Taking time to sit in silence every day can help you develop focus—and discover purpose—in your life.
Find a quiet, comfortable spot where you won't be interrupted. Sit in your favorite chair, on a porch swing, on a rock by a river. Lie back in a warm bath, if you'd like, or on a blanket on the grass. If your eyes are open, focus softly on whatever is a few feet in front of you, your gaze, if you're sitting, slightly down. The idea is to just be still for a few minutes. Be with yourself.
Try to concentrate on your breath—breathing in and breathing out (nothing special, don't change the way you breathe). You might even want to say those words to yourself at first: "Breathing in, breathing out." After a while, let the words go. When you find your mind wandering, notice the thoughts—don't judge them—and let them go. Do this by coming back to your breath.
That's meditation—simply being there with yourself for a few minutes every day, getting to know your own mind.
Read an excerpt from Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love
From the July 2000 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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