Each of us should make the space and time to practice being Present, being fully in the here and now. Once we disengage from the stream of mental chatter in our mind, we can engage with our Higher Self and bring a little bit more love and peace to this planet.
We are sharing some ideas, exercises and little challenges that we hope will be of help to you to stay calm and balanced. We start with a simple and effective meditation practice.
Tips and Tricks
Meditating is very easy. When you give peace to your mind you manage to put situations in perspective, and you are able to enjoy things more. For that, one doesn’t need to sit for hours with closed eyes on a pillow: If you start to listen to your breath for five minutes every day (instead of the thoughts in your head) it will be enough to help you feel calmer during your daily routine. It’s not necessary to make it an action, something you have to do every day with pressure; simply start and stay with it whenever you naturally remember.
Follow your breath
The breath is a helpful tool to bring your attention to the here and now. Feel how your stomach and ribcage expand and how the breath flows in and out of your nostrils. Follow the exhale and consciously feel how your stomach and ribcage go down. If you want, you can also count your breaths – see how many breaths you can count before your mind wanders off.
Concentrate on your feet
You can integrate a practice of deeper awareness into your everyday life easily, for example, while waiting in line at the store. Simply bring all your attention to your feet and feel their aliveness. If you concentrate on your experience instead of your thoughts, you will be calmer. Your pulse will slow down and the nervous system gets a chance to unwind. Focusing on a single part of the body is a simple and fast way to cool down for a minute in between.
If your intention is to connect to something higher – whatever that may be to you – focus your awareness on the top of your head or in the heart area.
You don’t need a specific pillow or a meditation bench. It is enough to sit on a stool or a couch. Sit in an upright position, put both your feet on the ground – grounding yourself in a strong position lowers the chances are lower that your mind will wander off. Look for a space to sit that is quiet and where nobody will disturb you. Put your phone on silent. Simple focus on the inner body, the feeling of aliveness in every part, the breath, the birds outside.
Whenever you get lost in the mind, don’t worry – gently correct yourself and focus back on the experience of the Now. When emotions arise, allow them, but at the level of the body, not the level of the mind. No need to get frustrated. Thoughts will come, but the moment you catch them, you are already observing them from the outside, creating more consciousness in you being. In Zen meditation, the eyes can be half-open, fixed on a point on the floor in front of you. This can help in keeping you alert.
Try it with a guide
Sometimes it can be helpful if someone guides you through the mediation. The most important thing for selecting the right guide is that you feel comfortable with the voice of the person. We have collected some apps that we like. Send us a message and we will send you our list.
Note how it feels
It can be helpful to create an imprint in your consciousness of what it is like to be in Presence. Over time, an accumulation of these experiences will strengthen your practice.
Stop reading for a moment and close your eyes and focus on this very moment.
What you feel in your body?
How do you feel?
What do you smell? What do you hear?
Do not give any attention to your thoughts, but focus with all your senses on the here and now. Your thoughts will wander off on a certain point. At the moment when thoughts arise, pull your attention gently back to the here and now.
Thoughts often disappear if you bring the focus back on your breathing. When you are free from thoughts, how does it feel?
Look for integration
The most important thing with these small exercises is to start! A small amount of discipline is required, and it can be helpful if you pick certain moments in the day in which you apply this and try to be fully present.
Ask yourself: How can I integrate this awareness in my current everyday life? What can I do regularly to come back to the here and now? Maybe you can apply these practices at certain times of the day, like when you brush your teeth or when you have your tea break in the morning.