What Is Being?

Photo above by Avelino Calvar Martinez from Burst 

Being is knowing. Knowing what? Knowing how are you thinking, feeling and acting.

Have you ever said, “It just slipped out” or “I let it slip” meaning that you said something that you did not intend to say? I had a friend, now deceased, that frequently made the confession that “I let it slip…” which was always something that was not supposed to be said or told. Or, have you ever been doing something but you had an event, a person or some situation on your mind and you were not able to focus as you would have liked to on whatever it was that you were doing in the moment? This is not an uncommon thing. As I have chatted with people about themselves as we interview during the meditation class, I find out frequently that many people are often surprised to find out how their minds tries to “creep up on them” and distract them from the task at hand.

The method of meditation that I teach is one that is designed to assist you in understanding how your mind runs away. Some teachers call it the “monkey mind.” I say “poor monkey.” When you first start a meditation practice you will observe that workings of your mind. When you are focusing on the incoming and outgoing breath, you will find that thoughts come up in your mind and sometimes you will be thinking for many seconds before your realize that you have lost focus on your breath. When you do loose focus on your breath, you should bring your focus back to your breathe. This way, over and over again, you will learn that your mind attempts to take over your thoughts and your emotions and then lead you to do certain actions.

As I mentioned earlier, being is knowing. When you focus on your inbreath, you think, “I know I am breating in” and when you breath out you think, “I know I am breathing out.” During that process your mind will take over and then you will see that y ou have to come back to the focus on your breath. It is simple and yet, it is difficult. However, it can be done and has been done by millions of people all over the world.

Have you ever been driving down the road and you become so distracted by thoughts that you almost have an accident? I have a friend who once had two accidents on her way home from work, on the same day, and on the same street, because she was so stressed because of something that was happening in her life. She told me that she didn’t feel alive. She didn’t feel like she was there. In other words, she did not feel like she was being.

Meditation can help one to focus more on the moment, to complete the task at hand with better results and to stop allowing ones emotions to get them in trouble.

Here is a basic meditation practice that you can do for five or more minutes:

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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