The Simplest Way To Meditate
I briefly want to describe one of the ways I meditate regularly. I call it the simplest way because it does not require anything (technology, specific environment, etc.).
Surprisingly, I was only introduced to this way of meditation last year (2018) during a meditation and yoga retreat. I was used to meditation already but until then always either used guided meditations or meditations with background audio (this one is one of my favourites).
The meditations on the retreat were very different. They simply consisted of closing your eyes and letting go. No mantra, no music, no guidance - nothing. It was a bit confronting at first, to be honest. Because with no input whatsoever, it was clearer than ever to me how much mental chatter was actually going on.
We received the instruction to let go of thoughts. Thoughts would invariably show up and many times I would engage with them. And then, I would remember that I was meditating and let them go. For a short moment there would be silence. And then, a new thought would pop up (see sketch).
The longer and more frequently I meditate, the longer and more frequent are the episodes of silence. I now do one 20-minute meditation every morning and aim to do at least one more during the day. In the morning I actually prepare for the meditation in a way that removes some of the mental chatter: I journal. But more on that another time.
I would like to invite you to try out this simple way of meditating.
Set some time apart (if your time is limited, set an alarm. Otherwise just let the length be as long as you need. I use Insight Timer as an alarm, it has nice sound bowls and you do not need to do anything once the time is over. It also has guided meditations.
Be allowing to any thoughts to come and and leave again. If you engage in a thoughts that is perfectly fine. In the moment you notice, just let it fade away.
When you feel like your meditation is over (or when your alarm goes off), take a deep breath, open your eyes slowly, and come back to the present moment.
Tell me how it went :-)