How to start mindfulness meditation?
First, you need to work out why you want to meditate, think carefully about this, and make sure you avoid falling into any ego traps of self-gratification and grasping after different states of mind. Remember that mindfulness meditation is not about achieving anything it is about being in the present moment without any judgment toward what is going inside your mind and body as well as things going on in the outside world.
Make your reason for practicing meditation soft, kind, and non-striving. For example, because this is good for my wellbeing, or this supports positive mental health, or it teaches me to respond with kindness in the world.The next step is to tell yourself what you will be doing throughout your practice. Again, something simple like, I am going to sit here for the next 10 minutes and practice this meditation. By doing this we tell our active mind what is happening, and it can help to settle yourself down.
These two stages are called setting your motivation and intention before you practice, in time it becomes natural and normal to do and after some time your mind will be automatically doing it. It will know the routine.If you fail to do this at the beginning your mind may find it hard to settle and be too distracted, ultimately you might just give up. We don’t that do we?
You can sit however you like, but not slouching with bad posture. Once settled into a posture which is not too tight and not too soft you can start to regulate your breathing for the first few minutes. This is important because it starts to affect the parasympathetic nervous system and the body can begin to relax. Counting up to 4 or 5 on the in breath and the same on the out breath with your eyes slightly closed and looking down towards the tip of your nose with a loose focus. If you are not keen on the counting you can create your own phrases like, I am breathing in, I am breathing out.
Do this for several minutes and then gradually let the breathing become natural, as your body wants to breath. This part of the routine aims absorb your mind with mindful activity and slows down its tendency to always be looking for things to think about. If your mind is busy then learn to allow the thoughts to be there in the background, we are not trying to push anything away and softly focusing on your breathing in the foreground.