Select one of the following three options to focus your attention and quiet your mind during your centering meditation.
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing Focus your awareness on your breathing. Become aware of your inhale and exhale. Notice the sensation of your breath. FEEL your breath coming and going, going and coming, through your nose. Diaphragmatic breathing becomes the vehicle to carry you towards peace. Diaphragmatic breathing involves inhaling allowing your stomach to rise and exhaling allowing your stomach to gently fall.
2. Sound: Choose to focus your attention on a sound. Let the sound of music, silence, or nature be your focus. Notice the subtleties of sound within the sound.
3. Word or phrase: Select a word or phrase that brings you a sense of peace or connects you to healing. It could be an affirmation or inspiring phrase. It could also be one line from a prayer or a passage from a spiritual/religious text.
Quiet Your Busy Mind
During the centering meditation bring your full awareness onto what you have selected. As you do this you may begin to notice that you become distracted. You will know this by your thoughts wandering or thinking about something other than what you have selected to focus on. For example you might start thinking about your agenda for the day, what is on your to-do list, what you will be eating, what is happening with others in your life, your body or even day dreaming. This is simply your cue to bring your awareness back to what you have chosen to focus on. You may have to retrieve your attention 10, 20 or 100 times. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Experience whatever arises in the mind like bubbles rising from the bottom of the ocean. You may feel as though you are not doing it right because you have a busy mind. It is common to experience a busy mind especially when you are first practicing meditation. Don’t get discouraged. Stick with it. As you continue to practice it becomes easier to quiet your mind and experience your center.
Coaching and Counseling
Hilary Stokes Ph.D. and Kim Ward Ph.D. have been a team for 20 years, specializing in mind, body, spirit psychology. They are the authors of the bestselling books The Happy Map: Your roadmap to the habit of happiness and Manifesting Mindset: The 6-step formula for attracting your goals and dreams and founders of Authenticity Associates Coaching and Counseling. They are passionate about combining the best of holistic and traditional approaches to health and happiness. If you are interested in learning the answers to the most frequently asked questions on how to decrease stress and increase happiness sign up for their free video series.