Mindfulness practices

Secular mindfulness is learned through mind-training practices—some of which might be termed ‘meditations’—in which the learner is encouraged to pay bare attention to their changing experience, for example to the sensation of the breath, to passing sound, and to the inner stream of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. These practices are usually undertaken in a state of stillness. Other practices are more active and include paying attention to usually taken- for-granted activities—examples are mindful eating, mindful walking, and mindful movement. Learners are encouraged to pay open-minded and curious attention—as if for the first time—to some daily activities they usually do on “automatic pilot,” such as showering and washing dishes. Other practices include learning to be more mindful of communications with others, and of one’s reactions to experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant. Ultimately mindfulness can include paying close attention to any and all aspects of experience.

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