Calm the mind 10 tips to start meditating
Although there are many myths and very extensive documents about meditation, perhaps the question we all have is: why meditate?
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The short answer is because we need to quiet the mind and learn to concentrate.
However, meditation is much more than that and in Western culture it is very poorly understood. For starters, I want to clarify something very important.
Meditation is not magic. No god communicates with us. No spells are cast. Neither do angels descend to speak to us. You can not travel to the past. There is no way to see past lives. Much less remember alien abductions. Elba Esther Gordillo will not look prettier or smarter.
Meditation is a very strong mental process in which we train to calm the noise, relax, see life as it is to move forward.
Our mind is very powerful and has many analogies with the most advanced computer. It can process information at all levels and make us what we are. The problem is that it also generates too much noise and is capricious, like a small child, and always asks for more and more attention.
With this noise, what it does is cover the processes we need to understand who we are and avoid taking responsibility for our actions. It also focuses on fun processes and does not let us see inwards.
As you can see, I think that meditating is a necessary activity, but everyone knows when to start. And for that there are many ways to do it, so I share the ones that worked for me and I’ve been using them for years.
These tips are based on the idea that you already have a point in your day to meditate. To find the perfect time, you have to experiment a little. It works very early for me, about 30 minutes after I woke up and had a little coffee. Meditate before dawn I like it a lot because there is no noise and because I am alert. In the afternoon I’m tired from all the work of the day.
Maybe it works better for you in the afternoon or before bedtime. Also taking a 20-minute nap (and no more than 20 minutes, use an alarm!) Before starting your session will help a lot because you will not be tired.
1. Find the right place
If you’ve already found your ideal time, it’s time to find the place. I recommend that it be in a safe place like your house or in an enclosure where everyone meditates and nobody bothers you.
And you do not need any paraphernalia more than your own mind. Oh, and your butt to make you feel. Sure, a little incense and a Buddhist altar are nice, but you’re going to have your eyes closed, so they do not really matter.
2. Check your posture
It makes me laugh to see pictures of people meditating because they take cryptic postures that no normal human can do.
No doubt you can sit on a lotus flower, kneeling or cross-legged. And there’s nothing wrong with meditating sitting in a kitchen chair. What really matters is that you have your back straight and that you are conscious during your session so that you correct it.
So to meditate, you can sit on a chair with your butt back, without recharging your back. You have to stay straight throughout the session.
The eyes are closed. During the first sessions it is very possible to make you sleepy. If this happens, open your eyes a little so that light comes in.
The hands are placed on the thighs and the head is slightly inclined forward. It is not necessary to make any gang signal. These signs are called mudra, but that is more advanced and we will see later.
The lower jaw has to be relaxed and the tongue placed behind the upper teeth. Without putting pressure.
3. Start with 10 minutes.
You do not need to meditate 4 continuous hours. To start meditating, only 10 minutes are enough.
It’s easy to say, but 10 minutes dedicated to your mind, with closed eyes, is a long time. Ideally 20 minutes, but that will be achieved later.
To measure 10 minutes and not to worry about watching the clock, use an alarm clock. If you have an MP3 player, you can download a meditation timer.
And since the Choco Buddha cares for you, I share my 10 minute timer. It’s a 10-minute track with a Buddhist bell at the end. 10 minute meditation timer.
4. Focus on your body and breathing
And this is the difficult part. What to do with the mind during meditation? How to tame it?
The bad news is that calming the thoughts that swirl is very difficult. The good thing is that with discipline and dedication, it can be achieved.
To start the meditation session you need to be sitting in a quiet bind. When you’re ready, close your eyes and follow these steps.
- Pay attention to every part of your body. How do your feet feel, your legs, your arms? Do you feel cold or hot?
- Pay attention to gravity. You have never been aware of how the law of gravity affects you, right? This is the moment. While you are sitting, pay attention to your butt. Feel how gravity ties you to the chair. Feel how your shoulders fall towards the ground.
- Pay attention to the darkness. Your eyes are closed and your mind will present you a thousand images. The reality is that you are not receiving light and immediately you put films from the past, things to do and relationships. If you concentrate on the darkness and what your body feels, meditation will be easier.
- Focus on the breath. Feel how the air enters your nose. Locate the point where the air first touches your body. It is usually the tip of the nose. Inhale, feel how your lungs fill and how you expel the air. Find everything you feel and focus on it.
5. Eliminate noise during the session
First and most important: turn off the phone. I know that you tweet all day and that you answer each of the messages that come to you, but if you are going to take meditation seriously, turn off the cell phone and all the distractors.
If you live in a capital city like me, the most likely thing is that the noise is constant.
It is very possible that while you are in session, pass the hot tamales oaxaqueños, or the garbage truck. These noises will take you out of concentration and the right thing to do is to listen to them, analyze what it is and then return to yours, without opening your eyes and without moving from your position.
It will also happen that your mind, seeing itself without visual stimulus, begins to bombard you with thoughts. Gently discard them and return to pay attention to your body.
Bonus tip: find a meditation group
Meditating alone is very nice for lonely people, but there are also those who prefer a group.
Search your city for a Buddhist meditation center or a yoga center. Almost everyone I know has meditation groups.
Just be very careful. Those who offer new age garbage such as feng shui, angels, spells, quartz and pyramids, usually go after your money and not after your peace of mind.
-Meditation is free and can be practiced by everyone. Its purpose is to calm the mind and make you look inward. It makes you aware of yourself and your place in the universe.
In Buddhism, this is called Conscious Attention and is the basis of inner tranquility.
In other articles we will discover more details and meditation techniques.