I made it through a third of my life without meditating. Looking at how meditation has benefitted me I seriously wonder how that was possible.
Before anything else let's get this out of the way: How I meditate. Not 'How to meditate', 'How I meditate'. I'm not some guru or expert. I am simply here to say that something is doing wonders in my life and I want you to know in case you want to try it out yourself.
So very simply I go to a place that is relatively quiet. In the house it's an unoccupied room - even the bathroom will do. Out of the house I find that churches or chapels are perfect. Some out of the way park is also good. I close my mobile and sit down. And my mind goes into hyperoverdrive. The thoughts just fly. I let my mind think and I notice it calling up my emotions based on what it thinks. Angry thoughts give rise to angry feelings. Worrying gives rise to anxiety. Funny thoughts make me chuckle. I just let it happen. I don't resist it.
After I while I focus on my breathing. Then I begin breathing consciously. Breathe In. Hold. Breathe out. Hold. Repeat. My mind is still there like a tornado with the thoughts. I just observe it and let it be and focus on the breath.
Pretty soon my breath starts getting deeper and I'm compelled to close my eyes. Remember those emotions I was talking about? I become really aware of them. I begin to sense surface emotions but also deeper ones - feelings that are hiding inside me. I don't resist. In fact I do the opposite. I dive into these feelings. Every breath brings me closer to these core emotions and I get the impression of literally diving into them. I let it saturate me. If it's worry I let myself worry, just no resistance, I let myself worry into a panic, just let it happen. Then on to the next emotion and the next. Until: silence. Just the breath, getting deeper. My eyes are closed but I'm not asleep. My mind begins to quiet down. And then it's just me and my breath. After a while I open my eyes and I go on with my day.
This is what I call meditation.
It seems simple. It seems like nothing at all actually.
But it is not nothing. It has made life easier to bear. Not that I have a particularly hard life. Life is hard for all of us; that is the nature of life. Meditation for me has made life easier to bear.
For one thing I am incapable of worrying at a level that I used to. The kind of worry that makes it hard to sleep at night - that doesn't happen anymore. I'm also not as emotional as I was. I'm becoming a calmer person.
Now here's something that I'm starting to get a sense of but I'm a bit hesitant to divulge. It seems that since I started meditating my life has been arranging itself into easier forms around me. Things just sort of get fixed automatically. I don't have any proof but I have a very real sense of this.