Would you like to improve your power of concentration? Keep your piece of mind in every stressful situation? If the answer is “Yes!” then you should definitely practice meditation.
1. Pick the Right Time for Meditation
It is advisable to meditate in the morning, while your mind is tranquil, “empty” and when you are not sleepy. This is especially important for beginners- you will probably meditate for only 5 minutes in the first few weeks so you won’t have to get up much earlier. Later on, gradually increase the meditation time to the optimal 20-30 minutes (not longer).
2. Pick the Right Place
Try to meditate every day at the same time and place. It can be a corner of your room, or a chair on your porch. Make sure that the place is clean, ventilated and that you won’t be disturbed. You can sit, stand or lie while meditating’ find the position that suits you the most. Taking a half lotus or a full lotus position isn’t necessary to meditate successfully, just make sure that your back is straight – this is essential for correct breathing.
3. Relax Your Body
Stretch your legs and arms; shake your hands, fingers and toes. Concentrate on your breathing; inhale and exhale slowly. There is no need to change anything in your usual way of breathing, just try to be fully aware of your breath. If you still can’t relax completely, don’t give up. Try counting your breaths as you inhale and exhale from 1 to 10 and than again- this should do the trick.
You can also recite a sacred syllable “Om” – a Hindu symbol of the Absolute- unmanifested (spiritual) and manifested (material) aspects of God.
Relaxation technique called Yoga Nidra can also help you relax your body and introduce you to the meditation.
4. Look at the Top of Your Nose
To practice your power of concentration, start with looking at the top of your nose. Direct the look for not longer then 2 minutes to avoid straining your eyes. You can do this few times a day but every practice shouldn’t last longer than 2 minutes.
5. Practice Visualization Technique
Now, move to the advanced exercise- visualization. Visualize a specific image in your head – something nice and pleasant or neutral. In any case it is strictly forbidden to imagine something unpleasant or scary. If you decide to imagine e.g. a rose here is how you should do it. Observe it carefully; its color, shades, size. How many petals does it have? Imagine yourself smelling it; touching it. Try to feel its tender, soft, smooth petals.
This is a crucial exercise. Once you learn to focus on a particular image in your head you will move to the next phase easy.
6. Empty Your Mind
The last stage in meditation is “focusing on nothing.” This is the hardest part of meditation and it requires lots of practice. Now that you’ve mastered the visualization technique, practice it in reverse or to be precise “concentrate on nothing”- cast away every thought that might come to you. To empty your mind successfully don’t “fight” the thoughts that occupy your mind, it will have the opposite effect.
Imagine that you are driving a car – your thoughts should be like the things on the sidewalk you glance while driving- they exist but you don’t pay attention to them.
Now that you know how to do meditation at home, find the time for practice. Soon you will notice its benefits; you’ll be more effective at school or work, develop an eye for details, learn to stay calm in stressful situations and you’ll probably wonder “Why didn’t I start meditating earlier?”