Use Meditation By Mary Jaksch Mindfulness meditation is a simple and effective way to meditate. Whether you want to become calmer, be more present, or simply become grounded, mindfulness meditation will help you. How long should you meditate for? If this is your first experience of meditation, just meditate for short periods of time, maybe 5 to 10 minutes. As you get more experienced, you can lengthen the time you spend meditating to 25 or 30 minutes. Here are seven simple tips that will enhance your experience: #1 Sit upright Upright posture helps the mind to come to rest. You can either sit on the ground with a firm cushion to elevate your backside or sit on a straight-backed chair. The main thing is to keep your spine upright but relaxed. It’s much easier to keep your mind focused if you’re upright. #2 Pay tender regard to your body It’s helpful to connect with your body in order to settle into meditation. Start at your feet and slowly scan the body with your mind. What do your feet feel like? What do you legs feel like? Let the soft light of your attention move slowly through your whole body. #3 Be still When you first start to meditate, you may feel fidgety and may want to adjust your posture constantly. It’s really important to be still physically during meditation. Every time you move, your mind responds with random thoughts. So stay steady and still. #4 Be silent Outer silence helps you to become silent within. In our Western culture, silence has become rare. In order to become still within, make sure that you are in a quiet environment. It’s only when you are still that we can become aware of your mind. #5 Focus on your breath Pay tender regard to your breath flowing in and out. Your breath is a doorway to stillness. Notice what your breath feels like in your nose, chest, and belly. #6 Let go of inner chatter Mindfulness meditation means becoming aware of the present moment, without judgment.Notice your thoughts coming and going. When you notice that you are caught up in an inner dialogue, gently let the story go. # 7 Bring your attention back when it wanders. Gently bring your mind back to your breath whenever it strays into the past or the future. Our mind tends to wander. That’s a natural condition. If you train yourself to gently return your soft attention to the breath, your mind will become steadier. And you will be able to immerse yourself in the present moment. Meditation is a practice. It takes time to learn it. When you first start out, mindfulness meditation will feel strange. And it may be quite a shock to become aware of how often the mind spends time in the past or future – instead of in the present moment. Set yourself a regular schedule, but make sure this schedule is ‘too easy’, and ‘too short’. If you want to create a habit of daily meditation, you’re much more likely to be successful if you treat yourself with kindness and don’t demand the impossible. When you learn to immerse yourself in the present moment – whatever it is like – you will experience a deep joy and peacefulness. As well, meditation has immense health benefits: it strengthens the immune system, lowers your blood pressure and pulse rate, and lifts your mood. Meditation is a wonderful gift to yourself! If you want to start meditating the easy way, CLICK HERE to get the Goodlife ZEN Meditation Guide.