What we would like to do here is take meditation back to basics and offer this simple form. Whether you are new to meditation or a seasoned veteran, this technique can be very powerful.
Your being is composed of both external and internal aspects. Yet you spend all of your time with the external. Meditation is a means for you to direct your attention to the opposite side, the internal. Let's face it. We are so wrapped up in the outside world, we neglect what is within us. We are out of balance, "lopsided," and that puts us into an extreme situation. These instructions are for a simple, seated meditation that can help you to start developing a balance.
- Before you begin this meditation, make the decision to sit down and devote the energy of your mind, body, and heart to resting within stillness. This is a time to surrender to wakefulness, mindfulness, and awareness. Find a place where you will not be disturbed, i.e. a room where no one will come in, where the phone does not ring, where little or no noise can get in, etc.
- It is very important that you are physically comfortable when practicing this meditation. This will help prevent you from becoming distracted by bodily sensations that arise from physical discomfort. It is best if you sit upright in a comfortable chair. Make sure you are free from any tightness or restriction due to clothing.
- Take a minute to relax and establish a condition of ease in your body. Close your eyes and mouth, breathing normally through your nose. If it helps you to relax, take a few deep breaths.
- Your goal is to turn your attention inward, away from the outside world of thought and time, towards the domain of stillness. You need a point to focus your attention so that you can slowly withdraw from the external, chaotic side of things. This focus will be your breathing. Become aware of your breathing with each inhale and exhale. Once you are aware of your breathing, slowly begin to breathe into your abdomen. In other words, breathe using your diaphragm, not your lungs. The lungs expand downward instead of out during the inhale. If you do not know how to breathe with your diaphragm or it is uncomfortable, then breathe like you normally do. Just relax as best you can.
- Keep your attention on your breathing. Feel the inhale and exhale. Withdraw your attention from thoughts about the past or thoughts about the future. Withdraw your attention from all thoughts and let your attention become more and more immersed in the feelings of your breathing. Using your Will, hold your attention and just be with your breath.
- Continuously recall your mindfulness, your awareness to the inhale and exhale of your breath. If you find yourself distracted with thoughts, gently bring your attention back to the feeling of your breathing. With each breath, allow yourself to be in the present for really, it is only the present that exists. In the present is where you can discover deeper levels of your mind and being.
- Now that you rest with your breathing, slowly turn your attention inwards and find the stillness in your mind. As you find the silence, be with it. Become the stillness. There is no reason to have any thoughts at this time. You have plenty time all day long to be with thoughts. Now is the time for stillness. Feel the silence and rest in it. If you find yourself distracted with thoughts, place your attention on your breathing again and withdraw from your thoughts. Then slowly turn back towards the silence.
- If it becomes difficult to find the silence or rest with it, try repeating the word "om" (as in dome) in a natural repetition. Say the word silently within your mind. Feel the vibration of the word as you repeat it and immerse yourself in it. If you find yourself distracted with thoughts, slowly bring your attention back to the repetition of the word.
- Don't worry if you find yourself thinking a lot. This is normal. Over time, you will gain the ability to quiet yourself more and more. Like anything else, it just takes practice.
- If you experience some physical discomfort during the meditation, make the necessary adjustments to bring yourself back to the comfort zone. The adjustments might be very subtle muscular, skeletal, or attitudinal shifts. Just do your best to relax and remain as still as possible during your meditation.
- Try practicing this meditation once a day in the evening for about 15 to 20 minutes. Make it a special part of your daily routine. As you become accustomed to your practice, add a morning meditation for the same amount of time.
Finding the stillness within will be the most challenging task you can ever face, for silence is totally foreign to the condition of our minds. This will take persistent practice on your part. Nevertheless, it is possible provided you are determined.
Meditation can be very profound and meaningful, for the effects of resting within silence will be felt in your daily life. Combined with regular exercise, it becomes an excellent stress reducer. It gives you the opportunity to enjoy new meaning and appreciation. Meditation is one of life's paradoxes, for within silence is everything.