Busy thoughts endlessly flow through our minds daily. Many of these thoughts can be destructive and trigger emotional responses which can lead to stress or even depression. Meditation can help us make sense of the chaos that exists within our minds, helping us apply greater concentration to our daily tasks and perform them more effectively.
what is meditation?
Meditation is developing a healthy relationship with your mind. Learning the ability to use your mind when you need it and asking your mind to stop when you don’t. Many think meditation is about ‘clearing’ or ‘emptying’ your mind. If it doesn’t happen, and for most it doesn’t, this attitude can create frustration or anxiety, the last things we want from meditation.
Most meditation techniques are tools to help the mind concentrate, to distract the mind from distracting your meditation. These techniques get you started and help you see the difference between ‘You’ and the mind.
breath awareness meditation
Sit comfortably. This can be cross legged on the floor with cushions/blocks or on a chair/stall. If sitting on a chair try not to lean back. It is important to sit with your hips rolled forwards, back straight, head directly above your shoulders and shoulders above your hips. Do not slouch, be alert but relaxed. Place your hands comfortably on your thighs or knees, palms facing up.
Close your eyes.
Make no effort to control your breath, simply breathe naturally.
Focus your attention on your breath and on how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Observe the movement of your chest, shoulders, ribcage and belly. Focus your attention on the breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
Maintain this meditation daily for 2 to 5 minutes to begin, then slowly increasing to 20-40 minutes daily.