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Meditation
By Anastasia

Meditation is conscious relaxation, a way to observe your mind, as opposed to succumbing to its constant fluctuations. The mind is always working, thinking about today's lunch, yesterday's argument at work, bills to pay and phone calls to make. The key to meditating is to not be carried away by those thoughts; watching them come and watching them go instead.

Regular meditation helps to develop a sharper and more single-pointed focus. It's been proven to make its practitioners calmer.

Try to establish a daily meditation practice. Meditating at the same time every day helps to train your mind and the best times to meditate are usually the morning right after waking up or in the evening before going to bed.

There are many ways to meditate and different techniques work better for different people. I teach what works the best for me.

First, buy an alarm clock, so that you wouldn't have to worry about time. Sit on the floor in a comfortable cross-legged position. You can sit on a blanket to support your hips and let them open up more to the sides. You can also sit on a regular chair, if you aren't used to sitting on the floor with a straight back for extended periods of time.

Set your alarm clock to five minutes for a start. In a few days, increase that to ten minutes and then keep increasing the time until you reach thirty minutes a day.

Place your palms on your knees. Keep your back straight and perpendicular to the floor. Breathe deeply through the nose. Hear your breath. At this point, thoughts will try to get into your mind. Try not to go with the thought flow; you'd be able to do that just a few minutes later. Right now it's time to relax. Don't force yourself not to think – acknowledge and observe your thoughts instead. Watch your thoughts, but let them go.

Since meditation is prolonged concentration, it's time to choose your object of focus. It can simply be your breath. Without breathing in any particular way, observe the breath entering your nostrils, descending to your belly and gradually coming out of your nose. You can pick a mantra as an object of concentration. It can be something as simple as a word you enjoy, such as "love" or "peace" or "joy." Whenever you feel the thought arising, draw your mental attention back to the chosen word.

Or it can be the universal sound, OM. Draw your attention to the intuition pulse zone, the point between your eyebrows. Mentally repeat “Om.” Anytime a thought enters your mind, mentally say: “OM.” When the alarm clock rings, chant “Om.”

Write about your experience in meditation journal: it would help you to monitor your progress.

Enjoy!