Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the  pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t) – James Baraz

"A Guide To Mindfulness Meditation"  

In the Buddhist tradition cultivating mindfulness is the key to overcoming our suffering and discovering our inherent wisdom. So how do we go about it?

You can nurture mindfulness through the practice of sitting meditation. There are many types of meditations. For instance, some are designed to help us to relax; others are meant to produce altered states of consciousness.

Mindfulness meditation is unique, as it helps us to become aware of the present – moment by moment. It teaches you how to be unconditionally present; that is it helps us to be present what whatever may be happening in our  life, no matter what it is.

You may be thinking, what good does that do? After all, don’t we want to suffer less and enjoy life more.

The sitting practice of mindfulness meditation gives us the opportunity to be more present with ourselves. This, in turn shows us glimpses of our inherent wisdom and it teaches us how to stop the unnecessary suffering that results from trying to escape discomfort, and even pain we experience as a consequence of simple being alive.

So, how do we start mindfulness meditation?  Well, you can start  by paying attention to your feelings, thoughts, emotions and sensations as they arise and subside, don’t reject anything.  Instead of struggling to get away from experiences we find difficult, we accept and try being with them in the present.

1. Creating a Favorable Environment
A pleasant environment free from noise and distractions can help with the practice of mindfulness sitting meditation. As this helps to make it easier for us to practice. 

2. Beginning the Practice
In the beginning I would suggest that you should meditate for short periods of time – five, ten, fifteen or twenty minutes is enough.

3. Posture
The basic principle is to keep an upright, erect posture. Imagine this: your shoulders are level, your hips are level and your spine is stacked up. We sit, and at the same time we remain relaxed, alert and awake. If you do find yourself getting dull, hazy or falling asleep, you  may have to check your posture.

4. Breath
When you start the practice, just pay attention to your breath. You pay attention to the breath going in and going out, as soon you start watching your breath you may find that you start thinking about something else. Simply bring back your awareness to your breath. The breath should not be forced; you are just breathing naturally. We use the breath to focus our mind and at the same time it helps us to relax and let go of our daily worries and concerns.

5. Thoughts
During your sitting meditation practice many thoughts will appear. You simply observe your thoughts, feelings and desires. However if distracting thoughts and feelings arise and you find yourself getting carried away with them, just be aware of them. There is no need to ‘battle’ with them or ‘get rid’ of them as this will make it much more difficult to let go. It doesn’t matter how many times your attention drifts, simply return your attention to your breath going in and going out.