Forget being a Zen monk. Don’t worry about getting in some perfectly correct and highly pretzeled position. Don’t make it a chore. Simply give yourself the gift of five minutes every day of sitting peacefully and focusing on your breathing. Why breathing? It has the simple effect of clearing your mind.
Here’s how: try counting your first ten breaths without thinking about anything else. Sounds easy, right? At first it’s not because you’ll quickly find your mind invaded by all sorts of random thoughts and concerns – the boss, your children, that TV show, the thing you forgot to do. Don’t worry. Just as the thought randomly entered your mind, shoo it away by returning to counting your next breath. It helps to imagine the number of the breath you are counting (6, 7, 8) as being inhaled into your belly, and then expanding there as you continue to breath in. next imagine it escaping you before you move onto the next number. Try to train yourself to get through focusing on ten breaths so thoroughly that you have thought of absolutely nothing else but each counted inhalation and exhalation.
After a few days of meditation, you’ll notice a difference in the way you feel and look at the world.
When you have managed five minutes of meditation, get up and move on. Any time you want to clear your mind, feel free to give yourself another five minutes, or more. Once your brain has learned how relaxing this can be, just recalling the experience can provide a respite, and provide you almost instant relaxation. Soon you’ll probably want to do more.
View this excellent 2 minute movie by Scientific American that explains the life-long benefits of meditation and how it structurally changes the brain then move on to step five.
If you missed part one of this article, you can find it here.
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