For many of us, the idea of owning our own home is a dream come true. Why? Well it seems that something about possessing this self contained structure provides a sense of safety, bar none. Now I’m not saying that renting a house or even an apartment can’t provide that same feeling. I’m just speaking to the deeply entrenched Western belief that when a person owns their own home, that somehow they’ve arrived.
In this latest Register Guard post, Lisa Freinkel discusses her own experience with meditation and how a mindfulness meditation practice can help a one to discover not the funds to purchase that 3-story Cape Cod in the burbs, but rather, the home within oneself. According to Freinkel, by cultivating that internal home, in times of difficulty, a person is assured a “home base” in which to return
Mindfulness meditation is easy. A good place to start is with 10 or 20 minutes of breath counting. Sit comfortably in a chair with good lumbar support, and set a timer. Draw your attention to the muscles in your abdomen and allow them to relax.
As you do so, begin to pay attention to your breathing. You may be able to notice that your abdomen rises and falls with each breath you take (it’s OK if you don’t notice this at first). Mentally count each in-breath and out-breath.
Count up to 10, then return back to one. Whenever you become aware that your attention has drifted, return awareness back to your breathing and start to count again.
Over time, your breathing will settle and become more “diaphragmatic” — meaning that you stretch the muscle that extends across the bottom of your rib cage, giving more room for your lungs to expand downward. It’s how we breathe in a deep sleep, and it’s calming.
Read more from Frankel on using mindfulness meditation to find your home here.