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Dr OlenGin’s Guide to Relaxation – Part Two

Making Time

It’s important to set aside enough time in your daily routine for meditating. The effects of meditation are most evident when you do it regularly, for example, some like to reach the end the day by clearing their mind, and some prefer to find refuge in meditating in the midst of a busy day. However, generally, the most convenient time to meditate is in the morning, before the day tires your body out and clogs up your mind.

Breathing

By all means, listen to it and follow it, but make no judgments on it. For example, don’t think about how your breathing sounds, whether you’re worried you may have a cold or you’re not breathing loud enough – this will come naturally in time. The aim is to allow the thoughts in your mind to steadily fade away. This method will almost instantly settle your mind.

Try reciting a mantra (basically, the repetition of a sacred word or syllable) A single word like "ohm" said at a steady rhythm usually works best. You can recite it out loud or just with the voice in your mind. Beginners may find it easier to count their breaths one by one. Try counting your breath from 1 through 10, and then simply start again at 1.

To avoid images intruding on your thoughts, visualize a place that calms and relaxes you. It can be real or imaginary - a beach, a garden, a lake – it’s up to you. Imagine yourself stood at the top of a long staircase leading to that exact place. Then, slowly count your way down the steps until you are feeling peaceful.

The Sound of Silence

When you have taught yourself to focus on just one thing at a time, the next step is focus on nothing particular, in essence, cleaning out your mind. This requires a huge amount of discipline but really is the pinnacle of meditation. After focusing on a single point as described in the previous step, you can either cast it away, in one attempt, or observe it neutrally and let it come and then go, without labelling it as a good or a bad thing. Take the same approach to any thoughts which return to your mind until silence perseveres. After a while, you will feel replenished and calm, and all those worries and burdens that were sat on your shoulders will be ready to categorise and clear, without the need to affect your physical self with the stress.