What is the best way to learn to meditate? We learn to pay attention to the breath as it comes in and out in mindfulness meditation and to notice when the mind wanders away from this job. Returning to the breath strengthens the muscles of attention and awareness.
When we focus on our breath, we are learning how to intentionally return to and remain in the present moment—how to anchor ourselves in the here and now without judgment. Mindfulness appears to be a simple concept—it requires patience to practice.
While meditation isn’t a panacea, it may help you create some much-needed breathing room in your life. Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement to make better decisions for ourselves, our families, and our communities. A little patience, some kindness for yourself, and a comfortable location to sit are the most crucial things you can bring to your meditation practice.
Concentration and mindfulness meditation
Concentration meditation entails concentrating solely on one topic. Following the breath, repeating a single phrase or mantra, looking at a candle flame, listening to a repeated gong, or counting beads on a mala are all examples of meditation techniques. Because concentrating the mind is difficult, a beginner may begin by meditating for only a few minutes and gradually increase the length of time.
The practitioner of mindfulness meditation is encouraged to examine wandering ideas as they pass through the mind. The goal isn’t to become caught up in the ideas or to pass judgment on them; rather, it’s to be aware of each mental note as it occurs. You may notice how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in certain patterns when you concentrate on using mindfulness meditation.
This meditation practice is a great way to get started with meditation. First, choose a comfortable place to sit or lie. You might want to consider purchasing a meditation chair or cushion. Close your eyes for a moment. If you’re lying down, try one of our Cooling Eye Masks or Restorative Eye Pillows. Make no attempt to regulate your breathing; just let it happen naturally.
Concentrate on the breath and the movement of the body with each inhale and expiration. As you breathe, pay attention to how your body moves. Pay attention to your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly button. Simply concentrate on your breathing without attempting to regulate its rate or intensity. Return your attention to your breath whenever your mind wanders.
Meditation isn’t any more difficult than what we’ve just explained. It’s that easy… and that difficult. It’s also effective and worthwhile. The most important thing is to sit every day, even if it is only for five minutes.
The instant you sit down to meditate is the most crucial time in your practice. Because you’re telling yourself that you believe in change, that you believe in self-care, and you’re putting it into action. You’re not simply holding a value like mindfulness or compassion in your head; you’re really putting it into practice.