(Today’s article is by guest writer KaZ. A brief bio is provided below.)
I will describe here one of the simplest and most effective meditation exercises I’ve found. I’ve had a 95% success rate teaching it to students. The remaining 5% have come back in the future and told me it worked for them when they were on their own without any distractions.
The feedback is that it’s simple AND powerful. You can be the judge.
Get ready to breathe and focus for just a few minutes. If, for some reason, you don’t have immediate success, don’t worry, just try again at another time.
My recommendation is to read through the exercise once before trying it.
The optimum thing to do is sit in a comfortable place, in a comfortable position. Hopefully, it’s also a quieter place. Although, I’ve taught this to people I’ve just met while waiting for the subway in New York City!
The first few times you try this, please don’t lie down. Lying down signals the brain to sleep. It feels good to fall asleep, but you won’t benefit as much from the exercise.
If you’re comfortable, close your eyes. If you aren’t comfortable closing your eyes, leave them half open or open and focus on an object.
Start by gently and effortlessly breathing in and out through your nose. Allow your chest and abdomen to expand with ease. Do that for a few moments, just focusing on your breathing.
When you feel comfortable breathing in and out of your nose, draw your attention to your heartbeat. Feel for your heartbeat. Take your time and don’t pressure yourself. Keep breathing and feeling for your heartbeat. When you feel it, open your eyes and conclude the meditation.
Yes! This is meditation. If meditation is difficult for you, guess what? You just meditated.
I’d be willing to bet the only things you were thinking about were your breath and your heartbeat.
As I mentioned, if you don’t feel your heartbeat, don’t worry about it. Just try it again another time. Then pass it on by teaching others this easy meditation. They’ll be grateful, I’m sure, because it’s so easy and gets results.
It’s meditating that doesn’t feel like meditation at all. It just feels like calmness and connection.
I’m a six-time certified master meditation teacher and have been teaching in person and online for twenty-three years.
I take an open-minded, often light-hearted approach to meditation and mindfulness and avoid terms such as can’t, can, do, don’t, must, shouldn’t. (I’m an advocate of not “should-ing” on ourselves!)
I’m pleased to have this opportunity to write for The Spiritual Naturalist Society. In the future, I plan to provide articles on meditation and mindfulness. You will probably be familiar with some of the meditation exercises I present and some may be less conventional.
Expect future articles that emphasize meditation in nature, and the beneficial qualities of nature and meditation for our emotional, psychological, mental, and physical health. I’ll share the information I’ve acquired from years of practice, study, and teaching. Hopefully, you’ll find my writing accessible, thought-provoking, or informative.
The Spiritual Naturalist Society works to spread awareness of spiritual naturalism as a way of life, develop its thought and practice, and help bring together like-minded practitioners in fellowship.
SNS strives to include diverse voices within the spectrum of naturalistic spirituality. Authors will vary in their opinions, terms, and outlook. The views of no single author therefore necessarily reflect those of all Spiritual Naturalists or of SNS.