namely: unconscious incompetence -> conscious incompetence -> conscious competence -> unconscious competence (or "auto-pilot")?

Moving through the 4 stages of learning mindfulness meditation technique simply takes time, effort and application and is no different to learning any other new skill.




Mindfulness Meditation Technique - Is About Giving It The Time It Needs

Getting the hang of the basics of any new skill takes approximately 3 weeks or so of continuous conscious effort at which point the new skill becomes a habit. So this is really all it takes to master the basics of mindfulness meditation technique.

You are also probably familiar with the "10,000-Hour Rule", based on a study by Dr. K. Anders Ericsson that indicates that great achievement in any activity requires approximately 10,000 hours of practise.

Although it is human nature to venerate and glorify our great spiritual teachers and put them on a pedestal, we overlook the fact that the only basic difference between zen-masters and the rest of us is that they have practised for considerably longer than we have!






    Mindfulness Meditation Technique

    Getting started

    The best way to start the process of learning how to practise mindfulness meditation is to undertake a sitting meditation every day for approximately 30 minutes. Or maybe 2 sessions of 15 minutes.

    Sit in silence and somewhere where you won't be interrupted. Turn your mobile phone off.

    # Just sit comfortably in an upright position take several slow deep breaths and focus on your breathing in and your breathing out.

    # Then just pay attention to your thoughts. Don't engage with them. Don't analyse them. Just observe them.

    # If you feel yourself getting drawn into your thoughts, gently bring your attention back to your breath and focus on your in breath and your out breath for a few breaths and return to just watching your thoughts.

    # Watching your thoughts is like watching clouds pass across the sky. They come into your line of vision, drift across the sky and fade away.

    # Breathe...

    # Do this everyday for 3 weeks.

    # Notice and observe your reactions as you prepare to do your daily sitting meditation. Don't analyse this, just be aware of your reactions.

    # Observe your reactions after you have finished your meditation, and again don't analyse of think about it - simply observe or witness it.

    # After a few sessions of sitting meditation, take it a one small step further and just watch your thoughts during the day.

    # Make it a habit to observe your reactions, your thought patterns, your recurring thoughts and differing emotional states at different times throughout the day.

    # When you feel yourself getting sucked into to a pattern of thoughts or emotional responses, bring your attention to your breathing and just focus on your in breath and your out breath for several breaths.

    # Keep watching and observing.

    # Be aware of your thoughts and feelings.









    Meditation is neither about cultivating nor rejecting, but rather about learning how to be present in the face of whatever arises in our mind.






The Benefit Of Mindfulness Meditation Technique

“One of the most effective things we can do when we see the gathering storm of our habitual tendencies is the practice of pausing, or creating a gap.

We stop and take three conscious breaths, and the world has a chance to open up to us in that gap. We allow space into our state of mind.

Meditation practice itself is a way to create gaps.

Every time you realize you are thinking and you let your thoughts go, you are creating a gap.

Every time the breath goes out, you are creating a gap. If you don’t fill up your practice time with worrying and obsessing and all that kind of thing, you have time to experience the blessing of your surroundings.

You can just sit there quietly. Then silence will dawn on you and the sacredness of the space will penetrate.”

Pema Chödrön




Return to How To Practise Mindfulness"

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