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Meditation is an excellent tool for you to transform your life. In today’s blog post, I review seven steps for a simple and successful meditation practice that I have described in detail in this blog over the past month.
Create a Habit: Five Minutes a Day
Creating a habit is probably the most important element in having a successful meditation practice. If you don’t meditate consistently, you won’t get the benefits.
I suggest that you meditate for five minutes a day for the first week. Increase your time to ten minutes a day for the second week, 15 minutes for the third week and 20 minutes for the fourth week. 20 minutes is a good baseline for your long term daily practice.
Try to meditate at the same time and place each day. This will help you with habit creation. Sometimes it is not possible to keep a consistent schedule, so whenever you have a few minutes, sit down, close your eyes and be quiet.
Also, write down simple notes in a calendar or a journal to help you stay on track.
Minimize Your Distractions
Find a quiet and comfortable place to meditate. It should be a place where you won’t be disturbed. Ask for cooperation from the people around you. Let them know that need this quiet time by yourself.
If noise and light are bothersome, try using noise reducing headphones and a blindfold. White noise or other types of meditation recordings can also be useful, although I strongly recommend learning to meditate in silence.
Simple Meditation Technique
There are many excellent meditation techniques. The one I describe here is simple and effective.
Set a timer. Take off your glasses. Sit comfortably upright in chair or cross-legged on the floor. Close your eyes and place your hands in your lap. Have the intention of going inward. After taking three deep breaths, breath more gently and focus your attention on the feeling of your breath coming in and going out of your nose.
When your attention wanders, simply bring your attention back to the feeling of your breath inside of your nose.
Be in the Present
One of your purposes in meditation is to be fully in the present moment. That means being aware of all that is happening inside and around you. Simply be, don’t do. Thinking is doing.
Your life is the intersection of your soul and your body in the present moment. You are training yourself to be fully in the present and aware in your daily life.
Your breath is the anchor keeping your soul inside of your body. That’s why we focus on it. It automatically brings you back to the now.
Observe and Accept
As you sit in meditation, many thoughts and feelings will arise. Just observe them. Don’t try to hold on to them. Don’t try to push them away, Don’t try to control them. Don’t judge them. Just observe.
Holding on to what we want and pushing away what we don’t want is the basis of suffering. Just let go and observe. Accept what is.
This is training for your life. Look at the world the way that it is, not the way that you want it to be - then you can decide to take action or not. If you can not, then so be it.
Feel Your Feelings, Let Them Flow and Let Them Go
When strong feelings arise, feel them fully, but don’t focus your attention on them. Don’t react to them. Don’t hold on to them. Don’t push them away. They simply exist.
What you are doing is focusing your attention on your breath while observing your feelings at the same time. Feel your feelings, let them flow and let them go.
Be aware of the specific sensations in your body. Where exactly do you feel this feeling?
It is important fully feel your feelings, but not be addicted to them or not repress them. Let them go. This is also excellent training for daily life.
Keep It Simple
Keeping things simple is usually the best. Sit down, close your eyes, be quiet and observe your breathing.
Keep at it everyday. In time, you will notice that you are calmer, more focused, more in the present, and less attached to your thoughts and feelings. This helps open up a space where you can connect to your deeper you, let go of outdated beliefs, and begin to have access to your intuition.
If you would like to learn more, or would like to have someone help guide you on the path of changing your life for the better, please contact me at PaulCrouse.com. I work with people worldwide via Skype or face-to-face where I live in Kyoto, Japan.
Remember, if you want to change your life -- first choose to do it, then commit to doing it and then take small steps every day. Baby steps every day is the best way to make concrete life changes.
Be nice to yourself, and others.
I am Paul Crouse. Thank you.