There is a lot of misconception about what meditation is. Often, people think meditation has something to do with being enlightened or going off to a magical place in your mind…
Plain and simple. Meditation is about being present. Here. Now. It’s the practice of sitting still and being in the present moment. It’s challenging because your monkey mind wants to race about, worrying about what happened yesterday and what we have to do later. The more you can practice quieting your mind, the happier and healthier your mind and body will be.
I know that can sound daunting so here are a few simple meditation techniques you can try.
For all of these, start out slow, put a 2-minute or 5-minute timer on your phone (I like the free Insight Timer app) and work your way up to 10 to 15 minutes after weeks or months of practice. Meditate in a positive place that is clean and free of clutter. Use light incense to purify the space. It is best to have a corner in the house reserved for concentration and meditation and meditate at the same time every day. The best time to practice is first thing in the morning. The mind is calm upon waking, and one slips easily into meditation at this time. Do not think that sleep is being sacrificed, as meditation imparts far greater benefits than sleep. You can sit on a chair, on a pillow or against the wall as long as you can maintain good posture comfortably.
Third-Eye Meditation: Sit comfortably and bring all your attention to the space between your eyebrows. This area is known as the Third Eye or Seat of the Mind. You may see brilliant lights, colors, or mental images. Don’t judge what you experience. Just continue to observe. Focusing all the attention here will stimulate the Pituitary gland, which controls the sixth sense, deep in the brain.
So-Hum Meditation: Sitting comfortably with the eyes closed, bring all of the attention to the breath. Listen for or imagine that during every inhalation the sound “So” is heard, and within each exhalation, the sound “Hum.” So is already an integral part of each inhalation and Hum is an organic part of each exhalation. Sohum is Sanskrit for “I am that. That I am.” – that being the Supreme Self.
Study of the Self: Sit comfortably and watch the mind. Leave the body by itself and leave the breath by itself. Witness the thoughts that rise like bubbles of gas in liquid, and remain unconcerned as they float to the surface and pass away. Observe all the activities of the mind and their effect on the body and the senses. Who is watching? The mind, of course. This is very powerful form of concentration / meditation.