Meditation – Easy as 3-2-1
When people learn that I meditate regularly they often ask me what I do. I posted this short article to BuzzFeed to describe what I’ve learned.
I remember in college being intrigued by Ram Dass’s book “Be Here Now”. Maybe it was the added lure of bongs and listening to vinyl records skip as though it was “heavy, man”. Or maybe it was the weekly broadcast of Alan Watts on the local college station that really made me curious about a “natural” altered state of consciousness.
At any rate, I began to realize that sages in India and other eastern locales had been advocating meditation for a very long time. I bought a small book on how to meditate. One of the first exercises was to imagine a red triangle between and slightly above your eyebrows. The idea was to just hold the image in place and not allow the mind to wander. I found this impossible. Now, more than 2 decades later, it is a snap. But my practice now has evolved to actually allowing my thoughts to flow and just being in a state of peace. Meditation has become a routine that I absolutely love and even crave, and adds a rich centered-ness, and even bliss, to my life.
Does it need to take 2 decades? Absolutely not. How did I get form point A to B? The purpose of this article is to help anyone wanting to start meditation and just not knowing how to take those first steps. So here we go.
Start small. 5 minutes in the morning, before after breakfast, whatever feels right. Stretch and sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. If you need to be n a chair for your back to be straight, that is ok. Take 3 very deep breaths.
Use a clock, or one of the cool meditation timer apps, some with with Tibetan bells. Try focusing on a red triangle and holding your attention there for 5 minutes. Notice all the things that go on when you try to do this. Never be harsh with yourself, just notice.
After doing that few times, try counting backwards from 10 – 1 with the numbers flowing from right to left. When you arrive at 1- try to hold the 1 in the same spot between the eyes.
Just continue each day. After a few days increase to 10 minutes.
Try counting to 8 slowly on the inhale holding the breath for 4 counts, and counting to 8 on the exhale and holding 4 counts again. Repeat this for a few minutes.
Finally allow your self to be still. Focus on the sounds in your environment. When thoughts arise, notice them. Here is the main key. Allow thoughts to arise and pass like the numbers that flowed by when counting. Notice your thoughts but be somewhat detached from them. This is the magic of developing the witness consciousness. Rinse and repeat each day. Give it at least a few weeks.
Many blessings and wishing you great success and peace.