The First Mindfulness Practice

Notice your breathing sensations. (e.g. coolness or warmth in your nose)

Note: The practice is similar to starting a fire with a magnifying glass by focusing sunlight in one place continuously. The practice is neither thinking about breath nor quieting the mind nor breathing deep nor trying to feel good.

Practice Guideline

– Posture: Sit upright and balanced so that your body becomes relaxed and pleasant on its own.

– Breath: Your breath is natural breath.

– Review: writing down or sharing your practice experience with others. (e.g. how you practiced, often repeated or new experiences.)

Common Mistakes

Practice incorrectly. Thinking about breath rather than being aware of it. Trying to stop thoughts or to block all sounds. No daily practice. Unaware of obstacles, unrealistic expectations. Forcing breath. Imagining. Trying to feel good. Incorrect posture. Having no mentor or guiding teacher. Making no progress …

Q&A

How do I know I am doing right?

Check to see if you experience one or more of the followings: breath becomes deep/long on its own, body becomes relaxed, and mind becomes peaceful, free & pleasant.

How soon will it happen?

It takes just one breath.

How do I know whether I am aware of my breath or thinking about it?

If you are knowing the physical sensations of your breath that is constantly changing from moment to moment in the present, you are aware of your breath. If you are remembering your breath or imagining a breath, you are thinking about the breath.

What should I think during the meditation?

No need to think anything.

How to stop thoughts?

Trying to stop thoughts is a common beginner mistake. Learn to meditate correctly instead.

How to block all the sound during meditation?

No need to block. Just be with it. Sound is a useful meditation object.

Should I bring my attention back to my breath over and over when thoughts repeatedly come?

Thoughts had to come to you over and over because of reasons. Knowing the reasons helps you more than repeatedly running away from the thoughts.

How do I quiet mental chatter?

Address the cause of your mental chatter. When you address the cause, the mental chatter dissolves naturally. You can apply the same skill to your life problems to make them dissolved naturally.

Terms

– Counting Technique: count your breath with your fingers.

– Self Guiding Technique: mentally guide your practice with phrases.  Examples: “I know breathing in. I know breathing out.”

– Labeling Technique: mentally say your experience with a word or phrases. Examples: “breathing in. breathing out.”

– Note: Counting, Self Guiding and Labeling techniques are like training wheels in children’s bicycles and can be useful for beginners. You will eventually no longer need them as you make progress.

– Mindfulness refers to being aware of something or the capacity of the mind for knowing. It is best to experience for oneself.

– Awakening is the fruit of mindfulness practice. Also refers to an act of gaining the fruit.

 

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