3. Mindful Awareness…
… paying attention to present moment experiences
with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with
what is. It is an excellent antidote to the stresses of
modern times. It invites us to stop, breathe, observe,
and connect with one's inner experience
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Ctr
4. Mindful Awareness…
…helps us become aware of what is already true
moment by moment. We could say that it teaches us
how to be unconditionally present; that is, it helps us
be present with whatever is happening, no matter what
• When practicing mindfulness one must remember to
maintain attention on the chosen object of awareness,
"faithfully returning back to refocus on that object
whenever the mind wanders away from it.“
• Mindfulness means not only, "moment to moment
awareness of present events," but also, "remembering to
be aware of something or to do something at a designated
time in the future".
• The primary connotation of this term is “recollection".
…means living in a state of raised
consciousness, knowing how our minds have
been programmed to work, and then making
healthy, long-term decisions about how we
choose to conduct our lives. This includes
mindful eating, mindful relationships,
mindful speech, mindful livelihood, etc.
7. Mindful Breathing
Focus on your breathing
As one breath ends; the next begins
Your eyes don’t have to be closed, but your mind should be in
the present (focus on ‘something’, a picture, a lit candle, your hands,
a spot on the floor..rest your hand on your belly and focus on its rise
When your mind wanders…let the thoughts go..bring your
attention back to the breath
Practice a couple of times a day for 5 mins at a time (in the
beginning, 3 min/time 2x/day)…when done, reflect on your
Feeling better in the moment..
from release of ‘feel-good’ hormones dopamine and serotonin
Effects are cumulative and lasting…brain plasticity
When we stop and quiet our minds, we’re building healthier
habits of thinking and feeling
Practice Makes Permanent
9. Mindful Sensing
Taking the time to really pay attention to the
remarkable sensation of being alive, moment to
moment, in our bodies
Appreciating all that we see, hear, smell, taste and
When we practice mindful awareness, we develop
more conscious control of what we pay attention
to…due to stronger neural pathways in our brain…
we can discern a tree in the forest…we develop
10. Mindful Listening
Reinforces a crucial skill of emotional intelligence:
the ability to listen accurately to others with our
minds and hearts without interrupting or leaping to
Is there a difference between ‘listening’ and
Listening stimulates our ability to feel empathy for
‘We are losing our silence’…comments????
11. Mindful Seeing
80% of what our brains take in is visual
The human eye registers more than 35,000 visual
images every hour
No wonder we feel that time is flying by!!
13. Mindful Smelling
The smell of apple pie baking; the smell of pine
from a Christmas tree; the smell of your mother’s
perfume or your father’s aftershave; the scent of
What might be a negative smell?
Smell evokes the emotions surrounding an
Being able to smell and then remember what any
particular scent means and whether it signifies
comfort or danger is a vital human skill.
14. Mindful Tasting…
…helps us to savor every mouthful and we tend to
…increases the awareness of the importance of
chewing our food which aids digestion
…it takes the brain 10 min to experience the
feeling of being full…if we eat slower, we’ll eat
less and enjoy it more
…is one of the ways in which we can experience
the optimal state of relaxed awareness by paying
attention to what we eat
15. Mindful Movement
Have you ever been sitting and felt you had to get
up and move your body or you were going to
jump out of your skin?
Our bodies and minds are very closely connected
Movement releases dopamine, which helps us
experience a sense of well-being…
Other neural circuits help benefit our brain by:
Improving cognitive ability, problem solving and more..
16. Living in the Moment
• Use a reminder of the string-around-your-finger
• Practice slowing down time by attending to the
subtleties of experience in the here and now
• Make it new
• Mind the gap
• Focus on the soles of your feet
• Focus on your senses
18. Thoughts Borrowed from Qigong
Slow down your breathing. This brings more oxygen to the
body and brain.
Focus on your lower dantian, the energy center located
behind the navel.
Breathe through your skin. Concentrate on your skin as you
visualize energy coming into your body.
Breathe through your nose. This brings more energy
directly to your brain.
Put a smile on your face.
19. • Mindfulness, paying precise, nonjudgmental
attention to the details of our experience as it arises
and subsides, doesn't reject anything. Instead of
struggling to get away from experiences we find
difficult, we practice being able to be with them.
Equally, we bring mindfulness to pleasant
experiences as well. Perhaps surprisingly, many
times we have a hard time staying simply present
with happiness. We turn it into something more
familiar, like worrying that it won't last or trying to
keep it from fading away.
20. For if you notice the above list of things we can and
should be mindful about, you will find it to be not
dissimilar from the Buddha's 8-fold path: Right view,
Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right
Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right
21. It is this 8-Fold Path that we have basically distilled
into what is now known as Mindfulness, I believe,
without any religious connotations. In contrast,
Mindfulness Meditation is one of the practices, one
of the tools, of both the 8-Fold Path and of
Notas do Editor
The practice of mindfulness could be watching the breath, tuning in to sounds, looking at a flower
We’ve practiced breathing more deeply…implement that breathing in this practice.
Reflections supports our possible need for instant gratification.
What strengthens the brain is not the length of time that we do the practice but the frequency with which we practice during a day……3 x per day for 3 min per time is more effective than sitting for 20 min and doing mindful breathing.
Every second of every day our brains are inundated with billions of pcs of sensory data coming at us from all sides…99% is discarded almost instantly. If we paid attention to everything, our brains would become overloaded..so we register only the most important pcs of info. We might hear a ticking clock or something sizzling in a pan or smelling something cooking..we might hear birds chirping; we feel warmth from the sun; we feel a cat or dog rubbing against our leg; we notice when our mouth’s are dry when we’re thirsty…this ability to discern between sensory data comes from a specialized part of our brain that nconsciously filters what we should pay attention to, when and why.
How many times in a week are we misunderstood or we misunderstand what someone is sharing with us? How often are you cut off from finishing what ou’re saying; how often to you cut someone off?
With technology and electronic gadgets being added into our world every day, we are adding more and more layers of sound to our world, turning on and tuning out..we are losing our silence. The disappearnce of silent spaces is endangering our ability to obtain a rellective, active state of mind. “The peak of brain activity, of thnking, comes in the tiny pauses between sounds, when we simultaneously process the previous sound and anticipate the next. When the noise never abates, brain activity tends to flatline
Do the exercises…crinkle paper, use scissors to cut paper…card stock vs. reg paper, use a zipper, hitting a pot with a wooden spoon, a metal spoon, a plastic spoon, rattle piggy bank. Listen to silence…what did you hear? Do the echo exercise: I say a sentence and they repeat it back to me…they work in teams of 2 to do this listening exercise.
Seeing with new eyes. Look at picture…look away and look back again..do you see the same thing or do you see something different??
Essential oils…strength of peppermint or lavender…
Tonight at dinner, smell each bite of food before you put it in your mouth…does mindful smelling change the way the food tastes?
Research shows that we have tasted the best of any meal after the 2nd mouthful…
It reinforces the pleasures of sitting down and sharing a meal together…which is a lost art in so many households…
Use a raisin or a small pc of chocolate..they’ll choose a raisin and hold it and wait..Look closely at what’s in your hands; as if you’ve never seen it before..what do you see? What shape is it? What about texture? And color? Close your eyes and smell it..what does it remind you of? Put it in your mouth..just resting it on your tongue. Bite down and chew slowly…How does it taste? What does it feel like? Did your mouth water when it was on your tongue? Was it easy or difficult to stay focused and not gobble up the treat?
Another exercise…Use carrots…have them examine it before they eat it…then eat it and describe what it tastes like..is it sweet or sour? Does it taste like it has sugar in it? Is it chewy or crunchy..fruity or salty yucky or yummy?
Imagine the taste….Imagine you’re holding a lemon; describe what it looks like; imagine we’ve cut the lemon into slices..what does it smell like? Ask them to imagine bringing a slice to their lips and putting it into their mouths. What happened when they imagined biting into it? Could they taste the sourness? Did their mouths pucker up or their noses wrinkle? Remind them that even though there was no lemon, their mouths still puckered up just thinking about it. What power the imagination has even to create physical responses!!
Movement can be anything…walking around the house, paddling around the pool, riding a bike, …whatever as long as you’re up and moving….
Do the exercise from Grace’s yoga class where they stand up straight, arms at their sides, keep their chin level, and raise and lower their shoulders as quickly as they can breathing in and out with the movement..all being done without moving their chin or head… repeat 10-15 times and then stop and ‘feel’ the difference….
Do cross walk to balance right and left brains..
Some things you can do to bring mindfulness into all that you do…
Slow down your breathing. This brings more oxygen to the body and brain. &quot;Studies have shown that if we can slow down our breathing rhythm from 15 to 20 times a minute to 10 times a minute, we can dramatically help ourselves reduce stress,&quot;
Focus on your lower dantian, the energy center located behind the navel. &quot;This is the center of vitality; it is very powerful. Every bit of energy you need to cope with any single movement in your body and in your mind comes from here.&quot;
Breathe through your skin. Concentrate on your skin as you visualize energy coming into your body. The skin belongs to the lung system, which delivers energy to the kidneys, digestive system, and heart.
Breathe through your nose. This brings more energy directly to your brain.
Put a smile on your face. &quot;When you smile, you automatically activate endorphins, a morphine-like chemical your body naturally produces,&quot; he says. Endorphins not only decrease feelings of pain, they modulate appetite, release sex hormones, enhance the immune response, and lead to feelings of euphoria.