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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

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Relax Your Thoughts

In this meditation, we'll practice stepping back from our thoughts, letting them come and go, so that they (or we) start to settle and relax.

Today, we're going to work with relaxing our thoughts. So if you haven't already done so, you can find a comfortable posture. And invite the eyes to close, if that feels okay for you. But you don't have to. Sometimes closing the eyes when we're anxious can make us more anxious.

So do what feels comfortable for you. We'll start by tuning into the sound of the bell. Let's take a nice deep breath together. In through the nose. And slowly out through the mouth.

Inviting the jaw to soften, so that the teeth are no longer clenched. Letting the shoulders be at ease, as much as they're willing to be. And letting the belly soften. And any other part of the body that might be holding tension or gripping in even the slightest or subtlest of ways. We'll settle our attention on our breathing, similar to what we did yesterday.

And if you want to place one hand on your belly, you can. Now a lot of times when we're experiencing anxiety, our thoughts are all over the place and they can feel really powerful and strong, like they have control over us. The tendency is to push those thoughts or to change them or get rid of them, or to get mad at them. We're going to practice something different here. Instead of pushing them, we're just going to watch them as if we were watching cars driving down the highway or watching clouds pass through the sky.

So when you're ready, just start to notice what thoughts are moving through your mind right now. No matter how anxious or nervous or worrisome they may be, you're just kind of watching them. Just another thought. Just another cloud. Letting your body be totally at ease.

And noticing how you can feel that sense of groundedness while your thoughts do whatever they're going to do, worrying about this or that. And you just get to go, Oh, there's another thought. Hmm. There's another thought. You can even smile at them as they pass.

What is it like to be an observer to your thinking rather than caught in your thinking? If the thoughts represent the waves on top of the ocean, we're just sinking down a little deeper into the sea. So that we can look up and sort of see the waves, but where we are is much deeper and more settled. In a moment I will ring the bells to close our meditation, and when I do just bring your full presence and focus to the sound until it dissolves back into silence. And if your eyes have been closed, you're welcome to open them now. And you did a great job today.

So this might've been a new technique for you, a new way of relating to your thoughts. As you go throughout your day and you notice these thoughts moving through the mind, see if you can create just a little bit of space with them. Not pushing them, not fighting them, but just watching them as if they were clouds passing through the sky, or as if you were eavesdropping on someone else's conversation. Try this out. You could come back to this meditation again today.

Until then, take care.

Meditation

4.4

Relax Your Thoughts

In this meditation, we'll practice stepping back from our thoughts, letting them come and go, so that they (or we) start to settle and relax.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Today, we're going to work with relaxing our thoughts. So if you haven't already done so, you can find a comfortable posture. And invite the eyes to close, if that feels okay for you. But you don't have to. Sometimes closing the eyes when we're anxious can make us more anxious.

So do what feels comfortable for you. We'll start by tuning into the sound of the bell. Let's take a nice deep breath together. In through the nose. And slowly out through the mouth.

Inviting the jaw to soften, so that the teeth are no longer clenched. Letting the shoulders be at ease, as much as they're willing to be. And letting the belly soften. And any other part of the body that might be holding tension or gripping in even the slightest or subtlest of ways. We'll settle our attention on our breathing, similar to what we did yesterday.

And if you want to place one hand on your belly, you can. Now a lot of times when we're experiencing anxiety, our thoughts are all over the place and they can feel really powerful and strong, like they have control over us. The tendency is to push those thoughts or to change them or get rid of them, or to get mad at them. We're going to practice something different here. Instead of pushing them, we're just going to watch them as if we were watching cars driving down the highway or watching clouds pass through the sky.

So when you're ready, just start to notice what thoughts are moving through your mind right now. No matter how anxious or nervous or worrisome they may be, you're just kind of watching them. Just another thought. Just another cloud. Letting your body be totally at ease.

And noticing how you can feel that sense of groundedness while your thoughts do whatever they're going to do, worrying about this or that. And you just get to go, Oh, there's another thought. Hmm. There's another thought. You can even smile at them as they pass.

What is it like to be an observer to your thinking rather than caught in your thinking? If the thoughts represent the waves on top of the ocean, we're just sinking down a little deeper into the sea. So that we can look up and sort of see the waves, but where we are is much deeper and more settled. In a moment I will ring the bells to close our meditation, and when I do just bring your full presence and focus to the sound until it dissolves back into silence. And if your eyes have been closed, you're welcome to open them now. And you did a great job today.

So this might've been a new technique for you, a new way of relating to your thoughts. As you go throughout your day and you notice these thoughts moving through the mind, see if you can create just a little bit of space with them. Not pushing them, not fighting them, but just watching them as if they were clouds passing through the sky, or as if you were eavesdropping on someone else's conversation. Try this out. You could come back to this meditation again today.

Until then, take care.

Meditation

4.4

Duration

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