Edited by Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo, Eng, Lynn, VC
Myth: Only monks, yogis and old geezers meditate. Wrong! Everyone needs to meditate from time to time, apart from their busy schedules. You might not notice it, but when you stop and close your eyes, unmoving and thinking of something, you are actually meditating although in a very limited manner. The art of meditating seems to have been lost with today's daily hustle-bustle. Thankfully its effectiveness and overall bodily benefits did not fade or weaken in time.
You might not notice it, but unhealthy foods, an unhealthy lifestyle and stress make us unable to live up to what we can do or accomplish. Meditation is a proven method of lowering stress levels and helping the mind and body relax and recuperate from everyday woes. Contrary to what popular media says, meditation is not that hard and you don't need to try floating every time you do it.
What You'll Need
- 1Free time.Advertisement
- 2Quiet space/environment.Advertisement
- 3Practice, dedication and discipline.
Tips before getting started
There are tons of different types and levels of meditations out there, but most agree and share a common goal - to focus and quiet your mind. You might think it easy to sit still and unmoving while doing nothing, but it can turn out to be very difficult thing for you to do. First timers and beginners especially have a hard time doing it.
How to meditate
- 1Start small. As a beginner, commit to just two minutes a day. It will do you good to do this, rather than do it for 30 minutes and miss the essence of meditating. Our concern is for the habit to stick. You can do it for five minutes if you're confident. This step is for starters. The key is COMMITMENT.
- Walk-in closet
- Open park
- Sea or river side
- Bathroom (why not?)
- Any couch or floor
As you are breathing in,
follow the flow of air through your nostrils, and then into your throat, then into the lungs and stomach. Remember to sit straight, keeping your eyes open yet staring at the ground and with a soft look and concentration. Closing your eyes is fine too, so do so if you want and it will make you feel more focused.
(Optional) If it helps, you can do counting. Count ... one breathe in, two breathe out, and three breathe in, four breathe out ... and so on until you get to 10, then start over. Start over if you lose track of your counting. Sometimes you will feel your mind wandering (this is normal). Simply pay attention to your wandering and bring your focus gently back to your breathing. Repeat this process for the few minutes of your meditation. You might not feel good at first, but with practice, you will eventually like it and enjoy its many benefits.
And you're done! Its simple isn't it? But you have to do it for two minutes daily, and after the same trigger you've chosen. Do this for a month and you'll get the hang of it and form a daily meditation habit.
Some Pre-Meditation Notes
- 1Wear comfortable clothes.
- Wear sweaters during cold seasons and light clothing in warm ones. Uncomfortable bodily sensations can distract you from your meditation or cut it short.
- If you are somewhere where it's hard to find a comfortable place for meditation, do your best to keep yourself comfortable before you meditate. You can go to your workplace's comfort room (if its comfortable, clean and ideal), and loosen any outfit that is constricting your movement.
- 2Stretch out. In meditating you will be sitting in one spot for a period of time (obviously). What I mean is you have to minimize any tightness or tension you feel before you commence. Doing a little bit of stretching will work wonders to prepare both your body and mind for the meditation.
What do I get from meditation?
That is a very legit question. And here is the answer:
- 1It improves concentration. Probably the best thing meditation can offer is practicing our senses to focus on a single thing. Have you ever thought about how a writer can easily write on a busy sidewalk and a painter draw amazing art in the middle of the park? More than focusing, meditation allows for a clear mind, and a clear mind can make you more productive, especially in creative undertakings like writing, and generating ideas.
- 2Better health. Oh yes! Studies have shown that many health benefits can be gathered from utilizing meditation because it reduces our stress levels and alleviates feelings of anxiety. We know that most of our sickness comes from a stressed body. Therefore stress reduction equals health benefits.
- 3Self-realization. Do you know yourself or do you know OF yourself? If you answer the latter, then meditation can surely help you achieve a better and deeper understanding of your inner self. Through meditation we can better understand what makes us "ourselves" and even stumble upon our life's purpose.
Tips, Tricks, and Warning
- Sitting and paying attention to your breathing is indeed a practice of mindfulness. It's a way to train yourself to concentrate your attention. Once you've gotten the hang of sitting in quiet, you can expand your practice of mindfulness.
- When feeling stress, take a minute and pay attention to your breathing, and return your focus to the present moment.
- Instead of thinking about the things you'll have to do later, try taking a walk instead and pay attention to your breathing, bodily sensations and the things around you.
- When eating, just eat and concentrate your attention on your food, its taste and your feelings as you eat.
- Do all things mindfully - These things will boost your meditation practice. Enjoy!