Meditation has been used for centuries to increase calmness and physical relaxation, improve psychological balance, cope with illness, and enhance overall health and well-being. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a growing body of scientific research on meditation suggests that it is a very powerful tool for increasing the capacity for mindfulness, regulating emotion, and enhancing self-awareness.
“Meditation is not just for relaxation; its primary purpose is to develop the capacity to respond skillfully and gracefully to life’s difficulties as well as its joys.” – Shyaipa Tenzin Rinpoche
1. Find a place that you can comfortably close your eyes and won’t be disturbed (turn off your cell phone).
2. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
3. Close your eyes.
4. Relax your muscles, progressing from your feet to your calves, thighs, abdomen, shoulders, neck, jaw and forehead.
5. Breathe slowly and naturally, and as you do, bring awareness to your breath: consider the sound or feeling of the in and out of your breath.
6. Assume a passive attitude. Don’t worry about how well you’re doing. It doesn’t matter. When thoughts or other distractions occur, just notice them without judgment and gently return to your repetition.
7. Continue for 10- 20 minutes.
8. Do not stand immediately. Continue sitting quietly for a minute or so, allowing other thoughts to return. Then open your eyes and sit for another minute before rising.
Practice the technique once or twice daily. Try it before breakfast and lunch.
If chronic thinking persists and interferes with your perceived ability to practice the Mindful Meditation technique, do a “mind dump” before you start. Write down everything on your mind until you feel like you’ve dumped it all.
If meditating at home isn’t always an option, arrive to work or a meeting just a few minutes early, park and lock the door (try it incognito with your sunglasses on) or take quiet time during a lunch break. Until a habit is established, set a reminder on your phone or computer.
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