8 Tips for Mindful Meditation
Daily meditation is a good investment for your mind health. But how do you make it an enjoyable event?
First, find somewhere you will not be disturbed, and sit.
Start with your own body. Being aware of your physical body is essential at the beginning and middle of meditation. The mind is hard to grasp and control. But once you are aware of the sensation of a part of your body, you are succeeding in herding your mind. So look at what’s already under your control. Your hands, for example. Open your hands wide, glance at the entire palm, and count the fingers. One, two, three, four, five… Now take look at the centers of the palms, one at a time, back and forth a few times. Then, place your hands on your lap.
Are you comfortable? If not, move around your body and stretch the back. Then erect your upper body so that your spine and neck are aligned vertically. It helps the shoulders and the arms relax. If you are still not comfortable, identify the part of your body that causes discomfort. Move your body around, forward and backward, and find the right posture for you. Check to see if putting a cushion or pillow under or behind you would help.
When you’re ready to begin meditation, these tips can help:
1. Take a deep breath a few times. Expanding your lungs has a calming effect. It provides more oxygen to the brain and body, and keeps the brain fresh.
2. Use the posture that you like. Familiarity lessens distraction.
3. Set a time limit. If one minute is all you have, just do it for one minute. Be flexible to take advantage of any available time and space that fits your situation and feelings.
4. Sit still. Make sure you do meditation, not a battle. If it becomes a battle, cut it short. Have multiple breaks. You don’t have to be a master meditator from day 3. Be realistic. Be generous to yourself. Take as many breaks as you need. And enjoy the moment of meditation fully, even if it is just for 30 seconds.
5. Walk around during the breaks. Stay away from the meditation spot. Stop thinking about meditation. Shift your attention to new things that you see, hear, smell. Is there a new thought popping up in your mind? Pay attention to it. Is there any new sensation in your body? Pay attention to it. You don’t have to try to figure them out. Pay attention to them, but don’t engage with them. Rather, find the mind that detects them. Discover the mind that senses what you think and feel, from the start.
6. Trust your own feelings from your body. Be mindful of your breath! Breath control is the key to regulate the body’s response to your feelings. Thoughts may fleet from one moment to another. No matter how uncomfortable your sitting may be, your thoughts can escape but the body can’t. Your body is the ultimate judge of where you stand. When you ride on the flow of your feelings of the body, you have already contained your mind. If not, you are battling.
7. Look inside of the mind which feels your discomforts and struggles. You become the observer of your own mind from a distance.
8. Look outward from the inside of the mind and examine you. Who are you? Who is the one who looks into your mind? Where are you from? Where are you going to? Is it you who looks into your mind, or is it someone else that you think you are? Or, are they the same? Or, doesn’t it matter? Try to look inside out and outside in to see how you really feel and think.