April 23, 2019 "A Short Meditation for Beginners"
In recent conversations with students, it’s come up how difficult meditation is. They can’t sit still, they have too much to do, their minds are always going.
I’m right there with them. Meditation is hard for me too! I’ve gotten to the point where I’m comfortable with my seat in meditation, which I tell you there is no easy way to achieve this, but through practice.
That being said you can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor directly under your knees or even in a semi reclined state. You can prop yourself up on a block, blanket, bolster, whatever you need to make yourself comfortable. It’s best to avoid laying down as you don’t want to fall asleep.
The other challenging part is once your body is comfortable, which a physical practice can also help you sit more comfortable before coming to stillness, there’s your mind!
The mind is hard to tame. We are always going, going, going. There is so much to do. If you meditate in the morning, you’re distracted by the list of all you have for the day, if you meditate at night, you are either going over your list for tomorrow or thinking about how your day went, and if you take time in the middle of the day, you think of all the other things you could be doing to stay productive.
Meditating is important, it’s not putting things off, it’s taking care of yourself. We need to slow down, to connect, to be present. Meditating will help us to be more productive by giving the mind time to quiet and check in.
You don’t need a lot of time, even just a couple minutes can really have huge benefits. Start with setting a timer for 2 minutes and go from there.
There are so many ways to meditate and not all work best for all of us.
Using the breath as your focus is one of the simplest for most. Below I describe 2 options as well as a video for you to do with me.
Counting the breath
You breathe normally, not trying to force the breath into any shape or length. When you lose count or your mind wanders just begin again. Start over as many times as you need to. Don’t judge or get frustrated, just begin again, bringing your attention to the breath.
As you inhale say to yourself Inhale 1
As you exhale say to yourself Exhale 1
………Inhale 10 Exhale 10
Another technique is to count the length of the breath
Counting the length of the breath
Continue in this way, maybe increasing your count as you feel yourself relaxing and your breath getting longer. Do this for as long as you feel comfortable.
Try to incorporate either of these techniques into your daily practice. If your able to do it at the same time everyday it will begin to be a habit, but anytime you can find you will start to see the benefits.
It’s a practice because we have to repeat doing it for it to feel right. It will get easier and you’ll start to look forward to it instead of dread it.