This step is about setting a few individual rules which are important factors for you to have mindfulness. Whenever you realize that you have not done it, you just do it. That is using a discipline to practice mindfulness. You can set any discipline. My discipline to practice mindfulness is “I have to smile”. It means that whenever I realize that I have forgotten to smile, I just smile. Is it simple? Someone may create self-discipline to correct their weaknesses. Self-discipline is a strong fence to protect wandering thoughts. It is like a horse stable prohibiting a wild horse from running wild during the beginning of training. Persons who have been trained about self-discipline since childhood are very quick learners in this step. On the other hand, persons who can’t succeed in this step, are those who do not brush their teeth or change their pajamas after waking up in the morning, or do not eat when it is time to eat, or do not sleep when it is time to sleep. They have no chance to succeed in the other steps of mindfulness practice even though they skip this step to practice the other steps.
Observation of breath :
It is an observation of your breath that you are breathing in or breathing out at the present moment. It would be better if you intend to take a deep breath in, then slowly breathe out and tell your body to relax and smile simultaneously. Please observe your breath regularly. Whenever you are free from awareness of something, you have to bring your mind back to focus or concentrate on your breath immediately.
Notice of posture :
Whenever you identify your posture- are you sitting, sleeping or standing?, you should adjust your posture properly by setting your body straight, turning your face upwards, extending chest, and tightening abdomen slightly.
Body scan :
It is a practice of self-awareness from body sensations (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, and mind). It means that you should examine or scan your body with body sensations, i.e. eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin at the present moment- what do you see?, what do you hear?, what do you smell?, what do you taste?, how do you feel sensations such as cold, hot, pain, fatigue?. You are aware of something happening to you at that moment without further judging, criticizing or interpreting as if you were another person standing behind and observing your body.
Mindful movement :
It means that you have to set your body straight, pace with mindfulness, place your heel with mindfulness, and harmonize rhythm of breathing with walking. You have to know that you are breathing in or breathing out, which rhythm of walking is yours?, are you pacing or placing your leg?, or which leg do you pace or place? as well.
The best mindful-movement practice is doing yoga or tai chi. While doing yoga or doing tai chi, you have to move your hand, feet, arms, legs, and whole body with mindfulness and harmonize rhythm of breathing with movement. In case, you are doing it with music, you will move with the music and concentrate on your movement, breathing, and music. There is no space for wandering thoughts in your mind throughout the exercise. You can take this principle and utilize for general exercises such as swimming, brisk walking, jogging as well.
Practicing to STOP :
Although you have practiced the earlier five steps moderately, we have found that our life goes on without mindfulness. This step is practicing to stop and watch the present moment. It means that there is a helper jerking you to stop. If to r example, you may set the alarm clock to stop and watch at the present moment by 2-3 times a day or you may set a time in advance to stop and watch at the present moment such as STOP every time when you change a task from one task to another or STOP every times when you change a place from one place to another.
When the time to stop watching thepresent moment comes, you have to do according to letters of the word “STOP” as follows;
S = Stop; stop a minute
T = Take a breath; follow your breath
O = Observation; observe stimulus arising in your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, and mind, just observe
P = Proceed; go ahead with mindfulness
Recognizing thought :
Thoughts or feelings which you think are your troubles, usually are old thoughts and remember them repeatedly. Whenever you come to know that such thoughts are coming to mind again, that is the time to practice recognizing thoughts. It means that you have to recognize what thought is as if you recognized someone’s face when you meet him/her again, and you can remember that you have ever met him/her before. You may label all thoughts which often come to your mind, for example, if you often think that what you would do if you were a billionaire so you may label this thought as pseudo- billionaire. Then, if this thought arises again, you just know that pseudo-billionaire arises as if you observe it from outside without thinking further or getting rid of it and observe it until it disintegrates by itself. Therefore, this step can help you to gradually reduce your thoughts which are your troubles until they disintegrate by themselves.
Mindful eating :
It is paying attention to food, the taste of food on the tongue, the smell of food in the nose, chewing, and swallowing. You just are aware of them, you do not judge or criticize that you like or dislike that food.
Mindful eating means choosing food which is beneficial for health and eating for hunger relief, it is not eating as per palatability regardless of adverse effects on health.
Mindful eating also means eating in moderation. For example, I suppose that you feel full if you eat 100%. If you eat with mindfulness, you have to eat and stop eating when you have eaten 80% full. If you eat 100%, you feel too much full causing discomfort and tight stomach. It is not only eating for hunger relief but also causing the suffering from discomfort and tight stomach
Breathing meditation :
This step is setting particular schedule for breathing meditation to follow your breath about 20 minutes per day. There are 12 techniques that you can read in the part of “sitting meditation”.
Dealing with pain :
When you have practiced breathing meditation until you have good meditative mind, you gradually become aware of your body pain with your good meditative mind. You just know it and you do not reject them until you reach pain without feeling of distress. This pain may be a pain created from your intention such as squatting on the floor in the same posture for a long time or may be a pain caused by illness or disease. These pains can be used as transmitters to practice dealing with pain in the same way.
Social discipline :
This step is taking a chance when you socialize to practice mindfulness. You have to set some social disciplines such as you have to greet other persons, talk with politeness, or be generous. Social discipline is a chance to share the peace of your mind with others. You can practice entire 11 steps of the mindfulness practice anytime in day to day life.