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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