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Op-ed: Waking up with Patrick…

Learn the first few steps of meditation.

By Patrick Kelly

Meditation is a practice done by individuals in order to reach levels of mindfulness, presence and a heightened level of mental awareness. Through meditation, one learns to observe the functions of their mind in order to separate their true conscious self from the often overactive, all-consuming stream of thought.

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It is the first day of the rest of our lives. This is the moment in which our lives truly unfold. This includes the endless stream of thought going on in our minds. These thoughts just come, but real thinking is different. Real thinking includes a conscious awareness of the thought stream. With the simple practice of observing the stream of thought, we can separate from it. We become present minded. We live spending more time separate from thoughts of the past and less time fantasizing about the future, a future that exists only as thoughts in our minds. We cannot live in the future, for the future is always now. We must teach ourselves to live in the moment. In the moment, the present mind knows what to do, what to say, how to handle the situations before us. In the moment, the “present mind” is clear to experience true peace, love and joy that has been drowned out by the excessive noise of programmed conditioned thinking. It’s a new day. The best day of our lives.

Practicing meditation. A simple meditation, count your breaths from 1 to 4 focusing your attention on your breathing. When a thought comes in, observe the thought and then bring your focus back to your breathing. If the thought takes you into a mental movie or a fantasy, as soon as you realize the mind has pulled you in, go back to observing your breaths. You can do this all day long. You should do it all day long, here and there. Do this until you don’t have to. Until you have become ever-present. Consciousness comes forward and you live in a state of conscious awareness, mindfulness, peace, love and joy. Start the practice of meditating through your day. When you are observing yourself, you do it non-judgmentally. ••

For more on this topic and meditation practices, visit wakingupwithpatrick.com

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