Have you noticed how hard it can be to pay attention to your breath or the sensations in your body without your mind wandering off? This happens to all of us because our minds are “thought machines”—it’s what they do, just like eyes see and noses smell. Sometimes our minds are so busy in thought that we can’t get to sleep at night or concentrate when we need to. Even worse, our physical and mental wellbeing suffers when we get caught up in thoughts that worry, hurt or frustrate us. But we can bring mindful awareness to our thoughts by observing and accepting them as if they were clouds in the sky passing by. In the next seven minutes we will show you how to do this.

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We hope that all your meditation efforts are bringing mindful awareness into your daily life and are making your mind smile. Another wonderful way of putting a smile on your mind is by making friendly wishes for yourself. We hope you enjoy the next six minutes of this loving kindness meditation.

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Now that you’ve practised sending wishes to yourself it’s time to send some friendly wishes to others. We can share some love and happiness with the people we care for by sending them friendly wishes in our meditations. In this eight-minute session you will start by bringing mindful awareness to your breath, then begin sending happy wishes to yourself and someone you care about.

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You’ve made it to the last level of your Smiling Mind program—well done! Over the last nine sessions you’ve gathered lots of tools to help you practise Mindfulness Meditation and put a smile on your mind. To put all these wonderful lessons to good use we suggest setting yourself a Smiling Mind Challenge. In these last 12 minutes of the program we will help you set a challenge for yourself and guide you through one last breath and body meditation.

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In this first Smiling Mind session we will guide you through one of the basic components of Mindfulness Meditation; feeling your breath move in and out of your nose and belly. For the next six minutes we will take you on a short journey to the Land of Mindfulness, a place inside you where you are safe and strong. The easiest way to do this exercise is by sitting comfortably in a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed or distracted. We hope that the next six minutes puts a big smile on your mind.

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Mindfulness is about becoming aware of and paying attention to things that are always there, like your breath. In the last session you travelled to the Land of Mindfulness by counting rounds of your breath and feeling the air move in and out of your belly. There are other things that can help you travel to the Land of Mindfulness, too. Sound is one of them. If you pay attention to sounds you will notice that they are always around. We recommend that you choose a quiet room to sit in comfortably for the next six minutes while you put another smile on your mind.

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For today’s session you will need a piece of fruit or chocolate. You will use this food as the object of your meditation because this is a great way to travel to the Land of Mindfulness. You’ll be amazed how many things you discover about your piece of fruit or chocolate when you pay attention to it mindfully for the next five minutes!

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Your Smiling Mind sessions may not always make you feel completely relaxed after listening to them; sometimes you might feel restless or agitated. The goal is to observe and accept what is there, with curiosity and patience. But we know that feeling relaxed does help you put a smile on your mind, so in today’s seven-minute meditation we will ask you to lie down comfortably and imagine a special bubble that relaxes every part of your body. This is a great way of exploring how your body feels.

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Now that you are becoming an experienced meditator you might find that you want to bring some mindfulness into your daily life without having to sit or lay down with your eyes closed. Although this is more difficult, it’s definitely possible! A great way of doing this is by meditating while you walk. In the next five minutes we will guide you through a simple walking meditation that you can then practise at home, at school or even when walking down the street. Just remember to be aware of what is happening around you when you practise this.

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This eight-minute session will allow you to explore where in your body you feel your different emotions. Paying attention to your emotions like this, mindfully, allows you to find better ways of dealing with them; especially the ones that don’t feel so good, like anger or sadness. By exploring them with curiosity and patience you will notice that all emotions eventually change, even when they feel like they’ll be there for a long time. This reflection helps us to learn that we don’t have to react to our emotions or let them control us.

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You may have noticed when you are sitting and practising your daily meditations that your mind gets distracted and wanders to thoughts about what happened earlier in the day or what you have to do later. This is completely normal; this is what our minds do. We all have ‘monkey minds’. Sometimes we want our monkey mind to quieten down so that we can pay attention in class or get to sleep at night. Today’s ten-minute session helps you practise observing your monkey mind with mindfulness. Observing it in this way helps it quieten down and puts a big smile on your mind.

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Learning to be mindful of your breath, body, the sounds around you, your thoughts and feelings are all great ways of putting a smile on your mind. Another way is by making a very special happy wish for yourself. It is important to allow time to think about the things that you wish for yourself, like happiness, love, friends, or a safe home. Today we will show you how to end your meditations with a friendly wish, but first we invite you to travel to the Land of Mindfulness using your glowing bubble.

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Now that you’ve practised sending happy friendly wishes to yourself it’s time to send some to others as well. We can share some love and happiness with the people we care for by sending them friendly wishes in our meditations. This eight-minute session will start with a bubble journey to help you travel to the Land of Mindfulness. Once you are feeling relaxed and comfortable you will send some special wishes to yourself and someone else.

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Congratulations! You’ve made it to the last level of your Smiling Mind program. Over the last nine sessions you’ve gathered lots of tools to help you practise mindfulness meditation and put a smile on your mind. To put all these wonderful lessons to good use we suggest you set yourself a Smiling Mind Challenge. In these last ten minutes of the program we will help you set a challenge for yourself and guide you through one last breath and body meditation.

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