Meditation for Real People
You don’t have to be a tree-hugging, tea drinking, yogi to practice meditation.
I use each of those terms with great affection as they have all applied to me at one time or another. They are all a small part of me.
Mostly, I am a wife, mom, photographer and writer. I take care of a house, and my family including two cats and a dog.
With all of your responsibilities, it might seem self indulgent to engage in a meditation practice, but by keeping it simple, it will help you conquer the rest of your world with great clarity.
3 Simple Reasons to Meditate
- Empty Your Brain
- Soothe Your Soul
- Open Your Heart
I could give you statistics about meditation and sleep, or heart health, but by focusing on the simple benefits of meditation and understanding how it will make your day easier to manage, you will be more committed to your practice.
All you need to get started is a quiet space, a timer and 10 minutes. Your quiet space doesn’t have to be an ashram or stark white yoga room with hardwood floors. In fact, it might be your car (when you are safefly pulled over), or your bedroom.
Choose from one of the following methods, keep it simple and enjoy these few minutes that are all for you. Your actual meditation time will be 2-5 minutes, but allowing 10 minutes will give you time to get comfortable and not feel rushed.
- Get in a comfortable seated position. You can meditate lying down, but don’t be surprised if you fall asleep.
- Set your timer for 2 minutes.
- Close your eyes
- Take a deep breath in through your nose let it out through your mouth.
- Now breath softly but regularly
- Picture yourself sitting beside a stream, close enough that you can look into the water.
- Start focusing on your breath. It helps me to say “in” to myself, when I breathe in, and “out” when I breathe out.
- Your mind will begin to present ideas, memories and thoughts. Accept them.
- See each idea as at comes floating down the stream. Let the idea pass by. Don’t fight to quiet your mind, but don’t hold onto any one thought. Watch it float down the stream.
- You can always turn your focus back to your breath or just watch your thoughts float by.
- When your timer goes off. Stand up, stretch and get back to your day.
- Increase your time as you feel comfortable.
- Dont measure. The quality of your meditation practice should not be based on your definition of success. Just because you didn’t see the light or achieve inner peace, doesn’t mean you didn’t experience something good.
When the focus of meditation is a completely blank mind, it’s easy to get frustrated. Instead, focus on the benefits of a few quiet minutes. Don’t set a goal, or make a challenge, but embrace your active life and mind.
If you enjoy meditation and want to learn more, visit a local yoga studio and see if they offer classes, or read these articles written by an actual Zen Master.
At some point, you may want to develop a more formal meditation practice, but for now, just get started. Don’t wait until you’re in Bali or have the right outfit. Don’t wait until you feel enlightened or until you are flexible enough to sit in the perfect position. Start.
If you get antsy, or think meditation is not for you, think about the simple power of a clear mind, soothed soul and open heart. What would you differently if you could act from a place like that, instead of the usual?
Have you tried meditating before?
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