MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS
Sitting down in a comfortable position with your eyes closed:
Start with a few deep breaths. Let them follow a natural rhythm, don’t try to control it.
Bring attention to the breath, connecting with all the sensations associated with it. Notice the sensations in your nostril, your chest, or the rising and falling of your belly. Stay there for a moment.
Indulge in the relaxation that this rhythm of breath provides.
Use that sensation to anchor you into the present moment. As the mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath and the sensations it arouses.
Whatever form your breathing takes, deep or shallow, just tell yourself that “Right now, it’s like this, and that’s OK”.
As the mind continues to wander, accept that it is a natural thing, and still very gently bring it back to the breath. That moment when you realize that your mind had wandered off is your moment of mindfulness.
5 min to start, but you may increase time as you feel more comfortable with the practice.
Set a timer (alarm) to avoid checking the time during your practice.
Seated on a chair, bed, cushion, or on the floor.
Back upright (leaning on the wall or the back of a chair is helpful at first), and hands lay comfortably on your legs. Legs are crossed or straight.
Notice your body: its shape, weight, and touch. Relax.
Turn to the sensation of your body: feel the floor, cushion or chair on your body. Feel the connection with them. Relax and breathe.
Turn to your breath: feel the natural flow of your breath. Where do you notice it: in your abdomen, chest, throat, and nose? Don’t try to alter your breath, just let it flow naturally. Notice the cycle of your breath: when does it begin and when does it end?
You might notice that your mind is wandering: your thoughts are no longer on your breath. That’s ok, it is natural. Just acknowledge the thoughts by saying silently to yourself: “I am thinking about something else. Then, gently redirect your attention back to your breathing.
From time to time, you might let lost in your thoughts again, just acknowledge it and return to your breath. Remain kind to yourself.
(when the alarm goes off) Thank yourself graciously for having completed this practice. Love yourself and say it out loud with joy and conviction.
When we do this, we walk slowly while meditating on the movement of the legs. The key is to be conscious of the complete movement of the legs and feet. Research shows that Zen Walking reduces anxiety and depression.
1. Find a path about twenty metres in length (about 65 feet)
2. Stand at one end of the path.
3. Take ten mindful breaths to relax.
4. Begin to walk very slowly. While walking, observe how your legs move. You should be aware of the entire process of moving. Be aware of the movements of your arms as one leg goes forward and the other one stays behind.
5. You might find it beneficial to label movements. For instance, say, “Left foot rising.” And then. “Left leg swinging forwards.” And so on.
When you reach the end of your path, turn around and repeat as many times as necessary until you reach some calmness.
ZEN WALKING MEDITATION.
When we are mindful, we are more aware of our physical sensations, thoughts and feelings without getting lost in them. Rather, we perceive them for what they are.
Mindfulness is based on the Buddhist meditation technique Vipassana. When we practice Vipassana we observe the world via the senses, which reduces ruminating thoughts and provides a more direct experience of reality. We can then calmly and non-judgmentally observe the present moment with continual awareness.
Because mindfulness involves calmly observing our emotions, it trains us to have better self-regulation. With mindfulness, we reduce the extremity of emotions. And this is beneficial for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
Mindfulness-Based Mind Body Training Technique
1. Sit comfortably (straight back)
2. Close your eyes and take ten deep breaths to relax.
3. Focus on the sensations in the crown of your head. What do you observe there (energy or sensation?)? Now take one deep breath and observe how the sensations in the crown of your head change as you breathe.
4. Turn your focus down to your face and the sensations that are coming from it. Take one deep breath as you continue to focus on the physical sensations in your face.
5. Continue down your body gradually. Focus on one part of your body at a time. Notice the sensations. Take a deep breath as you continue to focus on the sensations.
6. Continue until you have focused on each part of your body one step at a time.