Let’s face it. How often between your day-to-day tasks do you really step back and take a moment for yourself? And no, we’re not talking about updating your Amazon wish list or grabbing a latte while on a conference call and speed-walking back to the office. We’re talking true self-introspection. The kind that can really put you at ease, and clear your mind. We’re talking, of course, about meditation.
It’s safe to say that we’ve all seen some kind of interpretation of what it is to meditate. Whether it be from media or perhaps even a self-help book you picked up on a whim 5 years ago and totally forgot about, we’ve got a general idea, but the problem is putting what we know about it into practice. When do we meditate? How long are we devoting to it? Do we need to worry about our chakras? Well, don’t you fret, all will be revealed soon, in the Drunk Elephant guide to attaining enlightenment (or, at least attaining a bit of sanity):
All in all, meditation isn’t some kind of spectacular situation. You don’t need any special candles, yoga mats... or anything at all really. The only equipment you need is yourself, and a comfortable spot. We recommend a well lit room with no distractions and a cozy cushion, or anything that feels comfortable to rest on (we’re going for the Zen style of meditation, a great method for beginners and intermediates alike). After that, find a place on the floor, and then we can move to step two. So far so good, right?
Now that you’ve seated yourself down and are comfortable, it’s time to get down to business. Begin to breathe, slowly. Follow your breath, and continuously focus on it. Continue focusing, slowing your breath down until it’s nice, calm, and quiet. At that point, you should try to focus your awareness on yourself, and everything going on within your body.
Sounds a bit daunting right? Well, don’t worry. A good way to get into the swing of things is starting of by counting your breaths, one for when you breath in (remember to count in your mind, not out loud, you’re trying to reach nirvana after all), and one for when you breath out. Then, again, two for when you breath in, and two for when you breath out. Continue this in your mind, until you reach 10, then start over at one. Soon after doing this for a bit, you’ll begin to find that being conscious of your breath is getting a lot easier.
So now you’ve got to control over your breath, and are fully aware of yourself. You’ve done it! You’ll begin to clear your mind, and after a good 30 minutes, you’ll have nothing to think about at all, and that is the meditative state. Quite a relief, no?
Although this is one of the basic techniques, it’s a good one, and the absolute basis of most meditative methods. If you want to get more serious about it, there are lots of other ways to meditate, like mantras or even music and tones, but if you’re just starting out, stick with us. After all, we're just trying to get our om on, too.