Let us begin the meditations with a simple mindfulness meditation. Ok, possibly you have done this, or it does not work for you. We have to begin someplace. Let us start here.
As the first meditation, this one will be simple. Mindfulness is focusing on your breath. This is an introduction and explanation for those who just quite do not get meditation. The practice is quite simple that is one reason many think there has to be more.
5 or 10 minutes today, and if you can manage two or three times a week.
It is better to keep sessions short so you won’t find it at all difficult. Mindfulness aims to achieve a relaxed, non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
Choose a time that works well to meditate, one with the least distractions. Some say it is best first thing in the morning, and it is best to keep the same schedule if you can. These are just suggestions, they may not be right for you. If you cannot meditate at the same time every day, it does not matter. Whatever rules you hear are rules to be broken. Do not worry about right or wrong, whatever works.
Try to sit with your spine straight, wherever you are comfortable, on a chair, or on a pillow on the floor. Focus for a few moments on your body, where you are sitting, any tension spots, and try to relax your muscles.
Start focusing on your breath. Feel where your breath comes in your nostrils, and where it is when you exhale. Imagine your breath going in as you inhale, and your breath going out as you exhale. Try to focus on your breath. You will notice that your attention strays, some thoughts or feelings or sounds drag you away from focusing on your breathing. Do not worry when you notice your mind drifting all over the place. Everyone does that, it is how our minds are in our ordinary lives. People have called that the “monkey mind”. When you notice, your mind straying from the focus on your breathing, just bring your focus back.
Noticing that your mind has drifted, this what is meant by being “mindful”. As soon as you notice your mind is straying or another thought or feeling is distracting, bring your focus and attention back to your breathing. Start again, focusing on your breathing. This is where the magic happens. This is what you practice–Mindfulness.
Put your own thought-words into the focused attention on your breathing. When breathing in you can think “I’m breathing in”, and when you’re breathing out, you can think ‘I’m breathing out”. Doing this doesn’t stop having thoughts and feelings altogether, that is how our minds function, we have endless thoughts. The idea is to notice the thoughts that have dragged you away from your focus (mindfulness in other words), and then to bring your attention back to your breathing. “I’m breathing in, I’m breathing out”. Thoughts are just thoughts; they come and go all the time, rather like clouds in the sky. Practicing this is how your mind changes your brain, quite literally.