A simple guide to meditation

I almost misspelled this medication. An apt misspelling.

There’s a kid book, Peaceful Piggy Meditates, with a line that goes “It almost seems like you can’t slow down…even when you’re sitting down.”

You feel that?

Let’s be honest and direct here. Our world is sick. Sick. Sick. Sick.

First of all is popular culture.

We get young males started on the woman as sex objects thing. That’s a fun one to overcome, if you fall prey.

Not to mention the unhealthy amount of violence and excessive drama in these shows.

And then there are realistic walk around and kill people video games.

Finally, we’re tempted with poor choices all day long thanks to advertising. We’re tempted to eat terribly, spend all our money, and spend our time on our devices.

Our thoughts are racing, our appetites are voracious, we’re stressed, tired, sick, and it’s not getting better.

We want more, more, more – all while working less, less, less.

Inhale, exhale. Slow down. Yes – that’s what we need. Inhale, exhale, slow down.

There’s so much that goes into this but there is also one simple thing. A simple technique you can use. Your breath.

The name of this technique is Hong Sau. It’s one of the three top techniques recommended by Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi.

This is the book that Steve Jobs read every year.

The technique is simple.

Watch your breath. On the inhale, you silent say to yourself, Hong. On the exhale, you silently say to yourself, Sau (pronounced saw).

It’s a concentration exercise more than a meditation exercise, but it stills the mind.

Sit on a chair. A straight backed chair, but you’ll sit on the end. Keep your back straight, gaze forward. Close your eyes and focus your eyes at your “third eye”. Inhale, silently saying Hong. Exhale, silently saying Sau.

Don’t try to change your breath. Just watch it and say Hong and Sau as appropriate.

Work up to 15 or 20 minutes of this, once per day.

That’s just one technique and I think that is sufficient. It’s a time of solace.

Now, there’s another thing you can do. And I think this ties in nicely with meditation.

That’s to keep a gratitude journal. List all the things you’re grateful for. Your house, your car, your food, your spouse, your kids, where you live, your country, a conversation you had that day. Just all the things you’re grateful for, everyday.

This keeps your mind on the positive side. Positively tuned.

Finally, there’s another exercise that can you can add to your “meditative” time. That’s to reflect on the day. How’d it go? How’d you do? Proud of it? Not proud? Why?

If you do these three things, you will notice a difference. Pretty quickly. It’s going to help you slow down, be more in control. You’ll make better decisions.

Keep it up. This is a routine that pays off dividends. If you treat it seriously, the dividends grow greater and greater, like compounding interest year after year.

Let’s reflect:

  • Meditation – do the Hong Sau technique daily.
  • Reflection – each night, spend 5-10 minutes reflecting on your day.
  • Gratitude – each night (you can do this with your family at meal time) talk about the things you’re grateful for.

It’s a way of living a more conscious life. You’ll figure out what is going on in your head and your heart. You’ll have more successful days. It just helps all around.