In this exercise for calming the mind, you use the breath as a focus for meditation. This is not a concentration that is full of effort, rather it is light and gentle. When you try to focus on your breath, thoughts will inevitably intervene: a sound outside will distract you and emotions will rise. The natural curiosity and playfulness of your mind will generate all kinds of thoughts. There is no need to reprimand yourself when your mind wanders. Just bring back your mind back to your breath as you would bring a wandering child back to your side, with gentleness, love, and affection. With time and practice your mind will calm down and a sense of peace and serenity will emerge.
Sit in a comfortable position, either on a chair or on the floor. Make sure your head, neck, and back is straight and comfortable. Place your hands comfortably on your thighs. No need to stretch or strain your body. Follow the below steps:
- Take a deep breath into your belly and slowly release. Repeat three times. (As a beginner, you can place your hands on your belly to feel the breath)
- Once done, breath normally. Remember to breathe into your belly.
- Release all your worries and cares and simply be present at the moment
- As you breathe in and out, focus on the sensation of the breath at your nostrils as it passes over your upper lips. Place your attention there, at the point of the incoming and outgoing breath.
- Once in a while check to see you are still breathing into your belly.
- Keep your body as still as possible, which will help still your mind. Imagine you are a mountain strong, calm and stable.
- When thoughts intrude and they will try to release them as you exhale. Try not to become emotionally involved with them, see them arise pass through your mind and disappear like clouds moving across the sky. Simply return to focussing on your breathing.
- If thoughts occur frequently, don’t become discouraged that you have to do the above step over and over again, return to focus your breath each time with gentleness and kindness. Meditate for a minimum of 5 minutes for start and then increase the time to 20 minutes, maintaining focus on your breathing as continuously as you can.
After you finish the process bring both your palms together and rub them against each other rigorously to create a warm sensation. Hold the warm palm on your eyes for few seconds and bring your hands down. Open your eyes gently and smile.
You are all ready for the beautiful day ahead with a clear and calmer mind. Have a GOOD day.
Benefits of the exercise:
- You become aware of your normal uncontrolled thinking patterns and eventually learn to relax and quieten your mind.
- Increase in your ability to maintain focused attention on your day to day activities, which makes it more enjoyable and productive.
- This exercise benefits health by calming the nerves, improving emotional balance and aiding sleep.