Imagine reading about the benefits of meditation, and wanting to give it a try.
You have heard that it can do wonders for your health, maybe even reduce the effects of ageing, and wanted to give it a shot.
Maybe you just wanted to have a way to reclaim your sanity after that dreadful day at work…
Now imagine trying to sit down, closing your eyes, and trying to find a way to be present without much luck!
You try to focus and calm you mind down. Your mind doesn't listen…
Your mind wanders from left to right!
You start thinking about your kids, and whether you can afford that new extension to your house.
You worry about whether Christmas is going to be expensive this year, or whether your partner is going to be made redundant…
All of these worries start flashing into your mind.
You're trying to focus, you really are, but its just not happening!
The whole thing is a complete farce!
You don't want to quit this easily. You're not a quitter!
And plus you've heard so many good things about mindfulness meditation, you don't want to stop now.
So how do you begin?
Well, there is a simple solution
You can start with your heart…
No, I'm not talking about listening to your hearts desires, although that would be nice. I'm talking about listing to your actual heartbeat, as you can feel the blood going up and down your body…
Ok, you may not be that good, but the very act of just listening to your heartbeat is a great way to becoming, ‘present'.
You see, to become mindful, you need a starting block and this is where some people can come unstuck. It's easy to be mindful once your there, but getting there can feel like a whole new ball game, especially when you have an overactive imagination, or you have too many things on your mind.
That is why I recommend listening to your heart first if you have difficulty in calming yourself down, so you can calm you inner-chatter long enough to hear the ambient noise (what is actually a soft form of white-noise) which you can focus on to continue your mindfulness meditation practice.
Ok, this may sound complicated, so let me simplify it for you in the good ol' fashioned form of step by step instructions.
Still with me?
1. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Sitting is preferred as it reduces the chance of falling to sleep.
2. Ignore any thoughts or images swirling in your mind. Just focus, to the best of your ability, on your heartbeat. After a few moments, you should be able to feel your heart pumping blood around your body.
3. As you begin to listen deeply to your heartbeat, you may even feel a few pulses after the beat, as the blood rushes to your head and then to your wrists and then legs. Try and focus on the sensation of that beat as it beating gets softer and softer.
You may find that the heartbeat is fast to begin with, but eventually slows down. That it good, as it shows you are relaxing and getting deeper in meditation. Just keep listening to your heartbeat, as it gets softer and slightly louder.
4. As the heartbeat feels louder, you may also hear the ambient noise of the outside world, what is actually natural white-noise (that rushing sound when the TV is snowing, although don't be alarmed, the natural version is a lot quieter). When you hear this soft noise, switch you attention to the noise, so you can keep up with the mindfulness meditation.
5. Keep doing this until you are ready to stop. You may feel mentally energised, you may not, depending on the length of time you have done this exercise. But the most important thing is, you would've become, ‘present'.
By doing this on a daily basis this will allow you to get better at becoming more, ‘present', easily and effortlessly, allowing you the ability to switch between mindfulness and thinking when you choose to.
And the good thing about listening to your heartbeat is that it allows you to realise if you are stressed or not, and make appropriate adjustments to your inner talk/state to help keep your self calm, especially under pressure.
Mindfulness is a great way to reducing stress and to help your brain out
By practising and honing your mindfulness meditation skills, you will be able to de-stress, but do it without needing other tools or equipment. And the good news is that it is totally free. You need nothing apart from your awareness and the ability to give it a try.
But there's more.
If you do want to find an even easier way to meditate deeply than ever before, Gerald O'Donnell has put together two courses that allow you to listen to CD's to help you meditate very deeply, as well as some other cool stuff. I've bought them myself and have reviewed the two courses, so if you wish to find out more information on how to achieve deeper states of meditation and to read my review, click here.
Till next time
P.S. If you struggle with becoming present, listening to your heartbeat is a great way to becoming mindful. Just find a place to sit down, and focus on your heart beating.
Before you know it, you would have calmed down, and be able to become very present. Just be careful that you don't fall asleep;-)
If you do want to find an easier way to meditating, I've reviewed two courses by Gerald O'Donnell, that allow you to meditate by listening to CD's. To read my honest review, click here.