Meditation and mindfulness are a mental training that helps us attain a clear mind and leads to the awareness of its unlimited nature. Varying forms of mindfulness training are indispensable tools in every Buddhist practice. We become capable to see ourselves, our fellow people and our environment according to reality. We can release ourselves from various notions, interpretations, wishes and fears, which hinder a direct perception.
With the help of meditation and mindful behaviour we deepen the love and compassion for all living beings and the insight into the nature of things. This leads gradually to a reduction of the I-centred focus, to the understanding of reality and finally to Buddhahood. This path is comprised primarily through mindfulness to see exactly the here and now.
The various Buddhist traditions use, in part, different forms of meditation. The “Meditation of Concentration” (Samatha) and the “Meditation of Clear Insight” (Vipassana) are practiced similarly as the basis by all Buddhist schools.
Here is a brief instruction for a 10 minute Meditation:
Establish an island in the daily routine
Make a decision to take a ten minute pause from your daily routine.
Give yourself a little time in which you can establish a pleasant 10 minute rest.
Then sit yourself 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 time and then allow them to fall. Find yourself a middle path” for your back.
Rest your sight on a point around one and a half metres in front of you. The chin is slightly drawn. This assists in keeping the back straight.
The eyes can be kept open or closed, whatever you find easier. Life is carried by the breath.
Breathe deeply a few times very consciously in and out. You can be thankful for your breath, which accompanies and carries you day and night.
Choose a reminder object.
You can choose any object: your breath in your chest, your breath on the abdominal wall, a candle, a picture, a statue,... This object can help you during your meditation. It serves you as a reminder - to return to the breath should thoughts, feelings, noises arise.
Count the breath
If you wish, for every exhalation you can count your breath - from 1 to 10 and then again from 1 to 10 and then again from 1 to 10,...
If you notice that your thoughts and feeling are in the past or future, you can return to the present by observing your reminder object for a moment and then resume counting your breath.
If thoughts, feelings, noises come
It is a habit that our mind wanders. If you become aware that you have become distant from your reminder object, you have recognised this through your power of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is very well practiced when you notice that you are distracted. For this reason every distraction can become a welcome perception. Return simply 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 gradually move your back again into an upright position.
You have noticed your tiredness, and so you can practice directing your mindfulness to what is happening now.
At the end of your mindfulness pause
The alarm rings. Remain sitting briefly and enjoy the moment.
If you have questions contact our office. We and the ÖBR groups are 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.