Finding yourself stressed out, anxious, unable to fall asleep at night? I have found that meditating for 20 minutes helps me to reduce all of those symptoms. Studies show that meditation can not only relax you, but it can lower your blood pressure, increase your immune system, and help with concentration!
There are over 75 different types of meditation and a lot of time and research can go into finding the exact type for you. I personally prefer Mindless Meditation for its ease.
I found that the way Giovanni Dientsmann explains it is the easiest way to understand. Here is what he says.
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of intentionally focusing on the present moment, accepting and non-judgmentally paying attention to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise.
For the “formal practice” time, sit on a cushion on the floor, or on a chair, with straight and unsupported back. Pay close attention to the movement of your breath. When you breath in, be aware that you are breathing in, and how it feels. When you breath out, be aware you are breathing out. Do like this for the length of your meditation practice, constantly redirecting the attention to the breath. Or you can move on to be paying attention to the sensations, thoughts and feelings that arise.
The effort is to not intentionally add anything to our present moment experience, but to be aware of what is going on, without losing ourselves in anything that arises.
Your mind will get distracted into going along with sounds, sensations, and thoughts. Whenever that happens, gently recognize that you have been distracted, and bring the attention back to the breathing, or to the objective noticing of that thought or sensation. There is a big different between being inside the thought/sensation, and simply being aware of it’s presence.
Learn to enjoy your practice. Once you are done, appreciate how different the body and mind feel.
There is also the practice of mindfulness during our daily activities: while eating, walking, and talking. For “daily life” meditation, the practice is to pay attention to what is going on in the present moment, to be aware of what is happening – and not living in “automatic mode”. If you are speaking, that means paying attention to the words you speak, how you speak them, and to listen with presence and attention. If you are walking, that means being more aware of your body movements, your feet touching the ground, the sounds you are hearing, etc.
Your effort in seated practice supports your daily life practice, and vice-versa. They are both equally important.
Tune in next Sunday for Meditation for Beginners
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