Several meditation techniques revolve around keeping the mind empty. Thoughts are shunned by totally shifting one’s concentration to breathing or a single object of attention—prayer beads, a chant, or a candle flame.
Mindfulness meditation is the opposite. Thoughts are welcome; they can freely come and go even if they’re random or unpleasant. The goal is neither to react nor judge, but to simply be aware of each one.
Choosing the Right Spot and Preparing the Body
The area you choose can either make or break your meditation. Aside from the lack of mental discipline, a common and natural dilemma among beginners, distraction is one of the biggest enemies of meditation. It’s crucial to pick a spot that’s quiet and conducive to meditation.
Luckily, you don’t have to go far. Your bedroom or a corner in your living room will do just fine. What’s important is that you turn off your phone, TV, or laptop. Be a recluse for a little while to give yourself time to be alone and comfortable with your thoughts.
If you want to sit on the floor, use a meditation cushion or a folded blanket. Cross your legs, rest your arms on your things, and keep your back straight. But if you want to sit on a chair make sure it is neither too high nor too low. Your feet should be flat on the ground, and your hips should be level or only slightly higher than your knees. Just the same, straighten your spine but keep your back muscles relaxed.
Absorbing the Moment and Increasing Awareness
You can either close your eyes or keep them open. If you choose to keep them open, rest your gaze gently on whatever is in front of you.
As you settle in and become more comfortable with your position, be aware of your breathing. Feel the air as it goes in and out of your body. Fall into a gentle rhythm, drawing air in and out slowly. Don’t rush. The goal is to be at ease with your breathing, environment, and position.
Welcoming the Thoughts
Keep your calm as thoughts come in and out of your head. Simply take note of them as they come and go. But don’t allow these thoughts to pull you away from the present. Hold on to your awareness but if you get tangled in your thoughts, focus on your breathing once again. It will slowly bring you back to the moment—you sitting on the chair or floor, breathing calmly and meditating.