This Meditation practice is like doing reconnaissance in your mind, so I named it Recon Meditation. This practice has been effective for me in reducing stress and anxiety, helped my relationships, and has actually provided me with a peace I have not known before. The best analogy I can give you from my own experience with this meditation is as follows:
My mind was like a raging river and I was caught in its current without a boat, paddle, or life preserver. Sometimes I am in the rapids, banging off of rocks and half drowning in thoughts and emotions. Other times the river is a little calmer but I still have no control over where the current it takes me. My meditation practice allowed me to develop the ability to step out onto the bank of that river and observe it without being caught up in it. You see I did not say that I stopped the river, divert it from its course, or changed its direction. I simply do not have to participate in it if I choose not to and when I practice mindless awareness it becomes the boat and paddle I use to navigate the river.
To begin your practice find a time and place you can sit quietly for 20 minutes a day without distraction or pressure. Preferably looking out a window or some place with a view. I like to sit in the morning before the activities of the day intrude. It is also good to practice before you eat or drink coffee simply because caffeine will affect your brain chemistry and digestion will use some of the blood you need for your brain. Sit in a chair or on the floor. I use a meditation cushion and like the traditional aspect of the practice; but, it is up to you. Set a timer for twenty minutes with an alarm tone that does not startle you. Sit with your back and neck straight hands resting in your lap or on your knees. I rest my left hand in my right with thumb tips touching but that is a traditional position. Relax your throat and rest the tip of your tongue behind your two front teeth. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths settling into your position.
You can begin with a short prayer or mantra if you desire. I like to say my own little mantra to get started which is, “I am not my mind, and I will observe my mind with curiosity and compassion.” Then I simply aware of my breath as it comes and goes. When thoughts come I observe them and come back to the breath. Sometimes you follow those thoughts for a while before you realize you are adrift in the river. Be compassionate to your mind and come back to the breath again. Sometimes those thoughts create emotions. That is okay and normal. Once you have settled and become aware of your breath, open your eyes. Here is the important part. Do not look at anything in particular. Simply be aware of everything within your field of view. The mind will want to pick something out, focus on it, and begin creating thoughts about it. You mind might rebel against the practice by just throwing random thoughts at you. That is okay. Your mind is like an impatient teenager who just wants attention. Be compassionate and bring your awareness back to whole field of view.
Your breath is the foundation of the practice. You can always come back to it for stability. Another tip is when your mind is bombarding you with thoughts during the meditation is ask it this question, "I wonder what my next thought is going to be?", and then wait with curiosity to see what it is. This actually tricks the mind into kind of pausing for a second.
Thsi practice is not easy but, with consistency and persistence, it is effective in reducing stress and anxiety while increasing awareness and peace.
Contact the firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about your practice.