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6 Tips to Simplify Meditation

6 Tips to Simplify Meditation

Meditation is simple and transformative, yet it is highly misunderstood. Some people think it is about controlling the mind or stopping thinking, while others see it as both weird and wacky or boring and meaningless.

Yet meditation really just means being totally present, totally aware with whatever is happening. It is being with ourselves completely as we are. If the mind is thinking, then we are aware of the thinking; if the body is moving, then we are aware of the movement. Hence we have sitting meditation, sound meditation, walking meditation, even running meditation. It is not purposefully doing anything other than just being here and now.

And just this is transformative. It creates an inner spaciousness in which we can gently stop the endless “me-centered” dramas, our mind that is like a drunken monkey leaping from one scenario to another.

“Meditation can mean really being focused on something, or it can mean letting go of all focus and simply being still,” says Gangaji in our book, Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World. “It is not a matter of saying, ‘I am going to meditate,’ it is more like ‘I am just going to be here for a moment without doing anything, without following any thought.’ And, in that, there is peace, a surrendering the mind’s activity to this vast silence and spacious awareness. It is not anti-mind activity; it is simply that usually the mind is spinning round and round, so it is a stopping of that spin.”

Meditation is both an experience of oneness and the practice that enables us to be aware of this. As we make friends with ourselves, we discover a freedom from habitual tendencies, from repetitive behavior, and we experience a great joy, peace, and unconditional happiness. It is, therefore, the greatest gift we can give ourselves.

But the world is like a magnet pulling us outward into all manner of distractions, so we often need help, methods or techniques, to remind us to just be still. We need to be guided inward. Here are six steps that can lead us in that inner direction:

Six Steps to Freedom

1. Create a daily practice even if it is just for 5 minutes. Meditation has an accumulative effect, so doing it for a few minutes every day is actually more helpful than an hour once a week.

2. Meditate for the sake of it without expectations, as it can cause stress and even a sense of failure if you look for results. No appointments, no disappointments!

3. Make friends with your breath. Focusing on the natural flow of your breathing will give your mind something to do and encourages your attention to go inward. In this way you also make friends with your meditation practice.

4. Make friends with your chattering monkey mind. When you are still your mind can seem very busy and distracting. Name this your monkey mind and don’t take it too seriously.

5. Commit to your peace. There is nothing more important than your peace, it is the core of your being, so make a commitment to being still and quiet regularly.

6. Do It

Meditation techniques are many and varied, but all that matters in being fully present. Try this:

Sit comfortably with your back straight.

Take a deep breath and let it go.

Be aware of each breath and silently count at the end of each out breath, up to five: Inhale, exhale, count one… inhale, exhale, count two… and so on for five breaths. Then start at one again. Just five breaths and back to one, following each breath in and silently counting. So simple.

Do this as many times as you want, breathing normally.

Related:
7 Reasons It’s Hard to Meditate
8 Morning Activities to Keep You Present All Day
8 Ways Meditation Can Change Your Life

Read more: Ed and Deb, Guidance, Inspiration, Peace, Self-Help, Spirit, , ,

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Ed and Deb Shapiro

You can learn more in our book, Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, Jane Fonda, Ram Dass, Byron Katie and others. Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: EdandDebShapiro.com

26 comments

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11:17AM PDT on May 29, 2012

I am just beginning meditation and I have trouble with the ''monkey mind''. Thank you for the tips!

8:29AM PDT on May 26, 2012

A super little book is The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hahn.

2:27AM PDT on May 25, 2012

hi to know really how one has to do Meditation or Penance please read this link. http://www.vallalyaar.com/?p=1942 and
http://www.vallalyaar.com/?p=1685.

2:16PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Thanks!

8:50PM PDT on May 23, 2012

great tips

10:18AM PDT on May 23, 2012

awsome tips sounds fun

10:15AM PDT on May 23, 2012

thanks

6:45AM PDT on May 23, 2012

thanks friend, we can all use some meditation.

6:34AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Thank you....

3:26AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Beautiful article. Thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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