Beginning Mindfulness Meditation...
Let the eyes close, bringing the attention inward. Bring to mind at the start of each sitting meditation why you are doing it. For example, do you hope for less stress or reactivity, perspective, balance amidst intense emotions, insight into your motives and behaviors, energy?
Sit as straight and tall as possible. Around this straight-back position, let the rest of your skeleton and muscles hang freely. Let the hands rest comfortably on your knees or lap.
Breathing through the nose, loosen the face, neck, hands, and stomach area. Beginning at the top of the head, methodically relax and soften each part of the body.
To steady the mind, choose a place to pay attention to the breath, such as:
At first, you may be surprised at the number of thoughts you have and how often you forget about paying attention to the breath. Don't worry – this is natural. Just as the sky has clouds passing through, your mind has thoughts passing through. Don't try to force the mind to stop thinking. Again and again, with kindness, gently bring your attention back to the breath.
Note: It is common to mistake thinking for meditating. It takes practice to distinguish pleasant, dreamy thoughts from having your attention on the changing experience of the breath. It is also common to judge ourselves as “doing it wrong.” Please be patient…no matter how distracted you feel, what you are experiencing is normal.
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