How to meditate for World Healing Day

April 24 is World Healing Day, plus Adam Yauch and Yoko Ono are meditating twice daily for world health. If meditation is new for you, try these tips and places for group meditation.

MeditationGeek, a user-friendly meditation blog, recommends these simple steps for meditating:

Step 1: Stabilize your mind

Step 2: Identify [health issue, personal health area].

Step 3: Focus your mind to [health issue, personal health area].

Step 4: Notice changes, sensations.

Step 5: If your mind wanders, gently bring your mind back to the object of your meditation, which is a focused awareness on pain.

Mind stabilization can be achieved with mindfulness meditation, described as "a simple mental exercise, which develops mindfulness and concentration by paying attention on a chosen object (for example, taste of food or activity you wish to focus on) and holding the attention for a period of time. Mindfulness meditation does not necessarily require sitting but can be practiced while eating, walking, running, commuting, and doing other activities. This mental exercise also helps develop an ability to sustain mindfulness for prolonged time."

Here are helpful tips for quieting an unquiet mind:

  •  Meditate for only one minute (gradually move to 2,3,4... minutes)
  •  Use a timer to remind you of an end of a meditation session.
  • Instead of trying to stop, welcome it whatever arises.
  • If you cannot concentrate on the object of your meditation, pay attention to the thoughts and stories occurring in your mind instead.
  • If you cannot meditate while sitting, meditate while eating, talking, running, etc.
  • Discuss your problem with a mentor, teacher or experienced meditator.
  • Practice meditation in a group (or join a retreat).

If you are interested in finding a meditation group, Shambhala, a meditation and spiritual center for Tibetan Buddhist-seekers and non-Buddhists, offers free meditation sessions with over 170 centers around the world: http://www.shambhala.org/centers/

The Chopra Center in California and New York also offers twice daily complimentary meditation sessions, for more information and location and times: http://www.chopracenterny.com/

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