Learning To Focus
Lesson 1 Chapter 1
5 Minute Focusing Meditation
10 Minute Focusing Meditation
This is the same meditation as the 5 minute version above, but with a longer period of silence.
A Few Thoughts...
The first step on the path of relaxation is to cultivate focus – which will also increase your ability to concentrate. We start by choosing one of the six senses: sight, smell, taste, sound, physical sensation and cognitions.
This week primary object of the meditation is your breath – an aspect of physical sensation. You will learn how to use “labeling” to bring your attention back to your breath when you get off track. Frequent practice will help you steady your gaze.
Use one of the following sets of labels as you sense your inhales and exhales, silently repeating the words over and over. You will get distracted - don't worry! Just start again when you catch yourself.
- In, Out, In, Out
- Rising, Falling, Rising, Falling
- Counting (1, 2, 1, 2 or up to 10 and back down again)
- Personal Mantra (1-3 words, repeated along with your exhale)
TIP: While it is helpful to use these labels when you need them, attention on the words is not as effective in cultivating mindfulness as focusing on the actual sensation of breath. Think of the labels as training wheels on a bicycle. Use them when needed, and remove them when you don't!
PRACTICE: Use the guided meditation at least once a day this week to cultivate deeper focus and concentration. You may stream the audio or download the MP3.
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