The hectic pace and demands of modern life leave many people feeling stressed and over-worked. Occasionally it can feel like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done let alone time any time out for ourselves. Our stress and tiredness can make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can even affect our health. Meditation can actually give you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. Spending ten or fifteen minutes on a simple breathing meditation as explained below can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance.
Meditation means many things to many people. Some describe it as slowing down the mind while others think of it as a form of concentration. Within Yoga, according to Swami Rama, meditation or dhyana is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It is a technique to help make your mind calm and peaceful – if your mind is peaceful, free from worries and mental discomfort you can experience true happiness.
In most meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. When meditating, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. When the mind is silent and no longer distracts you, meditation deepens.
Breathing Meditation can be used alone or as a preliminary practice before engaging in further meditation.
The purpose of breathing meditation is to calm the mind and develop inner peace. Choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position either in the traditional cross-legged posture or in any other position that is comfortable. The most important thing is to keep your back straight to prevent your mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy.
Sitting with your eyes partially closed turn your attention to your breathing. Breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control your breath, try to become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. This sensation is your object of meditation. Try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.
At first, your mind will be very busy, and you might even feel that the meditation is making your mind busier; in reality you are just becoming more aware of how busy our minds actually can be. There will be a great temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, but you should resist this and remain focused single-pointedly on the sensation of the breath. If you discover that your mind has wandered immediately return it to the breath. We should repeat this as many times as necessary until the mind settles on the breath.
By practicing patiently in this way your distracting thoughts should subside and you should experience a sense of inner peace and relaxation. Your mind will feel lucid and spacious and you will also feel refreshed.