Meditation is the realization of this moment. The “practice of meditation” is the sitting down to work on this before it becomes fully natural to live that way. To abstract it further, we can use anchors such as counting, visualization, and pointed awareness to help bring our attention to our breath.
I’d like you to stay as present as possible during this talk, but I will be talking much more than a normal guided meditation, hence the “sort of” in the title. I want to show you different ways to meditate and use ideas to help find stillness. Please look for other guided meditations as there are many good ones out there.
Set the intention of spending this time to work with your mind and thoughts. Be committed during your practice time to coming back to your experience, back to your breath no matter what thoughts arise.
Stillness is the quality of listening. Notice when we start adding thought, or content, and see how that is not listening. When we notice this, we come back to our breath and pay attention, or “listen” to the moment. That is the quality of meditation.
Work with counting. We learn to use anchors until stillness is loud enough within us. So we place our thinking on something we can see, and judge (counting). Count on the in breath for a while, then the out breath for a while, then both. This is also a good way to time yourself if you don’t have a clock. You can commit to a certain number of breaths.
Be sure to notice and work with the energy underneath the breath. We mentioned that everything is in the breath, all sounds, etc. The breath is really just a link to what is. Open to the energy underneath the breath.
Work with closed eyes, and finding a sensation, then watch opening our eyes and trying to hold that sensation. Did it go away? The content changed, can we hold onto that stillness, that sensation?
A more mature practice is just breath, then thinking, then breath. We come back again and again as we think. We start by learning the landscape of thought.
Another anchor is shifting attention to something small, like just the opening of the mouth and nose while breathing. Later we open it to the bigger full breath from mouth to stomach and back out. Eventually we can start to move the energy all around the body. We’ll discuss that more in another talk.
I mentioned that there are things that help practicing meditation. Committing to a certain area, and using a seat and timer can be a help. One place online to buy meditation gear is Amida: http://www.ami-da.com.
Lastly, we don’t need to spend a lot of time meditating. Just a few minutes is useful to bring us back to center. Sitting in the morning and evening for three to five minutes can have a profound affect on your life. I call it bookending your day with meditation.[audio:https://s3.amazonaws.com/robscott-audio/GuidedMeditationSortOf.mp3]