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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

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Melli O'Brien






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A simple and universal practice for developing embodied awareness. You can do this walking meditation no matter where you are.

Before you begin your meditation,

just finding a space to walk.

It could be outdoors, or it could

be inside, perhaps in a hallway

or a room, where you could do this

practice by walking back and forth.

And this meditation could be

done as a formal practice.

Formal meaning that there's a specific

time taken out of your day for this

meditation, in the same way you

might do with a sitting meditation.

Or it might be an informal practice, just

bringing mindfulness to your walking as

you travel from one place to another.

Just beginning now by taking a pause

is before you begin and gathering your

awareness into your physical body.

So perhaps just noticing the touch

of clothing against your skin.

The cool touch of air on

exposed parts of the skin.

Feeling the sensation of your

feet in contact with the ground.

And then draw the focus to the breath.

And taking one deep, slow, full breath in.

And exhaling.

Keeping your eyes open, and

bringing awareness again to the

sensations of the soles of the

feet in contact with the ground.

And beginning now to walk at a

natural pace, or if possible, just

slightly slower than your normal pace.

And with each step now, paying attention

to the sensations on the soles of the

feet as each foot touches the ground.

It doesn't matter whether

or not you're wearing shoes.

Just keep noticing the feelings

and sensations in the feet as

each foot meets the ground.

Noticing the changes in pressure, texture

and sensation, one foot after the other.

And you'll need to obviously just

keep enough awareness of the world

around you so that you're aware of

where you're going and staying safe.

But the main focus of attention

is feeling the soles of the

feet as you continue to walk.

If you're in a small space, you

can practice by walking 10 paces

also, or walking the length of

the room and then turning around.

If at any time the mind wanders away from

feeling the sensations in the feet, just

notice the thought that distracted you and

gently guide the focus back to the feet.

There's no need for any frustration

or irritation if the mind wanders.

That's the same for everybody.

Just simply bring the focus back

as many times as you need to.

Now as you continue walking naturally,

expand your attention to vision.

Spring you full attention

to what you can see.

Taking in the various colors, shapes,

movements, and play of light and shadow.

And as you do this, aiming to put

aside any mental commentary or

labeling or judging about what you see.

And instead, just being present

with what's here to be seen.

And now, beginning to

shift the focus to sound.

Whether you're indoors or in the

woods or in a city, just paying

attention to the soundscape.

And for these final moments of

the meditation, bringing the focus

back to awareness of the physical

sensations on the soles of the feet.

No matter where your mind wandered during

this practice, just noticing right now the

feeling of the feet touching the ground.

And when you were ready to end

this walking meditation, just

pausing once again and taking

a deep, slow, full breath in.

And exhaling naturally.

And proceeding now the rest of your day.

Perhaps making an intention to take

this mindful awareness with you.

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