Meditation is a powerful means by which one can calm the mind, achieve greater personal insight and cultivate deep compassion. But it is a practice, one that must be maintained over time in order to reap the rewards. For those beginning their journey, here are a few useful tips:
1) Begin your practice slowly. Don’t expect to be able to sit in meditation for more than 10 to 15 minutes to start. Eventually, as you refine certain techniques for quieting the mind, you will be able to extend your meditation to 30 minutes or more.
2) Focus on the breath. An essential aspect of calming the mind and body is taking in plenty of fresh, nourishing air. So whenever your mind starts to stray, gently remind yourself to return your focus to breathing.
3) Keep in mind that it is a connection to the present moment that you seek. When thoughts of past events or future situations begin to crowd your mind, remember to return to the present moment by focusing on bodily sensations such as the breath or the feeling of your feet on the ground.
4) Trust in the present moment. Do not worry “Am I doing this right?”. Trust that what you are experiencing in the here and now is right and simply return to your breath.