Eastern Meditation: How is it done?

Eastern Meditation: How is it done?

 

  1. Start with just two minutes a day for a week. Once you feel you have ‘mastered’ that increase to 4 minutes and do that for a week. Keep adding two minutes to each meditation until you are comfortable with your daily meditation time.
  2. Start your day with meditation. Set an alarm and try and do it at the same time every morning.
  3. Don’t worry too much about how to do it and with which props- just ensure that you are doing it! Find a quiet and comfortable spot for meditation.
  4. Check in with how you’re feeling. As you first settle into your meditation session, simply check to see how you’re feeling. How does your body feel? What is the quality of your mind? Busy? Tired? Anxious? See whatever you’re bringing to this meditation session as completely OK.
  5. Count your breaths. Pay attention to your breathing. Notice your breath as it comes in and follow it through your nose and down to your lungs. Try counting “one” as you take in the first breath, then “two” as you breathe out. Repeat this to the count of 10, and then start again at one.
  6. Refocus when your mind drifts off. This is fine. When you notice this happening, smile, and simply gently return to your breath. Count “one” again, and start over. Feeling frustrated is completely normal. It will take practice before focusing because the norm.
  7. Develop a loving attitude. When you notice thoughts and feelings arising during meditation, as they will, look at them with a friendly attitude. See them as friends, not intruders or enemies. They are a part of you, though not all of you. Be friendly and not harsh.
  8. There is no perfect way of meditating. Just do it. Don’t worry about what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Go with the flow.
  9. The goal is not to stop all your thoughts. It can sometimes happen. It’s normal. Our brains are thought factories and we cannot just shut it down. Just focus your attention and practice when the mind starts to wander.
  10. Stay with the thoughts or feelings that arise. We tend to want to avoid feelings like frustration, anger, anxiety … but an amazingly useful meditation practice is to stay with the feeling for a while. Just stay, and be curious.
  11. Get to know yourself. It’s about learning how your mind works. By watching your mind wander, get frustrated, avoid challenging emotions … you can start to understand yourself.
  12. Practice self-compassion. As you get to know yourself, smile and give yourself love.
  13. Do a body scan. Another thing you can do, once you become a little better at following your breath, is focus your attention on one body part at a time. Start at the soles of your feet — how do those feel? Slowly move to your toes, the tops of your feet, your ankles, all the way to the top of your head.
  14. Notice the light, sounds, energy. Another place to put your attention, again, after you’ve practiced with your breath for at least a week, is the light all around you. Just keep your eyes on one spot, and notice the light in the room you’re in. Another day, just focus on noticing sounds. Another day, try to notice the energy in the room all around you (including light and sounds).
  15. Be committed. Block out your calendar for at least a month.
  16. You can meditate wherever you are. Sitting meditation is the best place to start, but your goal is to be able to meditate no matter where you are.
  17. Follow guided meditation. If it helps, you can try following guided meditations to start with.
  18. Check in with friends. Do it together or simply check in each morning after the meditation. It might motivate you to keep meditating for longer.
  19. Join a community. Online or in your area, for support and encouragement.
  20. Finish your meditation with a smile. Be grateful that you had this time to yourself that you stuck with your commitment, that you showed yourself that you’re trustworthy, where you took the time to get to know yourself and make friends with yourself. That’s an amazing two minutes of your life.

 

Adapted from http://zenhabits.net/meditation-guide/

 

Eastern Meditations tips

 

  1. Posture

Whether you sit on a chair or cross-legged on the floor, make sure that your spine is upright with head up. If you are slumped your mind will drift. Mind and body are intertwined. If your body is well-balanced, your mind will also be in balance. To straighten up, imagine that your head is touching the sky.

  1. Eyes

Try and keep your eyes open. Open eyes allow you to be more present. Just lower your eyes and let your gaze be soft. If you close your eyes you will be more likely to drift away on thoughts and stories. However, it’s important to do what is comfortable for you. Some people find closing their eyes much more effective. It’s good to experiment and see what feels best for you.

  1. Focus

So, meditation is a wonderful way of waking up to our life. Otherwise we miss most of our experiences because we are somewhere else in our mind! Let’s take a look at what focus is. In ordinary life, we tend to equate focus with concentration. That’s like using the mind like a concentrated beam of light. But in meditation, that kind of mind isn’t helpful. It’s too sharp and edgy. To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in the centre of awareness.

  1. The breath

Paying attention to the breath is a great way to anchor yourself in the present moment.

Notice your breath streaming in and out. There’s no need to regulate the breath – just let it be natural.

  1. Counting you breath

If you are having difficulties settling, you can try counting the breath – which is an ancient meditation practice. On your outbreath, silently count “one”, then “two”, and up to “four”. Then return to “one”. Whenever you notice your thoughts have strayed far away or you find yourself counting “thirty-three”, simply return to “one”. In this way, “one” is like coming home to the present moment. It’s good to return without a backward glance.

  1. Thoughts

When you notice thoughts, gently let them go by returning your focus to the breath. Don’t try to stop thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Imagine that they are unwelcome visitors at your door: acknowledge their presence and politely ask them to leave. Then shine the soft light of your attention on your breath.

  1. Emotions

It’s difficult to settle into meditation if you are struggling with strong emotions. This is because some emotions tend to breed stories in the mind. Especially anger, shame and fear create stories that repeat over and over in the mind. Anger and shame make us keep looking at past events of the past. Fear looks at the future with stories that start with, “What if…”

The way to deal with strong emotions in meditation is to focus on the body feelings that accompany the emotion. For example, this could be the tight band of fear around the chest or the hot roiling of anger in the belly. Let go of the stories and refocus on your body. In this way you are honouring your emotions but not becoming entangled in stories.

  1. Silence

Silence is healing. I know that there is lot of ‘meditation music’ around, but nothing beats simple silence. Otherwise the music or sounds on the tape just drown out the chatter in your mind. When we sit in silence we actually get to experience what our mind is doing. There is steadiness and calmness that comes from sitting in silence. In time outer and inner silence meet and you come to rest in the moment.

  1. Length

Have 10 minutes as your goal and only sit longer if you feel the length is too short. Don’t force yourself to meditate longer if you are not ready to do that. In time you might like to extend your meditation to 25 minutes. That’s a length that allows you to settle your mind without causing too much stress on your body. Most importantly, shrug off any ‘shoulds’. Some people enjoy sitting for an hour at a time. Others find that they can’t sit longer than 10 minutes. Do what feels right for you!

  1. Place

It’s lovely to create a special place to sit. You can even make a shrine or an altar that you can face when you sit in meditation. You might like to place a candle on your altar and objects that have meaning to you. It’s lovely to find objects for your altar as you walk. Maybe you find stones, or seashells, or flowers that speak to you.

  1. Enjoyment

Most of all, it’s important to enjoy meditation. You might like to try sitting with a hint of a smile. Be kind to yourself. Start sitting just a little each day.

 

Source: http://goodlifezen.com/how-to-start-meditating-ten-important-tips/