This really simple meditation – can be done anywhere, anytime – and is one of my favourite meditations – because the effect that one minute has on me can be quite astounding. I often do this meditation when I am working and am being faced with a stressful situation, when I am over-tired and feeling a little grumpy – and yet need to attend a meeting, when I am nervous just before an after-dinner speech – it is my go-to meditation. It calms me down, it focuses me, it centres me.
• You can do this seated or standing. Either way, make sure you are comfortable with your spine in neutral and if seated on a chair your feet are flat on the floor to ground you to the earth.
• Closing your eyes if you feel comfortable to do so – if in a public place, just lowering your gaze. Just sitting or standing there for a moment.
• Now bringing your attention to your breath. Exhaling and inhaling in your own time.
• Feeling the different sensations as you breathe in and out – the breath on your upper lip, the rise and fall of your chest and stomach.
• Keeping your attention on your breath.
• If you find your mind wandering, do not worry. Acknowledging that your mind has wandered, but not judging yourself. Being kind to yourself. Gently bringing your mind back to your breathing – and carry on.
• Whatever you are feeling – calm, angry, frustrated – just letting it happen. Acknowledging your feelings – allowing them to be.
• And then, gently opening your eyes.
Adapted from Mindfulness – a Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World, Williams and Pennman.