This is part four of our How to Meditate series in which I will explore the step of silent breath awareness. If you haven’t done the first, the second and the third meditation exercise yet, you are building a house without a proper foundation. Please make sure to complete the previous techniques before you move on, that way you will learn properly from the beginning.
HOW TO MEDITATE: THE VALUE OF COMMITMENT
If you are building your meditation practice well and thoroughly, you can’t ignore the value of discipline and commitment. In this article I will introduce you to a technique that will strengthen your mind greatly. A strong and energized mind gives rise to a wellspring of happiness and happiness is the direct cause of deeper meditative levels.
In this month I want you to focus on committing to the task at hand. This means that you will learn how to strengthen your ability to stay concentrated for longer periods of time. This will also increase mental clarity and inner peace. So let’s start!
HOW TO MEDITATE: INCREASING CLARITY
When going through the previous steps in your practice, make sure to pay special attention to each step. Make it a point to notice distractions right away and return to the task at hand as quickly as possible. Take your time when practicing this skill. It’s basically about doing each step meticulously until you feel some real progress. This is also the time when you could start writing down a few notes each time after your session has finished. Having such a “Meditation Diary” can be a great way to document your progress and see what helps you to go deeper. That way your practice will feel less aimless and more directed.
Devoting yourself to each step will not only deepen the experience, it will also sharpen your mind and keep you within the present moment. This will make the practice feel more joyful as you are continuously letting go of past and future. at all steps. Even though this is all about devoting yourself to each step in this practice you want to be careful not to put yourself under pressure. This is not about working at “this” in order to get “that”. It’s all about deepening and appreciating “this” to the point where you forget everything else. By letting go of everything but the task at hand your are freeing yourself from the burden of agitation and time. This is liberating and should be experienced as deeply relaxing and comfortable. If you feel stressed out, it is very likely that you are still caught up with future and past.
HOW TO MEDITATE: RELAX INTO THE BREATH
After having reached a solid state of silent present moment awareness and all commenting and verbalization has faded thoroughly you are ready to move on to the breath. Now gently bring your attention to the breath. How do you know whether you are breathing in or out? You just know it, right? That’s exactly the kind of knowledge that is required at this step. Just keep recognizing whether you are breathing in or out and stay with this simple recognition.
Go breath by breath, don’t try to “collect” breaths and “stay aware “as long as possible”. Take it easy. If you are forgetting your breath and get distracted by other sensations or sounds, gently come back. It’s also important not to focus trying to exclude everything else. Such an intense focus is impossible in the beginning. It will be a natural result of experiencing deep contentment within each moment. Instead you want to be aiming for bringing the breath more into the foreground. You can accomplish this by gently keeping the breath in mind, while other experiences are going on in the background. Try to keep at least some awareness with your breath at all times.
MOVING ON TO THE NEXT STEP
This was the fourth step of the practice, covering silent present moment awareness of the breath. 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 five is already out: How to Meditate 5: Clear Breath Awareness. As usual I hope this article inspires you to continue well with your practice and reap the joyful fruits of commitment and discipline.
Feel free to leave some good comments (Everybody can benefit from your skillful contributions!) Self-promotion (e.g. “I love your article. Please check this link to my own site.”) will simply be deleted. I might post your links if they are truly relevant and contribute to the readers experience though. We are open for meaningful discussions and hope that this article serves as an inspiration for you.