WELCOME to my Systematic Mindfulness Training Classroom.
These 52 guided MIDL Mindfulness Trainings offer you a systematic way of developing your skill in meditation and learning the essence of practicing mindfulness meditation within your daily life.
MIDL TRAININGS 1 - 6
MIDL TRAININGS 7 - 12
MIDL TRAININGS 13 - 18
MIDL TRAININGS 19 - 24
MIDL TRAININGS 25 - 30
MIDL TRAININGS 31 - 36
MIDL TRAININGS 37 - 42
MIDL TRAININGS 43 - 48
MIDL TRAININGS 49 - 52
Mindfulness in Daily Life (MIDL) is designed to be brought into your everyday activities. When practicing this style of Mindfulness Meditation you train so that there is no difference between formal seated meditation and your everyday life. What is important is a clear and continued awareness of your relationship towards whatever you are experiencing "now".
MIDL Mindfulness Training contains a system of 52 guided mindfulness meditations that are practiced each day over the period of 1 week before moving onto the next. These 52 meditations are called Mindfulness Trainings because each is designed to develop specific meditation skills that will allow you to meditate within your daily life.
To experience the benefits of MIDL within your life, it is helpful to change the way that you view difficulties when they arise. MIDL Mindfulness meditation is a process of self enquiry; it is based on a first person perspective, that of getting to understand yourself and your place in this world by observing your experience of it.
This is an internal path; a way of looking within yourself. It comes with the understanding that any lasting happiness cannot be found in our life situation but rather in our relationship towards it. If you want to experience true happiness it has to come from a change of relationship within, from deep contentment within your own heart.
This practice lends itself to anyone with a questioning mind. If you like to look into things, question them, pull them apart; not taking anything on face value; then you will find this meditation practice endlessly interesting. Look within; become intimate with your hearts centre, with your deepest desires and fears. Learn how to hold them gently, to feel your own pain and allow it to heal through this ancient path.
Join me on this journey towards happiness, you won't regret it, your life will change, it will feel smoother, less ups and downs. You will experience more happiness, your relationships will improve. As your meditation practice develops it will give rise to understanding of the functioning of life itself and lead to deep contentment and peace within your heart.
Mindfulness Trainings 1 - 6: CREATING YOUR FOUNDATION
You begin your mindfulness training by creating a foundation for your meditation practice which is made up of two aspects: Grounding & Softening. These are considered the foundation of MIDL Mindfulness Meditation.
Grounding means developing awareness of all the different sensations that arise as the experience of your body as it sits. These sensations create anchor point from which to observe your attention habitually move. Without a grounding point for your awareness you will easily become lost within habitual movements of your attention, particularly towards thinking, during seated meditation.
Once you have developed the skill of observing your attention move from your 'grounding' point, you can then focus on developing the key MIDL skill of 'softening'. Softening means to relax both physically and mentally into your relationship towards what you are experiencing now; to abandon all resistance. The skill of softening is used in two ways during your mindfulness training. The first is to soften your relationship towards any distractions you may experience during meditation, the second is to soften your relationship towards any resistance your feel towards these distractions and your meditation practice.
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 1:
Grounding Your Awareness
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 2:
Focusing Your Awareness
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 3:
Retraining Your Breathing
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 4:
Softening Into Breathing
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 5:
Skill of Softening Into
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 6:
Experience Natural Breathing
Mindfulness Trainings 7 - 12: DEVELOPING YOUR ATTENTION
Now that you have developed initial mindfulness of your body through learning how to 'ground' your awareness. And have also learnt the skill of softening your relationship towards your present experience. It is time to deepen your meditation skill through the development and refinement of the mental factors of mindfulness and concentration.
To do this you move from mindfulness of your body, to mindfulness of the experience of breathing as it moves within it. Mindfulness of breathing is practiced in two ways;
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 7:
Experiencing Whole Breath
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 8:
Developing Whole Breath
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 9:
Deepening Whole Breath
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 10:
Expanding Whole Breath
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 11:
Calming Whole Breath
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 12:
Calming The Six Senses
Mindfulness Trainings 13 - 14: EXPERIENCE ELEMENTAL QUALITIES
The previous MIDL Mindfulness Trainings have now created your Viewing Platform from which you can observe the habitual interaction between your mind and body.Your first step is to intentionally develop your sensitivity to the elemental qualities of your experience.
These elemental qualities are:
These four elemental qualities are the building blocks of all experience appearing before perception and the proliferation of the mind. By developing sensitivity to these elemental qualities all experience breaks up and identification with experience ceases.
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 13:
Experiencing The Elements
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 14:
Observe Perceptional Borders
Mindfulness Trainings 15 - 18: OBSERVING YOUR ATTENTION
The next intentional training you do from your MIDL viewing platform is the refinement of mindfulness and momentary concentration by learning the skill of observing your attention habitually move during meditation. To transfer mindfulness meditation into daily life you have to change the way that you cultivate your attention during formal seated meditation, from fixed attention to flexible attention, in order to develop momentary concentration.
This is done by changing your relationship towards your meditation object and allowing your mind to wander in order to develop the skill of observing attention move. The movement of attention itself then becomes your meditation object rather than what it is you are aware of or where your attention moves to. This is an important aspect to understand if you want your mindfulness meditation practice to transfer into daily life.
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 15:
Observing Attention Move 1
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 16:
Observing Attention Move 2
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 17:
Training Attention: Counting
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 18:
Training Attention: Labeling
Mindfulness Trainings 19 - 22: OBSERVING YOUR MIND
Deep understanding into the true nature of your mind and body is the true path of MIDL mindfulness meditation that leads to the deconditioning of habitual defensive patterns of behaviour that define your life. To do this not only is the development of mindfulness and momentary concentration necessary but also the mental factor of investigation; the questioning mind. The previous mindfulness training of observing attention move now allows your attention to shift from mindfulness of your body to mindfulness of your mind. From your MIDL viewing platform you now learn and refine the skill of observing mental proliferation by making the process of thinking itself your object of meditation in order to cultivate wisdom into its true nature.
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 19:
Observe Flickering of Attention
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 20:
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 21:
Observing Thinking Patterns
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 22:
Observing Past, Present, Future
MIDL 23 - 26: DECONDITIONING YOUR MIND
The development of deep understanding into the true nature of your mind and body allows you to start to bring habitual defensive patterns within your mind to an end through deconditioning. All your earlier skills come to bear at this point, in particular your development of the first two Pillars of MIDL: Flexibility of Attention and Softening. The strength of these pillars rely on the stability of your mindfulness and concentration as well as your ability to soften into your relationship towards difficult experiences.
All conditioned patterns strengthen through participation, when this participation is habitual then every time you have a lapse of mindfulness these habitual patterns of behaviour 'practice' themselves. Through a process of mindful non-participation you will be able to be with these habitual patterns without participating in them, gradually they will weaken until they no longer arise within you. Deconditioning is trained in four ways: Through mindful softening, abandoning, expanding and focusing of awareness.
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 23:
Deconditioning Emotional Charge
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 24:
Calming Mental Activity
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 25:
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 26:
Using Touch Points
MIDL 27 - 28: DEVELOP MINDFULNESS OF MOVEMENT
It is now time for you to train in mindfulness of your body within the transition of postures, abandoning attachment to the pleasure of seated meditation. Mindfulness meditation was never meant to be just practiced as a seated meditation, it was always meant to be brought into daily life.
The Buddha said in the Satipatthana Sutta:
"Furthermore… when walking, the meditator knows: ‘I am walking.’ When standing, they know: ‘I am standing.’ When sitting, they know: ‘I am sitting.’ When lying down, they know: ‘I am lying down.’ Or however their body is placed, they know: ‘This is how it is’."
It is important to understand that mindfulness meditation is a posture of your mind, not a posture of your body. You develop this understanding by first training the skill of meditating in a standing position and then by maintaining continuity of mindfulness within changes of posture.
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 27:
Meditating While Standing
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 28:
Changing Meditation Postures
MIDL 29 - 33: CULTIVATING WHOLESOME QUALITIES
Once you have weakened habitual defensive patterns by deconditioning them through mindful non-participation it is now time for you to strengthen positive qualities of heart that may be weak within you.
The Buddha talked of this process in the Noble Eight-fold Path as:
Like any other quality of heart and mind, positive qualities if not regularly practiced, become weak and will not spontaneously appear by them self. If your life has been defined by habitual defensive patterns, as these patterns become weaker you may still find that it is hard to feel pure love, empathy or gratitude towards yourself or others. At this stage of your mindfulness meditation training you focus on observing and cultivating any positive qualities of heart or mind that are weak within you, reconnecting with yourself and others.
In MIDL Mindfulness Meditation Training 29/52 it is time to recondition your habitual defenses by cultivating positive qualities of heart. The natural feeling of love & kindness towards yourself and others is practiced throughout your life.
In MIDL Mindfulness Meditation Training 30/52 you take the foundation of loving kindness developed towards yourself & your loved one in the previous training, in order to recondition your relationship towards difficult people within your life.
In MIDL Mindfulness Meditation Training 31/52 you take the foundation of loving kindness developed in the two previous training, to embrace all beings. This is done by first generating the loving feeling towards yourself and those close to you, then gradually widening it to your neighbours, suburb, city, country, world to the whole universe.
In MIDL Mindfulness Meditation Training 32/52 it is time to develop forgiveness towards yourself and others in order to put down the pain of the past. Forgiveness does not say that what happened is ok, but rather it says "What has happened, has happened and I can not change it; I will not suffer over this anymore".
In MIDL Mindfulness Meditation Training 33/52 you intentionally bring awareness towards the simple things within your life in order to cultivate a sense of gratitude. While forgiveness is concerned with healing your relationship towards the past, gratitude is concerned with establishing awareness within the present experience through removing longing for the future.
MIDL 34 - 38: CULTIVATING SKILL OF SOFTENING
It is now time to refine your softening skill to a high level in a very systematic way. The process of deconditioning defensive habitual patterns and cultivating wholesome / skillful qualities of mind and heart is grounded within your ability to soften into your relationship towards whatever you are experiencing 'now'.
MIDL mindfulness meditation is based on cultivating that which has the characteristic of combining; bringing together, and abandoning that which has the characteristic of separating; pushing away. Resistance expresses as the characteristic of separation, non-resistance expresses as the characteristic of combining. Since softening has the characteristic of combining, when you soften into your relationship towards your present experience you combine that which is separated and strengthen that which is already combined.
In MIDL Mindfulness Meditation Training 34/52 you cultivate the MIDL skill of abandoning the intention 'to do', within your mind. This is trained by creating the desire to move different parts of our body and then abandoning that desire in order to experience the physical and mental relaxation that arises when the effort 'to do' is given up.
In MIDL Mindfulness Meditation Training 35/52 you cultivate the MIDL skill of re-engaging the diaphragm in autonomous breathing as a way of deconditioning habitual stress as they arise within our daily life.
In MIDL Mindfulness Meditation Training 36/52 you cultivate the skill of slowly releasing the out-breath through your nose, as if sighing, in order to experience deep mental relaxation as a basis for 'abandoning' participation with all experience.
In MIDL Mindfulness Meditation Training 37/52 you learn the subtle skill of relaxing your eyelids and eyes to directly bring about deep relaxation within your mind. There is a direct correlation between the alertness of the eyes & eyelids and hyper vigilance of the fight/flight response.
In MIDL Mindfulness Meditation Training 38/52 you learn the deeper Softening skill of relaxing the frontal lobes of your brain in order to abandon all mental participation. There is a direct correlation between mental activity, such as thinking, and the experience of tension in the area of the frontal lobes.
MIDL 39 - 43: CULTIVATING SKILL OF STILLNESS
It is now time to focus on your ability to enter stillness through mindful non-participation. Stillness arises when all participation within the processes of the mind are abandoned. The result of skillful softening as refined in the previous training, is always the arising of stillness. The development of stillness is based on a process of systematic abandoning of effort, first physical then mental. This process of abandonment directly challenges the habitual defensive processes of mind.
Because of this it is necessary to do this training daily for a period of four weeks, lengthening the period as you gradually remove layers of defenses until your mind finds safety within the stillness of not-doing itself. Once your mind learns the pathway to stillness it will naturally enter it when you soften into mindful non-participation. Even though the depth of stillness that arises after softening is sometimes brief, the impact through creating gaps within the conditioned patterns within the mind is great and part of the process of mindful deconditioning. This cultivates into the ability to be aware of awareness itself.
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 39:
Developing Stillness of Body
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 41:
Stillness Through Breathing
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 42:
Stillness Through Abandoning
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 43:
Awareness of Awareness
MIDL 44 - 49: DEVELOP SENSITIVITY TO SENSE DOORS
All your skills now come to maturity as your meditation practice becomes formless and transfers into daily life. Mature mindfulness meditation is established by developing sensitivity to awareness as it arises at the six sense doors. The Buddha referred to these doorways to the world in the Satipatthana Sutta as the six internal & external sense bases.
This can be understood as mindfulness of: The eye, sight and the knowing of it. The ear, sound and the knowing of it. The nose, smell and the knowing of it. The tongue, taste and the knowing of it. The body, touch sensation and the knowing of it. The mind, qualities of mind and the knowing of them. These can be known as the six sense doors.
It is through the habitual relationship of the conditioned mind towards one or all of these six sense doors that all perception, feeling, likes & dislikes, attraction, aversion, mental proliferation, emotions and defensive habitual patterns come into being. The path of deconditioning arises through gradual abandonment of participation within this process, from gross to subtle, in seated meditation and daily life, that brings the mindfulness meditators practice to maturity.smell creates a grounding for mindfulness within daily life and also the ability to observe attraction or aversion as they arise towards what is smelt.
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 44:
Seeing: Six Sense Doors 1
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 45:
Hearing: Six Sense Doors 2
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 46:
Smelling: Six Sense Doors 3
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 47:
Tasting: Six Sense Doors 4
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 48:
Touching: Six Sense Doors 5
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 49:
Knowing: Six Sense Doors 6
MIDL 50 - 52: MIDL MINDFULNESS VIEWING PLATFORMS
It is now time to refine all the different skills that you have learnt during the previous trainings based on softness, flexibility of attention and stillness. You do this within the formal structure of mindfulness of breathing, applying the different skills that you have learnt, dependent on what arises within your meditation practice.
You can revisit particular skills that need strengthening whenever you find any weakness in your meditation practice. As your skill in softness, flexibility of attention and stillness deepen there will be a natural appearance of them within your daily life. Your task then is to make the transition from formal seated meditation to meditation in daily life.
This is done by re-establishing awareness within the sensate quality of your body every time you remember to do so. This is your grounding point, similar to your meditation object in formal seated meditation. From this grounding point you will then be able to observe habitual movements of your attention towards or away from your six senses and soften into your relationship towards them, abandoning habitual attraction or aversion and deconditioning deep seated patterns within your mind.
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 50:
Calming All Mental Activity 60min
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 51:
MIDL Viewing Platform 30min
MINDFULNESS TRAINING 52:
MIDL Viewing Platform 60min
Your support enables me to continue to offer MIDL Mindfulness Meditation to everyone who is open to receiving it.