Mindfulness Techniques for beginners: part 2

Eyes

  1. Mindfulness of Sight Change: Position
  2. Mindfulness of Sight Change: a Gaze

Ear

  1. Mindfulness of Sounds: All
  2. Mindfulness of Sounds: One
  3. Mindfulness of Sounds: One 2
  4. Mindfulness of Sounds: Counting
  5. Mindfulness of Sound: Dominant
  6. Mindfulness of Sounds: Continuous
  7. Mindfulness of Sounds: Non-Continuous
  8. Mindfulness of Sounds: Running Water
  9. Mindfulness of Sounds: What truly it is
  10. Mindfulness of Sounds: Likes/Dislikes

Tongue

  1. Mindfulness of Taste

Nose

  1. Mindfulness of Smell

More Movements

  1. Mindfulness of Motion
  2. Mindfulness of Vibrations
  3. Mindfulness of Finger Movements
  4. Mindfulness of Eye Movements
  5. Mindfulness of Eyelids Movements
  6. Mindfulness of Abdominal Movements
  7. Mindfulness of Lung Movements
  8. Mindfulness of Diaphragm Movements

More Body

  1. Mindfulness of Body: Tension
  2. Mindfulness of Body: Muscles
  3. Mindfulness of Body: Joint

More Walking

  1. Mindfulness of Walking: Breath (Duel Awareness)
  2. Mindfulness of Walking Outdoor and Breathing
  3. Mindfulness of Walking: Foot Movement
  4. Mindfulness of Walking: Hand Movement
  5. Mindfulness of Walking: Pressure
  6. Mindfulness of Walking: Pressure Point
  7. Mindfulness of Walking: Counting
  8. Mindfulness of Walking: Breathing with Counting

Miscellaneous

  1. Mindfulness of Breathing: Gap
  2. Mindfulness of Good Fortune

Practice Guideline

  1. How to deal with mental chatter
  2. How to deal with (sound) distraction
  3. How to make the practice easier

 

Eyes

1.     Mindfulness of Sight Change: Position

It is easier to practice this technique while you are moving faster than slowly, for example, riding a car rather than walking.

 

Notice the position of the object is changing. For example, an object is getting close to you or an object is getting away from you.

2.     Mindfulness of Sight Change: a Gaze

Softly gaze at an object that is not moving and maintain the gaze on the object throughout this practice. For example, a tree, a building, a wall.

 

Be aware of an appearance of a moving object. (For example, when a bird, a car, a pedestrian came into your sight, be aware of it.)

 

Be aware of an disappearance of a moving object. (For example, when a bird, a car, a pedestrian cease to exist in your sight, be aware of it.)

 

Note: In the above examples, the moving object was identified. This was to provide an example, however, you do not need to identify the object that is moving or not-moving in your practice. The goal of the practice not about identifying the moving object but be aware of the sight change, which is an appearance and disappearance.

Ear

3.     Mindfulness of Sounds: All

Be aware of all the sounds in the present moment, which are constantly changing.

4.     Mindfulness of Sounds: One

Practice with one chosen sound among all different sounds in your surroundings, for example, a dominant sound or most distinctive sound.

 

Be aware of various qualities of the sound including:

  • continuous or non-continuous sound, (continuity),
  • high or low (pitch, frequency),
  • a pattern in the sound. Or absence of patterns if there are no patterns.
  • the direction- where the sound is coming from.
  • how far the distance the sound is coming from (distance)
  • whether the source of sound is moving or not. (moving or not)
  • the duration of the sound whether short or long,
  • silence or gap in between sound,
  • an echo if there is any.

5.     Mindfulness of Sounds: One 2

Practice with one chosen sound.

 

Be aware of harmonic effect of sound if it is being combined with another sound.

Be aware of any change in the quality of the sound.

Be aware of the source of the sound, for example, a refrigerator, a car, a bird.

 

Be aware of the factors that allowed the sound come into existence. For example, for a clock ticking sound, some factors that allowed the sound come into existence are the factory workers who build the clock; their parents who gave birth to the factory workers; farmers who provide food; and sunlight that allow the food to grow.

 

Tips: It is easier to practice on the sound of nature. When listen to human speech, you can just pay attention to sounds of the speech instead of meanings of the speech. If it is still difficult, first practice while listening to a speech in a foreign language, which you do not understand.

6.     Mindfulness of Sounds: Counting

You can use sounds in your surrounding as objects of your mindfulness practice. The sound may include noise from computer, refrigerator, traffics, dog barking, clock ticking, bird chirping and whatever the sound you can hear. You can use this technique in a park, a train, a store or any other places or occasions. You could practice even while walking.

 

  1. Just listen to all sounds in your surroundings.
  2. Identify how many different kinds of sounds you hear at the same time.

7.     Mindfulness of Sound: Dominant

Be aware of the dominant sound. (the sound that stands out among all different sounds in the present moment, but not the sound in the past.)

 

Be aware the dominant sound, which may change from time to time.

8.     Mindfulness of Sounds: Continuous

In this practice, you are aware of a continuous sound. A continuous sound is a sound that has no beginning and no ending while you are listening to the sound (in the duration of your practice, for example, 1 minute). In other words, the sound already began but does not end while you are listening to the sound. Examples include refrigerator humming noise or ventilation noise.

9.     Mindfulness of Sounds: Non-Continuous

In this practice, you are aware of a non-continuous sound. A non-continuous sound is a sound that has a beginning and an ending while you are listening to the sound (in the duration of your practice, for example, 1 minute). In other words, the sound begins and ends while you are listening to the sound, for example, a sound of a passing car. The practice begins with awareness of continuous sounds so that we can distinguish a non-continuous sound when it comes

 

  1. Be aware a beginning of a sound (when it begins).
  2. Be aware an end of the sound (when the sound discontinues).

 

Be aware when the sound continues.

Be aware of the source of the sound. e.g. a refrigerator, a car, a bird.

10.Mindfulness of Sounds: Running Water

Hearing the sound of running water. Know why you call it the sound of running water.

11.Mindfulness of Sounds: What truly it is

Know what truly it is.

 

For example, practice while listening to the sound of running water.

12.Mindfulness of Sounds: Likes/Dislikes

Know why you like (or dislike) it.

 

For example, practice while listening to the sound of running water.

Tongue

13.Mindfulness of Taste

Be aware of specific tastes of the food while eating such as:

  • the sweetness (or the absence of sweetness if there is no sweetness in the food),
  • the saltiness (or the absence of saltiness),
  • the sourness (or the absence of sourness),
  • the bitterness (or the absence of bitterness), and
  • other taste (or the absence of other taste).

Nose

14.Mindfulness of Smell

You can use this technique when you smell something.

 

Be aware of various qualities of the smell that you’re experiencing such as:

  • the dominant smell whether it is sweet, chemical, floral, fruity, woody or something else;
  • the intensity of the smell whether it is weak, strong or intolerable; and
  • the source of the smell, for instance, a flower.

More Movements

15.Mindfulness of Motion

You can practice the following technique while riding a train, bus, car, airplane, ship, boat, canoe, roller coaster and so on.

 

Be aware of various qualities of the motion that you’re experiencing, for example:

  • the direction, (e.g., front, rear, upward or downward or east, west, south and north.)
  • the speed, (e.g., slow or fast)
  • the change in the speed, (e.g., it is whether increasing, decreasing, or unchanging)
  • the absence of motion when motion paused or stopped momentarily,
  • the sounds that are generated as a result of the motion, and
  • accompanying vibrations.

16.Mindfulness of Vibrations

Practice while riding a train, bus, car, airplane, ship, boat, canoe, roller coaster and so on.

 

Be aware of the various qualities of the vibrations, such as:

  • beginning and ending of vibration,
  • direction – left, right, front, back, up and down,
  • speed (quick, slow),
  • scale such as big, small,
  • type (e.g. sudden or gradual)
  • pattern,
  • stillness in between vibration, and
  • the dominant experience.

17.Mindfulness of Finger Movements

In the following technique, we will use the 3 hand signs: rock, paper, scissors in the hand game of rock-paper-scissors.

 

Be aware of your finger movements while slow forming the rock.

Be aware of your finger movements while slow forming the paper.

Be aware of your finger movements while slow forming the scissors.

18.Mindfulness of Eye Movements

You can use this technique to be aware of your eye movement while doing eye movements such as up, down, left, right and circle.

 

Be aware of the left movement when your eyes move toward left direction.

Be aware of the right movement when your eyes move toward right direction.

Be aware of the up movement when your eyes move toward up direction.

Be aware of the down movement when your eyes move toward down direction.

Be aware of the circular movement when your eyes make a circular movement.

19.Mindfulness of Eyelids Movements

Be aware of the closing movement when your eyelids are closing.

Be aware of the opening movement when your eyelids are opening.

Be aware of the blinking movements when your eyelids are blinking.

20.Mindfulness of Abdominal Movements

Notice the rise and fall of your abdomen while breathing. (not by seeing but by experiencing the body sensations)

21.Mindfulness of Lung Movements

Be aware of expansion when your lungs are expanded.

Be aware of contraction when your lungs are contracted.

22.Mindfulness of Diaphragm Movements

Your diaphragm muscles contract to move downward and relax to move upward. Use this technique to be aware of the involuntary movement of your diaphragm.

 

Be aware the downward movement of your diaphragm when your diaphragm moves downward.

Be aware the upward movement of your diaphragm when your diaphragm moves upward.

 

More Body

23.Mindfulness of Body: Tension

Be aware of tension, discomfort or tightness in your body.

Further be aware of the specific areas of your body where you experience the tension such as shoulders, neck and chest.

24.Mindfulness of Body: Muscles

Be aware of the muscle that is contracted, for instance, biceps muscle, shoulders, neck and chest.

Further be aware of muscle contraction sensations such as tightening, fatigue, warming, burning and tearing.

25.Mindfulness of Body: Joint

Be aware of body joints while they’re moving.

 

For example, be aware of the elbow joint while doing bicep curl. (Dumbbell is not needed.)

More Walking

26.Mindfulness of Walking: Breath (Duel Awareness)

 

Be aware of both walking and your breath at the same time while walking

 

Optionally, you could use silent words (the training wheel techniques) to acknowledge the awareness, for example,

 

“I know (I’m) breathing in and walking”

“I know (I’m) breathing out and walking”

or

“Breathing in, walking.”

“Breathing out, walking.”

27.Mindfulness of Walking Outdoor and Breathing

This technique is suitable to practice in outdoor.

 

  • Be aware of both pleasantness and your in-breath at the same time.
  • Be aware of both walking and your out-breath at the same time.
  • Be aware of both appearing and your in-breath at the same time while walking.
  • Be aware of both disappearing and your out-breath at the same time while walking.

 

Optionally, you could use silent words to acknowledge the awareness, for example,

 

  • “Breathing in, I am feeling pleasant.”
  • “Breathing out, I am aware of walking.”
  • “Breathing in, I am aware of appearing.”
  • “Breathing out, I am aware of disappearing.”

28.Mindfulness of Walking:  Foot Movement

Be aware of the forward movement when your foot moves forward direction.

Be aware of the left movement when your foot moves toward left direction.

Label the right movement when your foot moves toward right direction.

29.Mindfulness of Walking:  Hand Movement

Be aware of the forward movement when your hand moves forward direction.

Be aware of the backward movement when your hand moves backward direction.

Optionally, be aware of the both forward and backward movements at the same time.

30.Mindfulness of Walking: Pressure

Be aware of pressure in your feet while walking.

Be aware the pressure is shifting from one foot to the other while walking.

31.Mindfulness of Walking: Pressure Point

Be aware of specific pressure points in the foot such as toes and heel.

Be aware the pressure point is shifting from one point to another in the foot, for instance, from heel to toes while walking.

32.Mindfulness of Walking: Counting

Count each of your foot step while walking. Start counting from 1. When you count until 10 or forgot to count, start counting from 1 again.

33.Mindfulness of Walking: Breathing with Counting

Count your foot steps during in-breath.

Count your foot steps during out-breath.

Miscellaneous

34.Mindfulness of Breathing: Gap

Notice the gap between your breath (e.g. between in-breath and out-breath or out-breath and in-breath).

 

Optionally notice whether the gap is short or long.

35.Mindfulness of Good Fortune

The practice is to know the good fortunes one has, for example,

Knowing that I have eyes and able to see.

Knowing that I am able to breathe and alive (not dead). Someone is making oxygen for me.

Knowing that I have no pain in the body parts such as head, eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, arms, hands, chest, abdomen, legs, knees and feet.

Knowing that I have shelter, family and friends.

Knowing that I can live free and happy and also help others to live free and happy.

Practice Guideline

36.How to deal with mental chatter

In essence, there are four ways to deal with mental chatter (the distraction in the mind).

 

Doing nothing

Anchoring

Diluting

Eating (know why it came, know what is)

Making mind content

Group practice

Regular practice

Improve energy

37.How to deal with (sound) distraction

Know it is irritating

Know why irritate

Know why you dislike (or like)

Know that you don’t know how to use the distraction

Know what is

38.How to make the practice easier

Practice in a group, especially a group that has an experience practitioner.

Have a teacher to guide your practice.

 

Read the Part 1

 

Written by Sung Yang in 2010.  (updated in 2017)

The above are some examples of the most basic mindfulness techniques, which are intended to use with guidance from a teacher. Contact Sung if you’d like to learn more or need personalized techniques for optimal learning and more effective practice. 

 

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