a simple guide to meditation

by Josh


A lot of people never get to experience the great calm of meditation, because they make it overly complicated for themselves. Meditation is simple.
First of all, meditation is not about not thinking.
To me, it is about practicing to be calm, yet fully there. Relaxed, yet wide awake. In the moment.
With all that is going on and all that isn’t.

In my opinion they help, but none of it is necessary to practice meditation. You can meditate anywhere, any way you like.
1. Find yourself a quiet spot
2. Sit down on a chair, a meditation cushion, or a meditation bench
2.1 If you want, use a timer (your cellphone probably has one). Go easy and just try 3-5 minutes first.
3. Sitting with a straight back makes it easier in the long run. You can do this, by imagining that there is a little piece of rope in the middle of your head that is pulled upwards. Also, pulling your shoulder blades together, then downwards and finally, relaxing them, can help.
4. Close your eyes half way, and look through your eyelashes to a spot about 1-1,5m in front of you.
5. Focus on your breath, going in and out.

Imagine your thoughts, emotions and physical experiences as leaves, floating on the surface of a river.
You watch all these leaves flow by.
Try to stay present to the whole stream, without letting your attention drift off with one single leaf.
Your attention will stray. You will see that your attention is caught by single leaves. Often you will flow a long way down the river before you notice it. It could be things that need to be done, unfinished business, or some strong emotion.
Let go.
Just return to your seat and watch the river.
Returning to your seat means: Return to the present moment, return to your breath.
Just notice, how it goes in and out. Simple.