Meditation is a very simple practice that people overcomplicate. This article focuses on breathing meditation, where you focus on your breath.
Meditation will make you more productive. It might sound strange that sitting still and doing nothing for a period of time will make you more productive, but it’s true. Before diving into what to do, it’s worth going over why you should meditate in the first place.
The basic idea of meditation is simple. Every time your mind begins to get distracted from your breath and you get lost in thought, you simply bring your attention back to your breath. And then you repeat this again and again until your timer goes off. The point is that every time you bring your attention back to your breath, you work out your “attention muscle” if you want to call it that.
You will need two things to get started, but you should have both of them already:
- Sitting meditation is the most common type and the best place to start. Choose a quiet spot in your flat. It can even be your armchair.
- A timer. Since meditation is all about working out your “attention muscle”, having to check a clock would somewhat defeat the purpose of meditation since it would constantly distract your attention away from your breath.
1. Something to sit on:
There are three options for something to sit on during meditation.
A chair (good if you’re starting out or have back problems): Chairs are great for if you’re just starting to meditate, or if you have back problems and find sitting on a meditation cushion uncomfortable.
A meditation cushion (most common): A meditation cushion (named a “zafu”, pictured right) is the most popular thing people sit on during meditation. The great thing about a meditation cushion is it is easiest to sit in an upright position when you’re on one.
2. A timer:
The second thing you’ll need is a timer.
You simply can use your phone, but just make sure to turn the notifications off. Pretty much every phone has a timer built-in.
Insight Timer is a good one, and there’s a free version of it available for iPhone and Android.
If you’re willing to invest a few dollars, Meditate for iPhone ($3.99) is a good choice.