Pure Presence Practice

The pure presence practice is an introduction practice to open awareness meditation. When starting this practice your mind may wander a bit more than usual. This is perfectly normal. The pure presence practice does not ask you to rest your mind on an anchor. This practice asks you to stay present in whatever arises. Get meditation practices in Meditation Made Simple.

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  1. Sit in any position that’s comfortable for you and close your eyes.
  2. Begin by gently moving your attention to the process of breathing. Enjoy three full, slow, deep breaths, noticing the movement of your torso and the sound of your breath. Then let your breath settle into a natural rhythm.
  3. Now set your mind free. Let it roam and wander. It will soon become aware of something, perhaps a thought, sound, or physical sensation. For instance, you might find yourself thinking of picking up your daughter from her music lesson later in the afternoon, you might hear the central heating turning on, or you might feel a ray of sunlight falling on your right hand. That’s fine. Be attentive to whatever comes up without grasping onto anything. Let go of whatever you notice as soon as it appears in your awareness. Notice and let go—and as you do so, become aware of the awareness that lies underneath your thoughts.
  4. Try to remain alert yet relaxed, clear, and aware; you’re not fixed on any particular thing, but you’re not distracted, either. Without modifying or changing thoughts, feelings, or bodily sensations, allow all things to be just as they are. View all appearances and all experiences as perfectly equal, without liking or disliking or judging anything as better or worse. Maybe your next-door neighbor has started to practice the violin; notice the sound and then release it. Perhaps you notice the lingering scent of your own perfume or cologne. Maybe your stomach is grumbling a little. Whatever it is, observe it, then let it go. If you do find that you’re getting caught up in analysis or judgment of these experiences, don’t give yourself a hard time. Simply observe these thoughts, then take a breath and redirect your attention to your current experience as it is, toward the awareness that underlies your entire experience.
  5. Imagine all thoughts, feelings, and external objects as transitory objects that float past your awareness. Imagine your awareness as a mirror that simply notices and reflects whatever appears in front of it—without clinging, clutching, judging, or indulging.
  6. Rest in the sense of spaciousness that arises when the mind ceases to grasp at or resist any experience. This spaciousness can feel incredibly free and expansive—but if you’re a beginner, don’t worry if your mind starts to wander within a few seconds. That’s completely normal. Gently, but persistently, guide your awareness back to the meditation instructions when you notice that this has happened. Remain relaxed and alert within this state of pure reflectivity and equanimity.
  7. At the end of your practice, take a few moments to expand your awareness from the breath into the room around you. Become aware of the sounds and scents around you; become aware of your body. Gently wiggle your fingers and toes. When you feel ready, open your eyes.

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meditation coverAll the benefits of meditation in just minutes a day!For thousands of years, gurus have claimed that meditation yields incredible benefits from peace of mind to supernatural abilities. Today, science is proving that a regular meditation practice has profound and measurable benefits in reducing stress, alleviating chronic pain, and promoting happiness. Even celebrities, politicians, and business leaders are touting meditation as a critical tool in keeping their edge mentally and creatively.

Meditation is a diverse practice with hundreds of schools, philosophies, and techniques. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need to study for years, find an ashram, or practice for hours a day. You can start getting the benefits of meditation right now – in just minutes! The weekly format in Meditation Made Simple keeps techniques basic with philosophy and science on a “need-to-know” basis.

The best of the best: 52 lessons in core meditation techniques and concepts.

Several schools and traditions of meditation: Learn fundamental practices such as breath meditation, mantra meditation, mindfulness, and body scanning.

Unique approach: Teaches practices in a way that lets you learn quickly and apply immediately. Simply do one lesson a week – or pick one that appeals to you.