How to Meditate and Practical Tips, Part 1

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So in the last lesson, we did a really quick meditation just a few minutes long. And so this time, let's do one that's a little bit longer. And we'll actually start off with our meditation and then we'll talk a little bit about it. So this one is just gonna be five minutes, so she's a little bit longer than the last one you did. And again, you don't want to do this while you're driving or operating any machinery. And you want to find a place to sit where you can be in a comfortable yet erect posture, if that's comfortable for you.

So let's begin the meditation. So that was a little bit longer. That was a five minute meditation. And let's talk a little bit about what's going on. Again, that was a fairly simple one. And we didn't do anything new.

And that one, we're going to start as we go along to add in some different kinds of things. But I wanted to talk about what what we're doing and why the meditation is like this and why you chose to focus and come back again and again to the breathing. You know, what is that all about? Well, you're retraining your brain, and you're retraining your brain to stay in the present moment. Anyone who meditates like this has a very similar experience, often in that they find that their thoughts start going off pretty easily and that's why You know, I say, as we're going through, you know, if you find your mind starting to wander, you know, bring it back to the breath. And that's just something that we do we start to wander and not be in the present moment.

And so your brain is very used to doing that. And we're retraining it. Now we're retraining it to stay in the present moment. We're retraining it to notice when it has wandered away and to come back. So that's part of what we're doing and what we've done so far. Now, as we get into some of the other meditations, you're going to find that we are training the brain not only to come back to the present, but also to be less reactive.

We haven't really gotten into that part yet. Because we're taking it piece by piece here. So that's one of the things we're trying to do. Now. Our our brains are very easily conditioned. There's a whole science around how habits are formed.

And sometimes people think oh habits take a long time to, to make a new habit. But actually, it doesn't take a long time, just takes a couple of repetitions. As long as you're training the brain to do something little habits are formed very easily. I mean, think of all the habits you have in your life every day, where you put your keys now you drive to work and what you do when you wake up in the morning, I mean, these are all habits that got formed without you even trying to find them. So it actually can be very easy to form a habit and your brain has a habitual way that it responds to the world around it. And so we're trying to retrain it and eventually it becomes very easy and it becomes your normal mode, to be in the present focus and not get so distracted.

And that's a big part of what mindfulness meditation practice is all about. Now, the things that we learn to do while we're in meditation are not just while we're in meditation, but we're also Wanting those that ability to focus and later on, as you'll see the ability to be less reactive and so on, we want that to happen all the time, not just when we're practicing meditation, and that indeed, is what starts happening, your brain just starts responding to everything in that way, not just during the meditation session, which is really pretty handy. While we're talking about habits, I want to encourage you to start to make a habit of practicing meditation during our course. So, you know, we'll obviously be doing the meditation sessions in the middle of the lessons, and we're going to have some practice outside of the lessons as well. And, and what you'll find is that if you make a habit of the practice, outside of our lessons here, it will become easier and easier.

So I often tell people to you know, See if you can have a place in your home or your office where you meditate Now this particular chair now that you might not be able to do that while you're watching the videos, but if you're practicing on your own with the recordings, if you download them and just do them on your own, you can then do that. Find a place certain place, a certain kind of chair, maybe even a certain time of day, it's not necessary, but that might help too. Because what happens then is your body when you sit in the chair, you know, and you do it every morning, you know, at 730 before you start your day, let's say and you sit in your chair, your your mind and your body starts to have a habitual response that goes out. You know, here we are sitting in the chair at 730 in the morning must be time to settle down and and, you know, be present and focus.

And so you're training your brain and your body to react to it. particular place and time and location. And that can be really helpful. So you don't have to do that. But it can be helpful. So besides our lessons here, as you start to do some of the homework and the exercises and meditate on your own, you might want to think about that.

But you don't have to you can really meditate anywhere as long as you don't have to have your eyes open. I mean, I meditate on airplanes. I meditate while I'm a passenger in a car. I meditate when I'm traveling when I'm in the, you know, hotel room. There's all different places and times when you can meditate as long as you can sit somewhere and close your eyes. Now you can do with the recordings eventually, I'm going to suggest that you try.

I mean, you don't have to have the recordings you you can do this simple kind of meditation that we just did. You can do it on your own right Need the recording, feel free to use recording but I just want to mention that if you're, you know, out in the woods and it's a beautiful day anyone is sitting on a rock I meditate, you can do that you don't have to have the recording to do it. A few other things I want to say in this lesson before I give you some homework to go try. I want to make some disclaimers. So first of all, I'm not a medical doctor, nor am I a licensed counselor or therapist. So I'm going to talk about the research about health benefits, but you should always check with your doctor about anything, any special conditions you have any questions you have.

Also, as I mentioned, I'm not a licensed therapist. So if you are seeing a therapist, you may want to talk to your therapist about meditation. I do want to say one thing that the is written about sometimes about mindfulness meditation which is If you have PTSD, if you have some trauma events in your past, there are a, it's a very small number of people. But there are a small number of people for whom doing mindfulness meditation is really difficult. Now, let's talk about this for a minute. For all of us, doing mindfulness, meditation can sometimes be uncomfortable.

We're not comfortable, we're feeling agitated, we're restless, we're bored. All of that kind of stuff comes up, especially as we get into, you know, doing it for a little bit more time than just a few minutes. That's perfectly normal. Everybody goes through that. But there's a very, very small percentage of people who have certain, as I said, past traumas or PTSD, that when they start to do mindfulness meditation, they pretty much go into a full blown panic attack. So if that happens to you, you should stop and Perhaps talk to your counselor therapist.

In mindfulness meditation, as I said, may sometimes be uncomfortable, but it should never be painful or really, really scary like that. And in a small, very small percentage of people that can happen in the years that I've been teaching I've so far had that happened to one person that was in one of my in person sessions. And we talked about it and you know, basically, she decided she couldn't do mindfulness meditation at this time. So if you have a full blown panic attack, just stop, stop meditating, and speak to a therapist or a medical professional. For the rest of us, who don't have that kind of background. It, it's, it's fine, it won't hurt you, and you should not be having a really strong reaction like that.

So I just wanted to state that as a disclaimer, okay, so now some homework for you before we go into the next lesson and start doing some different and unusual things with our meditation or at least unusual from what we've done so far, I would like you, if possible to do a five minutes, or even a 10 minute or more depending on what you're feeling meditation just like we've done so far. And so you can use the recordings for that you could use as a five minute recording, there's a 10 minute recording. And there's a 20 minute recording that are all exactly what we've done so far, just a longer period of time, where you're just, you know, breathing and when you get distracted, bring yourself back. So I'd like you to try one of those on your own. One of those recordings now just do the five or the 10, the 15 or the 20.

There's to other recordings, there's a 30 minute and there's a body scan that's called don't do those two yet because those are really different. They involve some different stuff and we haven't gone over those yet. So just do the 510 15 or 20 minutes on your own, and see how it goes. And then after that, come back on, we'll be ready for another lesson.

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