“The process of healing begins when we mindfully breathe in.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Simply put, mindfulness meditation is simple: Take a seat, pay attention to your breath, and when you attention wanders, return. Keep in mind, however, simple is not a synonym for easy.
If a clear mind, a relaxed nervous system, and an overall enhanced wellbeing are in your best interest, however, continue reading for my detailed instruction on how to properly meditate mindfully:
Most often, meditation takes place in a comfortable seated position with the spine erect. Largely, this is the chosen posture for meditation because this position allows the energy of the body to most easily draw upwards along the spine. As the energy continues to draw upwards, the body is able to more organically remain in a conscious meditative state, rather than slip into a subconscious state similar to that which is often discovered through Savasana – the end of class yoga posture that we all know and love.
Choose the most comfortable seated position for your body:
Your Breath | Your Focus
The breath is the force of life – When we mindfully allow ourselves to breathe, we mindfully allow ourselves to be. Oftentimes, our breath is compared to the anchor of our lives. In focusing on the breath, we connect our conscious to our subconscious, our body to our mind, and so on. As the human mind is always working, it is important to take time in each day for silence. The trick of the practice is to let go of intrusive thoughts without forcing them away or judging them.
Note: Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places, however there is no need to block or eliminate thinking. As soon as you begin to notice your mind wandering, gently and without judgement of the self, return your attention to your breath. You may find your mind wandering constantly – which is normal. Instead of wrestling with or engaging with those thoughts, practice the art of observing your mind without the need to react.
When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels. Notice your thoughts and emotions. Pausing for a moment, decide how you’d like to continue on with your day, and as you gently make your way into the world, choose to take a little piece of your calm, meditative mind with you.
It's simply that simple!