Kathleen Shokai Bishop, MS PhD
Southern Palm Zen Group
Compilation of my ideas and Jan Chozen Bays ideas from her wonderful book Mindfulness on the Go Simple Meditation Practices You Can Do Anywhere. Feel free to share this information with anyone you know that has a desire to learn how to calm their mind, release their anxiety, decrease their stress, and learn to meditate. Thanks!
Three Breath Exercise
The entire exercise takes one or two minutes only but the lasting effect is immeasurable. I hope you’ll try it. The directions are below.
- Shake out your hands to release the tension in them.
- Close your eyes if you feel comfortable doing so as it will help keep out the visual distractions. If you are not comfortable with that or in a place where it would not be safe to close your eyes keeping them open is okay. Simply focus your eyes on one small object, if possible.
- Take three slow deep breaths counting one on the in breath and two on the out breath.
- Be careful not to breathe in so deeply that it makes you cough.
- If you need to you can continue these slow breaths counting one on the in breath and two on the out breath as long as you need to.
Simple Sitting Meditation Tips
- Sit down on a chair or on a cushion on the floor. Sit in a way that feels relaxed but upright, allowing plenty of room in your chest and abdomen for breathing. (If you are unable to sit up, you can meditate lying down.)
- Focus your attention on your breath. Don’t try to alter your breath—your body knows very well how to breathe—just turn your attention to the breath. Each time your mind wanders away from your awareness of the breath (which it is likely to do often), gently bring it back.
- To help focus your mind you can count one on the in breath and two on the out breath. If your mind wanders just simply go back to counting one on the in breath and two on the out breath.
- Meditation helps us experience the feeling of being relaxed and fully present, as if we had nothing special to do except count our in breath and out breath and to take simple pleasure in just sitting and breathing, and counting.
- It is best to meditate every day for 20 minutes. Making this part of your personal health care, like taking a shower for your mind. However, when you are new at it or it is a very busy day you may have to cut the time from 20 minutes to 5 or 10 minutes. Each minute of meditation is returned twofold or more in clarity, equanimity, and efficiency during a busy day.
- You’ll notice the difference in your thinking and creativity very quickly when you are consistent in your time spent meditating.