What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness Meditation is all about bringing the body and the mind into the same place, at the same time. When we pay attention, on purpose, the present moment reveals itself.

In the practice of Mindfulness, awareness is maintained from moment-to-moment, with focus on breath, thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and environment. The object of focus isn’t important. It’s all about keeping attention in the present moment.

While focusing, Mindfulness also involves acceptance. This means that while thoughts and sensations arise, we don’t judge them. There is no “right” or “wrong” in experience.

Looking for a specific practice in Mindfulness? Here are a few great options:

Mindfulness Practice

Origins - Buddhism

Who should practice?

Great for beginners and experienced seekers, simple instructions and lots of resources available

About

Mindfulness practice is the broad term for the group of techniques used to create awareness through focused attention, observation and acceptance. The 2 core pillars of mindfulness practice are: wisdom and compassion.

Vipassana

Origins - Buddhism

Who should practice?

Great for beginners and experienced seekers, those looking for silent retreats

About

Vipassana is often referred to as insight meditation, with focus being on seeing things honestly – as they really are. Typically, the breath is used as a focal point during the practice, thoughts are recognized and noted, and then attention is returned to the breath.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSM)

Origins - Started by Jon Kabat-Zinn (1979), based on the teachings of Buddhism and Vipassana

Who should practice?

Those dealing with chronic pain, anxiety, illness; anyone interested in meditation and seeking a more ‘Western’ or medical approach with evidence and data to support; those looking for a more defined program and community support

About

Similar to Vipassana, MBSM uses breath awareness and also integrates body scanning. It is typically offered in an 8-week program that also integrates Yoga with Western medicine.

Loving-Kindness Meditation

Origins - Tibetan Buddhism

Who should practice?

Anyone with a desire to develop self-love and extend empathy to others

About

Also known as Metta meditation, this style of meditation boosts empathy, acceptance, self-love, positivity and kindness. The practice begins with awakening the state of loving-kindness in oneself and then extending it out to a friend or loved one, then to a neutral figure in your life, then toward a person you are experiencing difficulty with, and then out to the Universe.

Looking for guided meditation resources?

Check out Insight Timer!