Mindfulness is the practice bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation. The term "mindfulness" is a translation of the Pali-term sati, which is a significant element of some Buddhist traditions.

Body awareness and relaxation

Start by becoming aware of your feet, and with the contact you have with the floor. Really let your awareness fill your feet. The more you become aware of your feet, the more you can allow them to relax. Let the muscles soften and lengthen.

Once you’ve done that for a minute or two, take your awareness from your feet through the rest of your body, “letting go” as you move through all the different muscles. Become aware of your legs, your thighs, your hips, your back, your shoulders, your arms and hands, your neck, your head and face. When you become aware of a particular area of your body, then soften, relax, let go.

Notice the subtle change in the quality of your experience as you first become aware, and then relax. Often you’ll notice more energy, or tingling, or even feelings of pleasure, as your body relaxes.

Pay particular attention to the following parts of your body, where lots of tension is commonly stored:

  • The back of the neck
  • The shoulders
  • The hips
  • The thighs and calves
  • The jaw
  • The muscles around the eyes
  • The brow

Once you’ve gone through your entire body, area by area, become aware of your body as a whole.

Then center your awareness on your belly, sensing the calming, rhythmic motion of your belly as you breathe in and out.

Relax, soften, let go. Now you’re ready to begin meditating.