The practice of mindfulness is an integral method aimed at acquainting a person with the mechanisms of his attention. It can be useful to those who have never practiced any meditation and want to start somewhere, as well as experienced practitioners.
These techniques are aimed at making your “I” become healthier, more energetic, kinder to yourself and others, happier, more harmonious, in some ways more effective in society. On a deeper level, this practice will help you remember that there is no your own “I” at all and never was. The following techniques you can try to perform on their own.
1. Watching the breath.
10-15 minutes (can be longer). Choose a quiet place. Lie on your back or sit with your back straight. If you sit, your feet are on the floor, and your hands are on your knees. The shoulders are relaxed, the mouth slightly open to relieve tension in the jaws. Defocus the eye and aim it in front of you or a little bit down diagonally. You can close your eyes, but at first it often leads to the fact that a person begins to fall asleep.
Pay attention to the breath. On a pause between inhalation and exhalation. Follow the exhalation and then the inhalation. To do this, you can focus attention on the tip of the nose and watch how the air exhales through the nostrils as it exhales, and enters the inside by inhalation. Or you can focus attention on the lower abdomen and watch the wall of your abdomen move hardly noticeably forward and backward in time with exhalation and inspiration. At some point you will notice that you are distracted, forgotten about breathing and thinking about something else. Do not scold yourself, but gently return your attention to breathing.
Noticing that we are distracted, and again returning attention to the breath, at first many times during the session, we train meta-mindfulness – the ability to notice when we are inattentive.
You will notice that your mind begins to resist what is happening. Perhaps you will have thoughts: “What nonsense? I could at that time do a lot of useful things! “, Or:” Well, I never get anything done. Not for me this whole meditation, or any other critical judgments.
Do not fight them. Just note that they arose, and gently return attention to the breath. At the end of the session, feel your whole body and give yourself a couple of minutes to return to the outside world.
2. Scanning the body.
Sit with your back straight or lie on your back. For 2-3 minutes, watch your breathing to get your attention back in the present moment. Leave your eyes open and slightly defocus them if you do not want to fall asleep. And now start gently passing through your entire body from the top of the head to the tips of your toes, not missing even the slightest details – eyes, nose, cheeks, lips, teeth, tongue, ears, neck, neck, etc.
Often during this exercise, people say: Well, I did not get any pain, but now it’s getting sick. But the trick is that before they just did not notice the stresses that are now obvious. If you find somewhere such a stress, gently point at it and wait until it slightly relaxes. Perhaps you will not be able to quickly release all the clips – do not worry, it’s a matter of practice.
3. Attentive walking.
Stand up straight and calm. Direct attention to the body. Feel your entire body whole. Feel your feet touching the ground. Devote some time to the sensation of your body standing on a solid surface. At the simplest level, becoming attentive means returning attention from the outside world to the body and breathing, because your body and your breathing are always here and now – unlike emotions and thoughts that are always in the past or in the future.
Now take the first step. Carefully lift your leg, move it forward, put it on the ground and carefully transfer your weight to it. Watch the changes in the body. Then take the second step. Notice how your leg rises, how the knee bends, how the weight of the body shifts from one leg to the other. Feel how your joints move, feel the muscles, pay attention to how the hands move to the beat.
If you want to stop, stop for a few seconds to track the sensations in the body at this moment – breathing, tension in the muscles. You can also note your emotions and thoughts at this moment.
You can synchronize attentive walking with breathing – breathe in when you lift your foot, and exhale when you lower it. This will help bring peace to your movement.
As you practice, you can gradually include in the field of your attention the objects around you – road, trees, smells.
If there are distracting thoughts and emotions, do not scold yourself, but just return attention to walking. Do not cooperate with thoughts and emotions, but do not fight with them.
Well, it is useful to put the experiment: for example, to walk carefully every day for at least two weeks for 20-30 minutes a day and, after these two weeks, note what has changed in your internal state.
4. Invisible meditation at work.
There are many ways to be attentive without attracting unnecessary attention of others. Put a timer on the phone, and take exactly one minute each hour to direct attention to your breathing: how do you breathe right now? Exactly and deeply or superficially and excitedly? On your body: is your posture comfortable? If uncomfortable, accept comfortable. Are you relaxed or tense? If strained – relax. On your emotions: how do you feel right now? Is it a negative or positive emotion, or do you not feel anything at all? What are you thinking about? And do you think of your own will, or have these thoughts thought of you for a long time? The task of this practice is not to change something, but to return every hour for a minute to yourself and be yourself.