How To Practice Mindfulness Meditation | Zachary Phillips | Skillshare

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How To Practice Mindfulness Meditation

teacher avatar Zachary Phillips, Poet | Author | Mindset Coach & Mentor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is Mindfulness exactly?


    • 3.

      How To Mindfully Meditate


    • 4.

      Dealing With Distracting Mental Phenomena


    • 5.

      Guided Meditation (1 minute)


    • 6.

      Why Practice Mindfulness


    • 7.

      Developing an Ongoing Practice


    • 8.

      Class Project: Seven Day Meditation Journal


    • 9.

      Resources & Recap


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About This Class

Learn how to practice mindfulness meditation.

Daily meditation will help you to get out of your head and into the present moment.

It will give you some space between you and your mental phenomena, allowing you to observe what is happening without falling into it completely.

It will show you that you are not your thoughts, rather that you are the thing having those thoughts. Knowing this is one thing, but experiencing it is quite another. Over time, and with practice, you will learn that for yourself.

It has helped me to think clearer and handle various life situations and interactions better. It has increased my ability to stay on task and avoid distractions of all kinds.

In this course you will learn how to mindfully meditate and to establish it as a daily practice in your life.

The class project will be a seven-day meditation journal, where you will note down your progress, your successes and any challenges you faced, receiving feedback from myself and your fellow students.

Contact Me:
Website: | Social @zacpphillips

Further resources:

How To Meditate (blog post)
Mindfulness In Plain English (book)
The Mind Illuminated  (book)
Waking Up (app)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Zachary Phillips

Poet | Author | Mindset Coach & Mentor


Zachary Phillips is a poet, author, mental health advocate, and mindset coach. In these roles he has helped thousands of people move from a place of surviving to passionately thriving.

He is the author of 15 books including How To Get Your Sh!t Together, Mindfulness: A Guidebook To The Present Moment, How To Write Evocative Poetry and Blast Through Writer's Block And Create Your Next Masterpiece. He hosts the Reality Check podcast and is the creator of the Ask A Poet YouTube channel.

He is a qualified teacher, personal trainer, life long martial artist & coach, disability support worker, Reiki master, and is currently studying a Master of Counselling.

Zachary's approach to teaching is to focus on what works for the individual. He recognizes the importance of self-aw... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to the course how to practice mindfulness meditation. My name is Zachary Phillips. I'm going to align author, poet, and coach in these roles have helped thousands of people move from a place of surviving to passionately thriving. One of the main things I suggest people start with is mindfulness meditation. Now practicing mindfulness meditation is quite simple. You take a seat, close your eyes and draw your attention to the breath. When your mind wanders, you bring it back your mind. When did you bring it back? That's it. But beyond that simple method of practice is a lot of depth. What you're basically doing is you're training your mind to focus on the present moment, on a sensation of the breath as it's leaving. Entering, leaving. You'll notice This one's skill will extrapolate into the rest of your life. If you want to learn anything here on Skillshare or anywhere, if you want to stay focused, if you want to work efficiently, if you want to get things done, if you don't want to be sort of pulled into the future, earns the past. Brains have a way of just, of twisting itself into little naughts. For his meditation is a great intervention, a great way to just return back to the present moment and stay focused, stay on task, and just sort of separate SLOs my thoughts. We focused on the breath M on one doesn't really like, oh, I'm over hemofiltration or they're not as impacted bottom. I'm not as connected to them. I'm not really then on sort of watching them all. I am the thing that seeing them gone. So a little bit esoteric, but I promise you it's known. It is purely about observing reality as it is for what it is. Throughout this course, I will be sharing a bunch of techniques, tips of how to perform Mf. Ms meditation will be a couple of guided meditations. There'll be some further resources if you want to read deeper. And there'll be a class project where you stop practicing the habit. You'll be basically sitting down meditating for a few days in a row and then just uploading your progress, any questions and that sort of stuff to get the habit instilled. Just a little bit of a warning here in this video is a ratio of the intro. I showed the intro without a beat. The rest of the course, most of the course, I won't have a beard, sorry, just don't stress. This is future may in future meet introducing up a previous maze course. But what that means is I'm updating my courses and making them more relevant for you right now, I've added more resources, a few more extra videos in. So don't stress. I just wanted to let you know that there will be a jump between my parents, between this video and most of the videos in this course. But that said, since I've started this course, this course that you're seeing is the first course I did on Skillshare. Since doing that course, I've uploaded maybe 20 or 30 more on more and more from this meditation, but ultimately a variety of different topics. I encourage you to check out everything that I've got going on there. Anyway, without further ado, let's get into mindfulness meditation and stop practicing cheese. 2. What is Mindfulness exactly?: So what exactly is Mindfulness? Basically, it's a state of nonjudgmental attention to the present moment. It's being focused on the here and now, not ruminating on the past or anxiously planning the future. It's a state of being completely present. Now, that sounds kind of technical. So I'm gonna go into a couple of examples that you felt yourself. So think of a time where, for example, you've been watching a movie or looking at the sunset or potentially eating some dinner or talking to someone. And during that time you were completely focused on the activity. You weren't thinking about anything else. You were just there. Yeah, you might have the last of the whole time, but for that time we were just completely present. That moment you were mindful of your experience, but there would be times where you've done those same exact activities, and your bean, you know, thinking about the past or worried about the future work project or just not really present . And by the time the end of the interaction happens, you realize you just sort of didn't really get anything from your mentally distracted. In those instances, you probably say that you weren't mindful. I want you to feel mindful now. So what you going to do is bring your attention to your fate. Focus on what you can feel your shoes or the ground beneath your feet. Really? Just bring your attention there. Take a deep, long breath in through the nurse and out through the mouth. And as I'm talking as you're listening to my voice really draw your attention to what you're feeling through your feet right now. I'm gonna pulls for 10 seconds whilst you do this. Okay? So in the next video, I'm going to teach you, have a mindfully, meditate by focusing on the sensation of the breath, entering and leaving the nurse. Let's get into 3. How To Mindfully Meditate: mafias. Meditation is a skill, and like any skill, it could be developed with consistent practice. Think of daily meditation like a gym session. You know, if you trained once, you won't notice any gains. But if you train consistently for a year, you certainly will. Mindfulness meditation is exactly the same, so you're gonna need to establish an ongoing practice daily. But more on this later. That's cool. Mountainous meditation is deceptively simple. You said a time. Take a seat, close your eyes and focus on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving the nose. And if your mind wanders, you gently return it back to focusing on the sensation of the breath entering leaving the nose. That's it. It's continually returning that focus back to the sensation of the breath. Let's give it a try now, so we're gonna take five slow, mindful breaths. So as I'm talking only to take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth , and then just let your breath just go as it normally would don't force it. Don't hold it. Just observing what you do as I'm talking is just focus on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving the nose as it comes in. You're focusing on the sensation coming in as it goes out. You folks, another sensation going out. I'm gonna start talking for the moment, and I want you to focus for five breaths just on the sensation off the breath, entering and leaving the nose. If your mind wanders, that's okay. You'll bring it back. Let's do it. Okay, Dash cam. So in the next video, I'm gonna talk to you about troubleshooting the mental phenomena that's coming up and might be distracting you away from the breath. But for one tense and purposes, you could start meditating. Right now, I recommend starting with one minute sessions and very slowly over time, increasing that time 20 minutes. Sessions were good. Goto aimed towards but as high as your lack. Honestly, there is no upper limit to this, and really, there's no lower limit, either. Five breaths done at any time will show you some benefit because doing something is infinitely better than nothing. So let's overcome some of those barriers that might be distracting you and taking you away from that focus 4. Dealing With Distracting Mental Phenomena: a mental phenomena is anything that distracts. You will take your attention away from the focus of the breath on nos. These could be your thoughts, feelings, emotions, memory, feelings of boredom, sleepiness or even physical pain. The good thing is, is that they can all be treated the same way when you're meditating. When you notice that when you've noticed you've become distracted by them and you're sort of focused on them too much, simply return the focus back to the sensation of the breath, entering and leaving the nose. Just acknowledge it gently and return your focus back. I really wanted to sell him if he meditation is not about blessing out, you know, just sort of going into this zone of relaxation. Rather, it's about returning the focus off yourself back onto the breath so you find stuff getting distracted or discouraged because you keep losing focus. Realize that noticing that distraction is actually what meditation is all about noticing it and gently returning yourself back to the breath should actually be celebrated. Returning your attention back to the sensation of the breath. Entering and leaving the nose is meditation, your training of focus. If you find yourself struggling. One of the best ways that you could maintain that focus on the breath is by counting. I use this when I start my meditation, when I find that my brain is very distracted. All just I'm struggling with the session, using my inner voice. That's Know that lad, you know. Internally, I will count one with H in breath and then one with a H AP Breath and then two with H in breath and two with the out breath. And someone will do this all the way up to 10. So look something like one one to to three and someone right? And after get to 10 I'll sort of go back and start again initially, even counting to 10 and maintaining that focus, even with the counting for most people will be a bit of a struggle. But over time you will improve. You'll get better at it and noticing the improvements. Noticing that you can get to 10 without losing the focus on the sensation of the breath, entering or leaving the nose will be sort of proof to you that you're gaining ability to focus through meditation. Yeah, so let's give it a try. You're gonna do a one minute meditation, practice down, and if you find that counting helps or you want to use it, do it. 5. Guided Meditation (1 minute): So follow is a one-minute mindfulness meditation video. And I encourage you to return back to this video, maybe put it in your links or somebody that you can access it because you'll be able to use this video as a guided meditation of sorts. What I want you to do right now is take a saint either in a chair or cross-legged on the ground and gently close your eyes. Take a big deep breath in through the nose and out for the mouth. I want you to keep that breathing process going into the meditation starts. What I'm going to do is in a moment, I'm going to stop talking. And I want you to draw your attention to the sensation of the breath entering and leaving your eyes. That's it. If your mind wanders, just bring it back. If your mind wanders again, just gently bring it back. What I'm going to do is I'm going to click my fingers like this to stop the session. And in 20 seconds, and then at 40 seconds, I'll do another quick like this. So you don't half-hour long you going let's get started. Sorry. If you found this practice beneficial, I would like you to use this video whenever you like as a form of guided meditation. So feel free to note it down and come back to it whenever you need to. 6. Why Practice Mindfulness: Hi, I'm back with the beta. This is new video. Just wanted to update the video on the benefits of mindfulness meditation. Like why even bother practicing? I mentioned this in the introduction of the new introduction. But what are we practicing mindfulness meditation for? Extensively, we are wanting to be able to return our focus. It is all about focus into returning focus to the present moment when your mind wanders and we bring it back. We're basically sort of watching the process of amount of watching what our mind does and when it volt V is off, we go, No, come back here. I'm on visa. No, come back and we start thinking of the past. We start planning the future. We start remembering some sort of thing that some sort of connection with someone, some conversation, some event that happened that we don't happy with, whatever it is. We're like, okay, that's cool. But what about now? If you just think about this for a few minutes, imagine if you had the ability to stay on task, not get distracted by social media. Now constructed by planning or remembering the past or anything like that. Just stay on topic, stay focused, stay clear and concise. Now, this isn't to say those thoughts and feelings and emotions and all this stuff we're going to come up, they still wheel will. But what we're doing here is learning to recognize when they do an intervening before they take us. Does that makes sense? So the more I meditate, the better my focus is. In the past premeditation, I will be trying to work, trying to study, trying to focus, trying to learn, trying to do whatever. And I thought come check social media and it'll be stride onto it. Now that footstool comes, but there's a little bit of space in-between me in that thought. And I can make a choice, I can choose to follow that thought or I can choose not to. That's why willpower and a whole bunch of other stuff that you need to work on. It comes in, but it will give you a breath, it will give you a second, it will give you a moment to make a different choice. And that's where the power is. It will also help you to see things as they are for what they are. You will, or at least I'm finding that I less and less likely to misinterpret situations are more likely to think positively. There's a bit of ambiguity with the tone, the wording, the situation. I'm more likely to think positive. And if I think positive most of the time I'm correct how often? Things actually bad? Very rarely. But oftentimes, we can interpret things in a way or sort of instead of judge things in a way that sort of line up to make them bad. And then we respond badly and then stuff happens in a way that's sort of in this China that we don't quite like. More you practice mindfulness meditation, the more you'll see those trends happening, the more you'll see your innate responses to those things you're learning yourself. Every time your mind wanders you like a mind. That's what it's doing. Come back, come back, come back. This is where we are right now in the present moment, we use the breath because it is always available. I'm on wonderfully bring back our breath is always there, it's always changing. But you don't have to use the breath. You can use whatever object you like. You can use the sounds that you hear, the sites that you see, the feelings if you fit, whatever you'd like. But whatever object you choose, meditation, you bring it back. Some people don't like using the breath for whatever reason. Some people don't like having their eyes closed or whatever, that's fine. Use the sounds that you hear. But the other thing with sound easy, just don't know. But just be aware that if you're using sounds and people's voices pop-up, you can get caught in that conversation. It might be sounds of nature or traffic or just sort of nondescript, non-language based sounds. You can also use feelings. What are you feeling right now as the video, one of the earlier videos in this course, the point is, choose a meditation object, the breath. And when your mind wanders, you're bringing it back. That's the practice. And then when you're trying to do actual work, he thinks that meditation, your non formal practice, using your laptop, you're doing a different course on Skillshare, whatever you're doing. You'll notice your mind wondering, and then these skills that you've gotten will help you to bring it back to the present moment. An analogy that I've started using it that meditation is like exercise. If you've exercise once, you won't notice any changes, but over time, if you exercise a bunch, you will. Same thing with learning an instrument. If you practice the instrument once, you won't notice any changes, but if you practice it for months and months and months, you will get better. Same thing with meditation, same thing with any skill acquisition really, you don't want, you're not gonna see the gains. But if you do it multiple times, you will overtime. There's a lag between your actions and rewards. What I mean by that is if you sit and meditate once, you might not notice a difference in your focus abilities. But if you sit and meditate every day for three months, you will. Same thing with practicing, same thing with any skill acquisition. Does that make sense? 7. Developing an Ongoing Practice: so much for his meditation works best when it's done daily, and things that had to be done daily are often completed more often if it's scheduled into the day. Personally, I prefer first thing in the morning, my child asleep, the house is quiet and I'm alone. And once I complete the month in his meditation, I'm feeling better, and I know that I've done something positive for myself that will benefit me for the rest of the day. Most mindfulness meditation experts agree, and they suggest the morning as well, because you're more focused. You haven't eaten and haven't faced any issues off the day. Therefore, you're in the best mental state to meditate. I found that if I delay it to later in the day, I often forget to do it entirely, so I find that just getting it done out of the way is great. I follow my meditation session with an exercise session for the exact same reason. Meditating late at night isn't the best idea, in my opinion, because you start to become drowsy and fall asleep, and this is not at all the point. We're not mindfully meditating as a sleep aid. That's something different. So, regardless work and experiment on what works best for you and your life circumstances. Try the morning. If that doesn't work, try the middle of the day. Try late at night. It's up to you, but find a time of day that works for you and stick to it. I found it quite useful to have a place that I can return to regularly. You know, a meditation spot this could be inside or outside doesn't really matter, but just make sure it's warm and comfortable. Give yourself much. Privacy is possible. If you can close the door, turn off your phone. You know, remember, this is your time, perhaps the only time in the day that you're gonna completely dedicate to self care. So make the most of it. Talk with your family and let them know that what you're doing will benefit them in the sense that you will be a better parent. A bit of spouse better sibling. Because you'll be comma, you'll be more focused. Does that make sense? Let them know that you need this time and what you need from them, namely to not be distracted or interrupted. Obviously, unless it's an emergency for the duration of the meditation, sit and side benefit of this, letting them know this and then seeing you meditate. My encourage them to meditate as well. So it's always good to model this behavior, particularly for young kids or for anyone in general. If you think you'll struggle to find the time to meditate, I want you to take stock of what you do in your day. Is that some television time you could cut back on or behalf some time that you spend on social media? Regardless, in reality, Montana's meditation will actually make you time. As your focus improves, you'll be far more efficient at performing the task that you need to perform and far better rejecting the ones that you don't really need to get done. I found this to be the case prior to meditating. My brain would be everywhere, would be doing 10 things at once, and nothing would get done. But the more I meditate, the more I'm able to do one thing at a time and just knock it out of the park, right. It has made me time. I could do so much more because I'm dedicating time to meditation gains you times like investing. Even if you still think you got going at the time, Start meditating each day with just 10 mindful breaths. That's it. And grow from there. Just 10 Okay? Because doing something even something small is infinitely better than doing nothing. In the next video, I'm gonna run you through the class project and let me know how it will help your meditation practice. 8. Class Project: Seven Day Meditation Journal: in the class project section, you'll see the seven day Meditation General Project. It's a fairly simple project to complete, because for the next seven days you're going to track your meditation progress. You'll note down the time and duration of the city, you know, down what went well and what you struggled with. That's it. I can't emphasize enough that keeping a meditation journal is a great way to stay focused, stay motivated and to stay accountable. I encourage you to keep this journal going well beyond the duration of this course. You're gonna upload the journal each day to the problem of the class project section, and I will give you feedback alongside your fellow classmates. I encourage you to give them feedback as well, because talking through and teaching someone else something is one of the best ways to learn yourself. So upload your progress and engage with them. And like I said, I can't help you unless you upload the journal and share. So please do so and let's get ourselves meditating and improve. Sounds good 9. Resources & Recap: So what does found this course to get you meditating right now, based on what we've already covered, you certainly can do so. But if you are after a little bit more information, if you want to go a bit deeper, there's a couple of resources that I would recommend. The first one is a book called The Mind illuminated by John writes. The second one is Mindfulness in plain English by VH gonna run Tana. Both of these books approach mindfulness meditation from sort of opposite perspectives. But they compliment each other very well and will compliment this course quite well. If you feel like a guided meditation would help, please feel free to read, listen to the guided meditation that we did earlier, or download the app, waking up by Sam Harris. This app is great. I've done the whole thing and it even has a section, get directly for kids. I can't recommend it highly. Finally, if you click the link in the class notes below, you'll get access to the meditation chapter of my book, how to get your **** together for free. Check it out. Remember, mindfulness meditation is the active returning a focus back to the breath. Whenever you notice your attention wandering, just gently acknowledging, and return your focus back to the sensation of the breath entering and leaving the nose. Do this for any mental phenomenon that arises. Also remember that as with everything, consistency is key. A daily practice is essential to say the benefits start with one minute. Start with one minute daily and slowly improve, slowly increase, keep practicing. That's the case. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by going to have to soon bring it back. But just don't stop. Meditate daily and you will see benefits TO mental health. I really want to see your progress on this. So remember to upload your meditation journal each day and I'll give you some feedback. Finally, please, please, please review this class. It really does help above you. There'll be a little thing saying, Hey, what do you think of this class? Please take that 15 seconds to say, yet, I enjoyed it. It really does help. I have a lot more classes down the helping you with the meditation and mindfulness as well as just mental health in general. So if you're interested, click that follow button and you'll receive e-mail updates when they're released. Speaking of following, if you want to follow me on social media, can be found everywhere at Philips or on my website at Zachary hyphen I look forward to seeing you in my next classes. Thank you.