A Starter's Guide to Meditation

Meditation is about connecting with the completeness of the here and now. The way Mindworks teaches it, it’s very grounded. You sit straight and still, observe, let go, come back, and discover the rich fullness of the present moment. Since you’re not giving in to distractions, you have the space to connect with mind’s creativity and become aware of the stream of thoughts and emotions it produces. And what are you going to do about these thoughts and emotions? You’re going to acknowledge them without giving in to fascination or frustration, and let them simply go back to where they came from, like a wave that arises and naturally and inevitably merges back into the sea.

Why would you do such a thing? Because meditation is calming. It’s sane. It comes with a host of benefits for body and mind. It will help you discern which of the thoughts and emotions that arise in your mind are worthy of your attention. It puts you back in touch with your basic goodness. The qualities you develop through mindfulness and awareness meditation make your world a better place.

THE BONES

  • Find a quiet place and settle on a comfortable chair, bench or cushion.

  • You may want to decide how much time you’d like to devote to sitting in the beginning. Consistency is key. Even a few minutes every day will get you off to a great start.

  • Take a moment to check in with your posture. Try to find a position that allows you to keep your back straight.

  • Set aside your industrious conceptual mind. Breathe. Tune in to the feeling of being present. Take stock of your physical presence as you breathe.

  • Note physical tensions and mental concerns. Acknowledge them with kindness and invite them to relax and release.

  • Tune in to the process of breathing. Feel the breath in your belly. Don’t concern yourself with analyzing or modifying your respiration, just feel it and center your awareness on the ebb and flow.

  • Breathe in: you’re aware that you’re breathing in. Breathe out: you’re aware that you’re breathing out.

  • When you notice that your mind has wandered, gently but firmly bring it back to the breath.

  • This is mindfulness: training in awareness, acknowledging, letting go and coming home to the breath and the present moment.

  • When you are ready to end your meditation session, relax, stretch, and enjoy a moment of gratefulness before picking your busy life back up where you left it, renewed and refreshed.

Even practicing a couple of minutes of mindful awareness helps us put things in perspective, check in with our feelings and reboot. Some people enjoy taking mini-meditation breaks at work or at school; others like to devote a period of time every day to meditate alone or with others.

Featured article by Mindworks- the meditation app for a better way of being.

Anna Cecilia