People are usually unaware that they they are often completely identified with their thoughts. This means that they don't make a distinction between who they are and thoughts they are having at any particular moment. For example, they might be stuck in a traffic jam and get really angry at the people behind them that are beeping their horns. In this moment they don't realize that the angry feeling is actually something that they are creating in themselves and is something they can choose not to create.
The problem with not being aware of how consumed we are by the thoughts we are having is that first of all that we can have be having very negative thoughts without even realizing it, which of course has a big negative effect on our life. Secondly we might be missing a lot of what is going on in the current moment simply because we are so consumed by our thoughts.
To start meditating sit down somewhere comfortably, preferably on the floor, perhaps using a cushion. You don't need to sit in any special position, just make sure that you are comfortable and will be able to sit still for at least ten minutes.
Next, close your eyes and start noticing how you are breathing. If you can breathe using your diaphragm without too much effort then do so. This means breathing so that your belly moves in and out. If you need to concentrate to do this then practice this at another time and for now breathe as you normally do.
As you are breathing count each breath in and out. So breathe in and count '1' in your mind. Breathe out, breathe in again and count '2'. Try breathing to the count of 5 without having any other thoughts except the numbers. This is more challenging than it sounds and you will often find thoughts appearing out of no where. Suddenly you'll realize that you've been thinking for the past minute in stead of meditating. Don't be disappointed with yourself when you fall into thought. Just start at the beginning again counting every breath. Just practicing this exercise for 5 minutes a day will give you benefits in terms of a better ability to focus and concentrate.
Another type of meditation you can do is mindfulness meditation. In this exercise you just notice the stream of consciousness that passes through your mind. For example you might experience something like this: 'I'm feeling tired after a long day at work... I wonder what I should cook for dinner later... I must remember to go to the post office tomorrow... my left foot is warm'. Just allow those kinds of thoughts to come and go without judging them.
By: Neil Becker
If you want an MP3s that will guide you through these kinds of mindfulness and zen meditation exercises then check out the www.mindfulawarenesstrainingsystem.com/blog/cb-meditation/”>Mindful Awareness Training System.