Yael Shy, Director of NYU's Center for Spiritual Life explains three easy ways to be mindful in New York City.
Basic instructions for meditation:
- Make sure to eliminate distractions you may have brought with you to the meditation suite before entering the room by turning off any electronic devices you have.
- Choose a spot in the room where you feel comfortable and are not too crowded by fellow meditators, and select a cushion if you wish.
- Relax your body into a position that feels comfortable to you. This can be sitting cross-legged, but it does not have to be. Make sure that you have a straight back so that you can take deep breaths, and adjust your position as you strive to eliminate any tension in your body.
- Begin to focus on your breathing, the feeling of inhaling a sustaining breath of air, holding that air in your lungs for a few seconds, and then slowly exhaling. You may experience racing thoughts, fatigue, or restlessness — this is all normal. Keep bringing your attention back to the inhale and exhale of your breath.
- Once you are somewhat settled in your breath, notice what is happening in the room and in your body — including sounds, sensations, thoughts, emotions — without getting carried away by them. When you do get carried away, simply bring your attention back to your breath and the present moment with gentleness.
- Don't give up! There is no such thing as meditating “wrong.” The more you practice, the easier it gets to stay present.
Originally published by New York University