Based on ancient Buddhist meditation techniques, mindfulness meditation has recently been caught up in a new bout of secular popularity: a slew of new mindfulness apps are flooding the market, and the latest scientific studies have found that practicing meditation can change the physical structure of your brain.
Here are some tips on how to begin meditating from His Holiness The 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader and head of the Drukpa lineage.
You can engage in meditation anywhere, whether sitting in a chair or standing. However, sitting in this position will help you ground your body, which will in turn help to ground your mind.
- Sit with your legs crossed, left leg tucked inside.
- Your back and shoulders should be straight, shoulders stretched, neck slightly bent.
- Don’t close your eyes. Keep them open, downcast and focused to about one metre in front of you.
- Your mouth should be slightly open, the tip of the tongue touching the upper palate.
- Your hands should be placed on your lap, right palm over the left, hands gently touching.
VISUALIZATION: WHITE LIGHT, BLACK SMOKE
- Exhale through both nostrils, visualising negative emotions – such as anger, hatred and disappointment – leaving you as black smoke.
- Press your left nostril close with your fingertip. Inhale deeply through the right nostril. Visualise positive emotions moving into your body in the form of white light.
- Hold your breath for two seconds before exhaling and visualising black smoke leaving you.
- Repeat steps 2-3, this time pressing your right nostril close while inhaling deeply through the left nostril.
- Inhale deeply through both nostrils, again visualising white light entering your body.
- Exhale deeply, again visualising black smoke leaving your body.
This completes 1 set. This meditation is usually done in sets of 3 or more.