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+ Who said Meditation is difficult?

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 don’t know A,B, C or 1,2,3?’”. All the novice meditators begin with a wandering mind. It is not a big deal.  We begin training the mind in concentration. We don’t aim at 100% focus.

Q: What else?

A. Our goal is to increase the focusing from say 0% to let 2% which means wandering decreases from 100% to 98%. As our practice continues, the focusing percentage gradually creeps up and the stress level slides down lot more. We become calmer and manage the stressful situations better.

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 practice lying comfortably on the bed at night.

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 1-2-3 steps.

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.

3. As soon as you catch your mind wandering, quietly resume counting the breaths. Now your meditation becomes 100% successful! Simply repeat the cycles of success any number of times. No rules or restrictions. Does this make sense?

Sure! I can do this kind of meditation. Who said meditation is difficult?

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+ Mantras For A Cool Mind

Saying these unconventional mantras silently to myself helps me keep a cool mind.

  • Not My Problem (NMP)
  • Mind Your Own Business (MYOB)
  • Nobody Asked For My Judgment (NAFMJ)
  • Nobody Asked For My Opinion (NAFMO)
  • Let Me Keep My Mouth Shut (LMKMMS)
  • Am I telling myself an ugly story without getting the facts? (1)
  • It is all “in here’ not “out there’ (2)
  • It Is OK. (IIO)
  • You may be right. Can you be kind?
  • You may be right. Can you forgive?
  • This Too Shall Pass (TTSP) (3)
  • You can’t change others’ behavior. Don’t even think of changing their nature. But you have total control on ‘how you respond to their (crazy?) behavior’.
  • How can you blame a sick person for his/her sick behavior? And that includes acute and chronic mental sicknesses like Anger, Hatred, Jealousy, so on.
  • Before pointing one finger at anther, point four fingers at yourself.

(1) Inspired by the book “Crucial conversations – tools for talking when the stakes are high” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzer).
Also see my related article “We don’t see the first parts of people’s lives
(2) “In here”: Whatever I am thinking is only in my mind. “Not out there”: Whatever I am thinking does not exist in real life.
(3) This too  shall pass – My article

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Category: Relaxation to Meditation  Comments off