Centering and Quieting Your Wandering Mind

I’ve had conversations with several folks recently about their challenges with quieting the mind for Meditation.  Ahhhh…
Somehow we think it will be easy to center ourselves and be quiet – resting our bodies and minds.  That is not always the case, as you may have noticed.
I’ve heard from several of my students that they are able to settle when we practice together in class or in a private session and not so much on their own.  There is a definite benefit to practicing with a group or with a teacher to guide you.  That is how I learned to meditate and that’s why I love to teach and practice with y’all.
I thought it might be helpful to remind you of the simple tools to help you with your meditation practice at home.  It’s not necessary to do all of the steps listed below – find what works well for you.
Be patient with yourself as you integrate the practice into your schedule – even for a few minutes each day – you will enjoy greater mental focus and clarity, ease, calm, peace of mind and relaxation.  Ahhhh…
The test of your success in meditation is not whether you have visions, but rather how you are changing as a person in everyday life – whether you are becoming a happier person.  The goal is to have your whole life become a meditation.
Preparing for Meditation
  • Create a comfortable and pleasant place to meditate.
  • Set aside a specific time to meditate – best times are dawn, dusk, noon and midnight – but most importantly – be consistent about when you meditate.  The best time is when you will do it!
  • Find a comfortable sitting position in a chair, on a cushion or on a meditation bench, so that your spine is long and open.
  • Relaxation – do some yoga postures or stretching exercises.
  • Say a prayer and ask for guidance and support for your practice.
  • Close your eyes and place your hands palms up on your thighs.
  • Inhale and hold your breath, tensing the entire body; then throw the breath out and relax.  Do this three times.
  • Sing a chant, such as “All is well now, all is well.”
  • Practice a measured breathing technique and finally breathe normally.
  • Practice a concentration technique, such as Hong-Sau:  As your breath flows in, mentally repeat the sound “Hong”; as your breath flows out, mentally repeat the sound “Sau.”  Let the natural flow of breath indicate the pace. Hong-Sau means “I am Spirit.”
  • Let go of all technique and simply relax in the presence.
  • Come out of meditation slowly, perhaps ending with gratitude.