Understanding the Basics of Meditation: How to be Aware and Intentional.
By: John Early
Meditation in its most basic sense is simply awareness of breath.
There is no right or wrong way as long as you can sit quietly reflecting on your breath.
But for newcomers or those looking for more insight and techniques to apply during their practice,
Here are a few simple tips I’ve picked up over the years:
1. Sit Comfortably.
Sit cross-legged or find a comfortable chair where you can keep a straight spine. Sitting on a cushion can help your posture as it elevates the hips above the knees. Let your right hand rest in your left palm on your lap or place both hands on your knees—open palms to receive energy or down-facing to retain energy. Let your eyebrows melt away from each other and soften the space between your eyes.
2. Relax Yourself.
Slow your breath. Fall comfortably into a slight smile (this is the most naturally relaxed and neutral state when your face utilizes the fewest muscles). Experience gratitude for all you have. Sense your heartbeat as a sound or sensation.
Breathe in from your nose and let it expand your diaphragm (lower belly). Say to yourself ‘In’ on the inhale and ‘Out’ on the exhale. Let your breath root your energy down into the ground. Feel it lift you up and into a straight posture. Allow each breath to pull you into a deeper sense of soft awareness.
4. Be Aware.
Bring awareness to all the sensations in your body. Feel the blood bring energy throughout your physical self. Ask yourself Who Am I? What Is My Purpose?
But do not answer, just live the questions.
Perceive the energy around you as white light. Breathe in the white light. Exhale any darkness, negativity or sickness inside you. Once you are full of white light, breathe in the dark you might sense around you and exhale and share your inner light. Grasp the sensation that you “have no want.” There is no desire to fill any type of cravings: eating, talking, scratching, deciding…
You have no want—you’re simply content.
*When your concentration is challenged, bring it back to your awareness of breath: ‘In’…‘Out’…
*If you are having trouble with random thoughts flooding your mind, don’t get upset or try to avoid them. Acknowledge they are there and sense them into a bubble and let them float away.
“…feel the warmth of when someone did something of gratitude for you.
Let it ring from the heart and feel it reach across your entire body…”
Have a grateful and receptive heart, opened to new opportunities and experiences all with the intention of spreading light and love everywhere you go.
John is an award-winning travel author with a wild new book, Tales Of The Modern Nomad – Monks, Mushrooms & Other Misadventures. It delves into the crazy details of his decade of backpacking over 30 countries via stories, sketches, quotes and over 220 photos. It covers all the travel insight you won’t get in a guide book. To learn more, or order your copy of the ebook, visit www.modernnomad.ca and follow his journey on Instagram @johntearly.