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How to Meditate: Part 2 (Awareness)

The first CDs in this How to Meditate series teach you how to relax quickly and calm the mind. These CDs, which are Part 2 in the series, build on that essential foundation. They present the practical exercises for developing present-moment awareness, or mindfulness, for the purpose of clear thought and action.

Our success both in meditation and in life depends on how we use our attention. It involves being able to stay focused on what is important, while managing the unavoidable distractions from inside and out. Awareness enables us to fine-tune our thoughts and behaviour for maximum benefit in real time.

Self-awareness can have an almost magical effect. It can help us control our thoughts, calm our emotions and manage the physical discomforts of stress or illness. It is also the starting point for higher mental functions such as memory, judgement, self-discipline, creativity and aesthetic pleasure. Relaxation is good, but the benefits of self-awareness are infinite.

CD ONE: Short Awareness Meditations
1 Introduction
2 The meditations explained
3 The body-mind check
This exercise shows how to check your body, your thoughts and your mood at any time, so you knowwhere you’re at.
4 Past and future
This exercise show how to quickly review and package up the past and future, to free up your mind for the present. 
5 Focus and the distractions
This longer breath meditation shows how to achieve high quality focus through the skillful management of distractions.
6 Managing Thoughts
This meditation explains how to consciously stop, evaluate and respond to any troublesome thought.
7 Managing Emotion
This exercise shows you how to see emotions objectively, which invariably gives you more ability to regulate them.
8 Managing Pain
This meditation shows how to accommodate the pain and discomfort of stress or illness, and relax anyway. 
CD TWO: Long Awareness meditations
1 The meditations explained
Because the present is always changing, awareness meditations are more fluid, fascinating and insightful than those that aim for relaxation alone.
2 Just Watching
To stand back from the flow, and to develop a cool, dispassionate state of mind, is the fastest way to inner stillness, silence and clarity.
3 Inner Balance
Awareness can also be more dynamic. This meditation uses present-moment awareness to flush out and disarm even the slightest negatives, and so encourage the body-mind back towards balance, health and pleasure.
4 Embodied Thought
Ultimately we meditate for the purpose of clear thought and action. This exercise shows how to contemplate an important issue while you meditate.