How to Meditate | 3 Easy methods to presence
How to meditate
Previously in my article ‘The Benefits of Meditation’ I discussed the incredible benefits that are received through having meditation as a daily habit. In this article we will jump into the various methods you can use in order get better results with your meditation practice.
A common misconception that people tend to have is that there is only one method of meditation ( crossed legged in the lotus position, chanting a mantra out loud ). The reality is that there are hundreds of different methods that can be used to bring you into the meditated state. To put it simply meditation can be anything that brings you awareness into the present moment, while creating clarity of mind.
Method One: Breathing Meditation
Often regarded as the most simple form of meditation, this method is good for beginners. In breathing meditation you basically sit still and focus on your breath and try to not get distracted .
It is best to sit upright when using this method, if you are lying down you might end up falling asleep. You can keep your eyes open or closed, experiment with both to see which one works best for you. Once you begin your meditation try to focus on your breath, watching the inhale and the exhale.
Listen to the sounds around you as you do this and just observe silently. You will get distracted easily when you first start, but don’t make any judgements, just return to your focus. Understand that it is the tendency of the mind to drift of into thoughts.
A tip to help you with focusing on the breath is to mentally count each breath after every inhale and exhale, after ten counts reset and start again from one. If you get distracted by thoughts and lose your count, simply restart from one.
Method Two : Transcendental Meditation
Brought to the west by the Indian yogi Maharishi Mahesh, Transcendental Meditation often abbreviated by ‘TM’, has become a very popular form of meditation.
The meditation technique is very simple and utilises a mantra. A mantra is something that said out loud or silently repeatedly. In TM the mantra is said mentally and not out loud, the mantra is usually a short sound with no meaning, such as ‘lum’. If you mantra is a word with meaning you will be just adding distractions that are not needed.
To use the TM method you would sit down silently, and repeat the mantra in your head. You will bring all your focus to the mantra, the more you can focus on the mantra the less background thoughts have effect as you go deeper into tranquillity.
With practice you can get to the stage of mental clarity where there is a peaceful silence, and distractions such as a phone ringing, or a mosquito biting you will be futile.
Method Three: Walking meditation
This form of meditation is one that asks you to bring your awareness to every step you make while walking. It requires you to pay attention to every sensation of your body. Walking is a faculty of the subconscious mind, generally automated since you were in your diapers. Walking can be used as a form of meditation because it is something we do everyday, so everyday you have a chance to be mindful.
To do walking meditation find a path that you can walk up and down on that does not require much navigation,( we are trying to be mindful, not distracted). I recommend you walk slowly so that you can pay attention to each step, however you can experiment with the speed. Let you attention go to each step, treat each step as if it is the first step. Try to pay attention to every muscle in your lower body at work, try and notice the sensation of each step.
Walking meditation uses your body as the anchor ( something that grounds you into the present), and is a very effective method.
Check out the video below for more instructions.