How to meditate

by Zena-Marie on 20 February 2012

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A simple guide on how to meditate. I mentioned in a previous post the benefits of daily meditation. Meditation allows us to calm the mind. It provides a moment of peace when the mind is free from worry and stress. It allows us to observe the sorts of thoughts we hold in our heads which allows us to better understand ourselves.

Imagine that you wake up one morning and everything seems to be going wrong. Throughout the day you only seem to notice the irritations of life that reaffirm your belief that this is a bad day. At the end of the day you come home having had a terrible day. Now imagine if that morning someone had given you a choice. You can have a terrible day or you could choose instead to have a great and enjoyable day. A day in which you would be motivated and inspired. I know which one I chose.

Meditation provides the practise needed for us to have greater control over our thoughts and emotions.

For those of you who are new to meditation I thought it might be helpful to run through the basics of how to meditate.

First find a quiet place and sit comfortably. You can sit in the traditional cross legged position or any other position that is comfortable. You can sit in a chair if you wish. The most important thing is to sit with you back straight as this will help to prevent you feeling sleepy.

Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Breathe naturally and normally through your nostrils. Focus your attention on the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. Focus the mind on this sensation and nothing else.

The mind will naturally wander but try not to get caught up in thoughts or daydreams. As soon as you become aware that your thoughts have drifted gently bring your attention back to the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. Continue to bring your focus back to the breath every time your mind wanders.

When you first start meditating it can seem almost impossible to focus on the breath for more than a couple of seconds at a time. The sheer volume of random thoughts that clutter your mind can often be overwhelming. If this is the case feel free to simply sit and observe your thoughts, don’t use this time to analyse or be judgemental, simply observe the thought as it arises and let it go as another rises to take its place.

Bring your attention back to the breath every time you realise you are caught up in a thought.

That’s it. Meditation is really as simple as that!

You should try to set aside about 30mins per session, more if you have the time.

The practise of sitting and observing our thoughts without getting involved not only gives you a good insight into the types of random thoughts that run through our minds but also helps train the mind to be able to quickly let go of negative thoughts. The practice of focusing on the breath builds the minds ability to focus on the thoughts that we choose and ultimately it is the thoughts that we allow into our heads that have the greatest impact on our experience of life.

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