In response to the Daily Post Photo Challenge titles Optimistic, I have chosen to display the practice of meditation and how it helps cultivate an optimistic state of mind.
Optimism can be easily lost with all the hustle and bustle of our lives. Especially those of us who live in big cities and have to deal with so much sensory stimuli, our mind tends to start racing. Once our mind is uncontrollable, the cyclical patterns of negativity and pessimism settles and to escape that vicious cycle I have found yoga to help. However, very recently in my life meditation has taken my yoga practice to a whole other level. With meditation, I have realized that even with the gravest of challenges I’ve encountered, I’ve held my head up high and kept my optimism going. Here are 5 ways to keep your mind quiet.
1. Sit up straight on a cushion with your spine upright with your forehead, jaw, chin and eyes relaxed. You may slightly open your mouth, with the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth touching the rear side of your two front teeth, softly.
2. Let go of all thoughts and listen to your breath (equal counts of inhale and exhale). When thoughts arise, without judgement, label it as a “thought” and let it go. Come back to that thoughtless state of mind.
3. Be consistent with the time you sit. If 5 minutes is too much, reduce the time by half. If 5 minutes is too little, then increase your time by a few minutes. Assess yourself when you are ready to sit for longer.
4. Come out of your meditation, meditatively. Thank yourself for giving yourself that time. Don’t judge the emotions that come up, especially those you might label negative emotions. Just accept them for what they are.
5. Do a quick reflection after you have completed your sitting practice with the following in mind:
a. How grateful am I to be alive this morning and breathing?
b. How grateful am I to have all or some of the senses to feel, touch, see, etc?
c. How grateful am I for all the blessings in my life (love, friends, family, non-material things).