A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation
The wonderful thing about meditation is that it can be done anywhere at any time. The general idea is to be silent, in mind and in body, for a certain amount of time. If you want to go deeper into the goal of meditation, some say it is to get to the point where you feel and think nothing. Think blank boundless space. Others say it is to be here now, not in the past worrying and replaying events over and over, and not in the future worrying and replaying possibilities over and over. No matter the goal, silence is all you need.
Body placement depends on you. Sit on the edge of something that lifts the hips above the knees enough so that the pelvis tips forward, making the spine free to move and the shoulders able to pull back and show off that gorgeous heart. With the heart open and the lungs spread, breathing will seem like the most luxurious thing in the world. You might even wonder why breathing isn’t always like that.
Close your eyes. Go inward.
Begin to breathe. Decide what to focus on to help you find your silence. It can be your breath. You can move with it up and down your body, in and out of your lungs. It can be the parts of you that touch the earth. You can ground down and feel connected here. It can be your heartbeat, a mantra, a color.
Whatever you focus on, let everything else float by. Thoughts, noises the world makes, emotions. Acknowledge them and let them go. I actually name them. I say in my head, “future thought, sound, worry, fear…” I say it, I feel it, and I watch it float away. And after that, all that’s left is me.
My teacher has called this the noble failure, and I think that’s right on. It seems impossible to sit in silence again and again with no immediate benefit. The benefits come later, when after a long day, all you want is silence. All you want is to be still in a world where nothing is ever still.
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