I cannot emphasize enough the importance
of meditation in our lives whether it is simply to relax or at a deeper level we
wish to truly understand who we are what we are some people use meditation to to
understand the very essence of life in our world or in our universe for that
matter some people meditate simply to meditate see the thing about meditation
is it’s not something that we do it’s it’s it’s more of a being because we
take time out from our day let’s say let’s say 20 minutes a day maybe with
practice you get up to 30 40 minutes a day that’s great but for now let’s just
say 20 minutes a day and you really unplug from the city from the culture
from the boss from the new job from the pressures of driving in traffic or the
crowded trains all those things which are external now we also switch off the
internal things worrying about my weight for some people my health for some
people my job interview or the insurance policy or the retirement policy or what
I get into grad school so whether you’re 22 year old woman or a 59 year old man
or anywhere in between meditation is very very beneficial to switch off all
that stuff going on in our heads thinking feeling worrying that’s the
stuff we know about what’s going on deeper than that this is where the power
of meditation takes us deeper and deeper those deep inner worries of am i
handsome enough am i beautiful enough am I good enough for my mom and for my dad
well I earn enough money will I be successful well I find the right partner
do I have value as a human being do my children love me am I good enough child
to my parents all of these are very deep human questions most of which we never
talk about in society because we’re usually busy talking about either the
baseball game or the traffic or the weather or how much money we made or how
bad the traffic is whatever it is we’re talking about something external but we
rarely have a chance to to access that deep inner part of ourselves we can call
it the subconscious if you like where the deep mind or the the programming
whatever concept you choose it is within the human being these thoughts and these
feelings these these programs or ideologies which basically control our
lives and for most of us we rarely access that level of our being so being
that’s what meditation is about its accessing all the noise inside and yes
one day there will be some silence but we don’t have to try to get the silence
all we really do in meditation is observe what’s happening to know what’s
going on deep inside our hearts with the benefits of meditation
unbelievable don’t want to talk about that too much
because it sets up expectations even if I simply say it will help you to relax
and then you meditate for three minutes and say hey Tom I’m not relaxed I can’t
meditate or meditation is not for me and then BOOM you’re right back on Facebook
Google YouTube some social media you’re you’re back on a program you’re back in
the car you’re watching television back to a book a magazine you’re you’re
making a cup of coffee my god stop doing and start being you know the simple joy
of being is so profound and hardly anybody ever talks about be just being there so how do you meditate I want to keep it
real simple real basic you know why because it is very simple and very basic
it’s not like I’m explaining some you know go to the moon sort of philosophy
it’s a sit in your chair and shut up philosophy so let me give it a little a
few pointers that to help you in the process let’s say twenty or thirty
minutes a day is it’s a good starting time that can change you need some work
quiet okay especially as a beginner in the future you can meditate anywhere but
when you’re first getting started you know sit somewhere quiet definitely turn
off your telephone put it far away television stereo whatever whatever
other electronic distractions there might be if there’s other people and the
family in the house if you can’t ask them I need 30 minutes out you know
please don’t ask any questions don’t ask me how I would like the potatoes or you
know where’s the sugar it’s your 30 minutes timeout okay that’s pretty
simple now sitting you can sit on the floor if you like if you’re living in
asia– from an Asian culture that’s probably the most comfortable position
if you’re from a western country sitting in a chair it’s probably more suitable
but again this depends on your age and your comfort level the point is to be
comfortable but not too comfortable okay so I would suggest not sitting on the
sofa leaning back as if you’re watching the
television and not laying in bed as if you were reading a magazine before going
to bed because those positions are more inclined to to sleep and meditation is
not sleep meditation is essentially the opposite of sleep it’s very awake it’s
very alert okay so you want to be comfortable but
not to the point you would fall asleep okay so sitting up straight is helpful
no once you’re comfortable go ahead and close your eyes and begin observing your
breath this is looking within so observe the natural breath I’m not recommending
any sort of breath control yes there are techniques like that some other day we
can talk about that when we get together for a cup of coffee or something but for
the moment let’s just observe the natural breath as it naturally occurs
without any sort of control and observe observe for yourself is it
rising and falling in the in the chest cavity area inhale exhale is it like
that or is it more down here in the abdomen maybe that’s out of the view of
the camera rising and falling of the abdomen maybe it’s both the abdomen and
the chest are both rising and falling expanding and contracting okay at this
stage there’s there’s no standard about how we should breathe again that’s
another topic for the future at the moment we’re concerned with observation
of the breath just observe this this amazing human body breathing all by
itself okay the mind that you wouldn’t mind
thinking doesn’t have to do anything just observe it’s closing your eyes can
be helpful because closing the eyes remove some of
the other distractions okay the furniture in the room or the cars going
by or the cat or the dog walking across the carpet posing the eyes helps look
with him and observe that breathing just observe that as you’re observing you’ll notice that
you lose focus for sure I’ve been meditating for a really long time I sit
and meditate and within about one minute some thoughts start coming up and this
is true for everybody I have ever known thoughts come up because that’s the
nature of being human so let’s not change that let’s not stop being human
let’s not get rid of thought get rid of feeling let’s be really good observers
so when the thoughts come up bring your awareness to it with with a with an
observation of there is thinking thinking has come up I’m now thinking
about my mother that’s good you think about your mom that’s a good thing now
come back to your breathing you continue watching the the rising and falling of
the breath the expanding and the contracting of the lungs and within a
minute some other thought has come up I need to let the dog out I need to feed
the cat I need to change the oil in the car I need to send a message on my
social media program yes you do but not at the moment that can wait 20 minutes
practicing be notice I talk so much I become aware oh my god tom is talking a
lot come back to the breath and you guessed it with it one minute
you’re thinking about something else it’s so funny because that’s how the
human mind works and we’re going to allow it to work that
way the only difference being we’re really paying attention to it we are
aware that we’re thinking about that job we have to accomplish that transfer to a
bank transfer we have to make that health condition we have to address
something about our families we need to sort out the problem
all the problems are still there all the health concerns are still there the
difference is we bring this really strong awareness into it and awareness
up there’s a worry there’s a fear there’s a joy here’s a memory I forgot I
was meditating come back to your breath within one minute something else is
gonna come up it may be the thoughts that we described in the first few
examples it can also be physical for example I’m
feeling tension in my eyes maybe it’s the Sun maybe I’m worried
about something feeling thirsty I’ve been talking a lot today or it’s quite
dry today or my seat is uncomfortable these physical things come up my nose
itches I hung gree whatever it might be they will come up of course they come up
throughout our lives we don’t really notice it we get itchy and thirsty and
hungry all day long but most times we just we we scratch and we do what we do
we sip our water we don’t think about it the difference with meditation is we
become aware of it and we become aware of the essence of simply being practice this beer and what will happen
is that relaxation will come if you strive for relaxation it’s an oxymoron
it’s a paradox you cannot strive for relaxation you
need to allow relaxation to occur