Some people think that mediation is some kind of religious mumbo jumbo or hippy stuff, but in fact, it is an ancient technique to focus and calm the mind. Once the mind is calm you can achieve mental stability, which slows down the turbulent flow of thoughts that run through your head day and night. And an awareness that enables you to see things more clearly, without the projection of your constant flowing thoughts adding stuff. Once you start to slow down the mind and not follow its need to do something, you create a peaceful gap of pure awareness where only love exists Morning is usually the best time to meditate because the mind is fresh and it’s usually quiet, but anytime that you can fit in a quick 5 to 10 minutes is good. At first, do short sessions, maybe 5 minutes three times a day, and then slowly build up to longer sessions. There are many different styles and techniques of meditation but it will be easier to start with a simple but effective breathing one. First, you need to get any jobs done that you need to do and then sit comfortably. If it’s possible you can try this seven-point posture of Vairocana, which should be natural and comfortable, and can be applied for any kind of meditation.
The position of the legs::
- Sit on a cushion with the back a little higher than the front. It is better to sit crossed-legged in the lotus position, but if it’s too difficult, sit in a half-lotus position. This posture is very stable and allows you to sit for a very long time without moving or getting tired. In the beginning, it won’t be easy but the body will become more flexible, the more you try. If either of these positions is too difficult, just sit comfortably or even on a chair. The most important point is that your spine is straight
The position of the hands:
- Rest your hands four fingers below the navel; the right hand gently rests on top of the left, with the thumbs touching to form a triangle.
- Elbows are away from the body so that the air can circulate.
- The position of the back is the foundation of all postures. It should be straight, the vertebras aligned like a pile of coins.
- The neck is a little bent forward such as the tip of the nose is aligned with the navel.
- The eyes are slightly open with the gaze in the direction of the nose. If opening the eyes brings too much distraction, then close them until you are more experienced. It can be helpful to meditate facing a wall, where the eyes can rest. you should not wear eyeglasses, they may agitate your mind.
- The tip of the tongue touches the roof of the mouth, behind the teeth and the lips are a little open so that the air can flow easily. It also keeps the mouth from becoming dry and allows saliva to flow down the throat.
Sometimes the second and third points are counted as one, but then the last point is divided in two (tongue and mouth positions). So that we still have seven points. These positions are very important because of the connection (interdependence) between body and mind. The physical conditions affect the mental conditions.
Take a deep breath in, and exhale slowly and fully – pause – then exhale again. There’s always a slight residue left in the lungs. In that residue is the sludge of toxic memory and ego, breath it out. Let them go, and start to feel a deeper state of peace and spaciousness. Then breathe normally, don’t force anything, just notice and invite your body to relax. Feel the sensations it experiencing – the rise and fall of the abdomen, the touch, the connection with the floor or chair. Breathe out any tightness or tension and tune into the rhythm of your breath, just feel the natural flow of breath. In – gap. Out – gap.
Notice where you feel your breath in your body. It might be in your abdomen, your chest, your throat, or in your nostrils. Feel the sensation of the breath – one breath at a time. If you are not able to notice the breath in all areas of the body, that’s fine, we are connected to certain areas of the body than others, at different times of the day. Just focus where you feel it strongest and start your count.
You might start to notice, that your mind is wandering like a fast train or a flowing river running through your head nonstop, or you start thinking about other things. This is normal. Try to notice that the mind has wandered by saying “thinking” or “wandering” then gently redirect your attention back to the breath and start your count again from the beginning. If the need to get up and do that something is too strong, then gently get up, do it with as much awareness as possible and then sit back down again.
Remember the first time you tried to ride a bicycle? It’s a bit like that, you just have to keep trying until you finally get it and ride away. Soon you will notice the gap between the in and out breath. Try to rest your mind in that gap.
Breathe in – gap – breathe out – gap – one. Breathe in – gap – breathe out – gap – two…… until 21.
Feel your body solid like a mountain and just follow your breath flowing in and out. Leave your mind free and open like space and watch your thoughts like a movie. Soon you will start to learn its tricks and patterns and not act them. Maybe you don’t reach 21 in that session, but the more you practice the easier it will become. When you feel the session is over, offer yourself some appreciation for doing this session and slowly get up and continue your day. Try to find that gap as you move around doing stuff, especially if a negative emotion is about to raise its ugly head, breathe into it, and remember it’s just a movie. Some days your session will go smooth and well, while others it will be difficult, that’s normal. Just keep going slowly up the mountain. Soon you will start to notice how your life is changing positively and your interactions are meaningful and peaceful.
This technique is also very helpful if you can not sleep. Lay flat on your back with your arms by your side, follow your breath as it moves throughout your body. Breath in relaxation, breath out tension/stress – one,….. Breath in relaxation, breath out tension/stress – two, and so on. Soon you’ll be having sweet dreams.