Mindfulness Meditations for Experiencing the Here and Now

The following are a few mindfulness breathing meditations* that can be practiced every day individually or in sequence.  No need for yoga poses or bulk time – they can be done in a supermarket checkout line – but some quiet, peaceful space might add to your experience.  Although daily practice can have amazing results, try to put aside your thoughts of results or progress in your mind and just swim around in the experience.  If your thoughts, emotions, or sensations wander, just notice that they have wandered and gently bring your awareness back to the breathing in a spirit of acceptance.  Repeat each of these exercises several times, matched to your breath.

(1) {Inhale} I know I’m breathing in. {Exhale} I know I’m breathing out.

Focus on being clear-headed in your breathing.  Gently bring yourself back to being clear-headed if your thoughts wander without being frustrated.

(2) Take long inhales and exhales.

Notice how your breath feels in your body.  Try breathing with your abdomen if you normally breathe with your chest.

(3)  {Inhale long} {pause} {Exhale long} {pause}.

(4) {Inhale} Experience pulling in of breath {brief pause} {Exhale} Experience pushing out of breath {brief pause}.

(5) Experiencing the suffering of others, I breathe in {brief pause}.  Sending unconditional love, compassion, joy and peace, I breathe out {brief pause}.

The experience of this meditation can be profound, allowing us to open our hearts in empathy to what connects us all.  Being connected to others through empathy also allows us to experience that healing connection.

(6) Feeling alert and awake, I breathe in {brief pause}.  Feeling calm and relaxed, I breathe out {brief pause}.

You don’t need to force yourself to feel these ways.  They come naturally with inhaling and exhaling.  Just notice this.

(7) Experiencing the tightening, I breathe in {brief pause}.  Experiencing the loosening, I breathe out {brief pause}.

Again – this happens naturally with inhaling and exhaling.  Just notice.

(8) Experiencing the contracting, I breathe in {brief pause}.  Experiencing the expanding, I breathe out {brief pause}.

(9) Now just take your time.  Breathe in easily and breathe out easily.

Just allow your inhales and exhales to have their own space and your breathing to proceed normally without force or intention.

* Taken from an anonymous handout entitled “Meditation Exercises”

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