What are the benefits of Mindfulness Meditation?
- It helps to increase our awareness on our thoughts, feelings and what we focus on.
- One can deeply realize that they are not their feelings or thoughts and for sure one does not need to act upon them.
- It improves mental focus and academic performance.
also strengthens skills that contribute to emotional balance.
- The best
of our human qualities, including the capacity for kindness, empathy,
and compassion, support and are supported by mindfulness.
and deep caring contribute to healthy relationships at school and at
- Practicing mindfulness results into long-term changes in mood and increases ones overall happiness and well-being.
Where does mindfulness meditation come from?
Mindfulness has its origins in many ancient meditation practices and the first one being the Buddhist meditations. The practice of mindfulness of breathing is a meditation practice in which
one maintains attention and mindfulness on the sensations of breathing.
This type of meditation can also be referred to as Vipassana or
“Insight” meditation, which is Buddhist in origin and about 2,600 years
Teaching Mindfulness Meditation
Gaining experience with mindfulness meditation sets you up to teach
authentically within your comfort zone. There’s a huge difference
between teaching something “I think ought to be useful” and something “I
know, from my own experience, is useful.” You don’t need to have
significant expertise—rather, you just need to practice yourself so you have an experiential foundation on which to base your teaching.
The learning sequence for mindfulness is essentially the same one you
already use when you teach students other skills, from math to music,
or language arts to athletics. Information and instruction come first
followed by lots of practice. Over time, the brain becomes familiar with
generating mindfulness. With repetition, these skills become more
automatic and require less effort.
In the beginning, a few minutes to practice mindfulness can feel like
an eternity, so using short sessions is appropriate. Then, as you
become more accustomed to the techniques, you might choose to practice
longer. It’s good to go at your own speed and see what happens. And just
five minutes practice regularly is more useful in the long-run than
longer sessions done more sporadically. All you need to do to get
started is “Take 5.”
- Begin by taking five minutes to sit still, by yourself, in a quiet,
comfortable, and private place. Turn off the ringers of your phones,
turn off the TV or radio, and put aside your “todo” list. If you’re
concerned about how long you’re going to practice, set a timer that has
an audible bell or flashing light.
- It’s best to sit in a stable position, with your spine as straight as
possible, either on a chair without leaning against the back, or
cross-legged on a comfortable cushion set on the floor. Place both your
hands in your lap or palm-down on your thighs. The idea is to get
comfortable without getting caught up in trying to find a position of
perfect comfort. And, of course, don’t sit in a way that causes you
serious pain—or lulls you to sleep.
- Once you’re settled, allow your gaze to soften and gently go out of
focus as you keep your eyes slightly open. Look forward and downward at a
45°angle so that your eyelids relax and lower a little. Try to breathe
through your nose, and let your lips, mouth, and jaw relax. Now that
you’re in position, you can begin the basic breathing practice outlined
in the following progression.
Take 5: Mindful Breathing Meditation
- Breathe normally, paying
attention to the feeling of the breath as it fills your lungs and then
flows up and back out the way it came.
- Notice when you lose awareness of the breath and start thinking about something else, daydreaming, worrying, or snoozing.
- Return your attention to the breath, with kindness toward yourself and as little commentary as possible.
When you first begin mindfulness meditation, you’re likely to pay
attention to the breath for a few seconds and then lose focus. That’s
perfectly natural! You’ll eventually become aware that the focus of your
attention moved away from the breath and onto something else. You might
feel like you’re becoming even more mindless. All these sensations are
normal, and in fact, they signify that the practice is working—you’re
noticing what’s really happening. If thoughts about the quality of your
practice come (because that’s what thoughts do…), don’t worry about
them, just notice them and refocus on watching what’s happening right
The essence of this technique is attending to the process (the
experience of noticing) without getting caught up in content (what the
thoughts are about). First, simply notice thoughts as they first appear
on the horizon of your mind. Keep some distance as you watch them and
let them fade away. This is the difference between witnessing thoughts
and engaging with them. It’s an attitude of, “Oh, here are some thoughts
about work (or a relationship or something else), but I’m not going to
get into them now.” Be gentle with yourself, and patient, and kind.
Teaching mindfulness meditation is an excerpt from "Mindful Teaching & Teaching Mindfulness by Deborah Schoeberlein
This is an inspiring magazine called "Mindful" I found on how to be mindful in all areas of life.