In our last blog post, Take 10 Minutes for Mindfulness, we talked about the benefits of 10 minutes of quiet meditation a day.
Below are instructions for a simple meditation that you can do at your desk, in the morning/evening or even sitting out on the patio on a beautiful spring day. There is no need to be a certain way, or try to become “thoughtless.”
And remember that even if you can do this for two minutes a day, it will be beneficial. You can always work your way up to 10 minutes a day. The important thing is to be consistent!
To time yourself, simply use the stopwatch app built into your phone.
Sit in a comfortable position. Try to keep your back straight. You can sit in a chair or on the floor.
Rest your hands in your lap.
Focus on your breathing.
Inhale and exhale through your nose and allow 4-5 slow, full breaths to pass as you notice the feeling of your lungs filling with air.
On your next breath, inhale and tighten and tense all the muscles in your feet and as you exhale, release all of the muscles of the feet. Repeat for a second inhale and exhale.
Now close your eyes, and lets begin.
- Focus your attention, your entire mind, on the sensation of the breath as it comes in and out of your nostrils.
- What do you feel?
- What do you notice?
- What sensations come up as you place your mind on the sensation of the breath?
- Do you feel cold? Warm sensations? Is your inhale longer than your exhale? Do you feel tingly? What do you feel? Notice your body. Notice your breath. Study your breath with as much detail as you can. Make this your singular focus for the next few minutes…almost like your life depended on it.
- When a thought arises, which is inevitable, simply notice it. Thank you mind for bringing that thought — and then go back to the breath. Be gentle with yourself. You are going to have thoughts.The key is to return your attention back to the sensations of the breath.
- As you do this, the meditation is working. You are releasing stress!! The benefits of this meditation is returning your mind to your breath after a thought arises. Let the thoughts come and go as if your mind is a screen door. Just remember to bring your attention back to your breath.
- The more you do this meditation, the easier it will become. You will notice that the sensations of the breath get more nuanced. That’s excellent! This means you will be able to increase your concentration during the course of a day.
- After ten minutes, or however much time you have, gently blink open your eyes. Stand up and stretch. Wake yourself back up. Then just take a minute to notice how you feel? How does your mind feel? How about your body? Notice the calm.
Congratulations! You just did a powerful and easy meditation! There is no right and no wrong. You just did it, correctly, however you did it. You have relaxed our body and mind. You are now able to tackle the rest of the day with a renewed sense of vigor. ENJOY!