Have difficulty meditating? Try this!

Have you attempted and failed at practicing meditation? You are not alone! All of us lead hectic lives and the whole idea of meditating, for the calmness that it is deemed to bring, sounds excellent. However when we sit down, the mind sound can be aggravating, disruptive and totally irritating. Some friends have reported that they have actually stopped meditating since increasing their upset rather than lowering it!

Here is an ancient route for you, practiced by ascetics the world over, it is known as the King of meditations in Sanskrit.

Mahamantra Meditation: Making a sound offers the mind something to concentrate on, so that it is not roaming everywhere. The sound literally muffles all thought! The vibrations of the sound resonate in the body, with the effect of quieting down the mind. This extremely rapidly results in an intense silence within. When you stop the noise, the body/mind/spirit connection as in suspended animation, and quite quiet

Use a location where you will not be disturbed, where you can make noise and not be sidetracked by others or yourself. Sit easily with your back straight either using a chair or, if you want, in the Classic Lotus position. Proceed to hum intensely by making the noise of the letter M – nearly like a bumble bee. Just Mmmmmmm. Make this sound long and loud. Technique making the noise as though you are working out. Do it with strength and concentration. If your mind wanders away, bring it back to the sound. This “exercise” approach keeps your interest engaged. If your consciousness disengages, hum louder! Muffle those thoughts with the sound!

Do the sound meditation for 5- 15 minutes, and then sit quietly with soft music playing in the background. Relax to the tunes.

This mind-calming exercise can cut through mind noise like a dagger through warm butter and render you peaceful, unwinded and in tranquility in an extremely short time. Variants on this meditation consist of changing the noise to a Huuu sound. The Huu sound resonates in a different way and many people report that the pitch changes automatically as they do it. This attunement to the sound/energy flow, provides a sensation of oneness with all. Enjoy!

Note: this is a guest post by Martyn Williams

Martyn Williams is a world record holding extreme explorer, whose life experiences include guiding on Mount Everest, creating the first airline in Antarctica, and teaching enlightenment to monks in India. A yogi, entrepreneur and life coach you can find out more at his web site www.Haritaki.org

Compassion Meditation (aka Metta)

Compassion Meditation (aka Metta) Tutorial from 10% Happier by Dan Harris

At first blush, most rational people find the below off-putting in the extreme.  Trust me – or, better, trust the scientists – it works.

1. This practice involves picturing a series of people and sending them good vibes.  Start with yourself.  Generate as clear a mental image as possible.

2. Repeat the following phrases: May you be happy, May you be healthy, May you be safe, May you live with ease.  Do this slowly.  Let the sentiment land.  You are not forcing your well-wishes on anyone; you’re just offering them up, just as you would a cool drink.  Also, success is not measured by whether you generate any specific emotion.  As Sharon says, you don’t need to feel “a surge of sentimental love accompanied by chirping birds.”  The point is to try.  Every time you do, you are exercising your compassion muscle.  (By the way, if you don’t like the phrases above, you can make up your own.)

3. After you’ve sent the phrases to yourself, move on to: a benefactor (a teacher, mentor, relative), a close friend (can be a pet, too), a neutral person (someone you see often but don’t really ever notice), a difficult person, and, finally, “all beings.”

Walking Meditation

Walking Meditation Tutorial from 10% Happier by Dan Harris

1. Stake out a stretch of ground roughly ten yards long. (That’s somewhat arbitrary – whatever length you’ve got will work.)

2. Slowly pace back and forth, noting: lift, move, place with every stride.  Try your best to feel each component of every stride. (Don’t look at your feet, just look at a neutral point in the distance.)

3. Every time your mind wanders, gently bring it back.

4. There is a temptation to denigrate walking meditation as less serious or rigorous than seated meditation, but this is wrong.  Just because your legs are crossed doesn’t mean you’re meditating more effectively.  As a noted teacher once said, “I’ve seen chickens sitting on their eggs for days on end.”