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One of the solutions towards calm mind and less stressed state of life is meditation. There are many ways to practice meditation and people around the world who practice meditation provide their own ways and means. Almost all forms of meditation need to have two ‘Cs’ for completeness. These two ‘Cs’ include:

  1. Concentration – focus; and
  2. Clarity

Some techniques may have one aspect or both, depending upon the objective for which that technique is being used. ‘Mindfulness’ meditations are good examples which consist of both of these Cs i.e. Concentration and clarity.

Andy Pudddicombe, in his book: Headspace guide to meditation and mindfulness claim that ’10 minutes’ can make the difference in ones life and those 10 minutes is the time one use for mindful meditation. This technique can be applied anywhere even when you are at work or travel or else where – all you need is dedicated 10 minutes in which you are not disturbed by outside forces.

The technique which I am sharing here is from the book of Andy Puddicombe, the book recommended by Bill Gates. Technique is called ‘Take 10’ and is being summarized below:

1. Find a place to sit down in a relaxed manner with straight back.

2. Set time for 10 minutes in which no one should disturb you: Idea: Turn off the cell phone!

3. Close your eyes and take five (5) deep gentle breaths: in through the nose and out through the mouth.

4. Focus on the physical sensation of the body – arms and legs

5. Scan down through the body and notice which parts feel comfortable and relaxed, and which parts feel uncomfortable and tense.

6. Notice how you’re feeling—i.e. what sort of mood you’re in right now.

7. Notice where you feel the rising and falling sensation of the breath most strongly.

8. Notice how each breath feels, the rhythm of it—whether it’s long or short, deep or shallow, rough or smooth.

9. Gently count the breaths as you focus on the rising and falling sensation—1 with the rise and 2 with the fall, upward to a count of 10.

10. Repeat this cycle between 5 and 10 times, or for as long as you have time available.

Allow your mind to be as busy or as still as it wants to be for about twenty seconds and then bring the mind back to the sensation of the body. Open your eyes and stand up when you feel ready.

 

In the book, Andy says: “In the moment you realize that you’ve been distracted, that the mind has wandered off, you’re no longer distracted. So all you need to do is gently bring the attention back to the physical sensation of the breath and continue to count. If you can remember the number you were on then just pick it up from there and, if not, simply start again at 1. There are no prizes for making it to 10 (I’m sorry to say) and so it doesn’t matter whether you start again at 1 or not. In fact, it can be quite funny in how difficult it is to make it to 10 each time, and it’s okay to laugh if you feel like laughing. For some reason meditation can look very serious and it can be tempting to start treating it like “serious work.” But the more you can bring a sense of humor to it, a sense of play, the easier and more enjoyable you’ll find it”.

Headspace_guide_meditation

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A person who is engaged by Bill Gates to provide personal coaching session to him and his family on mediation – A person who was former Buddhist Monk and now, running his own multi million pound company – Headspace .A person who turned Bill Gates from being a skeptic to a person practicing mediation – Meet Andy Puddicombe – currently the only clinical meditation consultant in the United Kingdom cleared for private practice. Andy got extensive training in meditation for 15 years, all around the world.

He has set up the Headspace organization with one simple aim in mind: to demystify meditation and make it accessible and relevant to as many people as possible.

His book “The headspace guide to meditation and mindfulness” is a treat to read. In very simple manner, he has explained about training one’s mind to be calm and peaceful in different stressful situations. Three areas to train one’s mind include: i) Approaching the subject of meditation ii) Practicing meditation and iii) Integrating meditation to daily life.

While I shall write on the three areas in a separate blog post, ten suggestions from the book on living more mindfully are:

  1. Perspective—choosing how you see your life: “For meditation to be effective it doesn’t really matter how you view your life. But it can be useful to acknowledge the general theme, because that way you can be more alert to the tendency to slip into negative patterns of thought”. Its not what’s happening outside of ourselves that causes us the most difficulty, but rather what’s going on inside our own minds—which, thankfully, is something that can change.
  2. Communication—relating to others: There is no use of taking out own frustrations on others.
  3. Appreciation—smelling the roses: Be grateful and notice small things in life which provide you happiness and be appreciative.
  4. Kindness—toward both yourself and others – When you are kind to others, it will provide you a peaceful feeling; try it and see for yourself.
  5. Compassion—in the shoes of others; Put yourself in shows of others. Thinking from other’s perspective and putting yourself in others’ shoes will help avoid picking up fights with other people.
  6. Balance—Life is like a sea; full of ups and downs. Fluctuations are part of life. Mind’s training through meditation can help develop a balanced approach.
  7. Acceptance—Notice the moments of resistance in a day and start becoming aware of the what cause resistance. Let it go and accept life.
  8. Composure—letting-go of impatience. Meditation is not about getting results. It is about becoming aware.
  9. Dedication—sticking with it; Practice will make things happen.
  10. Presence—living life skillfully; This means have presence of mind and not to say something spontaneously on which you will have to regret later. Have the strength and stability and don’t respond impulsively.

Looking forward on learning more on mediation and how to mediate? Feel free exploring more from https://www.headspace.com/meditation-101/what-is-meditation

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