Meditation and Mindfulness made Simple

Turning our attention inside will help us determine what is important and stop us being caught up in the trivialities of life. Once we have a clear vision of who we want to be and what we really want in life, we can then start to work towards a goal that is meaningful, and will make a positive contribution to the world around us.

Meditation and mindfulness, made simple and approachable, can have far reaching effects on us all. Its something we can all do and it need not be complicated. Taking a few minutes out of our day is all it takes, and the sooner we start the sooner we all reap the rewards.

Taking the awareness inside for a few minutes a day will begin to make us self-reflective; self-reflection and self-observation helps us to be more responsible for ourselves. We begin to see we have self-determination, and we can take control of our lives. We are not the victims we thought we were, or are we propelled through life by someone else’s decision.

Turning our attention inwards for a few minutes a day helps us discover who we truly are, and what we really need, as opposed to what we think want. Turning your life around can really be that easy, it can take just a few minutes per day. Being mindful of our actions and reactions and setting aside a short time each day for quiet contemplation, will help us determine where we are and what we want.

We can break down meditation and mindfulness into easy bite size segments. The first stage is called Pratayahara and is a simple system of sense withdrawal. This when practised means we begin to observe what the senses are recording. Rather than reacting to the sounds or aromas around us, we simply sit quietly, with the eyes closed and observe. It’s amazing how easily we can detach ourselves from the what the senses perceive, and it can be done quickly and easily.

The second stage is called Dharana. Put simply this means holding the mind steady, and this is now much more approachable, since we have detached ourselves from our senses. An approachable way of keeping the mind steady is to focus our awareness on the eyebrow centre. In yoga this is called Brumadhya mudra, and is a powerful focal point, which is connected to our third eye, and inner gaze.

The third stage is Dhyana, which means meditation. Once we have practiced holding the mind steady, we go deeper and no longer need to practice concentration. Dhyana is a spontaneous action that happens because of the two previous stages. It is the stage where we are no longer affected by the world outside us or our body. Time becomes meaningless and we are in a state of stillness and clarity.

We may stay in this space for a short time or a long time, but the experience will change us for ever. The time we spend in Dhyana becomes meaningless, compared to the experience.

When beginning a meditation practice, I would recommend a place that is as peaceful as possible. As you continue to practice the first stage of Pratayahara, then you will soon stop being affected by sound and other stimuli.

Turning our attention inside will help us determine what is important and stop us being caught up in the trivialities of life. Once we have a clear vision of who we want to be and what we really want in life, we can then start to work towards a goal that is meaningful and will have make a positive contribution to the world around us.

Martin Thompson.