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21 December 2008

How to meditate

The key ingredient in any meditation technique is to focus your mind on a single thought. It can be a mantra, an object, a feeling, or even a spiritual symbol or person. This is not a simple task in the beginning. You will eventually loose that focus and find your mind wandering in the past or the future. The goal of meditation is to keep you in the present and this is what "the power of now" (reference Eckhart Tolle's book) is all about.

One of the simplest still highly efficient way to meditate is breathing meditation. This is the meditation technique Buddha chose for his own meditation practice. Breathing can be both conscious and unconscious. So focusing on breathing may help us transcend our consciousness into the realm of peace and happiness beyond our thoughts hence making breathing meditation very effective in calming and focusing our mind. Keep on reading to find out how to perform this meditation.

The setup

You need a quiet room, where you can spend twenty minutes undisturbed by phone calls, your dog, your kids or your partner.
The preferred time in the day is at sunrise or at sunset. Allow a minimum of two hours after the last meal before you meditate. It's good to have a glass of water before meditation (it increases your body electrical conductivity). The traditional posture is crossed legs on a pillow on the floor. You may want to get some back support from a wall. Sitting in a chair is perfectly fine too. Your spine should be strait though. Some people even meditate laying down on their back. It's also all right as long as you don't fall asleep.

The technique

Now, just close your eyes and focus on your breath. Feel the air going through your nostrils in and out. Try to hold that focus without effort. If you find yourself thinking to something else, it's ok. Become aware of the other thought and gently come back to your focus on breathing. The same thing if you get distracted from an ache, an itch or other body feelings. Just gently get your attention back to your breathing.
If the ache or itch doesn't go by itself just try to focus for a while on that body feeling. You'll be surprised that even that thought doesn't hold in your mind. Because this is what mind usually does: it randomly wanders places most of the time.

Stay like this for twenty minutes, then open your eyes and stretch a bit. How do you know the twenty minutes are over?. You may use a timer or have somebody tell you. Or even better, just think of twenty minutes before starting the meditation and then forget about time. You'll be surprised how close to the twenty minutes timeframe you'll open your eyes. Now, if there are few minutes more or less don't bother.

The whole idea is to keep your mind in the "now". This is all we have. The past is gone and there is nothing we can do to change it. The future is not born yet and nobody knows what it holds for us. So enjoy the moment.

This is the real power of now.

Comments (1)
alyssa
1 Friday, 06 April 2012 21:25
alyssa
This always seemed to help me meditate http://howtofixstuff.blogspot.ca/2012/04/how-to-meditate.html
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In Section: Meditation - This article belongs to category: Buddhist meditation

Mind quotes

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.

Henry David Thoreau


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