I’ve been meditating for so long I guess I’ve forgotten what its like to be new to meditation and mindfulness. I think that people that don’t meditate have an idea what meditation is, but not necessarily an accurate idea.
While meditation can be sitting alone in silence for long periods of time (and I do recommend that you try this kind of meditation at some point), it doesn’t have to be like that. Meditation can be done anywhere for any amount of time. And it’s easy.
I think the very first step is getting past some preconceived notions. First, you can practice any religion or no religion, and you can still meditate. Some religions do use meditation as part of their religious practices, but that doesn’t mean you have to incorporate their religion into your meditative practice. There are several ways to meditate. The meditation that I’m referring to today is simply quieting the mind by focusing on your breath. As long as you believe you’re breathing then you can do this.
Second, meditation is not something that you wait to do when your completely overwhelmed with stress. It’s a preventative. You can use it when your facing stress for sure, but a regular practice does wonders to prevent stress from adding up. You’ll have to try it out to see what I mean.
Third, you don’t have to wait for the perfect conditions to meditate. You don’t have to wait for perfect silence where you’ll be undisturbed. While it is nice to be able to be able to concentrate on our practice solely, it isn’t always realistic and it shouldn’t stop us. Meditation relieves stress, and some of our stress comes from our crazy, noisy lives. In other words, those of us that need to meditate most may not be able to get those perfect conditions and it shouldn’t stop us.
So, on to the one minute meditation. You are going to find some personal space. This can be your office, a bathroom stall or your car. It doesn’t have to be fancy. And you’re going to sit up with your feet on the floor and the crown of your head toward the sky. Sit up as much as possible, but if you can’t don’t let that stop you. Now close your eyes. Feel the weight of gravity on your body. Feel your feet touching the floor. Feel where your legs touch your seat. If your back is leaning against a chair, feel that too. Don’t change anything, just notice the feeling. Feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just are.
The next step is to notice your breath. Notice it going in and out of your body. Notice it going in and out of your lungs. Notice it go in and out of your nose. Just feel the air go in and out without trying to change anything for one minute. Thoughts will come. Don’t try to change those either. Just let them pass the way that clouds pass. Don’t judge yourself in anyway for one minute out of your day and really feel your body.
There, you meditated. Congratulations. Each time you do this it will get easier. That’s why it’s called a practice.