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How to Build a Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness helps us put a little space between ourselves and our reactions. Mindfulness helps us slow down a bit so that our response to situations is "thought out" rather than "acted upon immediately". Here is how you can become more mindful throughout the day:

  1. Set aside some time. You don’t need a meditation cushion or bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skills—but you do need to set aside some quiet time and space.

  2. Observe the present moment as it is. The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind, or attempting to achieve a state of heavenly calm. The goal is simple - aim to pay attention to the present moment, without judgment.

  3. Let your judgments roll by. When you notice judgments arise during your quiet time, just take notice, and let them roll on by. Let those judgments pass.

  4. Return to observing the present moment as it is. Our minds often get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.

  5. Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognizing when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.

That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Practice. Know that with time, results will accrue.

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