In this meditation, you will focus mostly on your breath, after an initial period of settling in. Breath awareness meditation is a good place to start, whether you are new to mindfulness meditation or an advanced practitioner.
Because of its orientation to the breath only, it is often considered to be useful in building concentration. It also involves remaining receptive to the many characteristics of the breath that reveal themselves through close observation, so it's effective in developing mindfulness, too.
This exercise is a systematic, though brief, meditative observation of your body, directing attention to its internal and external sensations. All mindfulness meditation techniques have the potential to relieve stress and induce relaxation. However, the body scan is a type that is often prominently featured in stress-reduction programs.
If you've been practicing for shorter lengths of time, and feel like you're ready to try a longer session, give this one a try. Similar to the shorter version, you'll focus mainly on your breath. Although mindfulness can be brought to any situation, it's helpful to spend some time cultivating breath awareness. Your breath is always with you, so it can serve as a familiar, readily accessible anchor to the present moment as you go about the everyday activities of your life.
If you're used to meditating for shorter periods, it's very helpful to push yourself a little further into longer sessions when you can, just like you would if you were stretching your muscles. Longer periods of meditation allow more time for your mind to settle and a new frontier of your experience to explore.
In this meditation, you'll be guided through a systematic survey of a number of elements of your present-moment experience. Starting with breath awareness, you'll then move your attention to your experience of physical sensations, sound, visual phenomenon, and thoughts. Finally, you'll be guided to an expansive awareness of as much of your entire experience as possible.
This meditation is a change of pace from the others offered here: it's a workout for the kindness and compassion muscles in your heart. You'll use your imagination to call to mind various people in your life—including yourself—and practice offering some heartfelt wishes for well-being to them. You'll be paying attention to your experience as you do these things, so you'll get a mindfulness workout in, too. If you feel like meditating in a relaxed posture today, this is the one for you.