Woman meditating
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Meditation takes awareness and a willingness to keep going. The good news is that it is not possible to fail! As you continue, it will begin to feel more natural, and cool things will start to happen. Being still happens in a moment, but it may take some time before that moment comes. Remember, it is a great gift to yourself!

In other words, meditation is a letting go of resistance, of whatever may arise: doubt, worry, feelings of inadequacy or endless dramas and desires. Every time you find your mind is drifting, daydreaming, remembering the past or planning the future, just come back to now, come back to this moment. In meditation, paying attention is both the key and the practice. To be with what is; nothing else is going on.

One way to become more focused is to label the thoughts. If you drift off into thinking, silently repeat, "Thinking, thinking." Ed likes to repeat, "Monkey mind, monkey mind," when meaningless thoughts appear. If you get distracted, simply label it, "Distraction, distraction." You can also see thoughts like clouds in the sky, just moving through the sky without stopping, or like birds and watch them fly away. Everything comes and goes—nothing stays, no matter how strong or insistent the thought or feeling may be. There is no need to struggle; meditation is really your best friend.

Breath Awareness Meditation

Sit comfortably with a straight back so you can breathe easily and freely. Hands are resting in your lap. Eyes are closed or lowered. Take a deep breath and let it go.

Now simply focus on the natural in and out flow of your breath without trying to change it in any way. Let your breathing be normal and relaxed; your attention still and focused.

If you find you are getting distracted or caught up in thinking, simply label your thoughts as distraction or thinking and let them go, or see them as birds in the sky and let them fly away. Do your best to do this for at least 10 minutes. Just breathing and being.

When you are ready, take a deep breath. Gently open your eyes.

Ed and Deb Shapiro are the authors of Be the Change, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World. They are featured weekly contributors to Oprah.com, HuffingtonPost.com and Care2.com. Ed and Deb write Sprint's The Daily CHILLOUT inspirational text messages. They have three meditation CDs: Metta: Loving Kindness and Forgiveness, Samadhi: Breath Awareness and Insight and Yoga Nidra: Inner Conscious Relaxation. Deb is also the author of the best-selling book Your Body Speaks Your Mind, winner of the 2007 Visionary Book Award.

More from Ed and Deb Shapiro

Why meditation is the greatest gift you can give yourself
Is meditation your friend or your enemy?


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