1.1 Meditation - Concentration

The Elements of Meditation Practice 1 - Concentration
13 minutes
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Alright, so you can think of this too as an arriving, meditation. So when you're ready, buddy, close your eyes. Or actually, if you also want to keep them at one at half mast, that's completely legitimate way to practice as well. So it's really what feels comfortable here. Is it good to have your eyes closed? Or is it good to have them kind of lightly open in front of you?

Okay 10 that was a really resonant, beautiful bell. Okay, so, let's start by taking a couple of deep breaths. Let's breathe naturally through the nose. You breathe in, sort of an upward motion so you stretch up your spine a bit. Find some alertness. And then the out breath is a downward motion, breathing out and settling.

As you breathe out, you can soften your, your forehead and your eyes and soften your jaw, mouth, shoulders. And even a hand sometimes we hold tension in our hands with the hand to be soft. It can be on the knees, there may be there are in your lap or what feels comfortable. This is the kind of arriving meditation, basic concentration practice. And every practice we do no matter what it is, we begin with this quality of just a kind of openness, or equanimity. And that really means that you're not going to get uptight about the fact that there are going to be distractions sounds around you.

Can be thoughts, aches, pains, there's personnel that that all be there. And we can kind of find the quality of equanimity in relationship to sound and relationship to anything but I'll give you an example. in relationship to my voice. It may be that, you know, you might notice the body's tensing slightly or rigid or bracing in some way. Like if we're about to hear a loud noise, we kind of brace. So if you notice that happening, see if you can just soften through the body.

Imagine that my voice is just sort of a sound wave that's moving right through you. There's no resistance, that open quality it's a kind of maturity and how you're sitting you're gonna you're allowing everything to be there. Right there. That's the essence of the meditative attitude. That practice is even a complete practices, doing that We're also interested in concentration. So do a little survey, we're going to choose something to pay attention to that you're going to commit to over the next 12 minutes or so.

And choose what it is that you want to pay attention to some good ones that people like are the feeling of the breath at the nostrils. So the very subtle, soft feeling of the breath coming in the nostrils are four of our grounding sensation, maybe the feeling of the breath of the belly, the rise of the belly or the feeling of your body making contact with the chair or the cushion. Another nice one is the hands the feeling of the warm hands. So I like working with body sensations. A lot of people find it kind of grounding. So if that appeals to you, any of those, you can just choose one Don't spend too long choosing and then just decide to kind of commit to it and see how subtly you can tune into the sensations how much you can feel that soft part of the breath, or that tingling in the hands.

But I will also say in case you just don't like working with the body sensations, which is okay. We also work with sound. ambient sounds are sort of the best sight sounds like homes, radiators and things. Choose something and then be like okay, this is it. No more jumping around. just completely commit to feeling the sensation and be curious.

How else can you feel the subtlest part of that sensation, or if it's a sound, you hear the quietest part of it, and really letting your own breath sort of slow down and get gentle As you get a little bit more concentrated try this for a little while. Good so the essence of concentration is it's just this very simple thing of doing one thing deciding to feel the breath or The hands are listen. And it helps to kind of tune in to the release of this is no other thing you need to do. So let's see if you can kind of enjoy this break of just doing this one thing, let it be a break my mind and body. And if there's lots of thoughts, their feelings and sensations just kind of let them be in the background, trying to get rid of them or push them away.

Coming back to the sensation as best as you can. And every time you get distracted and come back that's like one pull up like a rap. You're building up your concentration muscles. And always having this feeling of like, Oh yeah, having this affability of letting the sounds and distractions be there. Practicing being okay with that, another skill that we're building. Often the breath may start to sort of slow down or get softer.

And that's okay. In fact, the more still we are, as we practice, the more we can tune into the subtlest part of the sensation. So the sensations getting very subtle scenes, you can still keep your attention there but not straining, is very delicate, holding the attention in that direction. Curious, moving into the softest part or the quietest part always with this patience, this kindness and the attention. Notice when you get very, very still what is the effect Perfect acronym the opportunity bracing against sounds just letting him just be there and wash right through you Coming back to your objects and concentrations, not not exotic. It's very simple.

And we learn over time to find something. soothing, fulfilling and simplicity. not needing things to be different. Just letting yourself sit here and breathe in being in your body Okay good Yep, that was the bell. Thank you guys. So that was meditation one.

Hopefully it wasn't too painful but it might have been just to save a concentration. That is a practice. Absolutely that simple bare bones practice could last you an entire lifetime. And for many people that does this for any people, that's what meditation is. It's nothing more complicated. It's sitting, noticing your breath being okay with being in their body at this time and that is a deep and beautiful practice.

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