Mindfulness meditation takes us on a beautiful journey of self-awareness where we learn many interesting things about ourselves and how we relate to the world around us. There are many benefits of practicing mindfulness meditation on a regular basis. Here are 4 takeaways from an ongoing practice, which can be useful in our day-to-day living.
Thoughts are not facts. For many of us, when we are caught up in thinking, we tend to believe that our thoughts are true and accurate. We often forget that thoughts are simply mental events occurring in the space of our minds. Our thoughts have a powerful effect on how we feel and what we do. In mindfulness practice, however, we become aware of the thoughts passing through the mind and we begin to develop a witnessing quality that sees our thoughts come and go. We learn that our minds can have a more spacious quality. Over time, and through mindfulness practice, we are able to see our thoughts without getting so carried away by them, and to see that there may be many ways of thinking about situations. We don’t fall into the unhealthy mental habits we have had in the past, but rather have a chance to create new thought patterns that support a sense of wellbeing.
Acceptance without judgment or criticism. In the practice of mindfulness meditation, we are instructed to pay attention to our present moment experiences with openness and curiosity and a willingness to be with what is – to be accepting of how things are while we are meditating. We are encouraged to feel what we are feeling. We begin to engrain a sense of acceptance without judgment within each meditation sitting. When our minds wander yet again, a mere 30 seconds into our practice, we gently and compassionately can bring our attention back to the present moment. Rather than harshly reacting to the unavoidable reality of mind wandering, we can be compassionate with ourselves. As we practice acceptance without judgment during our mindfulness practice, this way of being begins to translate into our daily living and strengthens our ability to be accepting and self-compassionate.
Comfort with Uncertainty. Periods of uncertainty are normal aspects of the human experience. But for many of us uncertainty is uncomfortable and often difficult to tolerate. Through mindfulness meditation, we can learn to sit with feelings of uncertainty. During our meditation, when we practice with these uncomfortable feelings, we begin to learn how these feelings feel. We also begin to realize that, just like the breath, feelings come and they go. They visit us for a period of time and then they dissipate. Over time, and with a sense of acceptance and self-compassion, we learn that we have the capacity to be with feelings of uncertainty.
Contentment in the present moment. When we commit to an ongoing practice of mindfulness meditation, we learn to come back to the present moment over and over again. We begin to strengthen our ability to be in the present moment and we find that during our meditation sittings, we have more and more moments when we are resting in the present moment. As this ability gets stronger, we see that contentment is right here with us. Mindfulness shows us that we can be fundamentally happy in the present, which is all we really have.
Meditation instructor Alice Lash offers mindfulness meditation in Miami. Take a look at the Mindfultime class schedule and join us for an eye-opening experience in mindfulness meditation.