Meditation 120 is a simple mental health and meditation program that I constructed as a way to help me deal with the busyness of my mind throughout the day.
The program typically starts on a day off when you have enough time to relax and create some loving and mindfulness space for yourself.
We often invest a lot of time and energy in our financial and personal goals as well as physical health. We do not realize however how necessary it is to have a strong plan of action around how to take care of the mind. A brain and mind that is allowed to rest and recuperate should be a key aspect of all ways of living, and part of a long-term plan for happiness. You eat good food, you exercise, you spend time with friends and family, you work and you meditate.
To start with mediation 120 is very simple. Meditation 120 entails counting 120 breath with your eyes closed in two 60 breath cycles. You are seated in a comfortable but erect position. I myself prefer to sit on the floor on a zazen cushion as this aligns my body perfectly and gives me a sense of wakefulness.
Meditation is more about wakefulness than it is about relaxing. While relaxation is also a normal part of life, lying down tends to put you more in a passive states whereas sitting up creates more of an active state.
Think of meditation as both a form of calming, clearing and scrubbing of the mind for your day.
How to Start:
1. Recognize the need to take on a meditation practice to better take care of your brain and mind.
2. Start when you have time or whenever you want.
3. Find a seated position on a cushion on the floor or a chair if you have joint issues.
4. Sit and simply allow your body to adapt to the new position. Don’t start meditating right away. Warm yourself into the experience.
5. Close your eyes if you haven’t already done so and begin breathing in as deep as you want. Count from 1 up to 60. You will get distracted. Remember your task of counting breaths and simply come back to counting again. This is the training. Let all thoughts and judgements go and simply keep counting.
(Optional – Sometimes counting up to 120 breath can be difficult when one first starts. This is normal. You can start with 2 cycles of 30 breaths. Also during cycles you can open up your eyes and lie back to release any build up tension, stretch or get up and walk around.
6. As you near the end of your meditation, you may feel the anticipation of finishing. The mind is getting ready to celebrate being free again. Never just stop at the end because we don’t want you associating getting to the end as a reward. This is how the mind drives most of our behaviours. Instead after you finishing counting your breaths, simply sit and stay calm. Breathe for an while and just notice how you feel now. Open your eyes and drink in the room. This is a cool down, similar to what you would do after exercising.
7. Then get up and walk around the room mindfull. Notice how you feel calmer and how your body feels better.
8. Slowing reintegrate yourself back into your day, carrying your mindfulness with you into you next task.
Practice this four times a day or at least two to start getting you into the flow of having a meditation practice.