This TM101 Twenty-Minute Guided Meditation technique was developed by Gene Teglovic, author of Thought Management 101: Wake Up and Be Happy. It is a simple way to relieve stress, become more aware of your thoughts, and begin to experience the spiritual dimensions of your existence. This technique can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, at any time, and does not require formal instruction. Read the free instructions below to get started.
Regardless of your personal view of meditation or spiritual beliefs, the act of quieting the mind with regular meditation can result in amazing physical and emotional benefits. This has been scientifically proven, and I have personally reaped the rewards of a regular meditation practice over the years.
Many of my friends and family members think they cannot meditate. They think their minds are too active or they can't sit still for long. They simply don't see the need, or think they are "doing it wrong" and give up. This is because they look at meditation as a means to an end rather than just a simple way of "be-ing."
There are hundreds of meditation techniques. Some are simple, and others elaborate. To begin the practice of meditation, a simple technique is in order.
The simple meditation process described here has no "right or wrong" associated with it. There is no goal or expected result, other than to introduce you to an easy way of observing your thoughts and being with yourself for a short period of time. This is the best way to start a meditation practice.
To prepare keep the following in mind:
1. There is no pressure or expectation to achieve a specific result.
2. The only goal of this practice is to sit and observe thoughts.
3. If your mind wanders, that's fine. Your thoughts are like a river, and damming the river only creates more thoughts. Don't struggle against the flow.
4. When you sit, you will eventually become aware of a part of yourself that is not your body or your thoughts; this is the silent observer. Try to nurture that part of your existence during this exercise.
5. Several things could happen during this meditation. You could fall asleep. Your internal dialog could be so active that you never quiet down. Or your mind could become quieter. Any of these phenomena are fine. Just be with whatever takes place.
Follow these steps:
1. Find a place where you won't be interrupted for 20 minutes. In the beginning it's best to choose a place that's quiet.
2. Sit comfortably with your back straight. If you sit back too far or lie down, you are more prone to falling asleep.
3. After you've taken your seat, close your eyes and be aware of your breath. Place your awareness on your nostrils where your breath is coming in and out.
4. Right away you most likely will notice your thoughts wandering. You'll think about what's most prevalent on your mind at the moment. That's fine and natural. When it happens, do not try to stop the thoughts. Rather, gently remind yourself that you are meditating and observe the thoughts. Don't analyze them; simply watch them go by.
5. Cultivate the silent observer. Who is doing the watching of the thought? Who is thinking the thought? That person is different than the thoughts themselves.
6. Constantly bring your attention back to your breath, gently. If you get caught inside the thoughts instead of observing them, gently go back to the breath. Don't force it.
7. If you find yourself starting to doze off, take a few deep deliberate breaths and return to the process of watching your thoughts. If you are really tired, stop and take a nap, then try again later.
8. Don't worry about things that distract you. Little noises will be in your environment. That's fine. For example: Kids are making noise. Ah, there's noise. Just another thought. Observe how you are thinking about the noise. Traffic. Refrigerator running. Back to the breath. Gently. Back to the breath. Gently.
9. Continue for 20 minutes.
When finished try reflecting on some of these points:
1. Did I sense an observer that was not my thoughts?
2. What is really, really on my mind? How important is it? Are those thoughts serving me?
3. Who is the watcher? The watcher is not the thought.
4. Who is the thinker of the thought? The thinker is not the thought.
5. Who is behind the thought? It is more than the "me" I am used to thinking about.
6. Who am I in this body? I have a body. I have a mind. They're both a lot of fun. But at the moment I am much more interested in that silent observer who is watching it all go by. Who is that? Where did he/she come from? Where was he/she before I was born? Where will he/she go when I die? I don't think he/she has a name. It may not even be a "he or she" - perhaps more of an "it." It is connected to that which created you, me, and everything.
7. Where do my thoughts come from? Do I have any originality or is it all just a swirl of cosmic soup for me to cook?
8. Perhaps I am connected to the universal database. Perhaps I can access it outside the bounds of my limited body and mind.
9. I cannot have a feeling that is not preceded by a thought. No one can. My feelings may seem automatic, but indeed they are not.
10. I have been preconditioned to think a certain way. Why? I may never know why, but perhaps my nature, my nurture, my past lives, and my ability to learn and grow wiser are factors. Can I break the mold?
11. Why do I do what I do? Why do I feel what I feel? Why does anyone do anything?
12. Am I avoiding pain and seeking pleasure? Could I be caught in a spiral? Is that spiral different than true happiness and joy?
13. If I cannot have a feeling without a preceding thought, and if I cannot take an action without a preceding thought, then it seems very useful to think about what I've been thinking about.
Repeat this process daily, and eventually you'll be ready for a more formal technique. You will also find yourself more aware of your thoughts instead of letting them lead you around. This can be very powerful.
While meditation is an excellent daily practice, you will still need to pay attention to your thoughts to the best of your ability in everyday life, when you do not have the ability to stop what you are doing and meditate. Put your attention on your breath any time you remember to do so during your day, and this will help you get to the observer, if only for a brief time.