How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
What is Meditation?
How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners
10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation
What is Meditation?
Benefits of Mindfulness: Mindful Living Can Change Your Life
Mindfulness 101: A Beginner's Guide
In this meditation, we'll practice a 15-minute sequence of breath awareness, open monitoring, and gratitude.
I'm Cory Muscara, and this is a
guided mindfulness meditation that
follows the sequence I outline in
my book, Stop Missing Your Life.
The more you practice this meditation,
the more you are training your
mind for focus, reduce stress,
inner peace and greater presence.
So let's get started.
Find a comfortable posture which could
be sitting in a chair, cross-legged on
the floor, lying down, or even standing.
If you're sitting, you want your
spine to be upright, but not uptight.
I like to think of it as a
relaxed mountain-like posture..
And once you're settled, if
it's comfortable to do so,
you can close your eyes.
If you prefer to keep
them open, that's fine.
Just let your gaze rest toward the floor.
We're going to use the first few
moments of this to simply settle in.
To help with that, we'll
take a deep breath together.
So breathing in through the nose.
And slowly out through the mouth.
Inviting your jaw to soften and relax.
The teeth don't need to be clenched.
Inviting your shoulders
to relax and be at ease.
As well as your hands and your belly.
All areas we tend to hold extra tension.
Just see if you can give yourself
the permission to be here.
So often were running from one thing to
the next, crossing things off our to-do
list, trying to get some place else or
be some better version of ourselves.
But right now, you've allocated
this time for yourself.
Because of that, there's no place
else you need to be, nothing else
you need to do, no problems you
need to solve, and no better version
of yourself you need to become.
So see if you can settle
in to that understanding.
Just allowing yourself to be as you
are right now, without needing to
make the moment better or different.
And from this relaxed awareness,
we're going to guide our
attention to our breath.
This will be the majority
of our meditation practice.
And we use the breath as a way to anchor
our attention into the present moment.
So that when the mind wanders, we can
just come back to some stability point.
In the same way that an anchor
stabilizes a boat, even when the current
and the waves try to pull it away.
If for any reason, focusing on the
breath is uncomfortable or creates
anxiety, you can take your hands,
place them on your thighs and just
move them up and down, feeling the
tactile sensations of that movement.
And you make that the
anchor for your attention.
For the purpose of this meditation, I'll
assume we're focusing on the breath.
And specifically, we're going
to be feeling the rising
and falling of the abdomen.
And notice that the key
word there is feeling.
We're not thinking about the breath.
We're not imagining the breath.
We're dropping into a felt
sense of the body breathing.
Sometimes this can be difficult at first.
So if it's helpful, you can
place one hand on your belly to
feel that movement more vividly.
And just notice what it's like
to feel your body breathing.
You don't need to breathe long and
deep or in a way that you think
is appropriate for meditation.
Just allow the breath to
be at its natural rhythm.
And all you're doing is bringing
a gentle awareness to that
experience as it's happening.
Now you may notice, perhaps very quickly,
that the mind likes to wander, to get
caught up in the future, the past,
ideas, judgements, fantasy regret.
So many different things they can go to.
And our practice is very simply
to notice when the attention has
drifted away from the breath and then
gently bring it back to the breath.
This is the bicep curl for the mind.
We bring it back.
Wanders away again, we bring it
back, over and over and over again.
To help keep a continuity of
awareness, you can make mental
labels of your experience.
So when you're breathing in and
the belly rises, you can label
that in your head as rising.
When you breathe out and the belly
falls, you can label that as falling.
So rising, falling.
And then when the mind creates a thought,
you could just label that as thinking.
And then come back to rising, falling.
So it would sort of sound like
rising, falling, rising thinking,
thinking, rising, falling.
So see if you can practice that.
I'll give you some time in silence.
Checking where your
attention is on this moment.
Has it gone into autopilot,
consumed in thoughts?
And if so, just gently guiding it
back to this moment, this breath.
Feeling the simplicity of only
needing to focus on one breath.
You don't need to worry about the rest of
the meditation, or getting anything right.
Just be with this breath, rising, falling.
So now that we've attuned to and
stabilized our attention a bit more
in the present moment, we're going
to expand our awareness and do what's
called choiceless awareness meditation.
Instead of just focusing on the
breath, we're going to broaden
our attention to include anything
that arises within our awareness.
This could be sensation in
the body, emotions, sounds,
thoughts, as well as the breath.
You could think of this
meditation as just simply being.
See if you can be aware
of what ever comes up.
And instead of it sweeping you away,
you're practicing staying present to
it as it passes by, coming and going.
So now instead of just labeling, rising,
falling and thinking you might label itch,
sound, thinking frustration, boredom.
Whatever experience you notice,
just give it a little mental label
until it transitions into another
experience and then label that.
It should sound like an ongoing
stream of labeling random experiences.
So I'll give you some time
in silence to try that out.
Remember, we were just watching
all of these experiences come up.
We don't need to make sense of them, we
don't need to try to usher them away,
and we don't need to indulge in them.
The idea is to simply stay
present to the ongoing stream of
experiences that we usually get
sucked into and overwhelmed by.
If you get confused on how to do
this, just become aware of the
confusion, even label it, confused.
Nothing is excluded from your
awareness and your experience.
I'll give you are a little bit
more time in silence to practice.
So before we close this meditation,
we're going to take a few moments
just to reflect on anything that we're
grateful for, that you're grateful for.
And this could be people in your
life, material things you have,
qualities about yourself, or simply
the fact that you're breathing.
Take some time to feel what it's like
to incline your mind toward gratitude.
I'll give you some silence to reflect.
In a moment I will ring a bell
and this will indicate the
meditation coming to a close.
When you hear the sound, just bring
your full awareness and attention to the
sound until it dissolves into silence.
You can slowly start to reorient
yourself to the space around you.
Maybe wiggling your fingers and toes,
getting some movement in the body.
And when you're ready,
you can open your eyes.
So well done.
You just completed 15
minutes of meditation.
And as I mentioned in my book, if you
did no other practice than this each
day, it would go a very long way for you
continuing to build the inner resources
to navigate stress, develop focus,
cultivate inner peace, and really bring a
deep quality of presence into your life.
So great job.
Give yourself a little pat on the back
and see if you can bring this quality of
presence and mindfulness into your day.
As we all know, that's
where it really counts.
Great job and I'll talk to you soon.
Until then, take care.
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