Breathing Meditation: Simple Meditation Techniques
Breathing meditation is one of the simplest methods used to clear the mind. Although it may be a simple method, it's certainly not always easy to practice. In fact, despite what many people purport, meditation is a difficult task.
Consider that meditation is a path to self-understanding and perhaps even enlightenment—if I can go that far. Do you expect it to be a comfortable journey, without any trials and difficulties along the way?
Even at times, when we think we are meditating—we're sitting down, eyes closed, and doing everything we think we should—but in reality, we may only going through the motions of it. For some, it may be their ego telling them they are meditating—how at peace and one with the universe they are, etc. That's not to say that one cannot achieve such a state as this, but it's something to be aware of with your thoughts.
There are even times when we are meditating, yet we don't even realize it, perhaps because we weren't doing anything special at the time. How can we be meditating without doing any special technique? Thoughts like these can be deceiving.
Despite my claim that meditation is a difficult task, if you wish to pursue it, go ahead and face all the challenges that come with it. It is the challenging tasks in life that often reap great rewards.
Breathing Meditation Techniques
There are multiple breathing meditation methods to use, but I won't go into the more complicated ways. Simply focusing on your breath is sufficient enough.
To begin your meditation session, find a quiet place where you won't be distracted. How you sit isn't too important, except you will want to avoid a position that is too comfortable. If you are too comfortable, such as sitting in a comfy recliner or lying down, you're very likely to fall asleep.
The next thing is to focus on your breath, following it in through the nose, feel it reach the depths of your lungs, and then follow it out as you exhale. It won't quiet your mind instantly; thoughts will continue to come. When they occur, or if you slip into daydreaming, simply bring your attention back to your breath.
A quick summary of using breathing meditation:
- Choose a quiet location to sit, whether cross-legged or in a chair.
- Lay your hands on your lap or at your sides.
- Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. It doesn't matter if you breathe in through your nose or mouth nor how you choose to exhale.
- When thoughts or distractions come, gently return your attention to your breath.
- Meditate for as long as you can, don't worry about the length of your meditation sessions.
If you'd like to learn more about various meditation techniques, you can read my blog article here: Learn to Meditate the Hard Way.
Even if it feels like a struggle at times or it doesn't feel very relaxing, don't worry! Continue to focus on your breath for as long as you can. It can take many attempts at meditating before you start to realize the effect it is having on you. Also, some days will be easier to meditate than others. If you're finding that it's a challenge—that's an excellent time for meditation! The more challenging it is, the more beneficial it can be, and the greater the rewards are.
As time goes on, it will become easier to get into meditative states, but it may take a lot of time before that happens. Try not to be discouraged, it's hard to see the tiny amounts of the progress we make each day, but it adds up over the days, months and years to come.
Opportunities to Meditate
There are many opportunities to meditate each day; are you sitting in a doctor's office, taking the train to work, or the passenger of a vehicle? All of these can be opportunities to center yourself and quiet your mind.
We can meditate in all aspects of life, whether we are watching TV, reading a book, or having a conversation. A big part of meditation is becoming more aware of not only yourself but of your surroundings as well. Even when eating food, there's also a 'meditative' way to do that as well.
Have you ever tried to Meditate?
Meditation starts with one step, and that's the desire to practice it. I won't lie and say that it will quickly become effortless, because that's not what it's about—meditation is a way of life. Over time, if you continue with it, you will soon come to realize that.
Have you tried breathing meditation before? If so, please share any tips or benefits you experienced, in the comment section below!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.