I close my eyes, and count my breaths. 1 when I breathe in, 2 when I breathe out. I find that if I go higher than two, I can eventually get distracted by the counting, so I just count to two over and over.
I also picture myself underwater, in the shallow end of a pool, waving my hands above me to stay underwater. Whenever I have a distracting thought, I picture it as an air bubble that I blow out and watch rise to the surface of the pool.
Sometimes it takes me a minute to notice the music has turned off at 20 minutes, and that's cool. I don't have to scramble to turn off an alarm. When I eventually open my eyes, I feel like I've awakened from a deep sleep - as though I've just had a full night's sleep, and slept until I was ready to awaken.
It's really quite lovely, relaxing, and energizing.
The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous!
The way I would meditate is to have it very quiet and just focus on proper breathing and one word.
I also unplugged or turned off the phone.
I also noticed I could meditate far better when I quit drinking coffee. I found that caffeine and meditation did not work well, it was very hard to calm the mind.
How meditation helps clear the mind (which I DESPERATELY need!)
The purpose of meditation is not to clear the mind. It is used to "train" the mind to stay very focused; to help our minds become peaceful, calm, and relaxed even when confronted with our chaotic and sometimes painful thought processes.
Here are two youtube links to help get you started on mindful meditation:
I also recommend some of the guided imagery podcasts found on the Kaiser Permanente website at:
To teach yourself a different way of looking at your suffering through your meditation practice, I recommend the books:
The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron
Good luck with this and please feel free to ask additional questions.
[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 1:47 AM, March 9th (Sunday)]
Unfortunately the Kundalini music became a huge trigger for me so I gave all the CDs to someone who can appreciate them.
I need to get back to it. I feel a bit scattered lately, and it is a wonderful habit to nurture.
I found some other tracks that are specifically for relaxation so will try those out.
[This message edited by FaithFool at 1:56 AM, March 9th (Sunday)]
The Lord's Prayer
Then, I continue focusing on breathing slowly and deeply. Whether this works or not, I'm not sure, since I don't know how long it takes me to fall asleep.