Hello there. Ready to learn a bit more about meditation? You’re at the right place then. Do note that this series of posts is going to cover a few very simple and basic ways to meditate. Ways that anyone can do.
As I said before you need a good place to sit, with as few distractions as possible (none would be optimal) and some time. More about time later though, let’s first get at the real thing.
During these meditations you will sit.
Sit up straight but comfortable. It’s best not to cross your legs and hands or fingers so your blood flow is not blocked. Note that this is merely advice. If you really need or want to cross fingers, legs, eyes or anything else worth crossing, do so. Also sit up with your head up straight. Don’t sit in a way that you can lean your head back. That will trigger falling asleep very easily.
Meditation doesn’t look like something active but it is. It’s an activity inside you and that’s an important place to take care of.
The first meditation.
Sit down and close your eyes. Breathe in and out a few times and relax. This is an important introduction to the meditation. Once this is a habit, your body and mind will respond to it quickly and the relaxation will kick in faster. Now you are ready to do the actual meditation.
With your eyes closed and your breathing calm, slowly count from 1 to 7 in your mind. That’s all. Well, of course that’s not really all. The trick is that you don’t force yourself to count. Just count. 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 1… 2… 3… oh, I need to think of the laundry/groceries/anything… damn, I’m not counting.
Yes, you will encounter something like this. That’s okay. Really. The reason that this happens is that our minds are forced to be active and ‘on’ all the time. The moment you start this simple counting your mind gets bored (trust me, it won’t take long) and it will start pouring out all kinds of stuff. It’s normal. When you do notice that you’re not counting don’t get angry. Just breathe in, breathe out and 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 1… etc. More thoughts will come. An itch will come. At some point you’ll probably hear something. Don’t worry. Accept this things, acknowledge them and then go back to breathing and counting.
There are 2 bits on time for meditation. One is: how long, and the other is when. To start this exercise you should plan about 5 minutes. That may sound short but this is new and you may get twitchy after a while. Remember: you are probably not used to sitting still this way so there is no need to overdo it from the start. Give it time. Once you feel it gets easier you can add time. Go for 7 minutes. 10 minutes. And suddenly you will find you can do this for 15 minutes. 15 to 20 minutes per session is good. Less is also good. At least you are meditating, and meditating means you’re scraping away at the layers of stress you’ve been accumulating over the years. Each scratch at that is a good thing. You are teaching yourself to be calm, silent, serene. You relax at a core level.
Note that you should not set an alarm for this. Alarms are clocks that force you to do things. You should not force the end of your meditation. Glance at a clock once in a while. If you meditate ‘too long’ that’s fine. It won’t hurt you.
Then the when: once a day is good, twice is better. A morning and an evening session is optimal. Of course you won’t always be able to do this but if you really want it and you start feeling the benefits of it, you’ll automatically want to reserve some time for meditating.
Once you end your meditation, sit still for another few minutes with your eyes closed. Feel how you feel inside. Stretch your arms and legs. Get the blood flow active again. Then open your eyes and start doing your usual things.
Congratulations. You’ve just meditated.
Next time (should be next week) I will tell a bit more on the background of meditation and introduce another form for if this one doesn’t work for you. In the meantime try to practise this form.