This is part two of our “How to Meditate” series in which I will explore the step of present moment awareness. If you haven’t done the first meditation exercise yet, you are building a house without a proper foundation. Please make sure to complete the previous technique before you move on, that way you will learn properly from scratch.
HOW TO MEDITATE: MOTIVATION
As you have learned before, you want to sit down and assume a good posture. In this article however I would like to explore the importance of motivation and purpose a little bit more. You could think of this as your “inner posture”. Once you have settled into a comfortable and upright position, take a short moment to review why you are doing what you do.
Settle, take a few deep breaths and review your motivation. Ask yourself what it is that makes you sit down every single day? Listen to your heart, quietly feeling your driving force. If necessary you might want to adjust your motivation and simplify it for the sake of gaining more clarity. An example would be: “I am here because I seek genuine happiness. May I be happy!” or “I am here because I want to transcend suffering. May I go beyond suffering!”
HOW TO MEDITATE: BUILD UPON THE FOUNDATION
After having more clarity concerning your motivation, you can continue with the usual routine. It’s best to follow through the steps as outlined in the previous article. I actually recommend to add a deeper layer to your perception as you relax through every body part. See if you can feel the buzzing, or vibrating nature of your body parts.
Can you sense that there’s life in your legs? Can you feel the buzz, almost like the static in an older TV? Once you have trained your mindfulness properly you should be able to sense a more subtle, energetic quality in your body. Find the feeling, then connect your breath to these sensations and relax them as you breathe out.
HOW TO MEDITATE: PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS
When you have completed the first part you will probably have reached the 20 Minute mark. This depends on how many breaths you count while staying at each body part. Having done the basic practice for a minimum of one month you will have a good feeling of how long your sessions take by now.
Gently open your awareness to what happens in this present moment. To make things easier, I recommend to limit your observation to the soundscape and the feeling-scape. Simply notice as your attention is present with sounds and feelings. Thinking about the future or the past is what we let go of in this step. This step is called “Present Moment Awareness”.
HOW TO MEDITATE: DON’T END YOUR SESSION
Now this point is crucial! When you are coming to the point where you normally would end your session you can open your eyes and stretch – but don’t end your session! Instead stay grounded in present moment awareness as long as you can. Make it your goal to stay aware throughout your entire day.
Sure, you will not be able to do this immediately, but it is important to keep cultivating this sense of presence. The direction is to know the present moment in terms of sight, sounds and feelings as often as possible. See if you can “wake up” during the day and feel your body, hear the sounds for a while and reconnect to the reality of life.
Moving on to the Next Step
This was the second step of the practice, covering present moment awareness. Please do this particular exercise for an entire month, following the above guidelines, and let me know in the comment section below how this is working out for you. I want to know – since I wrote this article for YOU! I hope that this tutorial on how to meditate will help you to get a more solid practice of meditation, because it’s such a wonderful thing to learn! And I am very happy to be putting this out there for you.
Part three is already out and you can find it here: How to meditate: Silent Present Moment Awareness. As usual I hope this article inspires you to continue well with your practice and reap the joyful fruits of commitment and discipline.
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