Meditation is defined “as a practice in which an individual trains the mind and/or induces a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit”. The history of meditation dates back to around the 5th century. Meditation is essentially the ability to focus your mind and altar the way you think. Whether it is an ancient Buddhist praying to his or her god or an account executive struggling to finish his or her spreadsheet before the weekend, the techniques of medication can be a useful strategy to remain in a conscious state of bliss.
Yet, many people either do not understand meditation or haven’t given it a proper attempt. The most important aspect of meditation is that it takes practice. It’s similar to golfing. The first couple times you golf, you will most likely get frustrated and as a result will begin to focus your attention on something other than your golf swing. Meditation is similar because it requires the mind to relax and focus on the techniques of breathing.
Everyday, your mind runs untamable. You’re either texting throughout the day, thinking about your afternoon presentation, what your going to make for dinner, when you will feed your dog, and etc. The mind is exhausted upon the completion of each day. Meditation prepares your mind for your next endeavor and allows it to rejuvenate.
The first step towards a successful meditation is to make time for it. Block out about 10-20 minutes (preferably in the morning before your body and mind are tired from the day) to meditate.
Once you’ve set aside 10-20 minutes, its time to find a quiet, comfortable, and relaxing environment. As instructed in WikiHow.com “For the beginner, it’s especially important to avoid any obstacles to attention. Turn off TV sets, the phone, or other noisy appliances. If you play music, choose calm, repetitive, and gentle tunes, so as not to break your concentration”. One band that I highly suggest is Hammock. Their album Departure Songs will put you in a state of total relaxation. Read more about Hammock HERE.
After finding a calm retreat, you should sit on the floor in a comfortable position. It is important to keep your back straight as it helps with breathing. Below is a picture displaying the proper way to position your body.
At this point it is imperative for you to close your eyes and relax your muscles. Start with your feet and travel all the way up to your head. Consciously focus on each individual muscle and allow it to relax. Begin with your feet, then your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, pelvis, back, chest, triceps, biceps, neck, face, forehead, and scalp. If you feel as though one muscle is tenser than the others, focus your attention on that muscle specifically.
At this point, you will notice how difficult it is to control your mind. Chances are, you will probably be thinking about other things. It is important to catch yourself doing this and refocus your attention on letting each individual muscle relax.
Once you feel completely relaxed, let all your attention rest on the flow of your breath. Also stated in WikiHow, “Listen to your breath, follow it, but make no judgments on it (such as “It sounds a little raspy… maybe I’m getting a cold?”). The goal is to allow the “chattering” in your mind to gradually fade away. Find an “anchor” to settle your mind.”
If you still find it difficult to concentrate on your breathing, find a place in your mind that calms you. It could be a beach, a lake, the solar system, and etc. It could even be an imaginary place; Pandora from Avatar possibly.
Your body and mind should be completely relaxed. At this point, all that is left for you to do, is embrace it. After about 5-10 minutes of focused breathing, you should concentrate on each muscle you’ve previously relaxed. Now, begin wiggling your muscles and embody how loose your physique has become. Finally, open your eyes and pat yourself on the back. You’ve just successfully meditated.
I know this sounds easier said than done. For your convenience, I’ve attached the best meditation video for beginners. Andrew Johnson helps you meditate by guiding you through the essential motions. Hopefully this helps. Please feel free to ask me any question and have a wonderfully relaxing weekend.