(And for those who think they can’t meditate!)
So often I hear people say, “I would love to meditate but I just can’t switch my mind off” or “Meditation is too hard, I just don’t think I do it right” There are many, many types of meditation and there is no right or wrong way, only what works for you.The purpose of mindfulness meditation is not to switch your mind off but to realize that its always chattering and that you have a choice as to what you focus on. Is it going to be what your mind directs or is it going to be what you direct?
You are not your mind, you are far greater and you have the power to choose where your attention goes.
Mindfulness meditation is simple and need only take 5-10 minutes if you are a beginner or that’s all the time you have. When you choose to focus on your breath over your chattering mind in meditation it teaches you to do this in the rest of your life and you realize you have power and choice over your thoughts and feelings, it helps you to become more present.
Do not berate yourself or your mind for its chatter, it is what the mind does, getting cross with it would be like being cross at your lungs for breathing or your heart for beating. They are all doing the thing they have to do. You do not need your mind to stop, you just need to learn to focus it on what you choose.
In this meditation we focus on the breath but you can choose anything to focus on, it could be a mantra, affirmation or image. Whatever works and is comfortable for you.
Read through the meditation completely before you give it a go. I suggest you start with only 5-10 minutes per day to begin with and set yourself a timer so you know when you are done.
Find yourself a comfortable position; it doesn’t really matter where you are, as long as you are comfortable.
Start by gently breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Take three deep steady breaths like this and let go, relax your body.
Now focus your attention outside of the room to the rest of the house and the outside of the house.
What do you notice? You may hear traffic, bird song, a dog bark, the wind blowing or someone moving around the house. Spend some time just noticing without judgment. They are not good or bad sounds, they just are.
When you are ready, bring your attention into the room.
What do you notice? It may be a clock ticking or the house creaking or you may notice the silence.
When you are ready bring your attention to yourself and notice your body. Feel your feet on the floor, your hands in your lap or your body against the chair. Notice your belly rising up and down as you breathe. Just sit in awareness of your body.
Now take your attention to your breath. Notice your breath as it comes in and out of your body. Keep focusing on your breath.
Maybe instantly and maybe after a while, your mind will start to chatter and you will find yourself caught in what it is thinking.
When you notice this, gently bring your attention back to your breath.
Continue this process for the time you have allocated. Simply keep bringing your attention back to the breath.
Simple, gentle and easy.
Remember…… Do not berate yourself or your mind for its chatter, it is what the mind does, getting cross with it would be like being cross at your lungs for breathing or your heart for beating. They are all doing the thing they have to do. You do not need your mind to stop, you just need to learn to focus it on what you choose.