Easy meditation techniques

Here are a few easy meditation techniques that can get you started on the road toward more peace and joy. They are also techniques that you can use if you want to go "all the way." Note, they are described as "easy", but it will still take attention and in the beginning, some effort to do them.

Meditation is a going inside. It is relaxation. Keep that in mind when learning these easy meditation techniques. This means, notice what comes naturally to you. White knuckle meditation doesn't work, unless you like headaches.

Preparation for easy meditation techniques include: find a quiet place to sit. Sit comfortably, upright, with your back straight, but not tight. You can lean your back against a chair. You don't need to twist into a pretzel to de-stress, or to reach the highest goal.

Close your eyes unless you are doing a technique that requires them to be open.

Easy meditation techniques--#1. Focused attention. Pay attention to any object of meditation. By "object", I mean, any thing that you want to focus on. Many traditions use the breath. Others use a word/phrase (mantra) that you silently repeat (think) to yourself. You can also focus attention on a candle or a picture.

What this means is that there are internal (breath, word, other) or external (candle, picture, other) objects of attention. The point of this is to train your mind to stay with the object and not to wander aimlessly from one object of attention to another. This focuses your attention like a laser.

This technique develops your capacity to stay with any thing. Depending on the object of meditation that you choose, a kind of recycling happens where the act of staying with one object creates a sort of synchronicity feedback loop that stabilizes your mind.

Easy meditation techniques--#2. Open attention. Pay attention to no particular object of meditation. In other words, all sights, sounds, sensations, smells, tastes, thoughts and feelings are not held onto, but simply noticed and let go. They are like clouds in the sky. Sort of like using your peripheral vision.

This develops your capacity to see what is really going on. In other words, you become aware that there is a thought, there is a sound, there is a smell, etc, and you don't react but just notice this, in a relaxed way.

While you are doing this, you are also allowing yourself to relax and to fall gently inward. You let go in a similar fashion to when you fall asleep. (Except, in this case you are falling awake.)

This sounds very simple, and it is. But it is extremely powerful. Do #1 to stabilize your attention and then #2 to relax and enjoy the inward journey.

Easy meditation techniques--#3. Ask yourself a very simple question that resonates with you deeply. You can pick something like "what car do I like?", but that won't get you very far. Try something like: "who am I?" or any question that you are wondering about deeply.

Do that often enough and it becomes quite powerful. It has an opening effect, and can cut through superficial notions of who you are (title, assets, family situation, etc.). This connects you with a sort of essential part of you and an essential part of everything else.

So, those are 3 simple meditation techniques. They are explained in brevity, of course, but they can get you started. Do them regularly and see what happens. Be your own observer and notice what works and what doesn't. Reflect on what practice reduces your stress a little, what gives you a good feeling, what gets you closer to relief.

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