Tips for Calming the Mind
For many people descriptions of meditation aren't appealing, and it sounds like just another thing you don't have time to do. Meditation is a simple but life-transforming skill that can help you to relax, enhance understanding about yourself and develop your inherent potential. Meditation is the art of focusing 100% of your attention in one area. The practice comes with a myriad of well-publicized health benefits including increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of happiness.
People have different reasons for wanting to meditate: controlling the internal conversation, getting to know oneself better, finding calm and a sense of grounding, enforced restful contemplation, or tying it to one's faith. Whatever your reason for wanting to meditate, it can be daunting to know how to begin and how to stay motivated.
In this article, it will help beginners get past the initial obstacles and integrate meditation over the long term:
Choose a favorable environment. Create a space to sit at the same time each day. Where you do it doesn’t matter, just as long as you’re unlikely to be interrupted. Sit down, relax and rest your hands on your lap for fifteen minutes. You can sit on the floor cross-legged with the support of a meditation cushion, or on any chair with your feet resting on the ground. It is not necessary to force yourself into a lotus position if you are not used to it. Regardless of how you sit, it is important to maintain the natural curve of your back. That means no slouching.
Observe the breath and be free. Bring your attention to your breathing. Don’t make any effort to change it, just observe the rising and falling sensation that it creates in your body. Focus may be increased if you use a particular method that helps quell the inner chatter. The counting method is used successfully by some people. It requires counting at the beginning of a breath meditation, counting for a few minutes. You will be focused on counting rather than other thoughts. Count each out-breath from one to ten, and then return to one. Each time your mind wanders, return to counting again. Never overdo counting though, it is possible to replace focus on the breath with focus on counting, and if that happens, stop.
Establish the quality of forgiveness within. Remember! Forgiveness is the door to thoughtless awareness. Beginners must understand that meditation is an active process. The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work, and you have to be purposefully engaged.
Don't expect too much. This is very common for beginners as we think “hey, what am I doing here” or “why can’t I just quiet my damn mind already”. When this happens, really focus in on your breath and let the frustrated feelings go. Many people get discouraged and unsatisfied with meditation because they expect immediate results. Meditation takes time to grow into and to fully appreciate. It may take days if you're on a retreat with nothing more to do than meditate, or it can take weeks or months if you're only dedicating a slot here and there for meditation each week. Be persistent, as there will come a moment when your awareness will suddenly shift and you'll want more of this experience.
Listen to instructional tapes and CDs. Meditation is natural to the mind. It isn't something you learn to do; it is an ability that you discover. Meditations are simple, natural and easy to do. Listening to binaural waves music can help you bring greater peace, help you to flow more easily with life and experience less inner conflict. Being more at ease mentally and emotionally allows the body to be more relaxed and the mind to have clearer thoughts.
Practice and persevere. You will gain the benefits of meditation when you least expect it because meditation cannot be forced or fitted into a schedule––your awakening and increased awareness will come when the time is right. However, you can increase your chances of being successful by finding others to meditate with. It might be an individual or a group, but it's best to find someone more experienced at meditation than you, to offer guidance and inspiration.
Meditate early in the morning. Without a doubt, early morning is an ideal time to meditate. It is silent, your mind is not filled with the usual clutter, and there is less chance you will be disturbed. Make it a habit to get up half an hour earlier to meditate. Spend 20-30 seconds just sitting. You might find yourself inundated with thoughts and plans, or feel calm and focused. Whatever happens is completely fine. Enjoy the rare chance to let your mind simply be.
Prepare to finish and take it with you. Once your practice is through, spend 2-3 minutes feeling appreciative of the opportunity to practice and your mind’s ability to focus. Become aware once more of the physical feelings: where your feet make contact with the floor, your arms and your hands resting in your lap. Notice anything you can hear, smell, taste or feel. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes. Before standing up, form a clear idea about what you’re going to do next, like brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea or getting your keys to leave the house. It’s so easy to just jump up off the seat and lose the calm and spacious quality you’ve just created. Try to carry this awareness with you to the next activity. Well done! You have done it!
In time, the mindfulness that you experience from meditation should spill over into the rest of your life, causing you to think carefully about your diet, your activity levels, and the things you submit your mind to through reading, viewing and listening.
If you're looking to find out more about mindfulness then our Powerful Pure Positive Energy - Balance & Healing - Raise Vibration Meditation Music video will help you relax your mind, gain some focus and get some headspace...