Written by Telisa Boston, Staff Writer
If I think back to my first attempt at Mindfulness Meditation, I will admit (for the first time) that my technique…lacked. I had a very untrained mind. In many ways, I still do. Initially, every attempt to become still and meditate ended with me snoring on my mat. At the time, I was dating someone who was sincerely jealous at how skilled I was at maintaining my focus during my practice. Little did he know, I was in deep REM every time! This article featured in Psychology Today offers fresh and simple techniques to begin your practice.
Your First Mindfulness Meditation Technique
Pick a quiet place and a time when you won’t be interrupted. Decide ahead of time how long you’ll meditate (otherwise your mind is likely to come up with any number of excuses to stop if you’re finding it difficult). Find a comfortable position—sitting on the floor or in a chair, even lying down. Gently close your eyes. Start by doing a quick scan of your body, from the top of your head to your toes. Is your body tired? Is it full of energy? Is there any discomfort? Just ground your attention in your body.
Now, notice the physical sensation of your breath as it comes in and goes out of your body. Find the place in your body where that physical sensation is the strongest…
As you breathe, investigate with interest the physical sensation of your breathing. Notice how the in-breath feels different from the out-breath. Notice the difference in the feeling of the beginning, middle, and end of the in- and out-breaths…
Usually when you notice that your attention has strayed from the breath, it’s easy to return to following it at your anchor spot. But sometimes another sensory input becomes more compelling than the breath. If that happens, let go of your focus on the breath and bring to this sensory input the same attentive quality that you brought to the breath. If it’s an unpleasant physical sensation, don’t attach any meaning to it; just notice the unpleasantness without judgment. When the sensory input becomes less compelling, return to the breath—your anchor to the present moment.
If it’s a thought or emotion that has become so compelling that you can’t keep your focus on the breath, shift your attention to the thought or emotion and just patiently watch it without judgment. Original story here.
Your first mindfulness meditation technique may not be the best – and that’s okay. Just be patient with yourself and let your practice evolve at it’s natural pace, that is how you will find your own internal bliss.