Meditation Explained in 1000 Words
Day 66/365: Everything you need to know to start meditating today and actually make a difference
I just realised, I’m 300 days away from achieving my goal of writing for 365 days continuously. Not bad, if you ask me, but it seems like a long way to go. Let’s meditate on that, shall we?
What the heck is this meditation that everybody talks about? Is it some weird religious stuff? No, calm down. I’ve been meditating for over a year now. Not every single day, unfortunately, but once every other two or three days, I close my laptop, turn my phone off, get into a comfortable position and just listen to my breath for 10 minutes. That’s it, to be honest. No lotus position, no humming, no religious stuff. Still confused? Let me break it down for you:
Start with Breathing
I use my desk chair more often than any other place. I sit with my arms resting on my lap, my feet touching the floor and my head and back straight against the chair. I begin with 5 long, deep breaths, filling my lungs with air through my nose and feeling the body breath, and exhaling through my mouth as I’m more and more aware of how the muscles in my body relax.
Activate the Senses
At the end of the five breaths, just as I’m exhaling, I close my eyes and immediately put my other senses to work. I keep a light focus on my breath while activating the sense of touch by feeling the body pressing down on my chair, the feet touching the cold floor and the hands that are resting neatly on the legs.
Next, I get more aware of the sense of hearing, trying to capture the sounds of the planes that are crossing above me, but also the sounds that are closer. It’s more of a game, as I’m not trying to capture everything that my ears can, but just let the sounds come and go. Be playful, as being too serious about it doesn’t work.
The Body Scan
After the external part of the awareness is taken cared off, I start an introspection of the body. I begin by analysing how my feet are feeling at that moment. I then move upwards to the knees, the upper legs and the torso. I go up to my chest and back, my neck and I reach the head and really get a sense of how it feels, a sincere response from every single part of the body. I’m not judgemental, not trying to change how they feel, just aware of them.
The “Nothing” Part
At the end of the introspection, it’s time to do… nothing! This is the hard part of meditation. You just have to sit quietly, put all of your focus on your breath and just listen to your body and mind. Be it pain, sorrow, ache, happiness, fear, grief, laziness, any physical or emotional reaction that your mind or body sends your way, all you have to do is to be fine with it. See it, don’t judge it, and just let it go.
When you feel at ease with all of the above, it’s time to get back into the physical world. Feel the weight of the body once again, feel the feet touching the ground, the hands resting on the lap, hear the sounds around you, feel the smells and even the tastes in your mouth, get your body back into the world. Take a deep breath and slowly open your eyes again.
Congratulations, you just meditated!
Other forms of meditation
Meditation can take many forms. For me, writing sometimes gets me closer to a state of meditation. In the end, meditation is just a state of peace of mind and body, and how you achieve that is irrelevant, as long as you can go as close to it as possible at least once or twice per day.
I block everything else out when I’m writing, for example, so for me, every time I sit down to write a new Medium post, for example, counts as a mini-session of meditation.
Also, meditation can simply be a prayer. You sit down and concentrate all of your inner power to finding peace while asking God for forgiveness, love and whatever other wishes you have. In a way, you’re meditating and the simple fact that you’re blocking out all distractions is, in fact, meditation.
I hope this short crash course in meditation was helpful. Do you meditate? Do you use meditation apps like Headspace or Calm? Let’s talk about meditation in the comments section below!
Thank you for your time!
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My name is Gabriel Iosa, I’m a 25 years old travel enthusiast, food lover, Psychology student, Full-time Freelancer, writer and Instagram fanatic. You can follow me @gabrieliosa, and if you liked this post, give it exactly 47 claps!
I’m on a mission to write 365 articles in 2018. This is definitely the biggest writing challenge of my life so far. If you’d like to be part of the journey, please follow me here on Medium.com for the daily posts!
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