meditate

 

By Daniel Scharpenburg

This is probably the most common form of meditation practice.

First, establish the time of the meditation. Set a timer for an amount of time that you think you can do. A lot of people like to start with just 5 or 10 minutes and try to do more after they have an established meditation practice.

Find a comfortable place to sit. Adjust your posture so that your spine is erect without being stiff. Allow the rest of your body to relax. Rest your hands in your lap or on your legs. Allow your eyes to gently close. Bring your full attention to the feeling of sitting still. Allow your breathing to be natural. Bringing attention to your head, release any tension that you feel in your face.

Scanning the body slowly downward, relax your neck and shoulders.

Feel the rising and falling of your chest with each breath. Bring your attention all the way down your body to the places of contact with the floor (or chair if you’re sitting in one). Feel the pressure and density of your relaxed upright body.

Bringing your full attention to the present moment, acknowledge everything you’re experiencing. Thoughts are happening, hearing is happening, and there are probably mental and emotional sensations. Allow these experiences to be as they are, but bring your attention to the sensation of breathing. Bring your awareness of your breath to the foreground in your mind. Take a few moments and investigate where you can feel the air entering and leaving your body.

Breathing in, know that you are breathing in.

Breathing out, know that you are breathing out.

We can focus on this by counting one with each inhalation and two with each exhalation. Every time a thought or feeling arises to distract us, we can notice it and bring our attention back to one on the next inhalation.

It sounds very simple and it is. One of the most important things is to have a passive attitude, to not be upset with ourselves and starting thinking we can’t do it when things get difficult.

If you can do this simple practice for 10 minutes, every day for a week, your life will change.

 

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Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel lives in Kansas City. He's a Teacher in the Dharma Winds Zen Tradition. He regularly teaches at the Open Heart Project and he leads public meditations. His focus is on the mindfulness practices rooted in the earliest Zen teachings. He believes that these teachings can be shared with a little more simplicity and humility than we often see. He has been called "A great everyman teacher" and "Really down-to-earth"

Find out more about Daniel here and connect with him on Facebook

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