Meditation and mindfulness are mental trainings that help us attain a clear mind and lead to the awareness of its unlimited nature. Different forms of training mindfulness are indispensable tools in every Buddhist practice.
We will become capable to see ourselves our fellow human beings and our environment according to reality. We can get rid of various notions, interpretations, wishes and fears, which all prevent us from having a clear perception.
With the help of meditation and mindful behaviour we deepen the love and compassion for all living beings and also the insight into the nature of things. This gradually leads to a reduction of the I-centred focus and to the understanding of reality and finally to Buddhahood. The goal is to make us realize through mindfulness the here and now.
The various Buddhist traditions use partly different forms of meditation. The two basic meditations “Meditation of Concentration” (Samatha) and “Meditation of Clear Insight” (Vipassana) are practiced by all Buddhist schools.
Here is a brief instruction for a 10 minute meditation:
Establish an island in the daily routine
Make the decision to take a ten minute break from your daily routine.
Choose a gentle tune for the timer to end the ten minutes.
Then sit down so that your back is straight
You can sit on the floor or on a chair, however it best suits you. In order to straighten the back, you can raise your shoulders a few times and let them drop. Try to find a relaxed position for your straight back
Rest your eyes on a point about one and a half metres in front of you. The chin is slightly lifted. This helps keeping the back straight.You can keep your eyes open or closed, whatever you find easier.
Breathing is life
Breathe consciously and deeply in and out a few times. In your thought be grateful to your breath, which accompanies and carries you day and night.
Choose an object to concentrate on
You can choose any object: your breath in your chest, a candle, a picture, a statue. This object can help you during your meditation to return to the breath should thoughts, feelings, noises distract you.
Count the breath
You start now to count your exhaling breath from 1 to 10 over and over again from 1 to 10.
If you notice that your thoughts and feeling are wandering off, you can return your attention to the present by observing the object you had chosen in the beginning for a moment and then resume counting your breath.
If thoughts, feelings, noises come
It is a habit of our mind to wander. If you become aware that your thoughts have wandered away from your breathing it is due to your own power of mindfulness. It is a good way to practice mindfulness. Every time you realize your thoughts are wondering off just go back to the observation of your breath.
If you become sleepy
If you become aware that you are sleepy, you can perhaps open your eyes. You can direct your sight briefly upwards. You can try to move your back again into an upright position.
You have noticed that you are sleepy and you can try to direct your mindfulness to what is happening right NOW.
At the end of your mindfulness pause
The alarm rings. Remain seated and enjoy the very present moment.
If you have any questions please contact our office. We and the groups of the ÖBR will be happy to assist you to discover and practice the power and joy of meditation in everyday life. You can also attend introductory events, courses and seminars, lectures and the weekly meditations of our groups.