Guest Author - Candice Redfern
Our precious and precarious minds are often overburdened with worries and wonders, fantasies and fears. Finding our center and experiencing peace of mind can be a challenge with the daily deluge of obligations & responsibilities. We often discover our mental space occupied by thoughts of the past and concerns for the future, leaving little space to enjoy and appreciate the here and now.
Mindfulness meditation is the healing practice of quieting our minds and calming our senses. Through the art of meditating, we become cognizant of our mental chatter and learn to gently release the anxieties that we hold on to. By bringing awareness back to the present moment, we learn to relax with the flow of life. Through such practice, we develop compassion and acceptance for ourselves and our world. Essentially, this meditation offers us the opportunity to experience greater peace and wellbeing.
The following simple meditation uses the breath as a focal point. There is no need for elaborate equipment or specialized training. All that is required is a quiet place to rest for at least 20 minutes and a willingness to explore this ancient art.
Breathing Meditation Technique:
1. Find a quiet place to sit comfortably.
2. Draw in a full breath of air through your nostrils.
3. Rest your attention on the sensation of the cool air rushing into you nasal passages and down deep into your slowly expanding chest.
4. As your lungs reach a full yet comfortable capacity, focus gentle awareness on the point of transition between your in-breath and your out-breath.
5. Now follow your exhalation as you release any tension in your body.
6. Focus on the flow and sensation of your out breath.
7. Without effort or strain, casually be aware of the moment when your exhalation shifts into another refreshing inhalation.
8. Follow your breathing for as long as you are comfortable, being cognizant of each inhalation, exhalation and that moment in time between the two.
9. When your awareness slips away from your breath and onto other thoughts or concerns, tenderly guide your awareness back to your breath again.
Mindfulness meditation techniques can be a wonderfully fulfilling practice. May it help you cultivate a greater sense peace on your path towards self-awareness. Take a deep breath and enjoy!