A solid practice of meditation is something that is within your control. And since we run around in a world full of chaos that we cannot control, it’s nice to know that there are some things we can.
A good meditation practice starts by finding quiet. It is easy to find a quiet place in your home or perhaps a meditation garden outside. The difficult quiet to find is self-quiet.Our brains are not only stuck in negative, they also run all the time – even when we sleep. If you are the ‘average joe,’ somewhere around 70,000 thoughts run through your head every 24 hours. How do you shut that off?
Here is a quick exercise you could do every morning or evening to help train your mind to rest.
- Give yourself permission to do this exercise. If you are worried about time, give yourself permission to clear your mind for 10 minutes and set an alarm.
- Find a place that is absent of outside distractions – no TV blaring but soft music helps some people. Sit or lay comfortably. Don’t get so comfortable you fall asleep!
- Breath in deeply. Hold it and then release it slowly. Do this five times focusing on feeling the fresh air move to your lungs.
- Repeat the breathing five more times. This time focus on the stale air moving through your body and exit.
- At this point I focus on my connection to earth. I mentally allow my mind to reach out to the closest piece of nature I can find. When I am in the basement, I sit cross-legged on the floor and reach our to the dirt underneath the foundation. Other people suggest focusing on colors or shapes. Find what makes you feel comfortable and focus on it.
- If a thought interrupts your focus, give it a moment of attention and then return to your primary focus.
When you first start this, you will feel as if you are constantly being interrupted by stray thoughts, but your mind will train itself to ignore those thoughts until eventually it will not even notice them and your mind is blank.
Currently I can maintain a totally blank mind for 15 minutes on a good day. My mind is rested. I can better control the flow of my thoughts which allows for greater productivity and creativity and far, far less negativity.
Try five minutes today.