The complexity of meditation is nonexistent. It is a simple practice with a simple approach.
People have been flocking towards the ancient art of meditation as new research has been coming out explaining the benefits of mindfulness in everyday life and how stress-reducing techniques help take off the edge in a fast-paced world. Yet, people struggle with the concept of meditation. “Am I supposed to think of nothing? How long am I supposed to sit in silence?” These questions bring on a sort of complexity to what is supposed to be a relatively simple practice. So to clear all the questions up and make meditation as easy as possible, I’ve come up with the ABC’s of meditation. Check them out!
A: Awareness & Airway
The first step to meditating is to become aware. Awareness of not only your surroundings but also of the self. To do this, I like to think of our 5 senses and really focus on each one of them. With your eyes closed, acknowledge what each body part is touching and how it feels. Listen to the world around you and also notice the pitch (frequency) of the sounds. Smell and taste – maybe you lit a scented candle or ate something right before. Really dig deep into all your senses. And finally, as you move the attention of your surroundings to yourself, really focus on opening your airway to allow your breath to move freely.
B – Breath
One of the essentials in meditation is the breath. We always hear yogis say focus on your breath and control your breath. But why is this? It is because your breath is the only thing that does not leave you from the time you are born to the time you die. If you can control your breath, you can control anything. For my meditation practice, I like to do box-breathing. Breath into your belly for as long as you can, hold your breath for 5-10 seconds, and then slowly release. Feel the calmness blanket over you.
C – Color
If you were wondering what happened to our 5th sense of sight, this is where it comes into play. After focusing on your breath, pay attention to the black you see right in front you. Are there any colors or patterns? Do you see only black? Are there shapes that move? Really tune into what you see in the “black” as this will help you focus into your subconscious.
D – Discard
As you try the first 3 steps of this meditation practice, it may be difficult to remove thoughts about the past or the day you just had. This step will allow you to explore “nothingness.” Whatever thoughts are in your head, I want you to visualize yourself discarding them. For me, I like to imagine throwing my ideas off a cliff. Some people like to think of scissors cutting up their thoughts. Whatever visual representation works for you, try to clear your mind of any thoughts or ideas.
E – Energy/Third Eye
The final step of this practice will allow you to seek a deeper meditation. With your mind clear of thoughts, it is time to approach the ‘black’ in front you and seek transcendent energies. The Third Eye in meditation is known to be a 6th sense that allows us to see our subconscious. Our subconscious holds the truth and often tells us what we truly seek. The Third Eye is generally located in between your eyebrows. Focus your mind towards your Third Eye and simply observe. Maybe you will feel a sort of energy run through you or maybe an image will pass by. Keep note of how you feel and what you see as these may be discoveries that are trying to tell you something. If there is something you are intrigued in, focus your energy further and delve in.
And there it is — a simple and easy way to think about the complexity of meditation. If you find yourself being distracted, start back at “A” and work your way towards “E.” There is no right or wrong way – it all depends on how you feel. If you are new to meditation, I suggest using this practice at first for 5-10 minutes. Master 2-3 rounds and then increase the amount of time you meditate for. If you are more advanced, I suggest spending more time in the “E” phase and really delve into your subconscious. Happy meditating!