Two simple and effective methods that you can use when you meditate are watching the breath and focusing on an object.
As you watch these two videos, give each method a try. Take your time, and watch them as many times as you like.
So how can we actually transform the mind through meditation?
Well, it doesn’t work if you try to force it. Instead, the most effective way to train your mind is by making friends with your mind.
Just as you can’t expect to make friends with someone by arguing with them, you can’t make friends with your mind by struggling against your thoughts and emotions, suppressing them, or trying to make them go away.
But it also doesn’t work to surrender to your mind, by following it blindly and believing whatever it tells you.
The best way to make friends with your mind is to know what your mind loves.
What the conceptual mind loves more than anything is having something to do. It loves being very active all the time.
In fact, if the conceptual mind doesn’t have something to keep it busy, then it can create a lot of trouble.
So in the beginning, you need to start by giving your conceptual mind a job—and that job is meditation.
If your mind is actively engaged in meditation practice, then it’s a win-win situation. Your conceptual mind is happy because it is busy, and you are happy because you are now in charge of your own mind.
And, you are no longer dominated by your mind, simply believing whatever your thoughts and emotions tell you.
You become free of your endless fixation on thoughts and emotions, and free of your conceptual mind.
In these videos, Sogyal Rinpoche reminds us that meditation is really very simple, and Mingyur Rinpoche gives some important advice for beginners.
Here’s a recap of some of the key things to keep in mind when you start a meditation session.
• Back straight
• Hands on knees or in your lap
• Shoulders spread
• Chin slightly lowered
• Mouth slightly open
• Eyes open, gazing slightly downward
Sit comfortably—body still, breathing naturally, mind at peace
Let thoughts and emotions come and go, without trying to hold on to them
There’s no need for running commentary or analysis
Rest your attention lightly on the outbreath, or the object you’re looking at
When distracted, simply come back to the breath or the object
Relax—don’t be too tense, and don’t judge yourself
• mindful of the breath or object
• aware of whether you’re distracted
• and stay open and spacious.
How long for?
We recommend that you meditate for at least 15 minutes each day.
Of course, if you want to sit for longer, or more than once a day, that’s absolutely fine.
The main thing is to find a routine that works for you.
When practising meditation, all you need to do is let go and relax.
Just rest, open, in the present moment, simply allowing whatever arises to rise.
Whatever thoughts, emotions or sensations come up, you don’t have to block them. But neither do you have to follow them. Simply allow yourself to be aware of them.
When you remain in this awareness, then you realize that you are much bigger than your thoughts, emotions and perceptions.
You don’t have to be afraid of your thoughts any more. Thoughts are not you. Emotions are not you. You become free of them, as you discover the confidence of your true nature.
So, do not follow after thoughts and emotions, but merely be aware of everything that passes through your awareness, as it is.
What we are doing is resting our mind in its natural awareness, completely unaffected by whatever arises.
Now that you’re familiar with the basic meditation posture, as well as the methods of watching the breath and focusing on an object, here’s a simple guided meditation that you can follow.
You can listen to this as many times as you want, and if you find it helpful, you can use it as part of your daily meditation practice.
||1.4 MB||2:32 min
|Watching the Breath
||2.7 MB||4:57 min
|Watching an Object
||2.8 MB||5:17 min
To download the file right click (control click on a Mac) the green arrows