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Meditation can be overwhelming, considering the variety of meditation approaches and techniques available.
After meditating daily for the past 6 years and exploring this modality as both a science and an art form, simplicity is the key to a lasting meditation practice for beginners. You want to make it easy for yourself so you can build the habit and commit to the journey. Then as you go, in time, you will discover what resonates most with your preferences and needs and can try more advanced practices.
When meditation becomes a struggle or is complicated, the antidote is to make your sessions focused on simply being alive.
Below is a dead simple routine you can do to uncomplicate your practice, build consistency, and be guaranteed to deepen the way you experience meditation.
Schedule a few minutes each day to sit in silence and just be alive. Find a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed and literally do nothing. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes so you don’t have to worry about tracking the time. You can use a free meditation app like Insight Timer.
The core idea is to pay attention to what you are experiencing — whether that’s sensations, sounds, thoughts, or anything else you are observing. Focus on “aliveness,” and get acquainted as much as you can with what it feels like to be a living, breathing human being. This cultivates the skill of mindfulness and heightens awareness of your own existence — which is what meditation is really all about.
If this poses as difficult, which it likely will at first, introduce a mantra such as: “Be. Here Now.” “I am here now. This is where I am. This is all there is.” Gently repeating these words helps anchor your focus on your existence and what is happening in your direct experience, steering the mind away from distractions.
The most important part is to notice what all this feels like. What does it feel like to just be? What does aliveness feel like in your mind and body? How does it feel to repeat the mantras? What does it feel like to get distracted? And then noticing you drifted and coming back to experiencing all that is happening now?
You likely won’t be able to put your experience into words, but by sitting in silent observation, you promote self-reflection and foster a sense of connection with yourself.
Like any other habit you are struggling with, lower the bar and make meditation more accessible for yourself. By embracing the simplicity of meditation through short, focused sessions, you can establish a sustainable and enriching practice even in the busiest of schedules.
But don’t let this fool you. This practice is just as powerful as it is simple.
“Just being” with yourself without any real agenda, other than experiencing your own aliveness, you cultivate the core meditation skill of observing your thoughts and feeling without judgment and getting entangled in them. And most importantly, you get a reminder of what it means to be alive and remember the truth of who and what you are.
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