Meditation is not about stopping your thoughts and sitting in silence.
The mind is always active, producing thoughts and feelings constantly. Meditation is about watching your thoughts without getting involved in them. I see meditation as like being in the ‘cinema of the mind’.
When you close your eyes the dark space in front of you is the cinema screen, with thoughts being projected onto it all the time. The trick is to stay seated in the cinema, watching the screen without getting up and getting involved in the thoughts being projected onto it. Watch your thoughts come and go. Don’t judge them and don’t get involved, just watch.
Some thoughts might be good whilst others might be horrible and scary, dredging up awful moments from your past. It does not matter. Don’t analyse the thoughts. Don’t try to understand them. Just stay seated and watch. Let them come and go.
Now, to stay seated and watching you need a seatbelt, something to anchor you in your seat. I suggest using the internal sound of your breathing. The sound the breath makes entering and exiting the body. If you find yourself ‘standing up’ and starting to get involved with your thoughts on the screen, just focus on your breathing, bringing you back into the seat, just watching.
The following meditation is based on the breath:
- Loosen any tight clothing
- Sit comfortably
- Close your eyes
- Breathe in and out gently, relaxing all of your muscles
- Focus now on your breathing
- Listen to the sound the breath makes as it enters and exits the body
The sound as it enters is ‘ SO’
The sound as it exits is ‘HUM’
- Imagine the sound in your mind
SO – HUM
SO – HUM
A gentle and regular rhythm and sound
- Try and let the sound of the breath fill your awareness
- Really focus on the ‘SO and HUM’
- If your mind wanders and you start to think, gently bring your awareness back to your breath
Start with five minutes a day and build this to half an hour.