BY MICHAEL JAMES WONG
We live in a crazy world and for most of us life can be chaotic at the best of times, especially in a busy city like London. And for a lot of us, we don’t actually need more things to keep us busy, we need less. We need to find some space and create a chance to decompress, find calm and clear out the chaos in our everyday lives.
What we need to do is sit still and turn the volume down
For a lot of us, the idea of meditation is daunting. We don’t know what the rules are, we don’t know where to start, we don’t know how long to do it for, we just don’t have enough information. But we want to try…
So, let's break it down.
Meditation is easy, we just have to sit, we just have to try, we just have to breathe. While there are differing techniques and styles, there are a few practices that work really well for the everyday modern man or women.
Here are some tips for beginners to start meditating:
Find a comfortable place to sit, on the floor on a cushion, upright on the sofa, a comfortable chair, back to back with a friend, just not lying down or on your side
Set a timer for 11 minutes, but with an alarm that is soft and subtle so it doesn’t jolt you at the end
- Close your eyes
- Start by taking 5 deep breaths
- On the inhale, recite to yourself quietly in the mind ‘inhale’
- On the exhale, recite to yourself quietly in the mind ‘exhale’
- And then you’re off, you’re in the meditation
- At times throughout the mind will wander, and that’s ok, be effortless, let go of the control
- Don’t hold onto any thoughts, just allow the mind to wander wherever it chooses to go and before you know it, the time will pass
- When the alarm rings, come back to the breath
- Take 5 deep breaths
- Let the head drop so the eyes are facing into your lap and allow the eyes to open effortlessly as you let the world back in
- Sit in the stillness quietly for another few moments
Well done, how do you feel? Let’s do it again tomorrow, twice a day, 11 minutes. Once when you wake up, once before dinner, job done.
If it helps, music is a great addition to your daily practice. My personal favourite are the sounds of Arli Liberman from his newest album Allegra. You can also learn more through some great meditation apps Iike 1 Giant Mind and Headspace.
If you’re in London, join the masses as we sit together monthly at Just Breathe London, a community gathering where we come together to sit and be still.
Meditation. Close your eyes, see what happens.
As always drop me a line to chat about anything, come find me in class or follow the fun online: Michaeljameswong.com / @michaeljameswong
This article originally featured on the Balance Festival website and can be found here. You can still get tickets for the Balance Festival where Neat will be running the smoothie bars for the three day festival! Get your tickets here.