“Self-observation is the first step of inner unfolding.”
– Amit Ray
Have you ever tried to meditate before? It’s a very simple thing to do. It might seem like you really aren’t doing much, but you are building up muscles in your mind through this simple practice. Meditation can be done virtually anywhere, anytime, as long as you keep an open mind. One practice you can do prior to meditation in preparation is practicing mindfulness. I challenge each and every one of you to put aside ten to twenty minutes of your day, to practice mindfulness. For those of you that don’t know what that is or how to practice it let me enlighten you. It is when you enhance your senses and observation to really notice the little things going on around you. For instance, if you were eating a piece of cake, take in the smell of the aroma the cake is putting off, taste the soft, delicate, fluffy frosting over the spongy moist cake. The easiest time to practice mindfulness is while eating but you can really do it anywhere. It is just an example but hopefully got the point across.
Once you are ready to start meditating, you’ll need to pick and focus your awareness on an anchor. Anything can be an anchor, you just need a place your mind can come back to and rest. Sensations, images, sounds, movements, or even counting are easy anchors you can use if you have trouble thinking of one. Once you have your anchor, you mind will inevitably begin to wander. This is completely normal, just bring your mind back to your anchor. Don’t think of a wandering mind as a failure, a wandering mind indicates that you have reached the moment of mindfulness. Each time you focus on or come back to your anchor you are building up your concentration. While building up your concentration, you also detach from your regular thought stream. That is the moment in which you let go and let your world around you dissipate into nothing. Now when you focus on your wandering mind, it gives you a little insight into your habits and patterns before returning back to your anchor.
Over time you will really start to understand yourself and your own mind. If you consistently practice mindfulness and meditate regularly, stress will be reduced, you’ll become more aware, and your overall mood will be greatly enhanced.