Beginners Guide to Meditation
Contemplative practice is an incredibly reliable means of self and social improvement. Meditation is a tool for exercising awareness, to improve, understand, and better control one’s mind.
Awareness controls the entire conscious thought process, and it can be used in a variety of creative ways. Turning awareness back on itself is one way attention can be manipulated to achieve benefit.
Meditation improves awareness by building focus, discipline, and an understanding of self. It has proven to reduce mental distractions and help achieve more peaceful states of mind.
A meditation practice facilitates discoveries that may not have been possible otherwise. We all come to our own truths in life, and many worth finding may require some digging.
How to Meditate:
Step 1: Find a comfortable spot to sit or lay down. Whatever is most relaxing. Close your eyes. But make sure not to fall asleep!
Step 2: Direct your awareness to your breath. Feel the breath come in, think of the oxygen crossing from air to bloodstream sustaining life. Feel the breath leave the body. Repeat. Remain focused on the breath. Direct attention to relaxing various parts of the body. Always anchor awareness to the breath.
Here is how I direct my attention settling into mindfulness:
- Attention breath
- Attention mind
- Attention sounds
- Attention sensations
Step 3: Remain focused on the breath while paying attention to the flow of the mind and sensations in the present. Thoughts tend to scatter in many directions. Simply realize the distraction and gently place awareness back on the breath. Do not dwell, judge, or focus on thoughts. See the mind as separate from you, the observer of mind. Continue this practice for 5-30 minutes.
step 4: Open your eyes slowly. Keep attention inward as you come out of your meditation.
How do you feel? Always keep this question in mind. Anchor awareness to the breath when needed. That is the essence of mediation.