Instructions for Mindfulness Meditation

Instructions

A person, when he starts out on mindfulness meditation, does not always have an easy time. Even when he maintains a comfortable meditation posture, he finds it difficult to continue with meditation for an hour. Other classes in meditation take a break from straight meditation every 30 minutes or so.

People who have learned to meditate can sit in meditation for hours quite comfortably. So this problem seems to arise when one is still learning. Maybe the person feels overwhelmed with what the mind unloads on him.

The instructions for meditation are there. These instructions can even be very precise as documented in Mindfulness Exercises. But the problem seems to lie in accessing the instructions when needed during meditation. The instructions can be simple but incomplete, or they can be complete but voluminous. A neophyte can easily get overwhelmed by a lack of instructions, or having too many instructions to digest.

In mindfulness meditation one is simply instructed to see things as they are. These simple instructions are then reinforced by giving precise instructions during meditation itself. This allows the person to adjust to one small aspect of meditation at a time, until he is fully established in mindfulness meditation.

Here are the steps:

  1. The student starts with a posture that he can maintain comfortably for an hour or more.

  2. The student then settles down in meditation with simple breathing exercises.

  3. After a few minutes the instructor calls out the first instruction of Mindfulness 0: See Things as they are.

  4. The instructor waits for 2 to 3 minutes and then gives out the next instruction. This gives the student enough time to get comfortably established with the first instruction.

  5. The instructor thus gives out rest of the instructions of Mindfulness 0, spacing them apart by 2 to 3 minutes as above. This gives the student time to digest each instruction and execute it in real time.

  6. The spacing may be reduced to a minute in subsequent sessions as the student gets more familiar with the instructions.

  7. Once the student is established in mindfulness meditation, the instructor may assist him further by calling out the instructions for mindfulness exercises 1 to 12.

Subsequent mindfulness exercises address specific filters of the mind, such as, desires, expectations, bias, prejudice, assumptions, etc. As the student progresses with these exercises he needs less and less external assistance. He may then simply do them by himself until he is fully established in mindfulness.

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