It’s not hard to do, but it does require practice to learn how to meditate. When Scott Young, guest writer for ZenHabits, first started using meditation he found it difficult to hold a visual scene for a length of time without allowing distracting thoughts enter. With patience, he writes that he’s become better at holding focus and cutting out distractions. Here are some tips from Scott on how to enter into a meditative state:
1. Get into a position where you don’t feel discomfort but aren’t completely relaxed. I don’t bother with becoming a human pretzel. The importance is that you shouldn’t have distracting muscular tensions in your body that break your focus, but if you get too comfortable you may fall asleep. I usually sit upright on my bed or a pillow.
2. Close your eyes and monitor your breathing. It takes a few minutes to enter a meditative state. Focus on breathing in and out and slowly lowering your rate of breathing. I can sometimes go to twenty seconds for a single breath. This not only eliminates distractions but it forces your heart rate down and relaxes your body.
3. Once you’ve sufficiently slowed your breathing, start with some quick mental exercises. Run your focus around your body. Notice where you hands, feet, elbows and back are. Notice how they feel. In your relaxed state this will further sharpen your focus and drive out distractions.
4. Finally try a few visualization exercises seeing how long and how clearly you can hold a picture, sound or sensation in your imagination. I find once I can hold an image for about ten or fifteen seconds with enough clarity, I move on to the purpose I had for the meditation.
This entire process of getting into a meditative state only takes me about five to ten minutes. If you want practice, try getting into a meditative state when you are going to sleep. It will help you relax and won’t take up any more time out of your day.
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