This simple mindfulness meditation is designed to engage the new brain, opening to the present and new possibilities in cultivating discipline.
Find a comfortable place where you can sit and be undisturbed. Begin to observe your environment in every detail. when you feel you have fully taken in your environment, bring your awareness to your breathing. follow your breath in and out of your body. simply follow the gentle rising and sinking of your chest, how it expands and where your breath moves to; do not force anything. Just allow the natural motion to occur and observe how it changes. You may notice that as soon as you place your attention on your breath for even a few moments, it will respond by slowing down. Enjoy those deeper breaths.
Next, notice your body posture – how is your body taking up the space around you? what is it in contact with? are there any aches and pains? where are you holding tension? Give these areas some attention and breathe into them. notice if this helps to relax the areas or if there is any change. try not to move too quickly. allow your body to guide you.
Now close your eyes. this allows you to focus internally more clearly. again, allow there to be a soft focus on your breathing. see if you can hold only your in-breath and out-breath in your attention. when you feel more settled, see if you can breathe in for the count of seven and out for the count of seven. try not to force anything. If you can’t reach seven, that’s fine. the idea is simply to lengthen each breath. Greet each breath with acceptance and continue until you find an easy, deep rhythm.
Once you feel very comfortable with that, see if you can really focus your attention on the air entering your nostrils, travelling down into your lungs. simply explore if you can follow its path. In and back out again – this substance entering your body. notice where your body wants to move it and allow your sensations to guide you. Be curious and playful.
If your mind wanders, just gently bring it back to your in and out breath. there may be racing thoughts or even mild irritation at the task – and that’s ok. notice the internal chatter, distractions or even judgements. accept their arising and continue with the task.
Ideally spend ten minutes practising this meditation. when you feel a sense of relaxation or just feel more settled in your body, gently open your eyes. Give yourself a few moments to adjust to being back in the room. any change in your metabolism is great. the more you practise this meditation, the deeper states of being you will achieve. If you found it difficult and became impatient, that’s also ok. Simply notice where you started and ended up, and record this in your journal. Be diligent and you will soon notice a difference in your experience every time.
This meditation is the beginning of taming the wild horses or drunken monkeys in your head. It’s about not letting them rule your life, giving them (quite literally) some breathing space and including an awareness of your body. It’s about having an encounter with the present, developing a relationship to this, and using your breath as a tool. this is something you can do whenever you choose, wherever you are. You have all the tools necessary. It simply needs a decision to take time out. We suggest at least once a day – but don’t be surprised to find yourself wanting to do more!