How to meditate

Here’s some very simple instructons. Take one and try it, sometimes it’s enough.

  • ·        Relax & release your mind.
  • ·        Drop your thoughts, like throwing a stone into a pool.
  • ·        Turn your mind inwards.
  • ·        Let your mind settle.
  • ·        Leave your mind in the gap between your thoughts.
  • ·       Simply be.

The What Meditation Really Is website/blog is a good place to visit to help you with meditation. They have a free video course too.

Here’s some more detailed instructions, written as a guided meditation. They’re from the appendix of ,y young adult magical realsim novella Give me a Break.

Meditation

It’s good to start by reminding yourself that doing this practice will not only help you, but because you’ll become calmer and kinder, it will also help everyone else you come in contact with.

Step one, is to let your mind settle. Once it’s settled, it will become calm, and once it’s calm, it will become clear.

Read the following instructions, pausing between each instruction to allow yourself time to practice.

Pause

Sit with your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and eyes looking softly at the ground a couple of metres away. It’s important to stay upright and keep your eyes half open.

Pause

Take a deep breath and when you breathe out, release and relax your mind, then focus lightly on your breath.

Pause

Put half your attention on the breath and leave the other half relaxed, open and spacious.

Pause

If your mind starts wandering off, bring your attention back to your breath.

Pause

When a thought or feeling comes into your mind, notice it, but don’t think about it, just bring your attention back to your breath.

Pause

If watching the breath doesn’t work for you, or you get bored with it, try opening your awareness and look at the blue sky (or a picture of the sky), or listen to the sounds around you. You can do one for as long as you can and then try the other. Don’t think about what you hear or see, just listen or look.

Pause

When your mind wanders off, bring your mind back to looking or listening.  The idea is to not be distracted from the listening or the looking or the watching of your breath. So if you wander off, as soon as you catch yourself, just come back without thinking about why you wandered off.

Pause

If you keep bringing your mind back to one object in a very relaxed way, your mind will begin to settle and clear. If your mind is very wild and doesn’t want to settle, that’s okay. Meditation isn’t about getting rid of thoughts, but of simply being aware of whatever is going on in your mind.

Pause

It’s natural to have thoughts, we aren’t trying to stop them, just to stop ourselves following them and getting caught up in them.

Pause

Once your mind calms you may be able to feel a kind of softening or opening.  That’s your natural empathy, the seed of love and compassion, the most powerful force in the universe. Just rest in that feeling for as long as you can.

Pause

You can finish here or go on to the meditation on loving kindess. If you stop here, finish the practice by feeling good that you have done this practice and helped yourself and everyone in the universe be happy.

Meditation on loving kindness

You can either carry on from part one, or do this as a separate session. If you’re doing it as a separate session, start by reminding yourself that doing this practice will not only help you, but because you’ll become calmer and kinder, it will also help everyone else you come in contact with.

Sit with your back straight, shoulders relaxed and hands resting on your knees or your lap. It’s important to stay upright but you can close your eyes for this part if you wish.

Take a moment to find the strongest memory of love that you can.

Try to remember someone who has shown you love, but not your boyfriend or your girlfriend. If you can’t find a memory of feeling loved by someone else, then it could be a memory of you loving someone else. Even if it is just you feeling love for a pet, that is enough.

If you can’t find a memory of love then find a time when you felt happy and safe or when someone was kind to you.

Pause

Allow the memory to arouse the happiness and love in you. Fill yourself with it… completely immerse yourself in it. You could say to yourself, may I be happy, may I be well, may I be safe.

Pause

Keep recalling how love and happiness feels and fill yourself with it. Love yourself, every part of you, even the parts you or others don’t like.

(If you find this difficult, don’t worry, just focus on your positive qualities, then when you’re more familiar with the practice, progress to accepting and loving just a small aspect of yourself that you don’t like. Forgive yourself for the bad things you’ve done and love that you’re doing something to help you not to do anything like it again.)

Flood yourself with brilliant white light or warm golden light. If it helps, say may I be happy, may I be well, may I be safe, over and over again.

Pause

Feel happy, well and safe,

Pause

Stay in that feeling, bask in it for a while and when your heart feels full, send it back to the person who made you feel loved, or who you loved, or who helped you feel happy. You could send it as white light and say may you be well, may you be happy.

Pause

Know for sure that your love makes them well and happy. Imagine them feeling well and happy.

Pause

Then send your love out to others, first to the person who made you feel loved, then one by one to everyone in your family and then to each one of your friends.  Think may you be happy, may you be well. Send it as white light if you like.

Pause

Imagine your love making them all happy.

Pause

Now send it to others you come across in your life, people you see but don’t really know, like other kids at school and the people who serve you in shops. Wish that they be happy and well, and send them love.

Pause

Now send it to someone that you find a little difficult or who irritates you.  If this is difficult, try not to close down, keep your heart open and consider the following…

Like you, they just want to be happy, but are they happy? Wish that they be happy. Send them white or golden light and say may you be happy, may you be well.

Pause

If you lose the feeling of warmth and openness in your heart, then return to the scene you used to make you feel loved and happy  and immerse yourself in that feeling again. Feel that you are happy, well and safe, then continue.

Pause

Send light to the person you have difficulty with and say may you be happy, may you be well, and imagine them feeling happy and strong inside.

Pause

Now send your love and light to all the places in the world where people are suffering or are not happy. Think may they be happy, may they be well and imagine them all happy, well and safe.

Pause

Then send your love to everyone in the universe, including the animals and insects. Think may they be happy, may they be well and imagine them all happy, well and safe.

Pause

Now just relax and stay in that space.

Pause

Keeping an open heart in the face of difficult circumstances requires courage, and courage comes from trusting in the power of the love and compassion inside you, so practice every day in order to become very familiar with it. Now feel good that you have done this practice and helped everyone in the universe be happy.

 

 

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