Mindfulness Meditation

Last Updated: December 1, 2017

Definition - What does Mindfulness Meditation mean?

Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation which involves paying attention to the present moment, deliberately and nonjudgmentally. It is a popular meditation practice in the West and has roots in the Buddhist tradition of Vipassana meditation. It will often be incorporated into yoga practices and teachings.

When practicing mindfulness meditation, the key is to simply become aware of and consciously notice what is happening in the body and mind, without trying to change it. It is about cultivating an attitude of unconditional presence in the moment and accepting whatever is happening. This is believed to relieve the suffering caused by resisting and avoiding the natural experiences of life because it helps develop wisdom and equanimity.

Yogapedia explains Mindfulness Meditation

As a practice, mindfulness meditation is a nonsectarian form of meditation. It is intended to develop skills of paying attention to ourselves and the world and encourages compassion, acceptance and kindness in meeting whatever is found there. It also brings awareness and presence to a person, helping one to avoid functioning on “autopilot.”

When mindfulness meditation is practiced formally, the breath is usually used as an anchor for the attention. By following the breath, the mind has something to focus on and gently be brought back to every time it wanders. Attention may also be focused on physical sensations in the body or on the senses of touch, smell, taste, hearing or sight. Daily practice is recommended to develop the mental discipline, stability and concentration that this practice both requires and builds.

There have been more than 1,500 studies conducted on the effect of mindfulness meditation, as it has been found to be beneficial for boosting the immune system, managing pain, decreasing blood pressure and heart rate, improving the quality of sleep, increasing energy levels, sharpening mental function, elevating and stabilizing mood, improving relationships and increasing resilience.

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