My current meditation practice is a sort of mindfulness meditation: it’s intended as a way of training attention, focus, and self-awareness.
I have started many times in the last ten years or so, and then it faded away only to start again as heard about its benefits in a podcast, article, or book.
My reasons changed over time, and now I’ve settled on its more practical aspects: to be able to observe the state of affairs in my mind, and intervene before it gets too bad. Another reason, which has some overlap with the first one is to be able to keep my emotional balance in difficult conversations. I think I can check off the first one, but I’ve only got partial success on the second — working on it!
Here are some of the more technical aspects of my practice:
- Frequency: I try to do it every day, but I skip a day every now and then, with the most success in the last year or so. I’ve learned to not make an issue about skipping a day or three.
- Time of day: I try to do it in the morning, before starting to work, but when the morning is busy, I do it in the afternoon.
- Duration: In the very beginning started real small, with 2–3 minutes, then 5, then 10, then 15, then gradually grew it to 25 in the last 3 weeks.
- How: I sit comfortably on a chair, spine vertical as if trying to reach the ceiling, breathe in deeply first in the belly and then into the lugs, breathe out in reverse order. Focus on the sensation of breathing.
- Succes criteria:
- Mind feels refreshed, feet and palms warm up.
- Breathing get automatic and rhythmic after a few minutes.
- Forehead is relaxed.
- Time flies.
- Side effects:
- I can get rid of most headaches.
- They say that breathing into the belly gives a nice massage to the internal organs.
- Commitment device: The Seinfeld Strategy.
My initial inspiration probably came from the Zen Habits blog, and the most recent is Nick Wignal’s blog.
I will only recommend one article: How to Start a Mindfulness Practice.