continued from part 1

What you can expect to happen:

As you practice Anapana Meditation, you will notice that it will be very difficult to stay focused on the simple task of observing your breath. Thoughts will spontaneously pop up and beg for your attention. Your mind will wander towards past events, or things that you anticipate happening in the future.

This is normal. This is the nature of the mind that we are all born with.Buddha_Homer-876x1024

What to do when your mind won’t shut up.

  • First fully acknowledge the existence of the thought. Practice dealing with these thoughts without judgment as a best as possible.

Resistance, frustration, or judgment, though usually our default reaction when confronted with an undesired outcome, will only lead to a more turbulent mind. This is because inner peace can only be achieved from a complete loving acceptance of the present reality as it is.

  • Next, try to gently let it go of the thought as best as possible with a knowingness that you have full control over where to place your mental focus. Thoughts are just spontaneous occurrences and not a definition of who you are.
  • Be patient. Combat a drifting mind by returning to the present. Refocus all mental attention to the sensations of breathing. The breath is an anchor to the present moment. Although you can intellectually understand that you are breathing every moment of your life, you can only truly experience breathing when you pay attention to it. You can only breathe now.

You may experience a still mind, a restoration of the natural elongated breath, and a calm body. But then again, you may not. Meditation isn’t about relaxation, although relaxation is often a by-product of the practice. Anapana, and meditation in general, is a tool. It’s an ability to have a focused, nonjudgemental observation of your current state of mind. Nonjudgemental observation leads to nonjudgemental acceptance of reality. Acceptance leads to peace.

Scuba Meditation

Start with just 2 minutes a day. Set aside this time to be absolutely still with no distractions and no expectations. As you meditate, observe every sensation with a child-like curiosity as best as possible. You’re studying and learning about yourself and how your mind and body function.

With practice, up the meditation time, and you’ll soon find yourself having longer periods of great focus. Every meditation will help sharpen your mind, but the growth will not always be perfectly linear. You will have good sessions and bad sessions. The trick is to not be attached to any result. Attachment leads to expectation, and expectations make it difficult to find presence. This is because having an expectation means that you are allowing your ego to dictate how things need to be. Such inflexibility creates resistance to how things truly are now.

Be still and find your Truth.

Photo Sources: 1, 2