How to Meditate

Having trouble switching off? Here's how to meditate


Learn how to meditate. Picture / Supplied.

Swami Yogamani Saraswati shares her insight into how to meditate:

1. Turn off all phones.

2. Ensure your body will be warm. During passive meditation the body temperature can drop; a body can’t relax if it’s tensing with cold.

3. Sit or lie comfortably. This may be in a chair or leaning against a wall with legs stretched out in front. Allow the spine to be in line from the base to the top midbrain. If you lie down, place support beneath the knees to ease the lower back. Lengthen the neck by lightly retracting the chin in.

4. Soften the whole body. Let go of any residual tension, relax the face, close the eyes, lips, release the tongue down into the lower palate of the mouth, allow the shoulders to release away from the ears. Aspire to remain in stillness throughout the session.

5. With each breath feel the body becoming steadier and steadier within the chosen posture. Within the stillness of the body, start to feel centred within the subtle movement of the natural breath and observe how the breath travels in and out of the midline of the body. Continue this for some time.

6. Now take three deep, slow, complete breaths. As you breathe out, let go more fully on all levels; physically, emotionally and mentally.

7. Take your awareness out to the sounds around you. Observe the sound without analysing it. Remain uninfluenced, not caught up in like or dislike. Simply hear the sounds, keep flowing from sound to sound.

8. Now come into the natural spontaneous breath. Within the stillness of the body, observe the natural breath coming and going, as you breathe in your body expands; as you breathe out, your body relaxes. Do this for some time, not changing the breath, simply observing.

9. Take the awareness to the space behind the closed eyes, where dreams may visit at night. Observe here the movement of mind, perhaps colours, shapes, thoughts, or nothing at all.

10. Now come back to the body. Feel the body, its weight, its temperature, deepen the breath, and travel out to the sounds all around, externalising one’s self. Think of one thing that you are grateful for today.

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

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