BASIC MEDITATION PRACTICE

This practice is basic, yet it one of the most important medication practices.  It involved focusing on the breath, which is a way of using the practice of meditation to become more mindful of one’s thoughts, thereby enhancing the ability to be more focused and less stressful.

Sit (preferably in an armless chair.)  Place your hands on your thighs just above your knees.  If it is possible with the chair you are in, your knees should be slightly lower than your hips.

Straighten your back as much as possible. (Move an inch or two from the back of the chair so that your back is not resting against the chair.) If it is painful to sit forward a bit, then gently move back so that your back is straight and lightly touches the back of the chair.

Breath through your nose if you can, but if not, breath through your mouth. Do know breath heavily or lightly.  Breathe normally, neither shallow nor deeply.

Close your eyes and sit quietly at least fifteen seconds before starting the actual breathing practice.

Relax as much as possible and begin to focus on your breath as it comes in and goes out. If it helps to focus you may (silently) count each breath (in and out as one).  As you continue to relax, continue to focus on the breath.

As you are attempting to focus on the breath, you will find that thoughts will arise.  Perhaps the thoughts will be rapid and very different from your usual thoughts, or they might be just about things that you are doing or are going to do, etc.

The moment you realize that a thought or thoughts have arisen, silently acknowledge the thought and bring your focus back to your breath. 

Continue this breathing practice until the instructor tells you to stop or until the timer sounds.

Continue with your eyes closed and breath normally without the prior focus on the breath.  Open your eyes and then move your hands from your thighs if you want to.

You can practice this for five minutes or longer as many times a day as you can.

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