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The Meditation Beginner's Bible

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The Meditation Beginner’s Bible

How to Meditate to Relieve Stress, Find Inner Peace, and Live Happier

Copyright © 2015 by Tai Morello

Shakespir Edition

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 – What is meditation?

Chapter 2 – The Benefits of Meditation

Chapter 3 – Your Brain On Meditation

Chapter 4 – 9 Common Meditation Myths

Chapter 5 – 6 Common Obstacles to Meditation

Chapter 6 – How to Meditate – Different Meditation Techniques

Chapter 7 – 6 Tips for Better Meditation

Chapter 8 – Turning Meditation into a Habit

Conclusion

Bonus: Free Guided Meditation Series (5 Audiobooks)

Preview of The Mindfulness Beginner’s Bible

Chapter 1 – What is mindfulness?

Chapter 2 – The Power of the Present Moment

[]Introduction

From the outside meditation can seem like an esoteric, mystical endeavor exclusively reserved to enlightened monks and spiritual adepts. This could not be further from the truth. Meditation is not only accessible to anyone, it is extremely easy to learn and the benefits are only a few minutes away. In fact, a study by Dr Fadel Zeidan at Wake Forest Medical Center has shown only 80 minutes of meditation to be more effective for pain relief than even morphine.

In this book you will learn exactly why many highly successful people like Russell Simons, Arianna Huffington, Oprah Winfrey and Hugh Jackman set aside time off their busy schedules to engage in the life-changing practice of meditation.

Meditation can seem a bit daunting at first, especially if, like most of us, you’re always up in your head, constantly dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. However, the moment you recognize that meditation is not about trying to empty your mind, but rather about observing your thoughts as they come and go without energizing them, you begin to awaken and meditation becomes the most blissful, transformative moment of the day.

This book will show you how to instill simple meditation techniques into your daily routine, inevitably leading you to a more successful, happier and healthier life.

Thanks for downloading this book – you are about to embark on a journey that will bring you back to the state of peace, joy and happiness you were born to inhabit.

[]Chapter 1 – What is meditation?

The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this lifetime.”

Sogyal Rinpoche

The word meditation and the word medicine come from the same Latin root “medicus” which means to cure. In the same way medicine cures sickness that exists inside the physical body by restoring it to a healthy state, meditation cures sickness that exists within the mind by returning it to its natural state of peace, joy and happiness.

But how does the mind become sick? Well, in our modern society most of us suffer from what we call compulsive thinking. We have this inner voice that is constantly thinking, ruminating the past, worrying about the future, and hence we never fully experience the present moment.

Take a few seconds right now and become aware of your breathing. Observe the changing sensations of your breath as you inhale and then exhale. Be aware of your lungs filling and emptying themselves. Become one with your breath and notice the subtle gap between your incoming and outcoming breath – let yourself completely dissolve into the activity of breathing.

If you did this little exercise, I bet you noticed your mind becoming a bit more still. When you rest your attention on your breath, you effectively step away from the chaotic impulses of the mind and you connect to your true Self – that eternal part of you that is beyond the ephemeral, ever-wavering physical realm.

Meditation is essentially a vehicle for accessing a higher level of consciousness that is beyond thought, where you are reconnected to your deepest self, your true nature of joy, peace and happiness. When you meditate, you effectively increase your level of self-awareness and you awaken to the things that are beyond thought – love, beauty, peace… This cannot be rationalized intellectually; however it can be experienced when you bring stillness into your mind.

Moreover, meditation does not require effort. As mentioned earlier, it is not about trying to empty your mind. Spiritual leader Deepak Chopra puts it beautifully: “Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50 000 thoughts the average person thinks everyday.”

When you practice meditation, you gain control over your mind, you break the cycle of seeking stimulation from the external world and you learn to draw your state from within. Meditation is truly a transformative experience that can have profound effects not just on your mind, but on virtually every aspect of your life – your body, relationships, health and even your career.

[]Chapter 2 – The Benefits of Meditation

“Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had.”

Ray Dalio

Over the past decade, a vast amount of scientific research has been carried out to investigate the benefits of meditation for the human mind and body. The National Institute of Health has spent over $100 million toward research on meditation, and nowadays it seems like new studies professing the benefits of meditation are emerging everyday.

As a result of the various scientific discoveries on the benefits of meditation, a growing number of hospitals and medical centers are now teaching meditation to patients in order to address various health ailments, relieve pain and fight stress. For example, one famous meditation program called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, which was created in 1979 by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn has become so popular that it is now offered in over 200 medical centers around the world.

One remarkable example of the effectiveness of meditation for pain relief is shown in a study conducted by Dr Fadel Zeidan at the Wake Forest Medical Center in North Carolina. In the study, 15 people who had never practiced meditation attended four, 20-minute mindfulness meditation classes. The participants’ brain activity was examined before and after the training using magnetic resonance imaging. During both scans, they were exposed to a pain-inducing heat device. The results were impressive: After the training, the participant’s pain intensity was reduced by about 40% and their pain unpleasantness by around 57%: 80 minutes of meditation was more effective than pain relieving drugs like morphine, which normally reduces pain by about 25%.

Meditation has also become popular in the corporate world, with some leading companies like Google providing meditation classes to their employees to relieve stress, improve focus and boost productivity. The search giant even took it a step further by building a labyrinth to encourage the practice of walking meditation. Moreover, Google is not the only company that is embracing meditation. In fact, other big corporations like Apple, Nike, Yahoo, McKinsey & Co… have all brought meditation to their workplaces in an endeavor to keep employees happy and productive.

Even schools are now adopting meditation to make kids calmer and more focused. Youth meditation program are being installed everywhere in the US, England, Canada and India. In 2014, Educational Psychology Review examined 15 peer-reviewed studies on meditation in schools and concluded that the practice had a myriad of positive effects on students, such as lessened anxiety, increased focus and stronger friendships.

Over 3,000 scientific studies have now been conducted on the benefits of meditation and the truth is practicing meditation has so many benefits that I could not list them all in this book. So here are 53 noteworthy benefits of developing a regular meditation practice:

Health Benefits

● Lowers blood pressure more effectively than medication

● Relieves pain more effectively than morphine

● Slows the progression of HIV

● Helps prevent fibromyalgia and arthritis

● Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s

● Reduces risk of heart disease and stroke

● Provides rest deeper than sleep

● Helps recover from addiction

● Improves cardiovascular function

● Relieves irritable bowel syndrome

● Increases energy levels

● Slows down the aging process

● Improves athletic performance

● Improves quality of sleep

● Improves fertility

● Decreases muscle tension

● Improves skin tone

● Increases air flow to the lungs

● Boosts the immune system

● Reduces inflammation

Mental and Emotional Benefits

● Improves attention, focus and ability to work under pressure

● Helps manage ADHD

● Improves intelligence and memory

● Improves critical thinking and decision-making

● Fosters creativity

● Slows down cognitive decline

● Builds composure and calm in all situations

● Increases brain connectivity

● Improves mental strength

● Improves sex life

● Cultivates willpower

● Boosts cognitive function

● Increases grey matter in the hippocampus and frontal areas of the brain

● Helps manage emotional eating

● Promotes good mood

● Improves working memory and executive functioning

● Helps beat depression

● Reduces stress and anxiety

● Improves emotional stability

● Fosters empathy and positive relationships

● Decreases feelings of nervousness

● Reduces social isolation

● Enhances feelings of happiness and vitality

● Improves communication with other people

● Develops a sense of calm and serenity

Spiritual Benefits

● Enhances self-awareness

● Fosters peace of mind, happiness and joy

● Increases self-acceptance

● Boosts self-compassion

● Increases self-esteem

● Develops intuition

● Builds wisdom

● Increases capacity for love

[]Chapter 3 – Your Brain On Meditation

In meditation, I can let go of everything. I’m not Hugh Jackman. I’m not a dad. I’m not a husband. I’m just dipping into that powerful source that creates everything…”

Hugh Jackman

Meditation’s incredible effects on the human brain have been proclaimed by yogis for centuries, and modern science is now just catching up with several studies now showing how meditation actually changes the physical structure of the brain.

First, practicing meditation alters our brain waves. To understand how, let’s dive into the main categories of brain waves:

● Gamma Waves (30 – 100 Hz): Associated with hyperactivity, learning and information retention.

● Beta Waves (13 – 30 Hz): Where we function most of the time. The beta state is associated with conscious thought and external focus.

● Alpha Waves (8 – 13Hz): This is the state where we slow down and begin to step out of the chaotic impulses of the mind. We become more calm, peaceful and grounded.

● Theta waves (4 – 8Hz): This is a meditative state where we move into a deeper level of awareness. It is also associated with subconscious creativity and deep relaxation.

● Delta waves (1 – 3Hz): This is the final state of profound awareness that enlightened monks can reach while still being alert and awake. Most of us can only reach the delta state during sleep. It is associated with deep unconscious, intuition and insight.

When you meditate, you are effectively shifting your brain waves from higher frequencies to lower frequencies. During a meditation session, you typically travel from a beta state of conscious thought to an alpha state and then to the theta state where you experience deep peace and stillness of the mind. As you exit your meditation, you gradually travel back to the beta state feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the challenges of life with more serenity.

Moreover, practicing meditation affects different areas of your brain in the following fashion:

The Frontal lobe

Responsible for logic, planning, emotions and self-consciousness. The frontal lobe tends to deactivate during meditation.

The Parietal lobe:

Responsible for processing sensory information coming from the external world. The parietal lobe also slows down while you meditate.

The Thalamus:

Responsible for routing information from the senses to appropriate areas of the brain where it can be processed. Meditation significantly reduces the amount of incoming information to the thalamus.

The Reticular formation:

Processes incoming stimuli and keeps the brain on alert. Practicing meditation considerably weakens the alarm system.

Meditation changes the structure of your brain through a process called neuroplasticity. Practicing meditation results in diverse neurological alterations in the brain such as increased grey matter volume, decreased activity in the “me” centers of the brain, and increased connectivity between different brain regions. Theses changes in brain structure explain why regular meditators report a myriad of positive effects in their lives. By practicing meditation, you are effectively upgrading your brain and thus improving your quality of life.

[]Chapter 4 – 9 Common Meditation Myths

If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”

Dalai Lama

Although meditation is becoming more popular in the western world, there still exist widespread misconceptions that prevent people from either getting started with meditation or developing it into a long-term practice. Here are 9 common meditation myths dismantled:

Myth #1: Meditation is for religious or spiritual people

Truth: While meditation has been practiced by various spiritual and religious traditions throughout history, meditation itself is not a religious activity. It is simply a powerful exercise that takes us beyond the chaos of the mind into a place of stillness. Meditation does not conflict with any religious or spiritual view and thus can be practiced by anybody.

Myth #2: Meditation takes too much time

Truth: If Ray Dalio (billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates) can find the time to meditate twice a day, every single day, then you too can make the time. The key is to realize how important meditation is to your life and to make it a priority. The truth is, the more you meditate, the more time you have: meditation revitalizes your body and mind, which allows you to go through the day more focused, more productive and less distracted. With meditation you are able to accomplish more in less time.

Myth #3: Meditation is difficult

Truth: When you approach it from the right angle, meditation is incredibly easy. Some techniques are as simple as focusing on your breath or repeating a mantra. The reality is that we are the ones who make meditation difficult. We are sometimes attached to a result, we judge our meditation, we doubt ourselves or we try too hard to quiet our minds. In meditation there is no stress, no struggle and no effort because you are not trying to force anything. Meditation is about being in complete non-resistance to the present moment.

Myth #4: I must close my eyes in order to meditate

Truth: Many experts actually recommend learning to meditate with your eyes opened. This is because it makes it easier to carry the state of stillness and awareness you experience during meditation into your daily life. Buddhist teacher Sogyal Rinpoche puts it beautifully: “Meditation is practice for the rest of our life.” Opening your eyes during meditation will train your mind to stay in that state of stillness and non-distraction even after you have completed your session – when you meet friends, at work or even when you communicate with your spouse.

Myth #5: It takes years to experience the benefits of meditation

Truth: You will benefit from meditation from the very first session. In 2011, Sara Lazar at Harvard University found that 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation significantly increased the size of the hippocampus, an area of the brain that governs learning and memory. She also found that meditation increased the size of certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, and decreased the brain cell volume in the amygdala, which responsible for emotions of fear, anxiety and stress.

Myth #6: Meditation is escaping reality

Truth: Meditation is actually about facing reality. When you meditate, you are eventually confronted to painful thoughts and emotions that are buried deep inside you. Meditation is an inner journey that takes you into the depths of your being, helping you see reality as it is and allowing you to be more at peace with yourself.

Myth #7: Meditation stops when the timer goes off

Truth: Meditation never stops. It is a way of life. Everything can be turned into a meditation – eating, talking, walking, dressing, doing the dishes… As long as you are completely immersed into the present moment and mindful of what you are doing, then you are meditating.

Myth #8: My mind has to be quiet in order to benefit from meditation

Truth: This is like saying you need to be fit in order to benefit from working out. The truth is you probably benefit more from meditation if your mind isn’t naturally quiet. Don’t worry, even if you feel like your mind is all over the place throughout your meditation, you will still benefit from it. Meditation is never a waste of time.

Myth #9: Meditation is about feeling good

Truth: While meditation will often make you feel bliss, it will also take you to dark corners of your mind. You will become aware of thoughts and emotions inside of you that may be to difficult experience. It is not uncommon for people to cry during meditation. This is a positive sign however, because meditation provides the space for you to release unresolved negative emotions that inhabit you, allowing you to make peace with the past and move forward with serenity.

[]Chapter 5 – 6 Common Obstacles to Meditation

“All of man’s difficulties are caused by his inability to sit, quietly, in a room by himself.”

Blaise Pascal

Despite the incredible benefits of meditation, many people still fail to develop a regular meditation practice. To make sure you do not become one of them, here are 6 common obstacles to meditation and how to overcome them:

Obstacle #1: Outcome Orientation

Meditation is a process where you must detach yourself from any kind of result. Your meditation should never be judged or evaluated in any way – judgment only creates more stress and more mental chatter. Be process oriented and profound benefits will inevitably come.

Obstacle #2: Perfectionism

Realize that there is no such thing as a perfect meditation. You will always have intrusive thoughts while you meditate. Some days your mind will be quieter than others. That’s totally normal. Do your best to meditate correctly, but don’t become obsessed with applying meditation techniques perfectly.

Obstacle #3: Impatience

Understand that meditation is a life-long practice. Don’t expect to become enlightened after two weeks of meditation. Just like everything worth pursuing in life, it can take a bit of time to experience the full range of benefits meditation has to offer.

Obstacle #4: Boredom

Meditation may seem like the ultimate boring activity, especially in a society where instant stimulus is available 24/7. At first, it can be difficult to sit down for ten or twenty minutes and “do nothing”. You may become restless, irritated, and even agitated. Don’t worry, it will become easier with practice and soon enough you will be able to draw your state from within instead of relying on external stimulus to feel good.

Obstacle #5: Falling asleep

It is easy to fall asleep during meditation, especially if you are tired and if you have your eyes closed. If this is a problem for you, try meditating in the morning and keep your eyes open throughout your session.

Obstacle #6: Discouragement

Anything worth doing takes practice and dedication. Meditation is no different. The key to developing a lifelong meditation practice is to realize the profound benefits meditation has to offer and use that as fuel to keep going when the going gets tough.

[]Chapter 6 – How to Meditate – Different Meditation Techniques

Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.”

Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

Mindfulness Meditation

Have you ever gotten in your car and driven to a location only to realize that you have no memory of the entire journey? This is one example of mindlessness that most of us experience on a daily basis. We, as humans often get so absorbed in our thoughts that we fail to experience the present moment.

Mindfulness meditation is about being fully immersed in your inner and outer experience of the present moment. Jon Kabat-Zinn puts it beautifully: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

Paying attention “on purpose “ implies intentionally directing your awareness. It goes beyond merely being aware of something. You could be aware that you are drinking tea, for example, however mindfully drinking tea looks very different.

When you are mindfully drinking tea, you are purposefully aware of the entire process of drinking tea – you feel the warmth of the cup, the subtleties in smell and taste of the tea, the sensation of heat as you press your lips against the cup… – you intentionally immerse yourself in every single sensory detail that makes up the experience of drinking tea, to the point where you completely dissolve into the activity.

Mindfulness is about maintaining the intention of being completely plunged into your experience, whether it is drinking tea, breathing or doing the dishes. You can bring mindfulness to virtually any activity in your life.

Here is a simple mindfulness technique for beginners that involves being mindful of your breathing: First, sit comfortably on a chair with an upright and relaxed posture. Then, purposefully direct your attention to the changing sensations of your breath. Become aware of the air flowing in and out of your nostrils. Notice how each breath is slightly different. Be aware of the subtle gap between your incoming and outcoming breath. When thoughts pop up in your mind, observe them without identifying with them; accept them as they are and gently return your attention to your breathing. Repeat this for the entire length of your meditation.

When your mindfulness session comes to an end, remain seated for a few minutes, breathe deeply into your diaphragm and let yourself receive your meditative experience before you gradually return to your daily activities.

Candle Meditation

Candle meditation can be easier for some people because it involves focusing on a real physical object.

To practice candle meditation, you must first prepare the space where you will meditate. Choose a spot that is quiet and darkened. Dim the lights or close your window shades. Then, light a candle and position it on a table in front of you at eye level, or slightly below.

Adopt a comfortable upright posture where you feel completely at ease. You can sit on a chair or on a cushion on the floor with your legs crossed. Rest your hands on your thighs and make sure the candle is at least half a meter away from you.

Now simply rest your attention on the candle flame by looking at it and letting the image of the flame immerse your mind. To deepen your meditation, you can imagine that you are breathing the light of the candle in, and then out.

Notice the flickering dance of the flame and continue to breathe smoothly and naturally. When your mind wanders off, simply bring back your attention on the candle flame and continue to observe your breathing.

When you have completed your candle meditation, gently exit your session by remaining in your position for a couple of minutes so that you transfer the benefits of your session into the rest of your day.

Guided Meditation

Meditation does not necessarily mean sitting down on a chair in complete silence for hours. With guided meditation, you are exposed to soothing sounds, gentle music and even a kind voice that helps you clear you mind. If you want to be taken by the hand throughout your session, then guided meditation may be a great option for you.

In guided meditation, you listen to the voice of a trained practitioner who teaches you to release tension and to access a more relaxed state of mind. The guide will often take you on an inner journey of soothing visualizations to elicit a specific positive effect inside you. Because the mind cannot distinguish between a real event and an imagined one, guided meditation can have a profound effect on you.

Guided meditations are often presented around different themes such as healing, gratitude, abundance, health, creativity, peace… – these are all common guided meditations that you can choose from according to your specific needs.

Guided meditations come in all types of formats. Some can last for as long as an hour, while some last less than 5 minutes. You can experience guided meditation as part of a class with a live teacher or by using CD ‘s, MP3’s, and even YouTube videos. This link for example provides a variety of high quality guided meditations for free.

Mantra Meditation

A mantra is not an affirmation. It is simply an instrument of the mind that takes you beyond the mind, into a higher level of consciousness where you experience peace, joy and happiness. Mantras have been used for thousands of years as powerful vibrations to access deeper levels of awareness. A mantra is a sound that usually has no particular meaning, and that is chosen because of the vibration it creates when pronounced correctly.

One of the most popular mantras is the ancient sacred syllable, OM (also written AUM) which was identified by ancient sages as the most elemental sound in nature, and which represents infinite universal consciousness.

To practice the OM mantra meditation, sit comfortably on a chair with your back straight and silently repeat the OM mantra. It is important to pronounce the O correctly. In Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language), O is a gliding vowel produced by starting with the A sound (as in “awe “) and ending with the U sound (as in “ put “). Combine these two sounds to produce a single vowel and add a long « mmmm » at the end and there is your OM mantra!

To recap, here is how you produce the OM sound:

Say “aaa” (as in “awe”)

Then say “uuu” (as in “put”)

And finish with a longer “mmmm”

Observe a second of silence

Repeat the process

Note that the mantra must be silently repeated in your mind throughout your meditation. The silent repetition of this mantra creates a mental vibration that allows you to access a profound meditative state where the impulses of the mind dissolve and you connect to the powerful source that creates everything. When your mind wanders off, simply bring back your focus to your mantra, continue to silently repeat it and feel the subtle vibrations it creates throughout your entire body.

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation can be just as effective as sitting meditation. It may also be a great option for you to channel your energy if you are stressed out.

Walking meditation is actually a form of mindfulness meditation where you purposefully maintain an awareness of the entire process of walking. As you walk at slow or medium pace, rest your attention on your feet, observing every sensation – the weight of your body on your feet, the moment your foot is flat on the ground, the swinging movement of your feet… – be consciously aware of every little detail that makes up the experience of walking.

As you focus your undivided attention on the movement of your feet, you ground yourself in the present moment. When you feel your mind wandering off, simply bring your attention back to your feet.

Metta Meditation

Metta meditation is also known as loving kindness meditation. It is a type of meditation that enhances your compassion, kindness, and good will by developing positive emotions from within. Metta means unconditional, unlimited love that is offered to all living beings.

To practice metta meditation, adopt a comfortable posture, breathe in and out from your chest area, where your heart is located and begin by feeling kind and loving toward yourself. Wish yourself happiness, peace, and joy. You can do this in your own words or you can use traditional phrases like:

May I be happy

May I be healthy and strong

May I be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease.

May I be safe and protected

May I be free of physical pain and suffering…

Next, repeat the process for a person you love deeply, then for a good friend, a neutral person and if you’re ready, try it for person that you dislike.

Finally, radiate unconditional love to all living creatures. :

May all beings be happy

May all beings be healthy and strong

May all beings be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease.

May all beings be safe and protected

May all beings be free of physical pain and suffering…

Metta meditation or loving kindness meditation helps you develop a sense of love, acceptance of others, and a feeling of oneness with the universe. It will also allow you to maintain positive and nurturing relationships more naturally.

Do not get overwhelmed by the different types of meditation listed above. If you are a beginner, simply choose one that feels right for you and stick to it for a while. Once you have developed a regular practice, you can explore other types of meditation and even look into more advanced techniques. If you are just starting out, mindfulness meditation or guided meditation are excellent techniques to begin with.

[]Chapter 7 – 6 Tips for Better Meditation

I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Several factors come into play when cultivating a healthful meditation practice and spending just a little bit of time preparing your meditation can give you a much deeper experience. Here are 7 tips that can help you improve your meditation:

Tip#1: Use a timer

Decide beforehand how long you are going to meditate and use a timer to make sure you sit down for at least that chosen amount of time. This will ensure that you don’t neglect your meditation when you don’t fee like it and you keep making progress.

Tip #2: Stretch

Prepare your body for meditation by doing a little warm-up where you stretch for a few minutes. This will relax your muscles and tendons and make your body feel lighter. As a result, you will be able to sit more comfortably for a longer period of time.

Tip#3: Get comfortable and fix your posture

Wear comfortable clothes that will not distract or restrict you. Your posture is important. Your back should be relaxed and upright. You can sit on a chair with your hands on your lap, or on the floor on top of a cushion with your legs crossed. If you want to take it a step further, you can invest in a specialist meditation chair to help you achieve optimal posture.

Tip#4: Eliminate Distractions

Proactively avoid distractions. For example, make sure that your cell phone is not in the same room as you are or that it is turned off. If you live with family members, advise them that you need the time and space to be quiet for a moment. It is important that you are not disturbed during your meditation.

Tip#5: Avoid eating an hour before you meditate.

It is best to meditate on an empty stomach. Meditation right after meal is not recommended because you are more likely to be distracted by the process of digestion. Your body will feel heavy, you may feel drowsy, your consciousness will be heavier and this will affect the quality of your meditation. Conversely, avoid meditating when you are too hungry because the sensation of hunger can also distract you.

Tip#6: Use technology

Technology can be a great ally in your meditation practice. You can find high quality guided meditation audios and videos all over the Internet. There are also several apps out there can help you practice various meditation techniques. One I have found very useful is Stop, Breathe & Think, which is available on iOs and Android for free.

[]Chapter 8 – Turning Meditation into a Habit

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Aristotle

Meditation is very much like going to the gym. Practice it regularly, and you become fit. Slack off, on the other hand, and you become chubby. In order to attain profound levels of inner peace, mental clarity, and happiness, you must practice meditation consistently.

In 2010, a study conducted at University College London showed that it takes on average 66 days to build a new habit. This means you need to invest about two months of effort before the behavior of meditation becomes automatic – something that you do without even thinking about it – a habit.

The key to making meditation automatic is to make it your top priority for the next 66 days. Meditation essentially has to become the most important activity in your day. Here are 9 ways to turn meditation into a habit:

Work on Your WHY

It’s important to get crystal clear on why you want to make meditation a habit. Go through the list of benefits of meditation again and decide exactly why you want to meditate. Are you motivated to relieve stress, crush anxiety, be more successful or build stronger relationships? Make sure your WHY resonates deeply within you. When you have figured out your WHY, start visualizing your success. Imagine how your life would be when you achieve your goal and use this image as fuel and motivation to keep you going throughout your meditation journey.

Commit to the activity

Take a moment and make an oath to yourself to start meditating every single day from now on. Firmly set your intention that you are going to do this and never give up. Feel the energy rising inside your body and seal the commitment with your heart.

Start Small

There is no “right” amount of time to meditate for. If you’re a beginner, don’t fall into the trap of trying to meditate for hours on end. Your mind simply isn’t trained to sustain it. You can start with as little as 5 minutes of daily meditation and you can gradually build your way up from there. The key is to not overwhelm yourself when you’re starting out– 5 minutes of meditation everyday is much better than 5 hours of punctual meditation.

Decide on a fixed time and a trigger

When you are trying to develop a new habit, it’s very important to have a trigger that reminds you to perform the new behavior around the same time everyday. The easiest way is to incorporate your meditation into your morning routine or evening routine. The key is to choose a trigger that makes it easy to juxtapose the new behavior onto an already existing habit. You can decide for example that you are going to meditate everyday day right after you brush your teeth in the morning or right before you go to bed.

Track Your Progress

Use a calendar to track your progress and make it visible. Mark down every time you follow through on your new habit. This will inspire you to keep going even when things get difficult. It will suddenly become more painful to break your streak. You can also use habit-tracking apps, which I have found to be extremely useful.

Be Accountable

Find an accountability buddy, preferably someone who is also looking to develop a long-term meditation practice. This will greatly increase your chances of success. When you have someone that holds you accountable, you will find it much more difficult to miss a session.

Split your sessions

One simple trick you can utilize to make your meditation more enjoyable is to split your meditation into two smaller sessions. This will allow you to easily increase your overall session length. Instead of trying to sit for a whole 30 minutes for example, it is much easier sit for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening.

Reward Yourself

Whatever gets rewarded gets repeated. Your brain is constantly associating pain and pleasure to everything you do. So if you want your meditation habit to stick, trick your brain by rewarding yourself right after you have completed your meditation. It can be something as simple as giving yourself a pat on the back and saying to yourself: “ Good job, you made progress today!”.

Remember, consistent action is the only way to make mediation a habit. By practicing it everyday, you will create new neural pathways that will make the behavior automatic and you soon enough you won’t even have to expand any willpower to sit down and meditate. Make meditation a long-term habit and it will transform every aspect of your life.

[]Conclusion

Thank you again for downloading this book!

I hope it was able to help you understand how practicing meditation can bring peace, happiness and joy into your life. The next step is to apply what you have learned and develop a long-term meditation practice. It can be a challenging process but I assure you that it is well worth it – You will enjoy a happier, more peaceful and balanced life free from stress, anxiety, and depression.

I wish you success on your meditation journey and I hope you quickly start reaping the amazing benefits that meditation has to offer.

Finally, if you enjoyed this book, then I’d like to ask you a favor. Would you be kind enough to share your thoughts and post a review of this book on the site you purchased this book.

Your voice is important for this book to reach as many people as possible. The more reviews this book gets, the more people will be able to find it and enjoy the incredible benefits of meditation.

Thank you again for downloading this book and good luck in your meditation journey!

[]Bonus: Free Guided Meditation Series (5 Audiobooks)

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● Healing Audio Meditation

● Higher Power Audio Meditation

● Potential Audio Meditation

● Quiet the Mind Audio Meditation

● Serenity Audio Meditation

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[]Preview of The Mindfulness Beginner’s Bible

[]Chapter 1 – What is mindfulness?

Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”

Amit Ray

Have you ever started eating a packet of chips and then suddenly realize that there is nothing left? This is one example of mindlessness that most of us experience on a daily basis. We, as humans often get so absorbed in our thoughts that we fail to experience what is happening right in front of us.

In modern society, most of us suffer from a condition called compulsive thinking. We have this hysterical inner voice that is constantly jumping from one thought to the next, obsessing about every little detail that could go wrong, complaining, comparing and criticizing everything and everyone. Sadly, most of us have become hostages to the whims of our minds, to the point where we even identify with the mind, thinking that we are our thoughts, when in reality we are the awareness behind our thoughts.

The moment you start observing your thoughts without identifying with them, you enter a higher level of consciousness beyond the mind and you reconnect with your true Self – the eternal part of you that is beyond the transient, ever-wavering physical realm.

Take a few seconds right now and become mindful of your hands. Feel the warmth that emanates from them. Rest your attention on every sensation in your hands. Feel your blood pulsing through them. Become one with your hands and notice the subtle tingling sensation as you become aware of them.

If you did this little exercise, I bet you noticed your mind becoming a bit more still. When you rest your attention on your body, you are living actively in the now. Awareness of the body instantly grounds you in the present moment and helps you awaken to a vast realm of consciousness beyond the mind, where all the things that truly matter – love, beauty, peace, creativity and joy – arise from.

Research has shown that we spend up to 50% of the time inside our heads - a state of mindlessness where we are continuously consumed by the chaotic impulses of our minds that are constantly thinking, ruminating the past and worrying about the future. Sadly, most people go through life in a walking haze, never really experiencing the present moment, which is our most precious asset.

Mindfulness is about being fully immersed into your inner and outer experience of the present moment. One of the best definitions of mindfulness is provided by the mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn breaks down mindfulness into its fundamental components: In mindfulness, our attention is held…

On purpose

Paying attention on purpose means intentionally directing your awareness. It goes beyond merely being aware of something. It means deliberately focusing your conscious awareness wherever you choose to, instead of being carried away in the perpetual storm of your thoughts.

Secondly, our attention is plunged…

In the Present Moment

The mind’s natural tendency is to wander away from the present and get lost in the past or the future. Mindfulness requires being in complete non-resistance to the present moment.

Finally, our attention is held…

Non judgmentally

In mindfulness there is no judgment, there is no labeling, there is no resistance and there is no attachment. You simply observe your thoughts, feelings and sensations as they arise without ever energizing with them. As soon as you realize that you are not your thoughts, but the observer behind your thoughts, they will immediately lose power over your.

Mindfulness goes beyond basic awareness of your present experience. You could be aware that you are drinking tea, for example, however mindfully drinking tea looks very different. When you are mindfully drinking tea, you are purposefully aware of the entire process of drinking tea – you feel the warmth of the cup, the subtleties in smell and taste of the tea, the sensation of heat as you press your lips against the cup… – you intentionally immerse yourself in every single sensory detail that makes up the experience of drinking tea, to the point where you completely dissolve into the activity.

Mindfulness is about maintaining the intention of being completely plunged into your experience, whether it is drinking tea, breathing or doing the dishes. You can bring mindfulness to virtually any activity in your life.

[]Chapter 2 – The Power of the Present Moment

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”

Alan Watts

When you think about it, the present moment is the only moment that really exists. The past and the future are merely persistent illusions – the past is obviously over, and the future hasn’t happened yet. As the saying goes, “Tomorrow never comes”. The future is merely a mental construct that is always around the corner.

Even when you dwell on the past or worry about the future, you’re doing so in the present moment. At the end of the day, the present moment is all you and I have, and to spend most of our time outside the present means we are never truly living. Spiritual leader Eckhart Tolle puts it beautifully: “People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.”

However, most people spend most of their waking time imprisoned within the walls of their own thoughts, usually in regret of the past or in fear of the future, which are two ways of not living at all.

The present is the only moment in our lives where we have complete control over our destiny. We can decide our course of action only in the now – we can make a new friend, start a new business, get back to the gym, decide to stop smoking… The present is the only moment where your creative power can be exercised; it is the only place where you have full control over your life. Embracing the present moment is the only way to live a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life. As Buddha said, “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

The biggest obstacle that keeps us from living in the present moment is the mind. Embracing mindfulness is a journey that requires practice and dedication, but it is a process that will inevitably lead you to a much happier and more fulfilling life where every moment is lived to the fullest. Here are 8 steps to start living in the present moment:

Practice non-resistance

The first step towards living in the present is learning to live in acceptance. You must learn to accept your life as it is today, rather than wish it was any other way. You must come into complete non-resistance with your current experience of life. By letting go of the hold the past has over you, you free your mind from unproductive thoughts and you reclaim the present moment. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

Focus on the Now

In order to live in the present moment, you must focus on what you are doing in the now, whatever it may be. If you are doing the dishes, then do the dishes. If you’re eating dinner, then eat dinner. Don’t view the seemingly mundane activities in your life as nuisances that you hurry to get out of the way. These moments are what our lives are made up of, and not being present in them means we are not truly living.

Don’t take your thoughts too seriously

Identification with the mind is the root of much unhappiness, disease and misery in the world. Most people have become so identified with their mental chatter that they become slaves to their own compulsive thoughts. Being unable to stop thinking and means we are never living in the present moment. When you learn to observe your thoughts as they come and go without identification, you step away from the chaotic impulses of the mind and you ground yourself in the now.

Meditate

You don’t have to meditate to be mindful, but research has shown that engaging in a regular meditation practice has a spillover effect on the rest of your life. When you meditate you essentially carry the state of stillness and awareness that you experience during your meditation session into the rest of your day. Meditation is practice for the rest of your life.

Pay attention to the little things

Notice the seemingly insignificant things around you. Pay attention to nature for example. Notice the greenery around you – be grateful for every tree, every plant, every flower and realize that you could not survive without their presence. Go through your life as if everything is a miracle. From the majestic rising of the sun, to the chirping of birds outside your window, to the fact that your heart is beating every single second – life is truly a miracle to behold when you immerse yourself in the present moment.

Do one thing at a time

Multitasking is the opposite of living in the now. When your attention is divided between several tasks like eating, driving, making a phone call, you cannot fully experience the present moment. Studies have shown that people who multitask take about 50% longer to complete a task with a 50% larger error rate. To be more mindful, you must become a single-tasker. When you're eating, just eat. When you're talking to people, just talk to them. Develop the habit of being completely immersed into whatever you're doing. Not only will you be more efficient, but you'll also be more alive.

Don’ try to quiet your mind

Living in the present moment does not require any special effort. The present moment is already at your fingertips. There is no need to expand energy to empty your mind. In mindfulness there is no stress, no struggle and no effort because you are not trying to force anything – you are in complete non-resistance to your current experience of life.

Stop worrying about the future

Worry takes you out of the present moment and in the future into an infinite world of possibilities. You cannot worry about the future and simultaneously live in the present moment. Instead of worrying about things that may or may not happen, spend you time preparing to the best of your ability and let go of the rest. Worrying won’t change the future, but it will definitely elevate the cortisol levels in your body and drain you of your vital energy.


The Meditation Beginner's Bible

  • ISBN: 9781311089465
  • Author: Tai Morello
  • Published: 2016-04-14 10:20:12
  • Words: 8168
The Meditation Beginner's Bible The Meditation Beginner's Bible