How to Meditate with Awareness

Modern man in this industrialized age of speed, hurry, activity and tensions, feels completely exhausted after a day’s work (whether that work is your career or a day’s work with your kids!). In this situation it becomes difficult for us to know inner silence and stillness. It’s not the actual work and tensions that exhaust us, it’s that we’ve lost contact with our inner stillness. Our inner stillness is a vast source of energy!

If you’re exhausted, meditation will be like medicine for you.  By just bringing awareness into your day-to-day activities, you’re meditating through mindfulness. Meditation needs a deep understanding of awareness, not time! With awareness you eat less; with awareness you will become for efficient; with awareness you will lose less energy. Remember that it’s not all that you have to do that exhausts you: it’s your attitude.

The mind that lives in meditation transforms all work into play. Look at children. They are doing more work than you are but they are never exhausted. They are always bubbling with energy because everything is play for them! Inject more leisure, pleasure, fun, festivity and play into your day by changing your attitude (no matter what activities you’re doing). Seriousness has the tendency to turn into disease over time while playfulness is a wonderful way to stay in good health!

Try not to think that meditation will conflict with anything. If you’re going to your office, go meditatively, in a relaxed way during your commute. If you’re writing something, write it with full awareness. If you’re cooking dinner after a long day, prepare the food with mindfulness. Remain in the present and see how refreshing it is…not exhausting!

How do you practice awareness?  Keep reading…

Breathe Here Now
Most of us are very tied up in things that may have happened in our past, or concerned about what’s going to happen in the future. This way of thinking/living makes living with awareness seem very foreign to us. However, there is a trick: Focus on your breath. Bring your pointer finger to the tip of your nose and breathe in and out. Relax your hand down but continue to focus on the spot you were just touching. Listen to your breath. Feel it enter and leave your lungs. Notice how a few breaths affect your body. Let tension go with each exhalation. When your mind wanders, bring it back to your breath. This is the key to meditation!

Body Scan
Starting with your head and working down to your arms and feet, notice how you feel in your body. Tuning into your head and neck, simply notice if you feel tense, relaxed, calm or anxious. Can you soften your belly and broaden your chest? See how much you can spread any sensations of softness and relaxation to areas of your body that feel tense. Scan all the way down to the tips of your fingers, down through your legs and into each one of your toes.

Mantra Repetition: The relaxation response can be evoked by reciting a mantra mentally. A simple word such as “love” or sound such as ”Om” will do, if you don’t have a mantra of your own. Allow it to be your anchor, your pillar of focus, and your word of ease.

Guided Imagery: Imagine a wonderfully relaxing light or a soothing waterfall washing away tension from your body and mind. Perhaps it’s a beautiful place you’ve been before. Make your image vivid, imagining texture, color and any fragrance as the image washes over you. If you would prefer something else to do the work for you, apps like Calm offer beautiful images of nature, with nature sounds. I personally love turning on National Geographic’s Earth Moods (on Disney+) and deep breathing while I get lost in the natural beauty that’s on the screen!

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