Small Beginnings - An Introduction to Micro Meditation
Micro Meditation is an innovative & original technique for Meditation success.
Designed for the novice, Micro Meditation uses a novel approach to encourage meditation practice with clear, simple, step by step directions in a shorter time span. The short time frames are more inviting & manageable to anyone new to meditation. Rather than not meditate, begin with with this basic method.
As Anita Roddick says, “ If you think you're too small to make a difference, you haven't been in bed with a mosquito”. As confidence and enthusiasm builds, the meditation periods may be increased in small increments until a stretch of 30 minutes at one sitting is reached. The methods advocated here are adapted from the works of many teachers of meditation, including Sri Eknath Easwaran and my own experiences.
What you will Find
Micro Meditation outlines
- Why meditation is good for you? It walks you through the very basics of how to begin meditation.
- The Orientation to Meditation offers additional tips that you can easily apply to your daily routine.
What is Meditation?
- Meditation is the consistent practice of training your mind to focus on one subject at a time. When you apply this training of being focused to other areas of your life, there is a greater chance of completing a task successfully, leading to satisfaction, cheerfulness and confidence. Our outlook and responses have a domino effect. Generally an outlook that is positive and peaceful, encourages and promotes the same response from others. It can also lead to success in other tasks
- The same domino effect is true for responses such as violence, anger & rudeness that stem from stress, tension & poor coping skills. They often lead to isolation and more damaging behaviors. Meditation is like a tool that can be used to slowly chisel away & modify these negative emotional reactions.
- The skills of concentration and focusing can be applied to communication with others or when facing any crises. You will be less likely to be overcome with tension or burst out in a tirade. Instead, you will most likely face the situation with clarity and make decisions that will take care of the problem.Practicing meditation can help you take charge of your responses and ultimately your lifestyle.
- It is hard work to achieve this focused state of mind, but it is possible. Trying hard to meditate successfully is just like other goals that we seek. It takes great effort to lose weight and to overcome addictions. Sports stars and athletes practice and train consistently in spite of being talented. Just as running marathons needs a whole lot of training, discipline and following a healthy diet, so it is with meditation. Consistency, enthusiasm & discipline are essential ingredients for success in being able to meditate.
- Many people also meditate in pursuit of spiritual goals. The main focus is to obtain “nirvana “ or bliss and to become “what one meditates on.” Often passages from religious text, with inspiring themes are silently recited, with fixed attention.
- Alongside meditation, there are guidelines to consider other people, have one-pointed attention and “slowing down,”amongst other recommendations. You can find more on Sri Eknath Easwaran's 8 Point Program at this link, Meditation.
Why should One Meditate?
- Meditation is the tool that trains the mind to improve one's lifestyle
- It is possible to become more patient, resilient to negative outbursts and better able to handle pressure.
- One pointed attention will help one to make clear decisions
- One will learn to cope with stress in a calmer manner
- Full attention to one thing at a time will prevent costly & and tragic mistakes.
- The ability to be calm will improve relationships at work and at home.
- One will begin to be more tidy, organized and create beauty within and all around oneself.
Orientation for Beginners
- Much of meditation is learning to focus and avoid distracting thoughts. When you make a conscious effort to concentrate you will come to realize how busy the mind is. We do not notice this ordinarily. In meditation we attempt to overcome these distractions by focusing on one subject.
- For the first week just do this simple exercise which will familiarize you with meditation. Use a candle, however, this is optional. I like using it.
- Select a quiet spot and turn off the television and radio. Do not answer the phone, let it go to voice mail. Light a candle if you choose this option. It helps to create nice atmosphere. Sit upright. Now just breath in and out but be aware that you are breathing.
Follow your breath & with every breath that you inhale, say, “I- -a- - m b--r--e--a--t--h--i--n--g-- i--n. ”
With every breath that you exhale, follow your breath & say to yourself,“I- -a- -m -- b--r--e--a--t--h--i--n--g-- o--u--t.”
- It is important to say the words silently while you breathe as it is an anchor in helping you to just concentrate on following your breath. Do this for at least 5 minutes at a time. You can repeat this at any time and at anyplace a few times a day.
- As you go about your daily tasks, try and pay full attention to what you are doing. During your meals, pay attention to what you eat & concentrate on savoring the meal & chewing well without turning on the TV or radio.
- To help with the transition to focusing on one subject, choose just one day in the week, not to have any distractions while you breakfast. Don't be too hard on yourself. Ease into the change, every little bit counts. You may want to challenge yourself and try it on other days as well. Click on this link and read the information on Mindfulness by Thich Nacht Hahn
- This is another exercise in mindfulness or just being aware of what you are doing. If you are driving, you can repeat silently, I am driving my car, I am driving my car. See how long you can maintain this. When you become accustomed to paying attention like this, you will notice that you are aware of all your actions. Also watch how quickly your mind has skipped to other subjects. This is what you can expect to experience in meditation. It is a slow but steady way to take charge of your responses and being in the present.
- Another major advantage of being in the present is that we avoid thinking about the quarrel we had that morning, what one should have said, why did that person behave that way and so forth. It is often these distractions that lead to traffic accidents, or just keeps you angry and tense. We do not benefit from going on, “fighting in our minds, so let it go.”
A Glossary of Sorts
- Settling In, In my Daily Logs I often refer to settling in. By this I mean, choose a place to sit, locate your book, light the candle and set the alarm. It includes just taking in the moment and watching the steady flame of the candle, to set the tone for meditation. Similarly at the end of the session, take a few moments to reflect, savor the feeling of having tried really hard to concentrate and tell yourself that you will have a good day.
- Breathing In : Breathing Out: This is an exercise that is meant to familiarize you with what you will experience in meditation. Just breathing in and out while repeating the words silently will help you to concentrate. It is important to “follow your breath”
- OM, according to Hinduism, the sound OM, is said to be the source of creation. It is said that OM “symbolizes unfolding or expansion-when pronounced, it begins in the lungs, and ends on the lips.“ Of course if you don't feel like using this expression choose one that you prefer or none at all. These are all aids to concentration and calmness. It is pronounced as. Here is an audio clip. OM
- Passage or Verse, I refer to a whole verse or an extract from a religious or other text. The goal is to memorize the text and then recite it when you are meditating. If you are not familiar with the verse, then read it with concentration.
- It--is--recommended---that-- reading--or recitation-- should-- be-- slow,--like -- this,-- paying-- attention--to-- the---words.
- Choose a passage that you find inspiring. It may be a spiritual passage like the Prayer of St.Francis, The Lord's Prayer, a verse or song that you find uplifting. If you have not memorized the words, have the text in front of you. It will be a crutch to help you focus.
- Have all of this ready the night before. If you have music that you find inspiring and prefer to listen to, then use that instead, but play it softly.
The Week Of Meditation
The best time for meditation is said to be first thing in the morning. If this is hard, try and do it as early as possible and preferably before breakfast. If you are hungry, have a cup of tea or a small bite of something to eat. Make sure that you are adequately dressed for the weather. Have a glass of water nearby if you need to sip water.
sleep early enough to allow you to get up and have 15 minutes of meditation time with no distractions. In the morning, after you have showered and before breakfast, find a quiet place to sit. Do not answer telephone calls; they can be picked up on the voice mail. Switch off the TV and radio.
Just 15 minutes in the morning is a good way to begin. About 5 of the 15 minutes are to allow for settling in & then ending the session with some reflection. The actual time spent on meditation itself is approximately 10 minutes. When a comfortable level is reached and 15 minutes is achieved with ease, it should be increased to 20 minutes and gradually to 30 minutes at a stretch.
Find the passage that you intend to read. Switch off the lights if you are indoors. If you plan to listen to music, play it softly. Light a lamp or candle as it helps to focus and adds a nice ambiance.
Set your timer or alarm clock for 15 minutes. Seat yourself upright. Now just read the passage with concentration, listen intently to the music or recite the memorized passage slowly.
When a thought flits in, let it go and continue with your passage. As thoughts trickle in, just continue to focus again. When the alarm rings, turn it off, take a minute to reflect and enjoy the serenity and tell yourself that you have done a good job and that you will have a good day.
I have recorded my experiences over a period of approximately 4 months and invite you to share your experiences. This support goes a long way to find success with meditation. I do hope that the information here has been of assistance to you.
In mid May I left for South Africa. It was my intention to record my meditation experiences while I was away. However, internet access was not easily available. I thought about doing a summary of my meditation sessions, but decided against that. I have decided is not to continue the daily log until reader response requests me to continue. I shall continue to meditate and will be only too happy to resume the logs if there is an interest. You may access all the daily logs in that are in date order at, Meditation Archives
How to Reach Me
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