Meditation is a very simple practice that people overcomplicate. This article focuses on breathing meditation, where you focus on your breath.
Meditation is a practice many struggle to incorporate into their daily life. Mainly this happens because we overcomplicate and overthink it. We tend to believe that we havr to sit up straight, to have our mind completely blank and if none of this happens, we give up. But meditation doesn't have to be this difficult.
Today we break down two common struggles of this beneficial poractice: how to sit and what to do.
How to sit:
The biggest thing to remember is to try to keep your back straight. Many schools of meditation preach that your back should be completely straight but if it's too difficult to hold, try sitting on a chair or just up against a wall and work slowly towards keeping your back straight without extra support. Don't be too tough on yourself. If you feel like sitting on a chair is easier for your practice, do that.
Your eyes can be either closed or open. Again, the goal of this whole “meditation” thing is to work out your attention muscle. If you find you can concentrate better on your breath with your eyes closed, as many people do, then it’s probably best to keep them closed.
Don’t worry about your hands. Some people like to form circles with their thumb and another finger, but that doesn’t really matter. Place your hands the way you feel most comfortable.
Place your legs however you want. Your legs should feel comfortable as well. You don't need to sit in a lotus position. Just sit the way you feel you'll be comfortable enough for a few minutes.
What to do:
As you move your focus around, you point it at everything you give attention to in your life, from your smartphone to a conversation you’re having. And a lot of the time, you direct it at more than one thing at a time. Our mind is a multi-tasker after all.
Meditation takes that “spotlight” that is your attention and it points it directly at your breath. So that’s all well and good, but what do you do, exactly? Five things:
1. Get comfortable
2. Start your timer
3. Bring your attention/focus to your breath: you can focus on any element of your breath that you want – from how the air feels as it enters and exits your nose, to how the air feels as you inflate and deflate your lungs, to the sensation under your nose as you breathe in and out, to the sound you make as you breathe.
4. Let your thoughts go. Not thinking is not an option, but try to acknowledge your thoughts and just let them go, like watching a cloud float away.
5. Bring your attention back to your mind when it wanders: And it will. When your mind wanders, and it will gently bring your attention back to your breath once you realize that your mind has wandered.
SOURCE: A life of productivity, Chris Bailey.