Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It’s like the ultimate rest. It’s better than the best sleep you’ve ever had. It’s a quieting of the mind. It sharpens everything, especially your appreciation of your surroundings. It keeps life fresh. – Hugh Jackman
Meditating is the best thing YOU can do for YOUR MIND! Daily meditation results in higher focus, memory, positivity, creativity, contentment, and alertness while reducing stress and anxiety. Meditating is fun, easy, and simple to do. Much like your body, your mind needs exercise to perform at its best, think of meditation as mental fitness!
Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety or doubt. – St. Francis de Sales
I once had the pleasure of watching the Dalai Lama speak at Miami University where I attended college. During that session someone in the audience asked him to share his best piece of advice toward living life. The Dalai Lama responded, “learn to quite the mind.” That was my inspiration for learning to meditate and one of the best pieces of advice I have ever learned.
I have been meditating for over three months now and I love it! Before I began meditating my thoughts were all over the place which made me feel stressed and tense. I also had no sense of the direction or purpose for my life. My mind just did its own thing and was influenced by powers that didn’t give a damn about my (undefined) ambitions for life.
Your mind is your great friend if you control it… But your mind is your greatest enemy if it controls you…
Below are the 5 steps I use every day when meditating. I am still in the beginning stages but after much trial and error I have found a system that WORKS!
5 Simple and Easy Steps to Meditate:
Tell everyone in your home that you are meditating and in what room you’ll be in. Kick the pets out, lock the door (or hang a sign), and make sure everyone knows to leave you alone!
Experts will tell you to find a quiet place with no distractions, if you have access to such a place – go there!
2. Set the Conditions
Fold a blanket to sit on (unless you have a zafu), turn on a fan for background noise, set your phone timer, and light a candle. In the beginning I also used ear plugs.
Sit down cross legged (I’m inflexible, so I could only do this for short burst in the beginning), sit with your spine straight (I used a wall at first), hold on to your toes (like me) or find comfy place to rest your hands, and center the candle in front of you.
4. Mindful Meditation
Close your eyes and watch your breathing. The trick here is to separate the watching of your breath and the controlling of your breath. You want to notice the length of each breath but that’s it, don’t compare breaths and don’t direct your breathing. I find it helps to picture your nose on a mental television and just simply watch as the oxygen goes in and out.
As your mind begins to wonder, focus back on watching each breath and try to block out all other thoughts.
You will know you are doing a great job, when you feel your energy go toward a point between your eyebrows called the bhrikuti which means commanding circle. When your mind becomes concentrated on the commanding circle all thoughts stop and you become the commander of your mind. It took me a few tries before I began briefly feeling that sensation, but when it happens to you, you’ll know it – it is an overwhelming good feeling!
You will continue to meditate until your timer goes off and knocks you out of your peaceful state of tranquility.
The key to introducing meditation into your daily routine is to start off with a “tiny habit”. If you only have time for 2 minutes of meditation, then so be it! It’s much better to meditate every day for 2 minutes, than twice a week for 20 minutes. This “tiny habit” will get you in a rhythm to adopt the habit for life.
Habits change into character. – Ovid
I have increased my meditating to a 15 minute cycle once a day, feel free to work up to a time that feels right for you.
Here is a video I watched and found helpful when I first started learning to meditate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0rSmxsVHPE
Meditation is the simplest mental exercise you can do and benefits you immeasurably! It makes you feel great both immediately and throughout the day. Meditating is a truly rewarding experience and I look forward to hearing about the positive impacts it has on you.
What one benefit do YOU appreciate most from meditation?