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7 Simple Steps to Mastering Your Mind

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Living life in the fast lane?

Does life seem to be flying by at a frenetic pace? When you take time off of work are you expected to respond to emails from your boss or customers on your BlackBerry?

Or, are you a multi-tasker that texts and tweets and has to have the iPhone pried out of her hands in order to take a break? Have you tried meditating but decided you can’t because your mind won’t stop racing?

If so, you’re not alone. A lot of people tell me that they can’t meditate. With the pace of life today, and the multitude of distracting devices we’ve all become  addicted to, it’s no wonder that most of us have no idea how to slow down and focus on one thing at a time.

Slow down

For most people the idea of slowing down would be counter-intuitive when they have so much on their plates’ already, but slowing down doesn’t make us less productive it actually has the opposite effect. When we move more slowly and focus upon the task at hand we actually become more productive. Not to mention that countless studies have shown that taking time out to meditate has many proven health benefits.

It does take practice to master, but it’s actually not that hard. As a former meditation instructor I’ve heard many people say, “I just can’t meditate,” only to be surprised to learn that they can indeed master their minds’ and meditate.

All you need is a commitment to do it, 20 minutes a day, and a tried and true technique. Of course if you choose to practice more than once per day and a bit longer you’ll see the benefits that much sooner – and what could be better than starting your morning with an inner sense of calmness and crystal clarity that carries over into your day?

Here are the 7 steps to follow to master your mind and have a great meditation:

1. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Turn off your house and cell phone. Sit on a straight backed chair with your feet flat on the ground and place your hands face up/palm open on your lap. Do not lay down or  sit on a cushy couch as you may find yourself dozing off.

2. Tilt your head down so that your chin is closer to your chest. Let your head hang comfortably in this tilted downward position.

3. After closing your eyes begin taking deep breaths. Hold your breath for two or three seconds then release your breath slowly. Exhale through your nose. I recommend nose as it’s more natural to breath this way. Repeat until you get into a breathing rhythm.

5. Hold your attention on the top of your head. The part of your head called the fontanel area which was the soft spot when you were a baby. Now sense that your breath is coming in and out from this area of your head. Continue to focus on your breath emanating from this spot.  If ever you begin to lose this sensation – just reach up and gently pat that area of your head.

6. Let thoughts float by and refocus your attention on your breathing. You can also pat the head again. Make it a point to maintain your awareness on that spot on the top of your head. After a while you may begin to feel a tingling or pulsating sensation on that part of the head. When you do you’ll also feel a sense of relaxation and calm wash over you. This is what your aiming for.

7. Sit and enjoy this state of thought-free awareness. You are now meditating. You are aware of  your surroundings but free of mind chatter. You are giving your brain a well deserved rest from thinking and in return it rewards you by bathing you in this incredible feeling of calm and relaxation.

There are many forms of meditation. I devised this method after studying many meditation techniques throughout the years. I find that it’s extremely effective at stopping the constant flow of thoughts.

Plus, when when we stop thinking our intuition is able to get through with insights and guidance that we need to solve problems in our lives; which I think is one of the greatest benefits!

If you do this every day it will become a habit you won’t want to miss – especially the sensation of relaxation that streams over you.

I meditate in the morning using this technique. I also try to meditate again in the evening before going to bed.

Try this technique and let me know if you found that your thoughts slowed or stopped.

Do you meditate? How often? What benefits has it brought to your life?

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40 Comments

  1. Hi Raj,
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I’m glad you’re willing to try meditating. I’d love to know about your experience after you try it. Please come back and let me know how you felt, okay?
    Angela Artemis recently posted…7 Simple Steps to Mastering Your MindMy Profile

    Reply
  2. Hey, I dont do meditation but yeah, I have heard from a lot of friends that its a great experience in itself altogether.

    I would definitely like to try the process you have mentioned :)
    Raj recently posted…The Importance of Positive ThinkingMy Profile

    Reply
  3. Angela,

    I so needed to read this post today! Thank you for it.

    Lately, my life has gotten hectic, mostly due to 2 little ones that I am need for small mini break or mini vacation :-) I like the tips you have given and I am going to see if I can find some time to follow it. Thank you. How is life and moving treating you?
    Zengirl recently posted…How To Be Happy – Quotes By Wise PeopleMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Preeti,
      I’m so glad you’re going to try the meditation and tips. I’m sure it’ll help you. Staying at home with two little ones is rewarding but it can wear it you out, I’m sure.

      Moving – stinks! I can’t wait until it’s over. I’m hoping to close on Monday the 15th – after that I’ll feel free as a bird. Thanks for asking. I’ll keep you posted.

      Reply
  4. Every suggestion is meaningful and invites readers to expand their horizons. Thanks for your attentiveness to the power of noticing subtle nuances. It encourages everyone to come into their own wisdom.
    Liara Covert recently posted…Its all cued upMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Liara,
      Thanks so much for visiting my blog. It’s a pleasure meeting you.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and found it helpful.

      Reply
  5. Angela: Great advice. It is so easy to get sucked in to life and continually managing all the issues you have to deal with and other things that come your way. We have to always find a way to take a time out and refocus and refresh. I thought your list and this post was particularly helpful because it provided an actual approach that we can immediately put to use. It is all about always making certain we take the time we need to really live our best life. Great post and information.
    Sibyl – alternaview recently posted…Why You Should Judge Your Own PerformanceMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Sibyl,
      I’m glad you found my post useful due to the steps I provided for having a great meditation.
      I agree with you – it is about taking the time we need to rest so that we’ll be fit and ready to make the rest of our lives – the best of our lives.
      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.I hope you’re having a great & restful weekend!

      Reply
  6. Couldn’t agree more about the power of meditation. Learrningt o meditate changed my life. I never take medicine–of any kind. Headaches, colds, aches and pains–I meditate them all away.I like your technique for focusing becasue even parctices meditators , like myself get distarcted. focus makes all the difference.

    Reply
    • Hi Rosemarie,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, focus does make all the difference!

      Reply
  7. mediation is usually taken fro granted because of it’s simplicity. I think the most simplistic objectives are the none which bring the most success. The fundamental are always practiced by the greats because, a strong foundation holds a steady bridge. The bridge between our success of mastering our minds and our fear of being laughed at is coagulated in meditation. Silence rules!
    jonathanfigaro recently posted…Can You Be A LeaderMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Jonathan,
      I totally agree meditation is taken for granted because of its simplicity! And, yes I think your soo right when you say that the fundamentals are always practiced by the greats.
      I love that you’re showing us a partial photo of yourself too!
      Thanks so much for commenting.

      Reply
  8. Of course, in today’s era, our mind has more responsibilities and concerns than ever! Although we do not have direct threats to our lives, our brain feels in such a way… suddenly, one click is is precious to us, and this makes our mind to work faster and faster… and so we reach an illusion of constant urgency, stress and in some severe cases, even death…

    You presented a great meditation to calm the mind. The thing with meditation is, in my opinion, that it is too easy to apply. :) People (I was among them) often think that something has to be hard in order to benefit from it. What if it’s enough to breathe deeply and be quiet to experienced huge benefits? :)

    I would advise everyone to understand and apply your advice on meditation and see how it works…

    Reply
    • Hi Marko,
      Yes, I agree. People think that “real solutions” have to be hard. Simplicity is always best.

      I love how you point out we live in a “constant state of urgency.” How right you are!

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting Marko.

      Reply
  9. I love to try new forms of meditation and this one is very appealing. I connect very much with chakra energy when I am in the zone and will try this technique soon. Thanks for a new “tool” for my lifebox. :)
    Clearly Composed recently posted… Balance In Me Retreat- Active LifestyleMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Emma,
      I’m so glad you’re going to try it. I’d love to hear about your experience afterward.

      Reply
    • Hi Tess,
      I’m totally with you! Yes, take a the stress off and start when you feel up to it.
      I’m on overload here as I prepare for my move on the 15th.
      How are you doing? When are going to be in the new place?

      Reply
  10. Hi Angela – I was hooked from the the very first sentence, the question: “Does life seem to be flying by at a frantic pace?”

    I do not, and have never practiced meditation. I’ve said that I’ve meditated in a causal way – when driving to work – turning off music and thinking about ‘whatever’ – but I don’t think that’s really meditating…especially since my thoughts were likely focusing on work.

    I really need to give my brain a well deserved rest as you said above. AND – I’ve already mapped out a plan to do it. I’m up 2 hours before wife and kids…at this time the house is quiet and peaceful. *BINGO*

    I’m really going to give this a shot. I’m on a mission to grow – so what’s there to lose! I do have a vacation planned Sat-Tue, so I might get through off a little, but I’ll do my best. I only tell you in advance, to help hold myself accountable. I promise to report back within the next week!
    Thanks for the knowledge, Angela!

    Reply
    • Hi Jk,
      I’m so happy to hear that you’re going to give meditation a try! You’re right driving to work in peace and quiet is relaxing, but it’s not meditation.

      I can’t wait to hear back!! Make sure you keep your attention on, and “breath” through the Fontanel area – and I promise you’re going to feel something very special!

      Reply
  11. I think there’s no 1 right or wrong way to meditate. For me, I just lay in silence in my bed before I close my eyes to sleep. I don’t think about anything in particular,I just lay there in stillness. Some might not consider this meditating but I find it relieving and helps me get a good night’s sleep w/o any distractions.
    Henway recently posted…Accutane ReviewMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Henway,
      You’re absolutely right – there is no one way to meditate. The whole point is to make it a daily habit and to learn how to still your mind so that intuitive insight and guidance can come through. There are many techniques to choose from.

      To truly meditate you have to remain awake though, so that you remember the experience instead of drifting off to sleep. I think what you’re doing is a wonderful way, as you say to get a restful night’s sleep, but it isn’t meditation if you end up asleep.

      Thank you so much for visiting and adding to the conversation here. I really value your opinion.

      Reply
  12. Great list Angela, but I must admit, I have never heard of #5 Hold your attention on the top of your head.

    I think this will help me stay focused and engaged with my mediation. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Alex

    Reply
    • Hi Alex,
      I’m so happy to hear that this tip will help you to stay focused and engaged with your meditation.
      The Fontanel area is where the 7th chakra is located and focusing your attention there reawakens it and further develops your spiritual connection your Higher Power, or to the God force.

      Reply
  13. Hi Angela,
    Thanks for the great tips!! That is a very interesting fact about breathing through the fontanel area. I kind of do that when I trying to fall asleep just naturally. I joined a meditation group that meets every other week. I’m hoping this will get me in the habit a little more. Thanks for a great post!

    Reply
    • Hi Betsy,
      I’m so glad you found the post helpful! The fontanel area is where the 7th chakra is located. Focusing there helps reawaken the spiritual connection to the Universe.

      Reply
  14. Thank you for sharing this! There are so many different ways to meditate and it’s always great to get new ideas! I love having soft music playing, sitting cross legged with my palms up and my thumb and first finger forming a circle. Even when I’m not meditating I will put my hands in that position in a stressful situation, because that signals to the brain to release relaxation hormones!
    Stacy recently posted…How to Become More Productive- Part ThreeMy Profile

    Reply
    • HI Stacy,
      Yes, there are so many different meditation methods, aren’t there?
      How interesting about the relaxation hormones being released when you put your thumb and first fingers together.
      Thanks so much for sharing that with us here!
      It’s a pleasure “meeting” you!

      Reply
  15. Hi Angela,

    I really appreciate the point you have made that slowing down actually makes us more effective. Thanks for these tips on basic meditation. I do meditate everyday and find it very beneficial. I follow meditation instructions from the Dzogchen approach of Tibetan Buddhism.
    Sandra Lee recently posted…The Heart of RealityMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Sandra,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and the basic tips on meditation, even though you’re already a meditator.
      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

      Reply
  16. “when we stop thinking our intuition is able to get through with insights and guidance” – so very, very true Angela! Okay it might be my one trillionth time saying this, but you are my meditation & intuition motivator. Seriously, your blog got me back into practicing mediation more seriously and my intuition has been growing. – you offer really great tips that are simple, doable and they work!
    Aileen recently posted…Infuse Your Life With MomentumMy Profile

    Reply
    • Oh Aileen – you’re so sweet to say so! Thank you! I’m glad I can be of help!

      Reply
  17. Lovely technique and somehow perfect timing as I am focusing on slowing down to become more productive. It is working but I think this will be the perfect addition to my new, slow regime. Thank you Angela. You always seem to know what I need just when I need it. I’m going to use Leo’s Habit Change cheatsheet to make this my first new habit. Excellent! Even reading it I could feel the top of my head pulsing. What chakra is a the top of the head and what does it relate to? Do you know?
    k recently posted…How to Gather Honey From a Beehive of KnowledgeMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Katie,
      I’m glad you liked the technique and that it’s perfect timing for you Katie. I cannot wait to move and start a new “slow regime!”
      I’m so glad my posts are helpful to you and that the timing is always on! That’s music to my ears – thank you.
      The top of the head is the Crown Chakra – it’s where we connect spiritually to the spiritual realm, or your higher power, or God – whichever you prefer. Meditation activates this chakra. I’m so glad you could already feel your head pulsing! That’s awesome!
      That’s the best place to put your attention when meditating – it will further open up this chakra.

      Reply
  18. I used to try but I was always laying down…

    …. and I would start falling asleep just like you said!

    I’m going to try this way- thanks!
    Carolee Sperry recently posted…Your Goals for 2011My Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Carolee,
      I’m so glad you’re going to give it a try. Let me know how it works for you!

      Reply
  19. Great tips Angela! I’ve been meditating for many years but I never heard of patting your head. Then again, I haven’t done much exploration for different ways. Interesting! I don’t much worry about thoughts–I just let them flicker by and do their thing, observe, watch them like it’s a movie (it’s a Zen Buddhist thing, at least what I’ve been taught, to not worry about them because that’s a thought too, and the idea is to not have any goals). Little by little, they settle into their little files….I call it “processing” too. When I’ve had too much going on or too much on my mind, I have to go “process” to clear my poor frazzled brain (it was a joke with some friends I traveled with for a few weeks awhile back).

    Cool. I’ll give it a try and let you know how it goes.
    Leah McClellan recently posted…Feel The Fear–and Do It AnywayMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Leah,
      I’m glad I could pass on at least one new idea to a seasoned meditator like yourself!
      Let me know how it works when you try it.

      Reply
      • Oh gosh Angela, keep the tips coming. I only know how I meditate, not how others do it. Always interested in learning something new! I’ll let you know how it goes :)
        Leah McClellan recently posted…Feel The Fear–and Do It AnywayMy Profile

        Reply
        • Hi Leah,
          I certainly will~!
          Please do.

          Reply

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