Updated: May 10, 2019
Why meditate? What is it?! Do I have to chant?
So many questions are going through your mind and it all gets too much so you settle for sticking on the TV or radio and zoning out.
Now imagine if you could zone out without the TV or radio, it would be healthier surely? Yes, yes it would.
Meditation is essentially zoning out of the world and into your body where your only job is to do nothing. Sound easy? Nope!
Meditation can be a way to calm down and be more focused, aware, and in the moment. Which is helpful both at work and with friends and family.
There are other methods for reaching the same goal. The reasons I meditate are that it's free, I can do it almost anywhere, and a lot of scientific studies have proven it works and is incredibly beneficial for mind and body.
Now, there's no need to buy any statues of the Buddha, to learn to sit cross-legged, wear baggy trousers or to grow a beard. Meditation is basically just sitting and breathing.
The basic technique
It's simple to meditate. Find a place where you can be undisturbed for your session, and set a timer for 10 minutes.
Sit with a straight back. You can sit in a chair, or on the floor, or standing up. You could also be laying down, but then you might fall asleep.
There are benefits to both having your eyes open and eyes closed. Pick whatever feels most comfortable to you and stick to it for the entire session.
You don’t have to breathe in any special way to meditate. Some people enjoy starting their sessions out with a couple of deep breaths. Others get more anxious by doing that. I suggest you start with just regular breathing.
Let the air move in and out through your nose. Feel your stomach expand and collapse on each breath. Notice your chest rising and falling.
The meditation practice consists of being aware of your breath, right now, in this moment.
As soon as you notice that you are no longer aware of your breath, bring the awareness back to your breath.
Just think about breathing in, then out. Notice how it feels as your lungs expand, and deflate.
Various distractions will try to snag your attention away from the breath.
The distractions will be both internal and external. External distractions might be sounds. Internal distractions might be thinking about the future.
We can’t stop distraction from happening. The only thing we can do is to notice them, and come back to the breath.
We need thinking for all intelligent activities. The problem is only when we think too much – when we ruminate on things that we could just as well let go of. Meditation is a good way to notice when you are ruminating, and learning to let go.
Posture, breathing, practice and distractions. This is all the technique you need to meditate.
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray