Meditation is about returning to a natural state of being and a peaceful state of mind. It’s about being yourself, essentially. It’s a very simple thing too, with incredible power when practiced consistently. It’s about choosing attention and being aware, and the simple practice centers you in your true self so that you don’t get lost in habitual mind-chatter and identification with thoughts.
There’s lots of different methods for meditation but the one I recommend is to “listen.”
How to do it
All you do is listen intensely for the next thought to pop, that’s all. Try it now for 10 seconds and you’ll see that with enough intensity of focus, thoughts stop.
The reason this is the best is…
- It’s utterly simple.
- You can do it anytime, anywhere, as a sit-down practice or using all the in-between moments.
- It works, even when the mind is very stormy or anxious.
- It’s a tiny shift from “listening,” which is something you do, to “being,” what you are.
So that’s all you need to do. The more you do it, the better you get and the more rooted in your center. If you can find 30 minutes a day to sit and be quiet and “listen,” that’s optimal.
But you can do it anytime, anyplace and anywhere, using all those in-between moments to come back to your center by listening. And soon enough, it becomes your natural state again — simple awareness is your natural state but we can lose it by too much thinking, and by calling all these thoughts “me” when they are not!
Feedback from someone who’s been practicing listening for only a few days…
Hi Michael, because I’m new to meditation, right now it’s like I have to make a conscious effort to listen and focus on listening. But I’ve noticed that when doing so, random thoughts (including my unwanted ones) just disappear after a while, and it all happens naturally. It feels wonderful, indeed. And then when I try to focus on a desired thought, I can enjoy it without being hindered by any unwanted thoughts.
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
Read Chapter 1 “The Happiness Secret”
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