I have prepared a daily schedule for you to follow; my 7 days of meditation schedule. Each day focuses on a different meditation object or on a visualization that will be the center of your attention each time.
The variation will help you get to know yourself and feel which ones helps you on your journey and which ones doesn’t.
Imagine meditation as a destination. There are many roads to get there. Each one of these roads is different but the final destination is the same.
Feel free to choose and repeat the ones you like more and combine them in the way you wish.
Important note: Before you start meditating, you have to begin with the preparation step that is described in this article.
Simple breathing meditation
- Bring your awareness to your breath and just observe it. Let it flow naturally. It’s very important not to force it.
- Observe how the air is cold when you inhale and warm when you exhale.
- Then feel the air coming in from your nose and focus there.
- Observe how the air goes down to your throat.
- Observe how it goes to your lungs and how they expand.
- Observe how it goes to your belly.
- Now observe the whole breathing procedure.
- If you want, you can just focus on one spot on the body.
- While doing this, various thoughts and distractions will arise to your mind. Just let the distractions fall by themselves or put a label on them.**
- Return your attention to your breathing.
Note: Don’t be surprised or disappointed when you realize that distractions will come every minute or every 30 seconds to your mind. It’s completely natural.
- Now try to empty your mind from all emotions, feelings or thoughts you may have and just focus on the emptiness.
- When distractions come to your mind just let them fall or use the label technique.**
- Then return your attention to the emptiness and simply enjoy your existence.
- Every time a distraction arise do the same, over and over again.
- Bring your attention to your breath. Follow the steps on day 1.
- As you do that, count your breaths from 10 to 1. It doesn’t matter if you count on your inhale, on you exhale or on both. You choose what’s convenient for you.
- When you arrive to 1, start again from 10.
- If you lose your count because of a distraction, simply return your attention** to your counting and start again from 10.
Focused attention to an object meditation
- Place an object in front of you and focus on that. The object has to be placed on the eyes level.
- If any thoughts arise just let them fall by themselves.** It may be easier if you try to “view” your thoughts as another person, “from the outside”.
- Then return your attention to the object again and continue.
Focused attention to an object and visualization meditation
Sometimes I meditate looking out of my window where there is a beautiful tree. This tree really inspires me to do visualization meditation. So if you from somewhere have the view of a beautiful tree maybe at a park, for example, you can try this meditation.
- At first, I just empty my mind and focus on my pure being, my existence. Me without anything around. Just sitting there looking at the tree and simply existing.
- As you look at the tree think: This tree is totally natural and authentic. It’s connected to the earth and it’s doing what it is supposed to do here on earth by simply standing there.
- Connect this thought to yourself. Let yourself simply exist and be yourself. Without any label or without pretending to be something else.
- If any other thoughts arise don’t deepen into them. Just let them fall and then return your attention to the tree.**
I practice this meditation technique when something is bothering my mind and I cannot get rid of it.
- Focus on a problem that you have. On something that you are stressed about. It may be a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, a person that stresses you or anything else that puts you in an uncomfortable situation.
- Imagine this problem being in front of you and that it slowly becomes smaller.
- Imagine it, as it gets smaller and smaller until it’s so tiny that you can barely see it. And of course being so small it cannot affect you. Just sit there and enjoy; let yourself understand how small this problem is and how big you are compared to it.
- Then imagine it slowly disappearing completely.
- As you imagine this, you can also imagine something positive coming towards you, surrounding you in the form of a bright light.
- Same applies here about the distractions.**
(This is a very good visualization that helped me overcome many of my problems. Another visualization you can use is that you are blowing your problem in a balloon. When you’re done blowing it, you tie it good and let it disappear in the sky. I use this one even at moments that I’m not meditating. If something is bothering me and I can’t get it out of my mind. By visualizing every time the problem arises, you will finally manage to overcome it. As long as you do it every time it arises.)
I practice this meditation when I find it hard to disconnect from my problems and concentrate. Sometimes I just do it in the beginning of the practice and other times I use it like a meditation technique.
- Start by thinking of things that you are grateful for in your life.
- Things that has to do with yourself. Your health, your character, your personal development etc. Things that you tend to forget about.
- Then you can think of your family or friends. Are you grateful about them being in your life?
- Then think of a person or a situation that you don’t like. Find something positive about this person or situation and be grateful about it.
- Then be grateful to the whole universe; send and receive love.
This is a very good technique because it teaches us how to be in our everyday. How to deal with unpleasant situations and always finding a positive aspect. Even if I don’t practice this meditation technique every day, I think of things that I’m grateful of, every day. This has made me much happier and helped me see life in a more positive aspect.
**Let a thought fall by itself or set a label on it.
Let a thought fall by itself. While you’re meditating various thoughts and feelings will arise in your mind all the time. You have to know that this is something completely natural; it’s what is supposed to happen. When it happens, the first step is to acknowledge that you have been distracted and try not to engage with the feeling or the thought. Then try to let the distraction go away by itself. It’s very important not to force the distractions to go away. Let them arise and disappear by themselves without involving or following them by analyzing or judging them.
Put a label on your distraction. I find this method really helpful and most of the time I use it. It’s very simple. When a distraction arises to your mind while meditating, follow these steps. First, you have to acknowledge that you have been distracted. Focus on the distraction without following it by analyzing or judging it. Then set a “label” on it. The label must be general. For example:
a child crying=hearing
happy/sad/stressful thought=thought or emotion
Labeling really helps you not to involve with the distraction as it makes you see it in an objective way.
Important note: Sometimes we get stressed when a thought doesn’t go away. We may even feel irritated or upset with ourselves. This is wrong. You have to give your mind the time it needs. Don’t forget that this is something completely new and it needs time. Eventually, you will find it much easier and natural.