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Meditation in 11 Simple Steps
by Claire Austen

 

 

Editor's Note from Lexi Yoga: Claire Austen will take you through a meditation in 11 simple steps. Let yourself be taken away, and trust the journey and the process. Allow yourself to come out with a new and different concept.

 

Meditation is so incredibly simple…that it may seem difficult. But don’t let the concept scare you – it’s just as simple as it sounds. Try these 11 steps for 5 minutes per day, EVERYDAY.

We all have 5 minutes. No matter how busy you are, everyone has 5 minutes a day to dedicate to themselves. So let’s begin…

1. Go in your bedroom and close the door. Turn off your phone. Turn off your TV. Turn off the music. Turn off your pager. Don’t worry. It’s only for five minutes. If possible, do this when you are home alone. If someone is home, ask if you can remain undisturbed for just five minutes.

2. Make your bed so it’s comfortable to sit on. Prop 3-4 pillows up against the headboard or wall. Sit upright, at a 90 degree angle, with your back resting on the pillows. Either have your legs crossed or straight out in front of you – whichever is more comfortable. Place your hands palms up on your knees or thighs. Close your eyes.

3. Pay attention your breathing for a moment. Observe it carefully. Are you breathing from the chest, or the belly? Are your breaths short and shallow, or long and deep. Does your chest feel tight, or open and relaxed? Don’t worry about how you are breathing, just observe your breath without judgement or emotion for a few moments.

4. Now begin belly breathing. By this, I simply mean allow the breath to fill the belly, rather than the chest. Relax the chest and belly and allow the air to travel deep down your torso, filling the belly. On the inhale, the belly will expand, on the exhale the belly will contract. Maintain a normal breathing pace – just breathe into the belly rather than the chest. We will maintain the breath throughout the 5 minute meditation period.

5. Now pay attention to your thoughts – just as you paid attention to your breathing. Observe them without judgement or emotion. Notice how as soon as you pay attention to your thought, they seem to disappear or fade out of consciousness. This is meditation. You are now meditating. It’s that simple.  Remember, meditation is not about having no thoughts, it’s about observing your thoughts.

6. Imagine you are sitting in a quiet and deserted beach, looking out onto the ocean. The waves roll gently to shore, and recede back into the ocean. On each inhale, your belly rises, and the waves roll in. On each exhale, your belly contracts and the waves roll out. Keep this visualization as your anchor. When your mind starts to wander, return to the inhale, and the exhale as the waves gently roll in…and out.

7. As thoughts enter your mind, imagine each thought as a bird, flying across the horizon. The bird (and your thought), comes flying in, entering your mind’s eye from the right. Watch the bird-thought, observe it without judgement, and keep watching it until it flies to the left and out of view. More bird-thoughts will come, let them come, observe them, and watch them leave. Return again to the inhale…and exhale as the waves roll in…and out.

8. As you sit and meditate in this way, you may begin to feel certain emotions. You may feel negative emotions such as feeling anxious, afraid, angry, sad, tired, etc. This is a difficult part of meditation. However, it is necessary to feel these things. This is your subconscious, rising from the depths to the surface. Allow it to rise. Allow yourself to feel these emotions. It may be uncomfortable for the time, but it is a necessary thing to allow yourself to feel them. You are cleaning out the subconscious mind of these emotions – just as if you were cleaning an old attic. Remember – the only way to get to the end is by going through. So go through these feelings with bravery, hope and the assurance that once they are felt and dealt with – they will lighten your load and you will feel and live better for it. Know also, the more you meditate, the more of this “emotional baggage” will be cleared out. Once you’ve cleared out all those emotions – there will only be room left to feel all the positive emotions that are around us all the time. Emotions more powerful than all negative emotions combine. Feelings of love, happiness, safeness and oneness. Go through the bad to make room for the good. Continue meditating.

9. Continue in this way – feel emotions and allow them to pass on their own time, don’t rush it just to get it over with. Let it take you over. Continue in this way – let the thoughts enter and exit your mind, like birds flying across the sky and out of view. Continue in this way – observe the inhale as the belly expands and the wave rolls gently in. And the exhale, as the belly contracts and the waves move back out to sea.

10. Stay here for five minutes – or longer if you so desire. When you have finished, rub your palms together a few times, and place your palms over your closed eyes. Let the warmth you’ve generated in your palms to soothe your eyes. Remove your palms and open your eyes slowly.

11. Repeat this 10 step sequence daily for at least five minutes. Don’t allow yourself to skip a day. Think about it: every day you take a shower or wash your face as a way of cleansing the body. Think of meditation as a shower for the mind. Don’t let a day go by without your mental shower.

And remember, meditation is both a practice and a journey. As a practice, it can be difficult at times. There may be days you don’t want to do it, but as with all practices, we do it anyway because we know the results are worth it.

As a journey, each meditation session is different. Our subconscious mind is deep and seemingly endless. Just as the tip of an iceberg is only a tiny fraction of the whole, the conscious mind is only a tiny fraction of the whole mind. Meditation is a journey that takes us deep into the subconscious mind – to places we may have never been or seen in the normal course of our lives. Each time you sit down to meditate, you don’t exactly know where you’ll end up. Let yourself be taken away, trust the journey and the process. And allow yourself to come out with a new and different concept – if even slightly – of yourself and the world around you.


Photo Source: litscapeart.com via Danielle on Pinterest

 

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About the Author


Claire Austen has been practicing yoga and meditation for approximately four years. She started practicing in her basement to a few old yoga videos, and eventually studied under several highly experienced teachers.


She enjoys teaching and talking yoga to anyone who will listen. These practices have changed her life, both mentally and physically. As a result, she created a website to teach others about yoga, meditation, and diet for a healthy life.

Website: E-Yoga for Beginners at www.eyogaforbeginners.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/eyogaforbeginnersonline
Twitter: https://twitter.com/claire_austen

 

 

 

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