If you think you could never meditate because your mind is always racing, then you may find focused meditation much easier. Instead of getting rid of all your thoughts and emptying the mind completely, you allow yourself one specific thing to focus on. It can be a sound (see my previous post on sound meditation), a mantra or thought, or a physical object. The key is to concentrate completely on just one thing. The breath is a good example. You can listen to it and feel it. Try and breathe only through the nose. Is it quiet or noisy, does it feel gentle or strained? Where does it begin, and where does it end? How does your breathing change as you begin to relax more? Whenever you find your thoughts wandering, just bring your focus back to the breath.
Another form of focused meditation is problem solving. You may have something on your mind that requires an action, but you are unsure of the best one to take. Accessing your subconscious through meditation may help. As you sit quietly in your special place, begin to think about your problem. Don’t make it too personal, imagine it is just a problem that exists, not your own. Try and think of its causes, possible solutions and their consequences. Then let it gently go, push it to the edge of your attention. Don’t consciously ask for answers, simply be aware of the problem. Allow your subconscious mind to open up. If you lose track of the problem completely and start to think of other things, bring yourself back to it with certain key words or a short phrase. When you have finished meditating make notes of anything you remember. You will be surprised at how refreshed and re-energized this form of meditation can make you.
| by aka mgb
Candle meditationis a great way of focusing your concentration skills, as well as enabling you to reach a deeper meditation state. To begin, sit in a comfortable position, either on your favorite chair, or cross legged on the floor. Light a candle and position it at eye level, or slightly below, and at a distance away from you so that the flame does not appear too bright. Sit upright, with your head and body straight, looking forwards at the candle. Now gaze at the candle, allowing the eyes to focus only on the flame. Try not to let your mind wander, allowing the image to occupy you and keeping your eyes still. If they water a little, this is normal and it will go away quickly. Allow your breathing to relax and be natural. As you continue to gaze, you may find that anything in your peripheral vision begins to disappear, as if there were no distance between you and the candle. Let yourself absorb into the meditation, as if you were breathing the flame in and out. Continue as long as you feel relaxed and serene, and then close your eyes and lie down for a few minutes. You will still see the image of the candle. Gently observe it through closed eyes as it changes shape and color, until the image fades away completely. Relax for as long as your mind and body require.
Looking for a more high tech way to focus? Check out my meditation app available for your iPhone or iPod Touch: http://bit.ly/tuTMFs
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