An Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

11 minutes
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In this session, we explain what mindfulness meditation is all about, and we do a short meditation session together.


Life can get really stressful, and whether it's just dealing with your day at work at home, whether it's trying not to react in a negative way to the news and the larger environment around you. It's hard sometimes to just be in the present moment, enjoy your life and not get stressed about it. And that's what mindfulness meditation can help you learn how to do. So mindfulness meditation is a very simple method of meditation that you can learn to do. And when you learn it, you learn how to be present, and observe what's around you and not react on it. magically to it, you are actually retraining your brain to not be so reactive.

And in this course on mindfulness meditation, you're going to learn everything you need to know in order to practice mindfulness meditation, we'll actually be doing meditation during the course, as well as talking about what it is, what it isn't, why it works, and the science behind it. I have a PhD in psychology. And I'm very interested in I work a lot with behavioral science and brain science. And there's actually been a lot of research on mindfulness meditation and what's going on in your brain and what's going on in your body when you practice it. So you'll learn about the science behind it, how to do it. And when you're all done, you'll find that you're able to live in the present moment and observe what's going on around you and not react.

In a stressful way, you'll learn to be more calm, to enjoy your life more, and to live in a more healthful way. So, I hope you'll join me and learn about mindfulness meditation. Welcome to our class on mindfulness meditation. I hope you're ready to learn and to try it out. Mindfulness Meditation is a very simple form of meditation. It's actually based on some very old Buddhist forms of meditation.

However, mindfulness meditation, as has been made popular by people like Jon Kabat Zinn, and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center is a a non religious form of meditation does not require that you believe in any particular principles is very easy to learn. And what you'll find is that anyone can do it. So whether you have experience with meditation, some other form of meditation, or whether you've never meditated before, I think you'll be very comfortable with learning how to do mindfulness meditation. I thought we'd start off actually, by doing a really short meditation, so that you can start to understand what it's all about before we even dig in to any of the details. So what I'd like to do is just do that let's do a really quick and simple mindfulness meditation. So when in order to do this, you need to not be driving.

So that's the important thing. You can't be driving or operating any machinery or equipment, because actually, I'm going to have you close your eyes. So that won't work very well. So if you You are driving. So just find a place to sit that's comfortable. There's no particular position you have to be in, you don't have to be on the floor, you don't have to be on a mat.

You don't have to be on a meditation cushion or anything like that. It would be better possible for you to sit rather than lay down because I don't want you to fall asleep. So find the place to sit that's comfortable. If that's really not comfortable. If you do have some kind of medical issue that makes it hard to sit them then you can of course, you know, lie down you can even stand up if you need to, but if possible, Sit in a comfortable position, somewhat erect. And if you're comfortable with it, close your eyes.

And this will take just we're gonna do a quick like two or three minute meditation, that's all it's gonna take. So as you're sitting comfortably, and closing your eyes, I want you to just focus and become aware of you're breathing. Just focus on the fact that you are breathing, you're breathing in and you're breathing out and just become aware of your breathing. You might become aware of it through because you're breathing through your nose and you feel the air as it moves through your nose in and out. Or maybe you become aware of it. Because as you breathe in, your belly expands.

And as you breathe out, your belly falls back toward your spine. So, maybe you put your hand on your belly and just become aware of your breathing that way, either way, through the nose or through your belly. just become aware, and pay attention to your breathing. Not trying to manipulate your breath in any way not trying to do a particularly deep breath or An even breath or a certain number of breaths, take a certain amount of time, nothing like that. Just being aware and paying attention to your breathing as you sit here, breathing in and breathing out, aware of each breath as your breath comes under. And if your mind becomes distracted, gets pulled into some thought or another.

As soon as you realize that you've stopped focusing on your breathing, then just go back to it. Go back to observing your breath. Breathing in and breathing out. And then when you're ready, you can slowly come back to the room and open your eyes. So that's an example of mindfulness meditation. Sometimes I joke with my classes when I teach mindfulness and we do this first meditation, I say, Okay, that was it.

That's mindfulness meditation. And now we're all done. You don't have to come back to your sessions. Well, it there's a little bit more involved, but we'll get into but this really is a good example of mindfulness meditation. It's very Very simple. And it has to do with being aware of your breathing and staying in that present moment.

Now as we go through our course, we're going to do all kinds of different variations on this. Try out a lot of different things with it. We're going to do longer meditations more than just a few minutes. But I wanted to give you just a sense of what it's about and how simple it is. So I'll tell you a little bit about my background, with mindfulness meditation and with teaching it. I have been practicing meditation of one form or another for decades.

I started learning mindfulness meditation in particular, back in 2007. And I went through an eight week training program for In 2014, and then I started teaching mindfulness meditation in 2016. I have a PhD in psychology. And I study brain science, behavioral science. And in the course, we're going to be talking about the science behind what's happening in your body when you learn how to do mindfulness meditation, because there are actually changes that occur in your brain, and changes that occur in your body. changes that have to do with an increase in the parts of your brain that have to do with focusing a decrease in the parts of your brain that have to do with anxiety.

There's research that shows that mindfulness meditation changes your reaction, to stress your your what's called the fight or flight reaction is changing. When you have practiced mindfulness meditation for a while, and there's more connectedness between different parts of the brain, as well as the fact that mindfulness meditation can switch certain genes on and off. So, Gene says in DNA genes. So there's actually been quite a lot of research done at Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Massachusetts, University of Wisconsin, and other places about mindfulness meditation just in the last few years. And we'll be covering all of that in the course, as well as talking about some of the practical aspects of meditating. And then we'll be doing a number of meditations throughout the course.

So we'll be doing them right here in the lessons and there are also audio files that you will be able to download If you want to do some of the meditations, you knew not while running the video. So that's a very, very short introduction to mindfulness. And in the next lesson, we'll get into it in some more detail.

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