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Mindfulness is about bringing curious attention to things that are present right now; like the body, breath and sound. By bringing curiosity, acceptance and attention to these things we begin to cultivate a present-moment awareness and train our “attention muscles”. This ten-minute meditation teaches awareness of breath and sounds.

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Our minds are thought machines that roam wild when left to their own devices; sometimes leading us into ideas or memories that cause anger, sadness, craving or self-pity. Paying attention to the present moment and bringing awareness to our thoughts decreases the effect that they have on our lives. The next five minutes will be directed to paying attention to breath and thoughts.

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This meditation practice is dedicated to bringing awareness to emotions and emotional experiences, allowing you to observe them non-judgementally. Our reactions can increase the effect of negative emotions and experiences on our lives. This five-minute exercise helps build resilience to intense emotions and teaches the skill of observing the experience instead of reacting to it.

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Mindfulness is not only about taking five to ten minutes a day to sit and meditate. The awareness and attention that it cultivates is useful in everyday moments. This one-minute exercise places a comma in your day by taking a moment to become aware of the body and breath, thoughts and sounds, smells and sights. A fantastic pause in the day to use as many times as possible!

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This introductory session of your Smiling Mind program will explain what Mindfulness, and your next ten Smiling Mind sessions, is all about. It also guides you through your first experience in cultivating Mindfulness with a five-minute breathing meditation. We suggest you choose a quiet room where you can sit undisturbed for ten minutes while you enjoy the first session of your Smiling Mind program.

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We often think of meditation as something that is practiced in complete silence in cross-legged position on a mountain top. The truth is that you can meditate anywhere. In fact, you can use the sounds, smells, tastes and sights in your environment as objects of your meditation. This can be great fun and it takes a lot of practice. In this 8 minute Smiling Mind session we will show you how to bring mindful awareness to the sounds around you as a part of your meditation.

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For today’s meditation you will need a piece of fruit or chocolate. In the previous Smiling Mind session you saw how sounds can become a part of your meditation practice. In this six-minute session we will show you how being mindful of tastes can turn eating into a meditation practice. You might be surprised how many things you didn’t know about your piece of fruit or chocolate!

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You may have noticed that when you sit still and meditate for a few minutes you feel all kinds of sensations in your body: pain or itching, pressure or discomfort, heat or cold. Today your meditation will bring your attention to all these different sensations in your body, and encourage you to accept every sensation that arises with kindness and curiosity—even when the sensation is one that you dislike, such as pain or strain. The next ten minutes will allow you to scan your body non-judgementally, from the tips of your toes to the top of the head.

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Now that you have been meditating for a few weeks you might be ready to bring mindful awareness into your life without having to sit somewhere with your eyes closed. There are many ways that you can bring mindfulness into everyday activities, one of which is meditating while you walk. We’ll show you how to do this in a seven-minute exercise. Once you’ve practised this technique you can start meditating while walking down the hall at school, at home or even outside. Just remember to be mindful of what is going on around you if you try this while walking outside!

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This is a ten-minute session is designed to help you deal with emotions mindfully. We all experience emotions and sometimes they can take hold of us, affecting how we behave and react to situations. When we let emotions like anger or sadness take over, our reactions might hurt others and/or ourselves. Paying attention to our emotions in meditation can make it easier to stop ourselves reacting to them in hurtful ways.

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