The essence of meditation is to focus your attention, so that “mental clutter” — everyday thoughts of work, chores or worries — fall away. This can bring a sense of calmness, peacefulness and balance, as well as new insights and clarity. In time, you may find that these results linger with you long after the meditation session has ended.
While the specifics may vary, most meditation sessions follow these basic steps:
1. For sitting meditation, find a comfortable position cross-legged on the floor (you may also sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor) and back straight but relaxed.
2. Rest your hands in your lap, nesting palms up.
3. Partially close your eyes and relax your gaze by staring into the middle distance.
4. Choose a focal point to help direct your attention. This could be your breathing, a word that you repeat, physical sensations, a photograph of a beautiful setting or an image that you picture in your mind, such as light or water.
5. Begin by simply being aware of yourself breathing, and gradually relax your body.
6. Allow your mind to relax. Don’t try to empty your mind or push thoughts away. Just watch them come and go, and gently return your wandering attention to the focus of your meditation session.
If you find it difficult to unwind, aids can be useful to make the most out of your downtime. Consider a massage chair in your living room for convenience and ultimate comfort. Another idea is a foot spa that you can add calming oils to.
However you like to relax and rejuvenate, make sure you make it a part of your everyday. A healthy mind equals a healthy body.