Everything You Need to Start Doing Mindfulness Meditation

 

How to get the most out of this page.

New to mindfulness and looking to find out more? Well your in the right place. In this introduction to Mindfulness you’ll get everything you need to get started. Don’t feel pressured to read and watch everything at once, it’s perfectly ok to come back and learn as little or as much as you’d like.

Here are the 4 parts:
1. Learn the Basics of Mindfulness
2. Answers Some Basic Questions
3. Trying it Out! (Guided Meditations)
4. Take a Class

Enjoy!

 

 

Part 1: Learn the Basics of Mindfulness

To get started we recommend you watch any one of these four videos that seems the most interesting you:

News about Mindfulness

60 Minute Special with Anderson Cooper

The Science of Mindfulness

Dr. Ron Siegel – At Google

Fun Explination of Mindfulness

Why Mindfulness Is a Superpower: An Animation

Head of UCLA’s Mindfulness Programs (MARC)

TEDxSunsetPark – Diana Winston

 

 

Part 2: Answering Some Basic Questions

Hopefully that gave you a basic view of mindfulness. Now lets answer some basic questions. If you would like to skip to a specific question click below:
A. What is Mindfulness?
B. Why Practice Mindfulness?
C. How long does it take and what can I expect just starting out?
D. Is this a religion? Do I have to give up my current religion?
E. Do I have to stop thinking to do Mindfulness meditation?

 

A. What is Mindfulness?

I think that direct experience is the best teacher for something like mindfulness, so here is something you can try. You will see mindfulness for yourself, with this simple practice. (hint: read instructions first and then try it for 2 minutes)

Alert – Become still and alert – close your eyes, bringing your attention inward to your breath

Kindness – Simply observe your breath by bringing a kind, curious attention to the subtle sensations of your breathing, as it moves in and out of your body. (usually at or around the nostrils is best for this simple test).

Ease – Let go of everything but the breath, as best as you can. Find the beginning of your in-breath, and follow it all the way through to the beginning of your out-breath – follow this all the way through and begin again. Do your best to keep your attention rooted in this sensation of breathing in and out – relax into it without trying to alter the breath in any way.

Continue with the intention of keeping with this simple practice of observing the breath, one breath at a time. Keep the breath and only the breath in mind. Practice this for 10 minutes and come back to this post when you’re done.

Did you keep the breath in mind the entire 10 minutes, without thinking about anything else – or did your attention wander? Where did it wander to? Sound perhaps, or other body sensations, or more likely thoughts about the past present or future, daydreams, planning, snippets of conversations from the day?

Wherever it wandered off to, at some point, you noticed that you were no longer paying attention to your breath – that you went somewhere else – usually without even noticing that you left the breath in the first place.

This is mindfulness. Not the wandering but that moment when you ‘woke-up’ and realized that your attention was no longer with the breath but somewhere else.

That is, the moment you ‘wake up’ from the trance of thinking or daydreaming and become aware that you’re thinking and that your attention is no longer fully with the breath, that moment right there was a moment of mindfulness.

Most of our lives are lived in the state just before we wake-up and notice – a kind of automatic pilot – being pulled this way and that by the untrained mind, believing whatever it is we may be thinking, hanging on to pleasant experiences for dear life and at the same time frantically pushing away unpleasant experiences – hoping beyond all hope that we can tip the balance of pleasant vs. unpleasant in our favor and then at the end of the day we can maybe call this a pretty good life.

Kind of scary, huh?

Mindfulness offers us a way out. With enough consistent and sincere practice, we can develop this ‘wake up’ state so that it lasts longer and eventually becomes the norm. Once this happens, we can move on to the practice of the goal of mindfulness – a happiness and well-being that is not dependent on the ever changing conditions of our lives

 

B. Why Practice Mindfulness?

Here’s a quick infographic to answer this questions:
Benefits-of-Meditation-Infographic

(Cited from http://liveanddare.com/benefits-of-meditation/#disqus_thread)

 

C. How long does it take and what can I expect just starting out?

The results start as soon as you begin.  Just sitting for a couple moments in the present moment can begin to make you feel more relaxed and happy.  Just like all practices though, the more you practice, the better you get.  For those suffering from sever conditions, such a chronic pain, mindfulness works exactly the same way.  The strength of the stimulus, pain or other strong sensations can make it harder to concentrate, but with practice, even the strongest of sensations can be overcome.

For beginners we recommend keeping an open mind and trusting in the practice so you can give it a fair trial.  Then, as you practice, you can see for yourself whether or not Mindfulness works.  We have seen amazing results from all types of people in many different situation and we hope to be able to share it with you as well.

 

D. Is this a religion? Do I have to give up my current religion?

No! Mindfulness is a secular scientific practice for those looking for all the benefits listed above.  Our classes are based on scientific research, psychology and wisdom practices.  We do NOT discourage any student or teacher from following any philosophy or religion they choose.  At Perfectly Here we see Mindfulness as a tool for any and all walks of life.  Our philosophy is to make people better people by teaching mindfulness, nothing more, nothing less.

 

E. Do I have to stop thinking to do Mindfulness meditation?

This is a common misconception. We are not trying to stop thinking, we are trying to cultivate awareness of the present. Part of that awareness is being mindful of our thoughts rather than being “lost in them”.

 

 

Part 3: Try it Out!(Guided Meditations)

Here are some free mindfulness meditation you can listen to online:

A. 5, 10, 15, 20 Minute Guided Meditation – Pick how long you want to meditate for and then listen to Dr. Motaghy’s voice as she guides you through a mindfulness meditation.

 
B. 3 Centers Check-in Guided Meditation – In this meditation you will be guided through being aware of your head, heart and body. It’s also nice and short at 8:22 minutes long.

 
C. Body Scanning & Loving Kindness Meditation – 30 Minutes – This meditation is for those who want to jump right in with something a little longer. In this meditation you will learn to be aware from head to toe and then it concludes with loving-kindness.

 

Come Meet Us In Person!

There are two weekly meditations that are FREE and open to the public. Friday Free Drop-in Mindfulness Meditation with Joel McNenny and Monday Night Mindfulness Meditation with Dr. Manijeh Motaghy. These meditation sittings are open to everyone, but we ask that if you come to the Monday night meditation you come 15 minutes early so we can give you a little introduction. Click the links above for more information.

 

 

Part 4: Take a Class

Our Recommendation: MAPs I

For those new to Mindfulness we primarily recommend taking Mindful Awareness Practices: For Daily Living (MAPs I).  This class was developed at UCLA and can only be taught by UCLA authorized instructors.  This course will give you everything you need to not only learn about what Mindfulness is, but also how to apply it in your life. This class is 6 weeks long with a 2 hour session once a week. Each class is a combination of lecture, practice, and group feedback and discussion.  MAPs I is taught in a supportive community environment with classes no larger than 30 students.

For more information on MAPs I you can Click Here.

 

Other Options for New Students

Mindfulness Enhanced Relationships: Avoiding Communication Pitfalls – This course is taught by Dr. Manijeh Motaghy, our founder, and focuses on having all the relationships in your life work though better communication.

Eightfold Path: Right View – This course is taught by Daniel Davis, a USC Buddhist Chaplain, who is currently on track to go in depth to every part of the Eightfold Noble Path in this 8 part series.

 

Jumping Right in with a Retreat!

Stressed out and want a crash course to get result as fast as possible? Well a retreat is a great way to do it. All of our retreats are focused on leaving you rejuvenated and stress free, so don’t worry coming even as a beginner. Each retreat has it’s own theme which varies. Retreats are held about every month so keep and eye out for them!