Meditation is a method that many people use to improve their chances of getting a good night’s sleep. In order to begin meditation you need to find a quiet space where you are unlikely to be disturbed. Try and allow yourself at least half an hour and make sure the phone is turned off so that you will not be disturbed.
Traditionally meditation is done in a seated upright position, but for many of us sitting in the lotus position is not possible! Meditation Stools are available from specialist suppliers and cushions and bolsters are useful if you are sitting on the floor.
First find a comfortable position and try and keep the back straight and the shoulders relaxed. Rest your hands or wrists on your thighs or in your lap.
When you are feeing comfortable close your eyes and start to concentrate on your breath. Feel each inhalation and exhalation and notice how the body moves with each breath. Feel the body opening when you inhale and lengthen as you exhale. Be present with each breath and experience the movement as the air travels from the nostrils throughout the body.
Be aware of what happens with the mind. After a while it is likely to leave the breath and go on its own journey – connecting with other thoughts and feelings. Just notice that this is happening and keep reminding it to come back and concentrate on your breathing.
As the breath starts to slow down, become more aware of the exhalation and how it lengthens and then pauses. Be aware of each detail and how the mind will wander and become distracted. Do not be critical or connect with any of the thoughts or distractions. Simply notice what is happening and draw back into the consistency of your breathing.
Keep this pattern of drawing back and imagine the mind becoming softer and lighter as you become more connected.
When it is time to finish, be aware of all the sounds around you and how your body feels. Take a few moments to connect again before allowing energy and movement to come back into the body and mind.
You may find it helpful to have a clock or watch to time your session and gradually increase the amount of time you spend meditating.
Try and set aside a regular time to practise. You will be able to increase the amount of time you are able to meditate and your ability to meditate in other places.
Meditation can take us into some unexpected areas as the mind becomes freer and more open. If you feel distressed or uncomfortable, discuss your feelings or reactions with an experienced teacher. As the mind becomes more connected many people find renewed energy and vitality, as well as a feeling of peace and equanimity.