Experiential Learning through Mindfulness
Stressed out, overwhelmed, distracted, or looking to find more satisfaction in your daily life? If so, you may benefit from mindfulness and meditation techniques to alleviate stress, find balance, and achieve more focus and calm in your life. Mindfulness meditation is a very personal form of experiential learning, enabling heightened awareness of your present moment experience and increased self-acceptance and self-understanding. What you learn by paying attention in this way reverberates outward to other areas of your life.
Start with Mindful Breathing.The guided meditations below on mindful breathing and other topics can help you get started. These free meditations below range from a few minutes to 20 minutes or more.
- UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center [Start with "Breathing Meditation".]
- University of Vermont Mindfulness Exercises [Start with "Mindfulness of the Breath".]
- Mindful Self-Compassion, Christopher Germer, PhD [Start with “Mindfulness of Breathing”.]
- Self-Compassion, Kristen Neff, PhD
- Guided Exercises by Tara Brach, PhD
Take a Free Course Online.
If you want more, there are even some free, self-paced courses online. Here are two:
Read More about Mindfulness.
Learning about the benefits of mindfulness is a great way to build your motivation to keep practicing. Consider trying one of the books below, or go to your favorite bookstore and browse. There are lots of books out there, so find one that resonates with you.
- Meditation for Beginners, by Jack Kornfield. A very accessible introduction, with guided meditations on compact disc.
- Real Happiness, by Sharon Salzberg. A 28-day program for meditation.
- Mindfulness in Plain English, by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. A monk’s non-religious introduction to mindfulness. A free web-based version is also available here.
Hear What Other Have to Say:
You might like to hear what others have said about their experiences practicing mindfulness:
- Mindfulness: Youth Voices (video): Youth and young adults discussing their experiences practicing mindfulness, and how mindfulness has benefited different aspects of their lives.
- Mindfulness: Teens Talk (video): Teens Talk About Using Mindfulness in Daily Life.
Try a Meditation Timer:
A number of smartphone apps are available that include guided meditations, instructions, and bell timers, such as this one:
- Meditation Timer Free - (iOS) Free (or try their “Pro” version, which is $1, but has no advertisement).
There's also this web-based timer:
- Medivate Meditation Timer - Free web-accessible timer.