How To Meditate – 7 Simple Steps

Scientific studies show that there are four basic components of meditation and seven simple steps.

Basic components

1. Quiet surroundings. This helps reduce the number of distractions one would encounter whilst performing the other meditation techniques such as the repetition of a word or phrase or mantra.

2. Comfortable seating. Lying down is not advisable because practitioners tend to fall asleep. A comfortable posture such as sitting upright in a chair or cross-legged on a comfortable surface is more conducive.

3. Mental tool. This could be either of two things. An uplifting word or phrase or set of words sometimes called a mantra. It could be love, laughter, peace, harmony, compassion, I am love, I am loved, I am successful, I am, I will succeed, I will lose weight, I am getting thinner day by day, I am getting better day by day. All these are examples of uplifting mantras. Alternatively one might use a physical symbol that is equally uplifting and possibly representative of the positive values highlighted in the above mantras. Such a symbol might be a cross, om, candle, statue, picture, or simply a printed version of the above mantras … you get the jist.

Why do you need these mental tools? Because they help you to rein in the mind when it wanders off from the meditation. Repeating the mantra disturbs the distraction, so to speak. Gazing upon the symbol has the same effect.

Awareness of one’s breathing rhythm tends to enhance the mantra recitation.

4. Passive attitude. This is perhaps the most important component of meditation. You must let go of the results. You should not strive to be successful in meditation. You should not force yourself to relax or experience tranquility. That will defeat the purpose and no physiological or psychological rewards will be noticed.

Even though the mind will wander initially, you should not worry about it.

You should simply draw it back in and focus on the repetition or gazing. It doesn’t matter that the repetition or gazing will comprise just a small fraction of the period of your practice – most of it initially being spent daydreaming.

Eventually, your mind will become trained and disciplined. Focus on the mantra and gazing will be quite effortless. It’s like learning to cycle.

Following is a simple, unembellished meditation technique developed by Harvard’s Thorndike Memorial Laboratory and used at Beth Israel Hospital of Boston.

It works as well as any culturally or spiritually embellished meditation technique.

SIMPLE SEVEN-STEP TECHNIQUE

Step 1. Sit comfortably in a quiet place.

Step 2. Shut your eyes. (Not required if you are using a physical symbol.)

Step 3. Relax your muscles from your feet upwards to your face.

Step 4. Breathe deeply and naturally through your nose. As you breathe out, say your mantra (in your mind) or focus on the image. Try to be aware of your breathing.

Step 5. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not use an alarm. Simply open your eyes to check the time.

Step 6. When you notice you have been distracted, do not worry or become anxious. Simply focused again on repeating the mantra or gazing at the object. Soon, relaxation will become quite automatic.

Step 7. After completing your practice do not immediately standup. Wait a few minutes. First, sit quietly without repeating the mantra, with your eyes closed. Then sit for a short while with your eyes open. Then stand up.

Quick tip

Do not practice these meditation techniques within two hours after a meal. Studies show that the processes of digestion tend to interfere with bringing about the meditation’s physiological, relaxing effects. Try to practice the medication techniques at least once or twice a day. [1]

That’s it!

This is all you really need to do about meditation. There is no secret.

It is a well-known, well documented, and well established science.

Fortunately, it is not rocket science and can be practiced by almost everyone. Best of all, it is so simple, you can probably learn it on your own and there’s no need to pay anybody to personally teach you.

If you must, however, a good way to reward those from whom you have learned meditation techniques is to teach them to somebody else.

Pass on the goodness

The benefits they would derive are probably priceless and could save their life. And what goes around, comes around. We will all live in a better world.

IMPORTANT HEALTH NOTE

Always consult your medical doctor before practicing any form of yoga or meditation.