Meditation is a general term for many different practices that have the goal of freeing our minds. A common mark of meditation is that the practice concentrates our mind and brings calm and clarity. Diligent practice brings more clarity, which brings more peace of mind.
Misconceptions about Meditation:
- you have to sit on the floor in the lotus position
- You have to stop thinking
- Meditation means giving up your religion
- You have to sit still for a long time
- It’s hard to find the time.
These are ideas that keep people from trying meditation and they’re all not true.
You can sit in a chair. We aren’t trying to stop thinking, we’re trying to observe thinking and be fully present. Meditation isn’t really a religious practice. You can get benefits from sitting a short time. Everyone has time to meditate.
Counting the Breath
This is the practice that usually gets recommended for beginners. It’s so common that some meditators only do this practice and never do any others. We bring attention to each breath and this helps us to still the mind and increase our focus. We can count on either the inhale or the exhale. We spend the time of the sitting mentally counting. Every time something distracts us, we bring the mind back to one. There are two options for how to focus this. Some people like to focus on the breath entering the nose. Others like to focus on the rise and fall of the abdomen as each breath occurs.
You can also read about various meditation practices here:
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