How to Meditate ( Without the *!@#$%)
Meditation has a host of health benefits–from lowering blood pressure and inflammation, to improving neurogenesis and gray matter development.So how do you meditate? Do you have to say “omm,” visit a monastery, or levitate? Nah, just follow these simple steps.
HOW TO MEDITATE: BEGINNING STEPS
1. Find a comfortable, quiet, private place.
2. Sit or lie down, whatever seems most convenient. The position doesn’t matter, as long as you’re relaxed.
3. Set a timer for 5 minutes.4. Close your eyes.5. Scan down your body from head to toe, think about consciously relaxing each muscle. Let everything sink downward. In particular, let your face droop.
6. Now, focus on your breathing. You don’t need to breathe in any special way. Just breathe and notice what it feels like. Observe how the air moves in and out.
7. Count 10 breaths, observing each one. What does breathing feel like? Does it make any sound?
8. Let thoughts drift in and out, like lazy cats. Let them wander in, then shoo them away. They’ll be back. You don’t need to hold on to them.
9. Observe only. Don’t judge. There is no “should”. If you think of something, don’t think, Oh my Gawd I’m thinking I’m not supposed to be thinking stop thinking ahhh there I go again I suck at this!! Just think, Hey, there’s a thought. OK, bye bye for now. Thanks for playing, thought. Shoo the lazy cat out. If you hear a noise, or have an itch, simply think, There’s a noise or I have an itch. Make a note of it, then move on.
10. Keep coming back to your breathing. There’s no rush; just keep wandering back to it. What’s it doing now?
11. Repeat until your time is up.
12. Finish with 5 good belly breaths to “bookend” the session.
13. Open your eyes.