20 minutes is about the ideal time for deep meditation
Although when you’re starting off, you may want to meditate for a shorter period, say 5 – 10 minutes.
But aim to build up to 20 minutes.
Also, the room you’re in should be dark or have very low lighting as it’ll be easier to achieve deep meditation.
You’ll need a timer. (You can use the one your mobile phone).
Then, get a straight-backed chair such as a kitchen chair or an office type chair.
But don’t use an armchair as it’ll be too easy to fall asleep.
Beginning your meditation
Set your timer.
Sit in your chair, close your eyes, place your hands in your lap and take a deep breath.
Now, as you breathe out allow your shoulders to drop down and relax.
Repeat this breathing and relaxing another 2 times.
Then focus on either your right or left hand – whichever is dominant.
When I say focus I mean “feel”.
You focus on your hands so that you can “feel” them.
Why is it important to feel your hands?
Because when you can “feel” your hands (or any part of your body) you’re in the present moment – not lost in memories of the past or thoughts of the future.
But you’re in the here-and-now.
Why should you focus on your hands especially?
You focus on your hands because you’re more deeply connected to them than the rest of your body.
And it’s easier, at least in the beginning stages of your meditation journey, than focusing on your feet for example.
Also, if you’re right-handed you’ll be more connected to your right hand.
And if you’re left-handed you’ll be more connected to your left hand.
So start-off with your dominant hand.
Now, either dim the lights, or turn the lights off completely as it’ll make your meditation easier.
Concentrate on your right hand (or left, if you’re a lefty) on your lap.
Try to “feel” your hand.
Focus on just your thumb. Try to “feel” your thumb.
If you have trouble feeling it, just move it a bit. Then stop moving it and try to feel it again.
When you can feel it, keep focusing on it and you’ll notice it getting warm, or you may experience a tingling sensation.
Either way, you want to increase the sensation of warmth or tingling.
When you can focus on your thumb and really feel it, then move your concentration to your first finger.
Repeat the process and focus on your first finger just as you did with the thumb.
Take your time and really “feel” your first finger.
Then, move onto your second finger and all your other fingers in turn.
And then start back at your thumb again.
Continue this until you can feel each finger and then do the same on your other hand starting with your thumb.
When you’ve done it on your other hand then concentrate on the middle of your forehead.
Now it starts to get bit complicated – but take your time.
You don’t have to do it all in one session – you can break it down into as many as you need.
So, you concentrate on the middle of your forehead as if it were a window and you’re “looking” out through the window into the darkness in your mind.
When you “look” through the middle of your forehead in a darkened room you’ll see darkness.
But it’s not totally dark, even if the room is completely dark.
There’s usually some light in the darkness. And this is what I want you to look at.
But when I say “look” I don’t mean to look with your eyes as if you were straining to see something in the distance.
But rather you “look” with your mind.
For example, think of a tree – you can “see” the tree with your mind not your eyes.
So, continue to look through the middle of your forehead as if looking through a window.
Now, at the same time go back to concentrating on your dominant hand.
Focus on your thumb – try to feel it.
Now you’re doing 2 things at the same time – looking through the middle of your forehead and concentrating on your thumb.
Actually, your attention will tend to switch from your hand to your forehead and back to your hand again.
But this is perfectly ok.
When you can “feel” your thumb, move your concentration to your first finger.
Then continue with each finger in turn, all the time concentrating on the middle of your forehead as if looking through a window.
When you’ve “felt” each finger on your dominant hand, do the same on your other hand.
Now, when you’ve “felt” each finger on your other hand you then concentrate on both hands together.
Start-off with both of your thumbs – become aware of both thumbs so that you can feel them.
Then concentrate on each pair of fingers in turn still looking through the middle of your forehead.
You may find it easier to join your hands together whilst they’re resting in your lap.
- So your left thumb is touching your right thumb,
- your left 1st finger is touching your right 1st finger,
- your left 2nd finger is touching your right 2nd finger,
- your left 3rd finger is touching your right 3rd finger
- and your left little finger is touching your right little finger.
Now, concentrate on your thumbs – feel the pressure at the point where they meet.
Concentrate on that point until you can “feel” your thumbs.
Then move your concentration onto your 1st fingers.
Repeat for all pairs of fingers.
And then come back to your thumbs again.
Now, as you’re doing your meditation a thought may pop up.
It could be a recent thought or it could be a memory from your distant past.
Watch the thought by looking through the middle of your forehead, without making any judgement, positive or negative.
Watch the thought as if you were a distant, uninvolved observer.
If you get lost in a thought (which you eventually will), you’ll forget to be aware of your fingers and your forehead.
But when you realise this, you’ll immediately snap back to awareness and you’ll continue concentrating on them again.
So your meditation will usually start out by you being aware of your hands and forehead.
Then becoming lost in a thought. Realising that you’re lost and coming back to awareness.
Then getting lost again; and so it goes – it’s a constant battle.
But every now and then you may experience the quiet-mind-state.
The quiet-mind-state is where the constant chatter of your mind is silent.
And your mind is quiet and still like the surface of a lake on a windless day.
When your timer goes off don’t jump up out of your chair straight away.
Open your eyes, and look around the room.
You may feel a bit different, so allow a couple of minutes to adjust before standing up.
How do you feel?
- Are you less stressed than when you began?
- Do you feel more aware?
- Are you more relaxed?
But this is not merely relaxation but deep meditation
And, unlike relaxation, deep meditation can transform you, change you, improve you like no other practice under the sun.