Mastering a meditation practice is easier than most of us realise, but for many first time meditators, often it can be difficult to see how to achieve a deep meditation. I have included below some great ways to shortcut your learning curve and achieve deep meditation more often.
1.Calm the breath.
Our mind, body and breath are interconnected, therefore relaxing the body and calming the breath will naturally calm the mind as well. The parasympathetic nervous system gets activated, and the relaxation response switches on.
A simple breathing technique is full yogic breathing. This is achieved through expanding the breath using the diaphram, filling up the lungs from the base to the top of the lungs. Repeat a minimum of 8 rounds.
Another breathing technique is to count the breath. This is a great way to distract the mind as well as activate the parasympathetic nervous system. For 5 minutes, inhale for a count of 4, and exhale for a count of 8. Depending on your lung capacity it may be easier to go for 3-6 or 5-10 or 6-12.
2.Generate a feeling of gratitude
By practicing the act of gratitude, we gladden the mind, so that you are less likely to feel restless and ease into your meditation practice.
3. Create an Intention
Taking a few moments to just focus your intention before your meditation practice, can do wonders for your meditation. You can do this by saying to yourself, with intention and presence, “For the next X minutes I will only focus on my meditation. There is nothing else for me to do and nothing else for me to think about during this time. Mind, please don’t disturb me. I will start concentrating now.”
4. Release self-judgements
It is important never to critique yourself, or feel bad about getting distracted by thoughts, as it is normal for all meditators to be distracted. Learn to be compassionate with yourself and patient.
5. Practice concentration
Mind’s most fundamental habit is to seek pleasure/well-being and shun pain/suffering. By teaching the mind to appreciate the joy of concentration, it starts working more towards increasing that, by facilitating more focus.
According to the Buddha, joy (piti) and happiness (sukha) are two of the five factors of meditative absorption (jhanna). The more you learn to open up and enjoy your meditation, the less reasons there are for the mind to get restless thinking of other things.
This practice is very useful when your concentration is still wavering. Once concentration gets solid and stable, however, there is no need to disturb the mind with these thoughts and intentions – just stay there.
6. Take 2 minutes to come out of your meditation
When the bell rings, get out of your meditation gently, so you don't disturb the nervous system. Keep the mind in the same state, gently move your fingers and neck, and then open your eyes.
7. Keep a journal
I highly encourage you to then take some notes about how your practice went. This helps you solidify the practice.
A simple entry could answer these three questions:
- How long did I sit?
- How do I feel now?
- How was my mind during meditation?
For the third question, you can note things like how many times you got distracted, what types of thoughts or feelings were you experiencing, and for how long you could keep focused.
By integrating these 7 elements in your routine, your meditation can be deeper, more enjoyable and more transformative.
To hear about how Corporate Yoga Wellness can assist your team to learn how to meditate, please get in touch here