Many people are put off by the classic perception of Meditation: sitting still for an extended time. They are missing its tremendous potential for relieving numerous problems of mind, body and relationships. Many years back, I stumbled upon the ‘counting breaths’ style of meditation and adapted it to suit a busy lifestyle. It pulled me out of a crippling stress. Here is the essence of it.
Q: I can’t do meditation. My monkey mind wanders beyond my control.
A: This is like a 3 year old saying “What is the point in my going to school when I can’t read the alphabets?’”. Meditators’ minds wander to some extent even after years of meditation. As beginners our goal is not being 100% focus without any wandering.
Q: What else?
A. Our goal is to increase the focusing from 0% to let us say 2% which means wandering lesser from 100% to 98%. As our practice continues, the focusing percentage creeps up and the stress level slides down. We will also be able to ignore the stressful thoughts and be calm under stress.
Q. This sounds good. But you know what, I can’t sit still even for a few seconds.
A. Not a problem. In this made-for-beginners style of meditation, we work only with the mind when lying in the bed. Our initial goal is to fall asleep while doing this meditation!
Q. What if I quickly fall asleep? My meditation will be a non-starter!
A. Relax! This style of meditation is a sneaky entry into the daunting house of meditation. Focusing on breathing keeps the thoughts out, calms the mind and relaxes the body. You will sleep effortlessly. You will get hooked on this practice.
Q. I can’t wait to do this meditation. How do I do it?
A. Here are the easy to do steps 1-2-3.
1. Focus on your in-breath and out-breath. Count each breath to strengthen the focus.
2. Soon the mind wanders. You will realize that your mind lost its focus on breathing. Just for realizing that your mind wandered, your meditation becomes half successful. What next?
3. As soon as you catch your mind wandering, quietly begin counting the breaths. When you resume counting the practice, your meditation becomes 100% successful. Simply repeat the success cycles! There are no rules or restrictions. Is this doable?
Of course, I can do this meditation. Who said meditation is difficult?
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