Want more peace, clarity and purpose?
Then read on.
In this article I want to demystify what in essence is a very simple activity that can appear intimidating when we don’t know how to begin…
We are in a world where marketing, phones and addictive behaviours are often vying for our attention so we need an antidote. The following guided meditation techniques are a great solution.
1. Sit tall.
This is the most common position to meditate. You can sit on the ground (some people like to do this cross legged) or in a chair. Imagine a piece of taut string running straight up through the back, neck and head. This helps us get in an alignment for a focused and peaceful practice.
2. Relax your body.
Close your eyes and scan your body one part at a time. Check-in with them and allow them to be at ease. Begin with the toes, ankles, calf muscles, shins all the way up to shoulders, neck, chin and jaw etc. These latter areas mentioned can hold a lot of tension so may require special attention.
3. Be still and silent.
Now take a moment to be still and aware. Notice any sounds or smells around you.
Pay attention to your breathing. Do it silently yet deeply. Engage the diaphragm and fill the lungs, no need to rush this. Notice how it feels with the air passing in and out through the nose, mouth, throat, chest and stomach.
5. Establish a mantra.
Two that I love are:
- I am exactly where I am meant to be.
- I’m gifting myself these moments of peace.
6. Calm your mind.
Some days your mind will feel busier than others and lots of thoughts will arise. Others days will feel easier. What is important is that you have a consistent approach. Don’t try to chase thoughts and feelings away – this won’t work. Note them and then let them drive by like a car on the road. Come back to your breath or body sensations each time.
7. How long should I do?
At the start, 5-10 minutes done regularly (3-4 times per week) is perfect. You can lengthen this as you grow in the practice. Set a stopwatch if you want to sit for a pre-determined length of time.
8. How to end your practice?
I would recommend allowing your attention to wander wherever it wants to go for some moments before ending your practice. Then bring your attention to the body by wiggling the fingers then toes. Then you can slowly start moving your legs and arms etc. and in a calm and chilled fashion get back to your feet.
9. Better beats perfect.
Practicing every day or two beats doing 1-hour once a month for example (this would be impossible anyway if you haven’t built the skills). On a really busy day I am a massive fan of committing to 2-minutes of deep breathing in the morning and 2-minutes before bed in the night. This allows our body and self to feel safer and less stressed. 10 breaths with the following tempo will do just the trick for that 2-minutes – 4:2:6 (inhale:pause:exhale).
10. Practice anywhere.
As you build confidence you can expand to meditating out in the fresh air or at the airport while waiting on a flight. There are no limits to where we can put it into practice 😊
This email is inspired from the little book of mindfulness by Tiddy Rowan.
Happy Meditating folks!
Declan “Zen” Treanor