People meditate for many reasons. Some people view it as a religious act. Others use it to solve complex problems, or to start or end their day. I use it to calm my mind in the evenings so that I can sleep better. I also do a short meditation after my morning yoga session to prepare for my day. The only criteria there is for a good session of meditation is that you be comfortable. You can sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your hands resting on your knees, palms up or down. I lay on my back on my bed at night. In the mornings, I sit cross legged on my yoga mat and meditate. However you sit or lay, you have to clear your mind. In the mornings, I send a mantra out to the world and draw it back in. My mantra consists of three words, things that I wish for myself and everyone in the world. At night, I just count. I don’t imagine sheep, I just count and that seems to calm my mind. Then I can go to sleep. Whatever you need to do to clear and empty your mind, you can do it. Focusing on my mantra and my counting is what works for me. It might not work for you.
Meditation is a personal thing. I don’t believe that there is a wrong way to do it. However, there is one thing that everyone who meditates needs to do and that is clearing the mind. That’s what the mantra and the counting do for me. They make me focus on my breathing and the mantra and the count. Concentration is easier when you have something to concentrate on. Concentrating on your breath and your mantra make it easier. Try to make your inhalations as long as your exhalations, inhale, two, three, four, exhale, two, three, four. That rhythm will make it easier to focus and clear your mind.
Remember, the purpose of meditation is to clear the mind, not to get the breathing exactly right, or the physical position but to clear the mind. Relax. Don’t worry if you don’t pull it off the first time you try. Your mind will wander. When you realize that, bring it back to the purpose. Don’t be hypercritical of your attempts at meditation, just relax and let it happen. Eventually, it will.
Meditating isn’t going to solve all your problems. It’s not a miracle cure. It’s a method that can work, if you let it. It can calm both the mind and the body and that is what will work in your favor. You can do it anywhere. You can sit in a chair in your office and meditate — if you can tune out your colleagues and the busy noise around you. Eyes open, eyes closed, all that matters is your concentration and focus. If you can do that, you can reduce the stress in your life and that is a good, positive act. Take a few minutes to try it. You might find that you like it and you will get more accomplished if you settle your focus before you start in on the matter at hand. Good luck— and relax.