It’s a two-thousand-year-old practice of introspection – how to listen to yourself. A few minutes in a day, you dedicate to yourself to sit in peace, relax, and control your breathing. Way to completely “reset” your thoughts, discard fears, ambitions, plans, obligations, and find yourself.

Position

First, sit on the ground in a cross-legged fashion. Do not sit in a chair, but you can use a pillow if you find it more comfortable. The important thing is your back to be straight. This position is semi-awkward for a reason – to help you not fall asleep.

Duration

The average meditation lasts 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t put on yourself precise time frames, meditate how much you think is right for you. It may be 5 or 35 minutes.

Breathing & Relaxing

The important thing is to relax. Start with deep breathing because it helps you to relax. Breathing as a body function can be conscious and unconscious. We can not willingly influence on our heartbeat or to dilute our blood vessels.

On the other hand, we can move our muscles. Breathing is located halfway, we can manage it willingly, but if we do not think about it, then this function is done automatically by the brain (unconscious). Due to the specific position (midway between the conscious and unconscious), controlled breathing can help us to calm down, relax, and slow our heartbeat. Start the exercise by a deep breath, and after a few minutes, breathe normally. Try to breathe with your “belly,” not the chest.

Place to meditate

Find a beautiful, secluded, and quiet place for meditation, and keep your eyes half-open. Start the meditation by deep breathing and relaxation. During the first two minutes, you can close your eyes to relax more quickly, but try to keep them half-open during the remaining minutes of the session.

Where to look

When your eyes are half-open, try to focus your look to a single point. This can be a point in a wall, grass, rock on the beach, the flame from a candle, patterns on the carpet, or a shadow in a room where you meditate.

What is Mantra

Mantra is the main point of meditation. A thought on which you should focus your attention, and is then rhythmically repeated.

A different school of meditations uses various mantras. They are usually a sound or a picture and can be internal and external. An example of an external Mantra can be the sound of the steam or a drop of rain. Internal Mantra can be sound you repeat in yourself (“Ummm”).

When you start to meditate and repeat the Mantra, your mind will begin to wander all over the place. Then you should become aware of your thoughts and return to the repetition of the Mantra. The whole point of meditation is to restore your ideas to the Mantra. Do not get upset if your mind wanders as it’s completely normal. The important thing is to realize that this is only your mind – not you. These are your fears, hopes, thoughts, worries, and the like. In time your focus will be “sharpened,” and you will be able to spend more time “centered” (in discussion with Mantra).

In Zen meditation, breathing is used as Mantra. It does not have any meaning; it is neither positive nor negative, just a simple template that you use to “see.” An anchor used to stop your thoughts from sailing. Mantra “centers” you in the sense that you recognize your thoughts, and you disconnect with them during the session. The goal of meditation is to be here and now.

Meditation and sleep are yin and yang. In sleep, you do not control your thoughts, but during meditation, you completely control your thoughts. This control will come in time, and then you will transfer it in your everyday life.

What benefits can you expect from meditation

In the long run, meditation changed many lives for the better, in the sense that many individuals that practice this technique have dealt with their fears and focused on their goals. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, in one interview, said that practicing meditation for one year changed his life.

Besides the long term effect, meditation is an excellent exercise for stress and anxiety reduction. The practice of meditation is a great way to “gather your thoughts” and that during the session, you are the one who controls your thought.