Try meditating using sound as the focus.

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Regular practice of mindfulness meditation helps to train the brain to come into the present moment — where worries and ruminations have a hard time sticking around. When we first begin meditating, our minds tend to wander a lot, and we can judge ourselves when that happens. If you think you’re “bad” at meditation, or focusing on the breath is difficult for you, you might want to try a meditation focused on sound. …

Pain-Focused Meditation

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When we’re experiencing pain, it can be counter-intuitive to focus on that pain during meditation. Sometimes it is all we can notice, and sometimes it’s just a small little thing. When we explore physical pain mindfully, we can begin to notice the thoughts that arise that can sometimes intensify the pain and pay more attention to what’s actually happening. We can also explore places in the body where there is no pain. …

Try curiosity to help you accept feeling hot

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When the temperature is hot outside, it can make us feel really miserable. I live in New Mexico, where the temperature often exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Even in the morning before things really heat up, I’m often uncomfy as I’m getting ready for the day. Part of what makes being hot difficult is that we don’t want to be hot. As we approach summer and are experiencing record highs in lots of places, we can explore being hot in this guided meditation. Using mindfulness meditation, we can explore what it actually feels…

Maybe this meditation will help you put things into perspective.

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As we shift into a new season with the pandemic — things are opening back up, infections are down, vaccinations are up — people may be experiencing a huge range of emotions around what it means to “get back to normal” in a time that still doesn’t feel very normal. In this guided meditation, we take the time to explore the mixed emotions this time may bring and allow ourselves to feel the way we feel.

I’m a licensed mental health counselor who enjoys sharing mindful meditations and information about…

A guided mindfulness meditation to work with thoughts.

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Have you ever tried to focus on something, but your thoughts keep carrying you away? It can happen with work, meditation, conversations, food — you name it. A practice of mindfulness meditation can help improve focus because we practice paying attention to some experience in the present moment. When we do this, of course our attention wanders to thoughts, or sounds, or memories, or plans (anything other than what we’re trying to focus on), and this gives us an opportunity to practice noticing where the mind went and bring our focus back…

Before we can effectively dream about the future, we need to get unstuck from the present.

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When life is hard, it’s tempting to focus on the future, either as an escape or in the hope of making something new happen. Whatever is happening NOW in our lives may involve things that we don’t have the ability to change or affect and that’s a hard place to be. But that future focus may keep us from effectively acting now and set us up for disappointment. If we can first learn to be with what’s happening in our present, we gain an…

Coming out of hibernation

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Springtime can be such a hopeful time of year. With things beginning to grow and bloom, it evokes a sense of possibility. If we can get beyond the difficulties of springtime (hello allergies!), we can reflect on what the season of spring means and how we can generate a sense of hope in our lives.

I’m a licensed mental health counselor who enjoys sharing mindful meditations and information about mindfulness. Below is a transcript of a meditation I led on this topic, and at the end of the article, you’ll find a link to the meditation…

How to offer spiritual support

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When a loved one receives a difficult diagnosis and is facing uncertain treatment and outcomes, we can feel anxious and helpless. By first allowing ourselves to experience our own emotions and feel compassion for ourselves, we’re then better able to offer support to those we love.

I’m a licensed mental health counselor who enjoys sharing mindful meditations and information about mindfulness. Below is a transcript of a meditation I led on this topic, and at the end of the article, you’ll find a link to the meditation video. …

Stress is a fact of life, so let’s learn to work with it and drop the struggle.

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When I lead group meditations, a frequent request is for something to help with stress. None of us want to have stress or be stressed, but it does come with being human, doesn’t it? We all want to be relieved from stress but, of course, it is a reality and everyone experiences it.

By exploring stress in meditation, we can allow ourselves to explore the kinds of things that make us feel stressed, notice the impact that that has on our bodies, and…

Practice observing your thoughts instead of getting caught up in them

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There’s a myth (or misunderstanding) about mindfulness meditation that you’re supposed to empty the mind of thoughts — that if thoughts come up during meditation, you’re not doing it right. Not so! The purpose of mindfulness meditation is to practice the art of intentional focus. And that focus can be whatever you want it to be. In meditation, we can make our wandering thoughts the actual focus of meditation — a practice called “intentional mind wandering.” We can allow thoughts to flow, and observe them coming and going.


Susan Brumbaugh

Susan Brumbaugh is a criminal justice researcher who telecommutes, a licensed counselor, a mindfulness meditation practitioner, and a perpetual learner.

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