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   BARE BONES MINDFULNESS TECHNIQUES

          These links will take you to short, basic instructions for the mindfulness techniques we describe at greater length in the Techniques section of this site. Where applicable, we provide a link to the more detailed description. 

          You may find these brief written instructions are all you need. However, most people find it easier to be guided verbally.  Audios of guided instructions will be available in our Store.

Contents of this Page

Wheel of Awareness Meditation
Beginner 1-Minute Mindfulness
Intermediate Mindfulness
Advanced Mindfulness
Space of Awareness

* Wheel of Awareness Meditation *

Preparation:

  • Settle into a comfortable position with your eyes closed, and begin to take a few slow deep ocean breaths (Click here for Ocean Breathing instructions.)  
  • With each exhalation, let yourself release tension from your body, release any thoughts or concerns that were occupying your mind, and release any feelings, fears or desires that were occupying your heart.  
  • Gently relax into this moment – letting go, getting calm, and preparing to turn your attention inward.

Basic Instructions:

  1. Imagine you’re seated at the center, or hub, of a wheel. 

  2. At the center is the experience of simply being aware, being simply present. Everything you’re aware of is outside the center, on the rim of the wheel – your thoughts, feelings, sensations, the people, places and things you’re aware of – all of these are on the rim of the wheel.  You don’t have to “do” anything to be aware.  You just are aware, without making any effort.  Things come and go in your awareness, and you’re just “there” – seated in the center of the wheel of awareness - being aware of it all.

  3. No matter where you are, what you’re doing, thinking, or feeling, you can always practice being at the hub of the wheel of awareness by noticing these two aspects of your experience:                         

                                             Being at the center - simply being aware

                                      The thoughts, feelings, sensations, people, places, 
                                     and things you’re aware of on the rim of the wheel 

    The more you practice returning to the center, the hub of the wheel of awareness
    – what we call “remembering to breathe” – the more easily you’ll be able to stay
    calm, mindful, and heart-centered, no matter what is going on in your life. Staying mindfully and heartfully aware at the center of the wheel of awareness is what we
    mean by the phrase, “living from the core.”

* Beginner 1-Minute Mindfulness Meditation *

Basic Instructions:

  1. Take a slow, deep breath in and hold it for a moment, then slowly exhale fully. 
  2. As you return to normal breathing, remain aware of the feeling of the breath as it flows in and out. 
  3. Bring your attention to the sounds in your environment, just listening without thinking about them. 
  4. Now, as you go on to your next activity, remain mindful of sounds, sights, sensations, and whatever else is going on around you.

* Intermediate Mindfulness Meditation *

Basic Instructions:

  1. Take a slow, deep breath in and hold it for a moment, then slowly exhale fully.
     
  2. As your breathing returns to normal, bring your attention to the sensations in your body – observe them calmly without judgment and without trying to change them.  Notice sensations in your head, torso, arms and hands, legs and feet.
     
  3. Expand your attention to become aware of your whole body.

  4. Calmly observe any thoughts or images passing through your awareness.

             Just watch the thoughts and images as they arise and fade away without
             getting caught up in them, much as you would watch leaves or petals being
            carried along by a gently flowing stream.

  5. Gently, calmly, and with compassion for yourself, observe your emotional state. 

             As you notice what you’re feeling, let go of any judgment, and any wish or
             effort to make your emotions different than they are.  

  6. Let your awareness expand to take in the whole room or space that you’re in.  Remain aware of sensations, emotions, thoughts, and images rising and passing away in your awareness.

  7. Now, as you go on to your next activity, remain mindful of whatever is arising in your awareness. 

* Advanced Mindfulness * 

Basic Instructions:

  1. Keeping your eyes open, take a slow, deep breath in, hold it for a moment, and slowly exhale fully.
     
  2. Breathing naturally, focus your eyes on some object in your immediate environment.

             Notice that there are two aspects to your experience – 
                      the object, and your awareness of the object.

             Close your eyes for a moment, and notice that although the object disappears,  
                       your awareness is still present.  

  3. Now, opening your eyes again, bring your attention to the sounds in your environment.  

             Again, focus your attention on 2 aspects of your experience –
                      the sounds, and the awareness by which you hear them.  

             Notice.....  when a sound disappears, the awareness is still present....
                      sounds come and go, but the awareness remains, unchanged.
     
  4. Now bring your attention to the sensations in your body.  

             Again, attend to two aspects of your experience –
                      the sensations themselves, and the awareness within which the sensations arise. 

             Notice that the sensations may come and go, but the awareness remains, unchanged. 

  5. Now bring your attention to the thoughts and images passing through your mind.

             Just watch as the thoughts and images arise and fade away
                       without getting caught up in them.

             Bring your attention both to the thoughts and images,
                      and to the awareness within which they arise. 

             Notice that while thoughts and images come and go,
                      the awareness is unchanged.

  6. Bring your attention to your emotions.

             Observe them compassionately without judgment
                      and without making any effort to change them.  

             Notice the 2 aspects of your experience –
                     the emotions, and the awareness within which they arise.  

             The emotions may change, but the awareness stays the same.

  7. As you get up to go on to your next activity, stay mindful of the awareness within which all of the sights, sounds, sensations, emotions, thoughts, and images arise and pass away. 

* Space of Awareness Meditation *

Basic Instructions:

  1. Keeping your eyes open, take a slow, deep breath in, hold it for a moment, and slowly exhale fully. 

  2. Now, bring to mind an image that evokes for you a sense of wide open space – for example:
                 the clear expanse of the sky
                          the endless view in all directions from a mountaintop
                                   the immensity of the ocean
                                            the infinite black of the night sky

  3. Now, stay aware of that feeling of spaciousness and bring part of your attention to your body.

                 Move your attention into different parts of the body,
                        noticing sensations that arise –
                                while remaining aware of the background of spaciousness 
                                         against which you notice them.    
     
  4. You may notice that you can't identify a clear boundary between the sensations that make up the experience of your body and the sense of space around your body. 

                 See if you can release the idea of a clear boundary, 
                          
    and bring your attention fully to the larger space in which these sensations exist…

                 Allow the sense of this larger space to expand until you lose the sense of it
                          having a beginning or an end,
                                   abiding in wide open space…
         
                 As your sense of spaciousness expands, you may notice a quality of stillness or calm
                          associated with the unchanging nature of the space,
                                   a feeling of simply being which remains unchanged
                                              while the sensations continue to move and change in various ways…

  5. Notice any sounds that arise and notice that they all occur within this larger space… whether near or far, the sounds all exist within the same open space of awareness …

  6. Notice images and thoughts arising in your mind… these too are moving and changing in various ways, all within the larger space.  

               Thoughts, images, sounds, all arise in space,
                        linger or move through it, and dissolve back into it,
                                 but the space remains, unchanged by whatever moves through it.

  7. Feelings, too, come and go – feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, joy, liking, or disliking – constantly changing, yet…leaving the space untouched, unchanged…

  8. Now turn your attention fully to the space in which the sensations, thoughts and feelings arise – the space of awareness in which arise and dissolve all the sensations, thoughts, images and feelings that make up your experience in this moment.

               Let the feeling of wide open space continue to expand.  
                         Notice how everything moves, changes constantly within the space of awareness – 
                                  sensations, thoughts, feelings – all patterns of moving energy,
                                           arising in space, moving through space, dissolving back into space, 
                                                    leaving no trace.

Links to All Bare Bones Techniques

Breathing:
Abdominal Breathing
Ocean Breathing
Spinal Breathing
Alternate Nostril Breathing
3-Part Breath w/ Breath Holding
Alternate Nostril w/ Breath Holding
Fast Belly Breathing
Breath Watching

Relaxation:
Tense-Release for the Face
Tense-Release for the Whole Body
Body Scan
1-Minute Mindful Relaxation, Whole Body

Imagery:
Creative Visualization: Preview of Day
Creative Visualization: Review of Day
Light Imagery
Imagery for Relaxation
Ocean Imagery

Concentration:
Breath Counting
Breath Watching
Breathing with Words
Thought Counting
Thought Noting and Labeling
31 Points

Heart-Centering:
Basic Practice
Heart-Centering with Light Imagery

Mindfulness:
Wheel of Awareness Meditation
Beginner 1-Minute Mindfulness
Intermediate Mindfulness
Advanced Mindfulness
Space of Awareness

Mindful/Heartful CBT:
Basic CBT
Basic Mindful/Heartful CBT