Meditation: The First Step in the Journey
What better way to begin a journey than with a centering mindfulness meditation. Sitting, even for 5 minutes, is a great way to clear your mind, relieve stress and add clarity to the rest of your day. Just find a quiet place, close your eyes and follow your breath. Many people, including me, count their breaths. Inhale, exhale, count one. Count up to 5 breaths, then start again.
My meditation practice has been hit or miss over the past many years and I plan to rectify that situation in this new chapter of my life. The goal is to meditate daily – even if just for 5 minutes. Start small, it will grow, I promise.
For this evening’s meditation I used an app called Insight Timer. You can find it in the iTunes store or iPad app store. With this app you get access to over 4,000 meditations led by leading instructors, as well as a community of meditators from all over the world.
To narrow down the selection of meditations, Insight Timer has a search function. Additionally, the app organizes its library of meditations by playlists. For tonight’s meditation I went to the “Mindfulness” playlist and found the 28 minute long “Awareness of Breath” by the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic. While the instructor said to sit, either on a chair or on a mat crosslegged, I did it laying down. I think that’s just fine. It was, basically, 28 minutes of breathing, which sounds like it would be a little boring, but you will be surprised, especially during these stressful times, how good it feels to clear your mind from the day’s activities. As I said earlier, even five minutes per day of sitting and focusing attention on your breath can have life-changing effects. Just be consistent, find time to do it every day. Do it for yourself. You deserve it!