4 Meditation Techniques That Really Work
Martial artists may understand better than most the value of mental preparation, but they aren't alone. Anybody from a white-belt karate student to a blue-collar construction worker would do well to take some time out of their busy schedules and mentally prepare for their day, week, or month.
Even if you don't totally buy into the the whole 'centering one's energy through Mudra' techniques, it's hard not to see the value in just taking a few minutes out of the day to rest one's mind. Continue reading to learn these 4 techniques.
In his book, Mind Fist, Dr. Lung lists the following techniques as aides and techniques for making the most of meditation:
#1 Flower Breathing - As one of the most important factors of meditation, it's no surprise that Dr. Lung should begin by emphasizing the necessity of proper breathing. According to the good doctor, too many people spend their days not breathing as they should.
As he explains: "(Re)learning to breathe correctly is no mystery. Simply inhale as if you are smelling a flower." This fully drawn 'flower breath' should be held for a solid three-count, then released. The full exhale should be natural and steady.
The process should be repeated for as long as necessary (often a few minutes is all that will be needed to calm a frazzled mind). Even a few short minutes a day can offer a world of relief.
#2 The "Furthest Away Sound" Meditation - This next step is intended to be used (time permitting) after a good flower breathing warm-up. It's also far from complicated. As you can probably gather from the name, one simply starts by closing their eyes and listening to the sound that appears to be the farthest away.
While the first sound one chooses to focus on may actually be fairly close (the next room, for example), the next step is to "push" one's sense of hearing farther out. Perhaps faint sounds of traffic or an airplane in the distance will make themselves known.
This can be a great exercise for building concentration and can actually make you much more aware of your immediate surroundings.
#3 "Breath Counting" Meditation - Another relaxation breathing technique, the breath counting mediation takes the flower breathing method a step further.
As Dr. Lung explains: "Close your eyes an observe the in-and-out flow of your breath. "Flower breathe" in while mentally counting "one". After comfortably holding your breath for a few seconds, slowly empty your lungs while counting "two". Inhale again counting "three," hold, and exhale to the count of "four." If your mind wanders and you lose count, simply begin again with a "one" count. Even five minutes of concentration on this meditation has a calming effect.
#4 "No-Mind" Meditation - As with the others, begin by several rounds of flower breathing.
"Now clear your mind of all thoughts and distractions by mentally repeating the phrase "no-mind". Whenever other thoughts intrude, crossing your mind, gently draw your mind back by again repeating "no-mind"."
Dr. Lung goes on to suggest even speaking the words "no-mind" out loud if necessary until the mind is focused enough to allow for silent recital once more.
So there you have it. Four simple techniques that anybody can use to get started on the road to clearer thinking. As mentioned earlier, you don't even have to be a hard-core, incense-lighting, meditation fanatic to benefit from these tips. Everybody has (at least) one point during their hectic day where all they need are a few deep breaths.
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