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How to Take Your Mindfulness Meditation Technique Further

By Paul Maplesden

Meditation

Meditation is a beautiful and powerful thing. In the chaos of the world it lets us center ourselves, quiet our minds, and find a deep peace and sense of calm. As entrepreneurs, we’re always confronted by questions, decisions, projects, plans, tasks, and more. In this cacophony of responsibility, meditation can be a powerful sanctuary and a way to reconnect to what’s important.

It can open our minds, help us react better to circumstances, focus on the most important part of any situation, and prepare us for emotional ups and downs. Daniel Schwartz wrote an excellent guide to mindfulness meditation with a special focus on entrepreneurs. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s the time to start.

In this article we’ll be expanding on some of Daniel’s ideas and introducing a few other gentle meditative techniques to help you enhance your practice and your peace of mind.

A Quick Reminder on Mindfulness

Here’s a very quick precis of Daniel’s article — it’s the essential underpinning of any other meditation technique.

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet place and close your eyes.
  2. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply.
  3. Let your mind relax.
  4. Contemplate what is going on in your mind without judgment.
  5. Think about things and let them go.

Read the full article for a good explanation of the technique and more insights.

You can also check out these meditation apps if you’d like some more hands-on guidance while learning to meditate.

The rest of these techniques are for you to use as you wish. None of them are “better” than any others. They’re all useful in the right circumstances. Pick and choose the ones you like, try them out, and see how they work for you.

Focused Sitting Meditation

This first meditation technique is a slight variation on mindfulness meditation and will help you increase your concentration and focus.

Practice as follows:

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet place and close your eyes.
  2. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply.
  3. Let your mind relax.
  4. Find something to focus on — this could be a mental image, a picture, a word you repeat (a mantra), your breath, or an object like a candle.
  5. Gently focus your attention on that object, and that object alone as you continue to breathe in and out.
  6. If your mind starts to wander, gently pull it back to whatever you’re focusing on.

Although this is one of the simplest forms of meditation, it’s also one of the most powerful. Regular practice will help you shut out distractions at work and let you be single-minded about getting things done.

Focused Walking Meditation

If you’re like me, you spend most of your time sitting at a screen in front of a desk. If you’re like me, you also know you need to get away from that desk and screen more than you do. Walking meditation is a great way to combine a simple meditative technique with the other thing we all need — exercise.

Practice as follows:

  1. Find a good space outside.
  2. Walk along at a slow to medium speed, focusing on each step.
  3. Bring your breath into a rhythm with your steps, breathing in and out as you walk.
  4. Focus on the feeling of walking — how it feels, your feet touching the ground, your muscles working.
  5. As your attention wanders, simply bring it back to the act of walking and sensing your body.
  6. Keep practicing, and as you meditate widen your awareness to other parts of your body — the swinging of your arms, the feel of the air against your skin.
  7. Notice the tiny details, use them to center yourself in the here and now, in your body, appreciating how you move.

This meditative technique is great for helping us connect with ourselves and our physical presence in the world. It helps us focus on just one or two things and is a powerful way to build up concentration and discipline. With regular practice it can help you concentrate on tasks for long periods without becoming fatigued or bored.

Connected Walking Meditation

This style of meditation is similar to the last one, with one important difference — it’s about focusing outwards as well as focusing inwards. This one is a great way to feel connected with the world around you, to get moving, and to really appreciate your surroundings.

Practice as follows:

  1. Find a good space outside.
  2. Walk along at a medium speed, breathing in rhythm with your steps.
  3. As you breathe in and out, use your senses. Look around you without judgement, feel the air moving past you, the warmth of the sun on your skin. Listen to the sounds, whether they’re nature or traffic. Smell the scent in the air.
  4. For each of your senses take a moment to appreciate what they are telling you. Again, there’s no judgement here — you’re focusing on the act of sensing something.
  5. Let those senses wash through you and over you as you become mindful of and connected with your surroundings.
  6. If your mind wanders, bring it gently back to appreciating the world around you.
  7. Don’t let your own thoughts intrude, when they do, acknowledge them and let them go. Return to sensing the world.

This technique is great for developing connections and noticing tiny things in the world around you. It’s a good way to strengthen your perception and look at situations without judgement. With regular practice, it will help you trust your senses and let you deal with difficult situations in a calmer, more measured way.

Gratitude and Compassion Practice

This style of meditation is great at helping you feel a stronger connection to other people, and working to each other’s mutual benefit. It’s also especially good if you’ve spent a lot of mental energy and want to get back in touch with your emotions.

Practice as follows:

  1. Find a quiet space and sit comfortably.
  2. Close your eyes and steady your breathing into a natural, gentle rhythm.
  3. Quieten your mind by focusing on your breath.
  4. When your mind is quiet, think about someone you’re close to. Picture them in your mind as clearly as you can.
  5. Feel gratitude towards them — call up feelings of kindness, gentleness and love. Hold onto those feelings as you think about them and send them a silent “thank you.”
  6. Call into mind another person — it doesn’t need to be someone in your immediate sphere.
  7. Find and feel gratitude towards them.
  8. Keep repeating this exercise for more people and it will become easier and easier to feel kindness and gratitude towards many others in your life.

This technique is great for learning to appreciate what other people can bring to you. It helps you work with them for mutual gain, and means you don’t always put your thoughts and feelings ahead of other people’s.

Mindfulness Body Scan Meditation

This technique is a great way to relax — it helps you get in touch with your body, deepens your self-awareness and focuses your attention.

Practice as follows:

  1. Lay down, either on the floor or on your bed, with your arms by your sides, palms faced upwards.
  2. Close your eyes and let your breathing settle into a natural, gentle rhythm.
  3. Sense what it’s like to be lying down — feel how your body connects to the surface beneath it.
  4. Next, focus your attention on one of your toes. Say “hello” to it like you’re checking in, hold it for a moment in your awareness.
  5. When you’ve completed that move onto the next toe, and the next. When you’ve finished with one set of toes, move onto the next.
  6. Then, move up through your foot, to your heel, your ankle, the ball of your foot.
  7. Continue working up your leg, sensing and checking in with each body part. Continue like this until you’ve moved up through your whole body.
  8. Once you’ve focused on each individual part, bring them together. Sense how your toes connect to your feet, how your ears connect to your head.
  9. Expand your awareness until you sense how your whole body fits together.
  10. Stay in this moment for a while, appreciating the way you are. See it as a perfect whole, as your breath floats in and out of you.

This meditation is best for getting a sense of yourself, and earthing yourself in the world. It helps to remind you of your potential and ability to do great things.

Deep Relaxation Body Scan Meditation

This technique is related to the last one, but involves a bit more work on your part. When practiced it’s a great way to deeply relax your whole body and reduce any stress or pressure you’re feeling.

Practice as follows:

  1. Use the same technique as the mindfulness body scan meditation with one important difference.
  2. As you focus on each body part, you’re going to tense it up as hard as you can.
  3. You’ll hold that tension in the body part for around 3 – 5 seconds as you breathe in and hold your breath.
  4. You’re then going to completely release the tension and breathe out as you do so.
  5. Repeat this tense, hold, release technique on each part of your body as you move through.
  6. Once you’ve gone through each body part, clench the outer parts of your body — your feet, your hands, your face — tense, hold, relax.
  7. As a final part of the meditation, tense up every part of your body at once, hold it for a short while, and then let it all go.

This technique is amazing at reducing stress and anxiety. It’s perfect for getting rid of tension you hold in various parts of your body, and helps you “reset” your physical stress levels back to zero. If you have trouble sleeping, this meditation practice can be a great way to get over insomnia.

These six meditation techniques are all excellent for helping to develop a better perspective, a deeper understanding of ourselves, and a greater connection to the world and the people in it. Practicing meditation for just a few minutes each day will give you profound benefits and insight, into your business, your life, and yourself.

  • https://anthonytornambe.wordpress.com/ Anthony Tornambe

    Nice article.

  • http://www.onlyatoms.com/ OnlyAtoms!

    <3

  • tedo gogoladze

    Great Article, Thanks!

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