Category: Helpful Meditations Views: 2117
Mindfulness meditation is an exercise in being mindful or watchful of what is happening in you right NOW. In practice, it means we should be deeply aware of our thoughts that we normally cannot control.
In most cases, we generate negative thoughts with all their damaging implications on our physical and mental health.
The main aim of mindfulness meditation is to eliminate negative thoughts that make us tense and thereby acquire a state of complete relaxation of mind and body.
Around 2500 years back, Buddhist masters discovered an ingenious technique to control the thoughts through a physical activity.
It is like performing any activity which absorbs our attention. You may be performing martial arts, participating in games, sports, playing music, conducting scientific experiments, solving mathematical problems, crosswords puzzles, conducting research, watching movies- in fact doing anything that you are focused upon.
When you are highly focused on a particular activity, you generally do not think of anything else, whether negative or positive.
Initially the accent in mindfulness meditation is to focus on a simple mental activity which prevents you from entertaining negative thoughts. This activity is breathing.
Breathing is a very natural physical process that goes on continuously. But we have taken it so much for granted that we are hardly aware that we are breathing.
Mindfulness meditation technique only tries to make you mindful, watchful or aware of this basic, natural human activity that is taking place now. This is the only activity that goes on non-stop. It means that you can meditate on it anytime, any moment.
It should be noted that mindfulness meditation actually does not mean controlling the way you breathe. Controlling and regulating the breath is an immensely beneficial technique and comes within the purview of another subject called Pranayam.
As mentioned above, mindfulness meditation basically involves being aware or watchful of your breathing process whether natural or controlled.
The technique of mindfulness meditation is extremely simple. Here it is:
Sit in a comfortable but steady posture. You may sit in lotus pose-cross legged on the ground, Or, you may sit on the chair, bed or a couch. You should sit comfortably erect, but not ram-rod erect if you feel uncomfortable that way. The best course is to keep the spine straight as far as possible. The head and the shoulders should be relaxed.
You may close your eyes, but there is a risk of going to sleep. If you keep your eyes open, it means you are more aware. The best way, however, is to keep your eyes so open as if you are watching the in-haling of the breath as it enters the nose, travels through the chest and goes down the stomach and even below and then again as it comes out- is exhaled.
It is better to count 1-2-3-4 as the breath is inhaled and again when it is exhaled. Watching and counting will help to maintain focus on your breathing and prevent your mind getting distracted to something else.
It is obvious that watching the breath and counting is a kind of physical activity that keeps you busy, focused and prevents your thoughts from going anywhere else.
- Inhale deeply- watch as the breath goes in and count 1-2-3-4.
- Exhale and again watch the breath as it comes out and count 1-2-3-4.
You can initially perform this exercise for a minute or two any number of times during the day and continue to increase the duration to 10-20 minutes. But do perform it at least twice a day –morning and evening.
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