*Disclaimer: I am not an expert nor a professional. I am simply someone who wanted to share what worked for her with all of you.*
I’ve recently found myself suggesting meditating to several of my friends, tweeps, and bloggy buddies. When I first started learning about meditation, there was a whole lot of information about it. Because I was so overwhelmed, I kind of gave up a bit on it and went onto reading more about Buddhism. The problem was that it all kept coming back to meditation. Then I found a very simple plan on how to meditate that helped me get started. I hope it helps all of you.
Here’s what you do:
First, get a timer. Anyone who uses time-out with their children, has one. If not, you can get one in the kitchen section of any department store for like $2-$5 dollars. It doesn’t have to be fancy it just needs to beep. I needed a timer because I couldn’t just sit there and relax. I was too worried about how much time had gone by because I had other things to do. If you set your timer for five minutes in the beginning you can concentrate on what’s going on in your head better rather than how much time is passing.
Now that you have your timer, grab a pillow. Use the thickest, firmest pillow you have in the house if you don’t have a meditation pillow. Once, you have your pillow, make sure you are in nice loose-fitting, comfy clothes. Find a quiet spot in the house. Make sure all non-meditating creatures in the house are out of the room (kids, sound asleep in bed and animals fed/walked and settled down).
You’re ready to sit now. You can either do this with your eyes open or closed. I prefer to have my eyes closed but if you want to do it with your eyes open, sit facing a wall to keep from being distracted.
There are a couple different ways you position your legs.
You can also try the half lotus position with only one foot resting on the opposite thigh and the other foot resting on the floor like this:
This one can get uncomfortable too if you aren’t very flexible.
This is the one that I use. My legs don’t fall asleep and feel comfortable.
After you get your legs nice and comfy, you wanna do something with your hands. In the leg position pictures, they are using the hand position called the Cosmic meditation mudra (it’s not important to remember what everything is called yet). There’s a whole bunch of meaning behind this but right now, none of that matters. You put the back of your right hand on the top of your left palm (or the other way around if it’s more comfortable). Adjust how close or far apart your hands are so your thumbs make contact very lightly and rest them on your legs.
Once you’re all adjusted and comfy, set your timer for five minutes (or less if you don’t want to go five minutes. Though anything less than five minutes may not do you much good). Breathe normally (as normally as you can when you are paying attention to your breathing). Now count your breathes. You can count 1 for in and out or 1 for in and 2 for out (I find 1 for in, 2 for out is easier). Count to 10 breathes and then start over at 1. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I am a big list maker so I find myself making lists in my head. I once counted to 36 before realizing my mind had wondered. Just let the thoughts that come into your mind float by like clouds floating by in the sky. Don’t try to fix the problems, let the to do list that is forming in your head flow right by, leave the dirty dishes in the sink, or watch that stack of unpaid bills float away.
You’re not going to figure out who you are and why you do the things you do the first time you sit with yourself. This is something that needs to be done on a regular basis. It’s only five minutes a day, you can do it. It will get easier the more you do it.
Now go sit with yourself and start the journey into your own mind. You might be surprised by what you find!
I’m thinking that I might make this a once a month kind of posting. I think once you do this practice for a month you might be ready to move onto more intense practice. I’ll see how much interest there is.
If you love it so much and just can’t wait to learn more, here are a couple good books: