Mindfulness Meditation - got 9 minutes?

The topic of mindfulness has come up a few times round these parts. The practice has had a profoundly beneficial impact on my life, wellbeing and happiness.

So I'm just going to dangle this carrot and see what happens :D

Author/Neuroscientist/Philosopher Sam Harris has just recorded two mindfulness meditation guided audio tracks. If you can spare the time now (or later) to sit, uninterrupted, and give it a whirl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM8fDHXXSIs (9 minutes)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdi1AQyyjNA (26 minutes)

....let me know how it tastes.

Will try it

After a couple of months work which was hard slog on the back,I once tried a deep tissue massage then a stint in a flotation chamber listening to whale sounds. Trying to think about nothing would just see me think about something, it's hard. Then you would have gaps, where suddenly you thought "how long was I out", not asleep, just drifted off..
I've found mindfulness meditation to be one of the most beneficial things I have ever done. I have noticed a profound improvement in how I handle stressful situations, among many other benefits. I even had a crack at a weekend "retreat" run by the local Buddhist centre which consisted of complete silence and many hours of meditation.

I have not seen Sam Harris before but have read and watched a lot of stuff from Noah Levine who has gone from bottom rung jailed junkie to a very peaceful successful person running many Buddhist centres in the states, all starting with some mindfulness meditation when sitting in a jail cell awaiting his court date.

Inspirational stuff.
I'm pleased to find more than tumbleweeds blowing by on my return to this topic.

HomePage, it is particularly relaxing. If you wish to remain awake, try sitting upright on a thin cushion rather than chair. It works wonders as your back isn't supported by anything external, meaning you need your core muscles active to maintain your posture - keeping you from drifting.

Anh, this is a huge part of mindfulness - the more you practice, the easier it becomes to remain attentive to the present moment and not become lost in thought. However, it's still damn hard. The mind wanders by default. With practice, you'll become more adept at identifying thoughts as?or soon after?they arise.

devank, close. It's certainly powerfully insightful (and beneficial) to witness the appearance of thoughts. However, if you look deep enough, you become more aware that there is no self ? just a sea of spontaneously arising and passing of thoughts, sounds, sensations, emotions ? no centre to it all. Neither consciousness, nor any component of it is "you". You don't even need to drop LSD to come to this conclusion ? just practice and time ;)

Jamie, yes indeed, it does get easier with practice.

redwing, there are some similarities in the experiences some people have in float tanks and during mindfulness meditation. Including the arising of thought, and drifting "somewhere else".

8fold, I appreciate your input too. It's nice to hear of another whose been profoundly affected for the better by mindfulness meditation. I too have done the "retreat" thing. 10 days of silence and intensive practice in Blackheath. Without a doubt, the experience and its lasting impact?immeasurably positive, and insightful. Mind you, I'd have got a LOT less from it had I not been practicing the technique previously, and often, for some time.

p.s. Sam Harris is an unusual case. Mindfulness meditation is just one of the many, fundamentally important topics he touches on (with great skill).
I haven't done it myself , but it's gained a lot of traction within the medical profession in the last few years .

I still do Transendential meditation which I learnt while I was going through uni a couple of years ago :rolleyes:..

George Harrison , the fool on the hill ... ah .... good stuff

I'm assuming MM uses similar techniques to TM with out the cost and pseudo religious trappings

wow..good to see interest in mindfulness here..I have started mindfulness meditation recently using an iphone app(from mindapps)..I highly recommend the app.. was shocking to realize how mind jumps one thought from another and never stops..cant say I have experienced any significant benefits yet but idea is to keep practicing and not worry about results..
Just had the 8 and 11 yo grandkids for a week, took them down to Lorne and 11yo broke his arm, then his 4 and 12 arrived who seem to think looking in the fridge and eating is a hobby. Woke up with a headache this a.m. and the meditation was just the thing. Realised my shoulders dropped 3 times during it.
The 9 minute track just knocked me out for 'halfa'. I am impressed...
So much so, I converted both to mp3 to allow me to play them on my phone.
I've been enjoying mindfulness mediation for some time now and benefit from it.

I've read many many books and have tried many apps. The best two that worked for me:

Book - Happiness, Matthieu Ricard
App - Headspace. You can try the 10 mins a day for 10 days for free. Use from the web or iOS.

Use the book to convince it's a good idea to do, and the app to actually get you to do it!
Finding time is hard for me at the moment. But that reminds me of a quote by the Dahli Lama - something like - meditate for 20 mins everyday, unless you don't have time, then meditate for an hour.

Will try to make more time for this.