The term mindfulness is becoming more well-known with the growing interest in meditation. But what is the actual definition of mindfulness? And how do you effectively define a concept metaphysically interwoven through multiple cultures over time?
Gelong Thubten has a wonderful way to define mindfulness. He does so by bringing attention to the fact that mindfulness and meditation are about turning your brain ON to experience the moment on a deeper level, rather than turning it OFF to escape reality.
Gelong Thubten also mentions that mindful behavior helps us better understand the way our brains work so that we can learn how to tame and understand its function for better control, instead of allowing our thoughts to control us.
In this article, you’ll learn how to:
- Implement mindfulness with daily habits
- Meditate from an honest approach
- Improve meditation techniques with a few powerful concepts to build deeper awareness
What Is Mindfulness?
The definition of mindfulness can be perceived as:
Becoming better attuned to the internal and external environments coexisting around you.
It can be perceived as building compassion for how someone else may be feeling in THEIR shoes. Mindfulness can be perceived as listening deeper into your intuition and internal wisdom. Mindfulness can also be described as observing the world around you from a neutral platform of perception by patiently watching the trees sway, the birds play, and the river effortlessly flows away.
The most essential part of defining mindfulness would be by experiencing the phenomena through one’s own lens of perception, for your own interpretation to build and prosper within real time.
What does mindfulness mean for you? To you? And for the world in which you experience? How does one feel when they are experiencing a mindful response or recognition?
These mindful moments become your platform for a deeper comprehension of your own human experience, while still sharing commonalities with the world around you.
What Is Mindfulness Meditation?
A very common interpretation of meditation is that it is often perceived as doing nothing at all. “If I want to rest and do nothing, I will just take a nap or go to sleep.” When in actuality, doing nothing is still doing something. BUT, meditation most certainly is not doing nothing.
The world revolves around the perceptions we place on it under any given context. Perception is everything. Everything. How do we challenge the position of our current perception? Continually introduce new information to be processed by the mind, body, and soul.
Mindfulness meditation thus becomes an opportunity to deeper understand emotions, scenarios, fears, desires, happiness, habitual patterns, blissfulness, dreams, world constructs, social media, family, breathing, body alignment, strengths, or even amplifying appreciation for yourself and the world around you. When one begins to look at mindfulness or meditation as an opportunity for processing information, the doors open for development throughout the entire mansion of the mind.
Some healthy attributes that build and develop through mindfulness meditation include compassion, appreciation, understanding, attention, focus, acceptance, patience, and internal wisdom.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before, During, and After Meditation
These questions can be asked before, during, or after meditation:
- How will you choose to perceive this moment?
- How else could you perceive this moment?
- Which option would lead to a better perception of life as a whole?
- Which option would lead to a better understanding of the world as a whole?
- Where could these thoughts be coming from? Memories? Expectations? Love? Fear? Or are they being influenced by an outside source?
2 Myths About Mindfulness Dispelled
Professional meditation teacher, Gelong Thubten, has obtained a wonderful perception of meditation through years of development and personal experience.
He has come across two common myths of mindfulness throughout his experiences that should be recognized.
Meditation is meant to escape from reality and turn off the mind when it is more about developing consciousness and awareness for the moment you are experiencing and becoming more engaged in the present moment.
Meditation means to clear your mind or empty your mind from your thoughts (which is pointless and impossible). It is more about focusing on the mind. You are not trying to silence the mind, you are trying to understand it.
Geniune joy is when your mind experiences peace from within.– Gelong Thubten
Applying these concepts to the way one can interpret the idea of meditation can immediately alter the way one approaches a mindfulness meditation session.
Limiting expectations of the desired outcome will also be an important tool for progression through mindfulness meditation.
How to Meditate
When learning how to meditate, it is helpful to recognize two major concepts:
1. Every single moment in life is a proper moment for mindfulness meditation.
There does not have to be a specific morning or evening routine set in order to become mindful, although routines may help some people create mindful habits more efficiently, they are not necessary for the path towards mindfulness.
Listening to the environment while stuck in traffic, paying attention to your body and breath while in the office, or positioning your posture for better alignment are all moments of mindful behaviors. Absorb these moments in a conscious manner and mindfulness will become more present within your life.
2. Begin listening, feeling, absorbing, acknowledging, comprehending, learning, or observing anything you possibly can during any moment.
Become the silent observer of your environment. There is nothing special needed to begin, you just have to slowly hone in your attention, intention, and perception into the moment of the now.
Meditation Techniques by Gelong Thubten
Before getting started, be sure to set a clear intention to stay on the path towards building compassion, understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, joy, and wisdom.
Also, start your day by slowing downtime. Sit up. Ground yourself. Breathe. Focus on your body. Be clear. Be present. Then, let your day start from there. Getting out of your thoughts and into your body for even a moment builds habit.
Below are some different types of meditations to try out and some guidelines to follow with each:
Compassion and forgiveness meditation
- Setting an intention on the growth of compassion and benefit for others.
- Think about people and their pain and suffering to obtain a different perspective.
- Consciously develop empathy for others and a wish to help them. Let the wish become a habit through development.
- Throughout the day, think about how you can benefit others, or how you can forgive others, actively putting your mind in a compassionate state so that it can become a habit.
- Mantra: “I am doing this to bring more peace to my mind and more peace to the world.”
Love and kindness meditation
- Wish for the people around you to be happy, to experience happiness and pleasure to their utmost levels.
- Start feeling genuinely happy for someone close to you, then start to broaden your spectrum to strangers and people you have a problem with to activate the habit deeper, making it stronger and stronger. Eventually, working towards wishing happiness upon the entire planet, world, and other living beings.
- Frees us and frees others.
- Trains you to think in a different way.
- Putting yourself in another person’s shoes, changing positions, and feeling how they feel for better understanding to build compassion.
- “You don’t have to push forgiveness, you have to change your perspective, and forgiveness will naturally arise.” – Gelong Thubten
Here is a wonderful story about forgiveness from the man, himself, Gelong Thubten:
- For most people, joy is dependent on external conditions. We imagine that joy will come to us when everything goes right. Since joy comes from the outside for most people, this creates instability in happiness because outside things are impermanent and unstable.
- Express daily moments of gratitude.
- Look at the world around you and express how fortunate you are, even for the difficulties because they teach us how to become better.
- Train through conscious development of moments of gratitude throughout the day, just through thinking, you are shifting your gear into a more joyful state.
- “Genuine joy is when your mind experiences peace from within.” – Gelong Thubten
Wisdom (result from meditation)
- Wisdom comes when you start to listen to your heart instead of your head.
- Meditation helps you start to listen to the deeper part of your mind, your intuition, or the “deep knowing.” If you come from that place of perception, you make wise choices and have a wiser outlook on reality and your relationships.
- Intuition is building a deep trust with your internal wisdom, your own inner voice.
- We all want to be happy and free of suffering.
- Intuition becomes internal wisdom.
- Wisdom is intuition, wisdom is insight, a deep knowing about reality, and then making choices from that deeper place from yourself.
- We are able to build compassion and understanding by simply switching our perception to another point of view.
Let Your Journey of Mindfulness Begin
There would be no right or wrong way to begin meditation because we are all on different journeys of operation, understanding, and experiences. The fact that someone is even willing to take a moment to develop a better understanding of the world around them (and the world inside of them) shows the depth of their character and willingness to learn. These two qualities alone put somebody on the proper path for healthy development through mindfulness and meditation.
The stated mindfulness exercises above will serve a great benefit to the development of mindfulness meditation techniques and habits.
The journey of mindfulness meditation is one that requires patience, pattern recognition, pushing through barriers, and acknowledgment of where your foundation truly is, not where we wish for it to be. Build from an honest foundation, put in the patience, and implement mindful moments throughout your day. With this, you will be well on your way to a deeper appreciation for the beautiful world around you, and around us.
Good luck on your journey! You are already everything you could ever wish to be, it just simply becomes being.