For some, the thought of sitting anywhere for more than 30 minutes makes the hands sweat and the mind spin. The good news, however, is that one can receive benefit from meditation in a relatively short amount of time. Sure, you’re going to have to turn that focus inward and yes, you’ll probably encounter some uncomfortable feelings, sensations, and thoughts before finding that sweet spot within. But the truth is, the payoff might just save your life.
Checkout this recent Sydney Morning Herald post on meditation teacher Andy Puddicombe and his 10 minute meditation practice. According to Puddicombe, the purpose of meditation is to recognize what’s already there within oneself. Using the analogy of clouds blocking a blue sky to symbolize your thoughts and feelings blocking awareness of your essence, Puddicombe offers how meditation helps to part the clouds to see the blue sky of one’s being. Below is his 10 minute meditation instruction.
Practice for meditation
1) Find a place to sit down comfortably, keeping a straight back.
2) Ensure you’ll be left undisturbed (switch off your mobile).
3) Set the timer for 10 minutes.
1) Take five deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth and gently close your eyes.
2) Focus on the physical sensation of the body on the chair and the feet on the floor.
3) Scan down through the body and notice which parts feel comfortable and relaxed, and which parts feel uncomfortable and tense.
4) Notice how you’re feeling – that is, what sort of mood you’re in right now.
Focusing the mind:
1) Notice where you feel the rising and falling sensation of the breath most strongly.
2) Notice how each breath feels, the rhythm of it – whether it’s long or short, deep or shallow, rough or smooth.
3) Gently count the breaths as you focus on the rising and falling sensation – one with the rise and two with the fall, upwards to a count of 10.
4) Repeat this cycle between five and 10 times, or for as long as you have time available.
1) Let go of any focus at all, allowing the mind to be as busy or as still as it wants to be for 20 seconds.
2) Bring the mind back to the sensation of the body on the chair and the feet on the floor.
3) Gently open your eyes and stand up when you feel ready.
Read more on Puddicombe and his 10 minute meditation practice here.