This is probably the most practical way to start mindfulness meditation for beginners. These meditation exercises are especially useful if you are in one of the following categories:
Regardless of where you are in your meditation journey, I recommend trying these mindfulness meditation techniques.
“Be where you are, otherwise, you will miss your life”- Buddha
These meditation exercises are designed around your daily activities. Each will take around 3 – 5 minutes.
Important: You should not try to stop or forcefully control thoughts. Mindfulness is not about controlling thoughts, but simply being aware of what’s happening.
Lesson 1 – Mindfulness while brushing your teeth
Brushing teeth is a daily activity and you do it twice a day. Your target is to be mindful of brushing your teeth till the end (approximately 2 minutes). Be aware of what’s happening.
Pay attention to where your brush is touching. Be aware of the taste of toothpaste. Listen to the sound of the brush. Is there any pain in your mouth? Is your brush touching your gums? Your target is to not let your mind go wild with thoughts, but to keep your awareness in the present moment. Sounds easy? Give it a try and see.
Lesson 2 – Mindfulness meditation while drinking tea or coffee
Having a tea, coffee or any beverage? Use it to practice mindfulness. Your target is to be an observer until you finish your drink. Try not to let your mind get buried in thoughts that are not related to your drink.
Be aware of the beverage touching your lips and tongue. Enjoy the taste. Pay attention to the warmth of the cup in between sips. How much beverage is left in the cup? Have a look.
“You must be completely awake in the present to really enjoy the tea.” Thích Nhất Hạnh
Lesson 3 – Mindfulness practice while eating
When did you last enjoy each and every bite of your meal? Let’s try that. Your aim is to pay attention to eating for at least 5 minutes.
Be aware of the food touching your mouth. How does it taste, good, bad, sour, spicy, salty? How many times are you chewing? Does the food looks mouth-watering? What are the colours in your food? Can you taste ingredients separately, or are they all blended to create a whole new flavour?
"Mindful eating is a way to become reacquainted with the guidance of our internal nutritionist". Dr. Jan Chozen Bays
Lesson 4 – Mindfulness while showring
Can you really enjoy the shower for at least 3 – 5 minutes? Really pay attention to everything happening while you are showering.
A few tips on how to do this:
Be aware of the water touching your body. Is it touching your head, shoulders or somewhere else? Is the water hot or cold or in between? Pay attention to the sound of the water hitting your body and the floor.
Lesson 5 – Is your toilet a thinking palace?
Use a simple trip to the toilet as a good way to practice mindfulness meditation. Your target is to be in the present moment, be aware of what’s happening. Can you hang on till the end?
Lesson 6 – Walking and mindfulness
Yes, you can even use walking as a mindfulness meditation practice. Here is how to do it.
What do you usually do while walking? Are you thinking of something that bothers you from the past? Are you worrying about something that's going to happen in the future? Are you angry with someone? Are you thinking about the amount of work to do? Or are you letting the thought of your bills stress you out?
Change it one day at a time. The next time you go for a walk, pay attention to objects or people you can see. Don’t try to judge anyone or anything. Can you walk for at least 5 minutes like that?
As you can see, you can practice mindfulness in every moment. A few more ways you can try to practice mindfulness can be:
While shaving or combing your hair
When working out in the gym
All of these methods follow the same concepts, pay attention to what you are doing and don't get caught up in your thoughts. These sound easy, but practice is required to get good at mindfulness.
Take these mindfulness meditation exercises until you are very comfortable with them.
First, make sure you are ready for the next level. How do you know you are ready? There is no strict formula. You should know when you are ready. As a guideline, if you can do one of those lessons five consecutive days without “failing” then you are ready.
What do I mean by failing?
Let’s take brushing your teeth as an example. You must be able to pay attention for the whole period (2 -3 minutes). If you cannot keep your awareness on brushing your teeth, then you are not ready, but need more time to practice. It’s ok. It sounds simple, but you will most probably need multiple tries to achieve it, and that’s completely normal.
Once you are ready to move on, your next step is to apply mindfulness to daily challenges. Visit the mindfulness meditation for stress relief page to begin.