In class, on the bus: just free your mind;Mind amp; Body

26th June 1998 at 01:00
Despite the plethora of books and tapes, it's best to learn from an experienced meditation teacher. But once you've been to a few classes you can do it on your own almost anywhere - in the staffroom or on the bus, if you can find a quiet corner. Here are some simple tips, using the Mindfulness of Breathing meditation technique.

PREPARATION

* Don't try to do it on a full or empty stomach or directly after work or when you're very tired.

* Let go of your preoccupations for the 15 or 20 minutes that you meditate. Have a break - take a walk or have a cup of tea - before you begin.

* Find a quiet space where there will be no interruptions.

* How you sit is important, since you'll be in one position for 15 or 20 minutes. You can sit on a chair or on cushions or on the floor, but make sure your back is upright and that you're comfortable.

* It helps to close your eyes if you're not focusing on an external object.

THE FOUR STAGES

1 Become aware of the sensation of breathing in and out. After four or five minutes of this, count each exhalation up to 10, then start over again.

2 After four or five minutes, switch to counting each inhalation in the same way.

3 After another few minutes, stop counting and once again concentrate on the flow of your breathing.

4 After another few minutes, shift your focus to the point of your body where you feel most contact with the air (usually this is the nostrils or lips).

Gradually bring the session to an end. Sit quietly for a few minutes. Try gently to ease yourself back into life by doing something reflective, like taking a walk or looking out of the window.

To find a class contact the London Buddhist Centre on 0181 981 1225 or the School ofMeditation on 0171 603 6116

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