Here is a fun introduction to start with:
Andy Puddicombe, former monk, and founder of the meditation app, Head Space, leading Jimmy Fallon and audience in 2 minute meditation. This is awesome! Click on the link: Andy Puddicombe
Exercises from Google
Here are a couple of simple exercises from the book Search Inside Yourself.
The Easy Way and the Easier Way:
Simply bring gentle and consistent attention to your breath for two minutes. That’s it!
Start by becoming aware that you are breathing, and then pay attention to the process of breathing. Every time your attention wanders away, just bring it back very gently.
The Easier Way
Sit without an agenda for two minutes. Life really cannot get much simpler than that. The idea here is to shift from “doing” to “being,” whatever that means to you, for just two minutes, Just be.
To make it even easier you’re free to switch between the Easy Way the Easier Way anytime during these two minutes. Anytime you feel like you want to bring awareness to your breathing, just switch to Easy. Anytime you decide you’d rather just sit without an agenda, just switch to Easier.
Eyes: Open or shut? Whichever you prefer!
Dealing with Distractions (Sounds, thoughts, physical sensations)
What does it mean to “let something go?” This was one of the most challenging things for me to figure out. Here is how Chade-Meng Tan from the book “Search Inside Yourself” describes it:
“Letting go is not forcing something to go away. Rather, it is an invitation. We generously allow the recipient to choose whether or not to accept the invitation, and we are happy either way. When we let go of something that distracts our meditation, we are gently inviting it to stop distracting us, but we generously allow it to decide whether or not it wants to stay. If it decides to leave, that is fine. If it decides to stay, that is fine too. We treat it with kindness and generosity during its entire presence. This is the practice of letting go.”
Another idea is to simply watch your thoughts. They will come and go like clouds across the sky. Each time you have a thought, acknowledge it. Don’t judge it (it is not silly, it is not a great insight – it is simply a thought, “thank you for sharing,”) then back to the sensations of your breath.
Sometimes the simple instruction of “following your breath” or “focusing on the sensations of your breath,” can seem a bit vague. If you would like a bit more structure try this:
Inhale deeply through your nose, expand your stomach as you inhale and count to four
Slowly exhale through your mouth as you count to four
Now drop to a count of 3, and finally a count of two. See if you can settle in and normalize it.
Remember, the only diifference between meditating and not meditating is when you meditate you are narrowing the focus of your mind, giving your brain a break. When you are not meditating your thoughts are the focus of your mind. In meditation the breath is the focus of your mind.
The most important moment in meditation is when you notice you are having a thought, and come back to your breath. That is the whole game! We simply train our minds to come back over and over again, without judging. Simple – but challenging!
Ready to try sitting for a bit longer? Here are some simple guidelines you might like to use.
Process of Mindfulness Meditation
Guided Meditations from James Doty’s fabulous book, Into the Magic Shop
Listen to the author guide you through:
Ruth’s Trick #1 – Relaxing the Body
Ruth’s Trick #2 – Taming the Mind
Ruth’s Trick #3 – Opening the Heart
Ruth’s Trick #4 – Clarifying Intent
All right here: