Is this you:
“My mind wanders off”. Or “I cannot make my mind blank”. Or “How can I stop the thoughts?”. Or “I can’t sit cross-legged on the floor”. Or “I cannot meditate for hours!”. Or “I don’t have that kind of time!” Or “I have other important things to do”.
Soooooo….I am going to write here about these questions. I will give the simplest meditation possible. And you will feel relaxed, have a feeling of well being, and will reali
ze it is really simple.
But before I write down the steps, let me answer the other questions:
“My mind wanders off”. That’s OK. No penalties. Smile and bring it back to focus. Nothing will happen if your mind wanders off. With practice it will get easier and easier. Be more forgiving of yourself. So what if you started thinking about work or what to cook? Thou shalt not be penalized 😛
“I cannot make my mind blank”. You don’t have to. You will be given something to think about.
“How can I stop the thoughts?” You know, if you don’t get too worried about stopping thoughts, you will feel more relaxed. You will be given something to think about…and if your mind runs away to far away distant lands like…ummm…your refrigerator or what someone said and what you should have said, no worries. Tell yourself, “I will certainly go back to it, but for now I will think of what I am supposed to think of”. And no one will be hurt ;).
“I can’t sit cross legged on the floor”. Then don’t :-). Can you sit comfortably on a couch with a nice soft warm blanket on you? That doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
“I cannot meditate for hours! I don’t have that kind of time!”. How does 5 minutes sound?
“I have other important things to do”. How about doing something for 5 minutes to help you relieve some stress so you can do all the important stuff even better?
Now that I have all the important questions answered, here’s your first meditation practice:
1. Put some nice, uplifting, relaxing music on. Should be about 5 minutes long. If you don’t want the music, that’s alright too.
2. Sit comfortably wherever you wish. Or stand…or lay down on bed. Whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
3. Close your eyes.
4. As you breathe in, feel the flow of air going into your nostrils. Actually focus on that feeling. Not asking to you concentrate hard or anything like that. Just focus enough that you are aware of how it feels when the air goes inside the nostrils. Also be aware of your abdomen rising as you breathe in. And think, “Innnnnnnnn” while you are breathing in. So be aware of i) the feeling of air going inside your nostrils ii) of your abdomen rising, and iii) think, “Innnnnnnnnn”.
5. When you breathe out, focus on your abdomen sinking in, and think, “Ooooooout”.
That’s it! If your mind wanders from the breath and from thinking, “In” and “Out”, simply bring your mind back to it. Do it for 5 minutes only. If you can do it longer, no harm in it. But just 5 minutes is great to begin with. When you get the hang of it, then you can take a few minutes off anytime you are feeling stressed and practice the “In” and “Out” breathing. You will feel relaxed.
Practice this till I add more to your meditation practice next time I write about it.