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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 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. Our goal isn’t 100% focus.

Q: What else?

A. Our goal is to increase the focusing from let us say 5% to 8% which means wandering decreases from 95% to 92%. As our practice continues, the focusing percentage gradually creeps up but 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 in the bed.

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 and enjoy better sleep. 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 stopped focusing on breathing. Just for catching the mind wander, your meditation becomes half successful.

3. As soon as you catch your mind wander, quietly resume counting the breaths. Now your meditation becomes 100% successful. Never mind if this is a cycle of few seconds.  Simply repeat these cycles of success any number of times. Feel empowered in having control over the unruly mind! First get into the game and it will build up strength on its own. No rules or restrictions to worry about. 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. (4)

(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
(4) Try this: Point only your index finger at anything before you. What did your fingers do to point the index finger at something? First, the other four fingers form a fist with the little, ring and middle fingers automatically pointing towards you and the thumb pointing the floor. Ok. Three but not four fingers are pointing at you to enable you to point one finger at someone else. Right?

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Category: Relaxation to Meditation  Comments off