10 simple meditation techniques you can put into practice today
We know how it is. Between work, family and a social life, it can be hard to find the time to whip up a balanced meal, let alone take the time out to meditate. And when you do, you can easily become frustrated, believing you’re ‘doing it wrong,’ and write the whole thing off as a waste of your precious time. But meditation needn’t be time-consuming or difficult. In fact, the idea that there’s a set way to meditate is inherently wrong – but that’s not to say a few pointers wouldn’t go amiss.
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That’s why we spoke to Adiba Osmani and Ghazal Abrishamchi, co-founders of Inhere (London’s innovative meditation concept). ‘Research has shown that regularly practicing compassion meditation not only helps us relate to others, it also boosts our positive feelings of joy and connectedness. Take a couple of minutes to consider yourself and wish yourself well, perhaps saying “May I be well, May I be happy, May I make progress.” Then take a couple of minutes to do the same for someone you care for. Then take someone you may know only in passing. And finally, extend this wish for the world.’
You can do this as part of their simple step-by-step meditation concept below, which you can squeeze in anytime; on your lunch break, during your commute, or even while you wait for the kettle to boil.
1 Start small
Setting aside even five minutes a day is a great starting point. Write it down in your calendar.
2 Sit up
You can sit on the floor or on a chair in a comfortable position. Keep your back straight so that you don’t fall asleep and the breath flows easily.
Feel your breath as it moves in and out. Just follow its rhythm and notice how it feels as it flows through the body.
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Observe the thoughts that pass through your mind, the sensations that arise in your body, and the emotions that surface (impatience is a common one). Become the “silent witness,” letting it all come and go, without getting caught up too long with any one thought, feeling or sensation.
5 Bring it back
Your mind will wander. This is normal, just notice your mind has wandered, and bring your awareness back to the present experience.
6 Don’t interfere
Don’t try to stop or ignore any thought that rises in your mind, your task is only to become aware of them.
7 Don’t judge
All of our thoughts, feelings and sensations are valid. When meditating, we watch, we don’t judge.
8 Be patient
When you notice an impulse to get up and do something else, be patient, trust that things will unfold in their own time and just stay with your breath.
Try it every day for a week to see how you feel after. As with any practice, it takes a few sessions for it all to make sense.
10 If all fails, relax
If you find it’s not for you, try just breathing deeply in and out of the belly for a few minutes at a time, every day. This triggers the well-documented “relaxation response” in the body, so your stress levels drop as a matter of course.