Updated: May 24
Finding awareness through the observation of breath is a powerful practice. Buddha taught mindfulness meditation as a way to cultivate complete awareness in every moment and action. Satipatthana, meaning "to pay attention," guides us to keep our attention inside and bring clear conscious awareness to activities such as moving, walking, running, eating, drinking, talking, and looking.
Contemplating the body internally and externally, we can practice Satipatthana mindfulness meditation by simply remembering to be mindful, taking deep breaths, and starting. Whether waiting in a car, sitting in traffic, or even while walking, we can engage in this practice. Personally, I've noticed a transformation in my experiences when I bring full awareness while engaged in activities like kiting, riding, or being in nature. It remains a challenge to enter that state of awareness while being active, but when achieved, it is truly incredible.
Mindfulness has the power to shift our relationship with our feelings, consequently influencing how we relate to the world around us.
Countless scientific studies have explored the effects of mindfulness meditation, yielding remarkable discoveries. What happens when we begin to meditate? We create a moment for ourselves, a gift of acknowledgment and appreciation. Finding our center, whether seated, lying down, or walking, we focus on our breath and establish a sense of connection. This connection brings calmness, though our minds may still wander into thoughts of the past or future. In such moments, it is important to be kind to ourselves and recognize that this is an opportunity for awakening and possibilities.
As our minds wander, they enter the default mode network (DMN), also known as the "monkey mind" in Buddhist teachings. The DMN is a restless state that creates and recalls memories. However, the breakthrough comes when we recognize that our mind has wandered and gently redirect it back to the breath. This activates the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPC), our brain's control center that aids in focus and attention. Through consistent recognition and gentle redirection, our minds gain more control over their wandering tendencies.
I find great joy in connecting with my spirituality and am fascinated by the interplay between science and meditation. My hope is that this article inspires you to either start meditating or deepen your existing practice.
Main Sources, I highly recommend
Books and tapes by Thich Nhat Hanh “Present Moment”
The teachings of Buddha scriptures and Satipatthana.
If you prefer a video; Mindfulness Explained Netflix documentary, they do quote a few of the words from a translation of the Buddha scriptures. Great science explaining the correlation of meditation and how it impacts the brain.
meditation, sports, mindfulness, science, buddha.