More on Stage 1
Just tried the first stage of the Mindfulness of Breathing?
Kinda anxious about getting on to stage two?
Okay. Why not consolidate what you’ve already learned, rather than rushing on to do the whole practice as quickly as possible? Heck, the chances are you want to learn to meditate because life is so rushed and hectic, so why not start to relax. What’s the rush? Hang loose!
Try doing the first stage of the practice for a few days. Maybe even try to do it more than once every day. Why not take a few minutes now to plan exactly when you’re going to do it?
We suggest you try five to ten minutes in the morning, and the same in the evening, just before you go to bed. Or maybe a few minutes on your lunch-break? There’s no right or wrong time to meditate, so see what suits you.
So try that for maybe three days, and then come back and learn the second stage. Give that a few days (doing both stages) and then come back again. And so on.
You can also think about touching base with your breathing at various times throughout the day. This could be as simple as taking one full, mindful breath in between activities. Or you might stay in touch with your breathing while you’re having a conversation or listening to a presentation. Instead of sitting on the train or bus, letting your mind wander, or (since we don’t like inactivity these days) checking your text messages, try just paying attention to your breathing. If you’re walking — even if it’s just from the car to the building in which you work, or from your office desk to the bathroom — pay attention to your breathing. The breathing is always there for you to notice. And noticing it will always help calm your mind, at least a little.
Play around with the out-breath. Any time you become aware of the breathing during the day, explore the qualities of the out-breath. Notice how the body lets go every time you exhale. Notice how emotions like relief and contentment relate to exhaling.
While you’re exploring stage one, you can try to answer any questions you have by exploring the site, and explore the links on this page that deal with stage one.