By Leo Babauta

In my experience, meditation (and mindfulness in general) is the fundamental habit.

If you form the habit of meditation, you are forming a foundation for many, many other habits. Mediation has led me to healthier eating, a regular exercise habit, quitting smoking (I started meditating while trying to quit smoking), being more compassionate with my wife and kids, being more focused and productive, decluttering, and more.

How is this possible, all from one little habit? It’s like learning to open your eyes … if you can see, you’ll be able to navigate obstacles better. Meditation is about learning to see.

For the next six weeks, I’ll be teaching a course on mindfulness practices, starting with meditation. It’ll be a course based on videos, articles, and daily exercises.

If you do these exercises, you’ll become more mindful. No matter what your experience is so far. They’re like daily calisthenics — they’ll be difficult at first, but just do a little of them at first, and you’ll get stronger and stronger. And if you’re already strong, you can get even stronger by doing more advanced exercises.

For beginners, I’ll start with the basics. You’ll learn how to meditate every day, for just a few minutes a day. You’ll nurture qualities in yourself that will help you all year long.

For more advanced meditators, I’ll give you a different set of exercises. You’ll go deeper through this regular practice, even if you’re already pretty deep. You’ll find your edge, just like the beginners will be doing. Everyone has an edge, and our practice is to come up against it.

We’ll also be doing daily challenges in the forum! More on this soon.

This will be the foundation for the next course, on compassion and whole-heartedness, that will start in mid-February.

It will be the foundation for the entire year, where we’ll be going from mindfulness to health, simplicity and creativity. All of those areas are best approached with a base of mindfulness.

I’ll be giving you the details on this course in the next few days, so get ready!