Congratulations on establishing a daily meditation practice!
These first steps were actually the hardest on the journey. Now that you've learned the basics of meditation and have made meditation into a daily habit, we can dive into deeper concentration practices.
The goal of concentration practices
Concentration practices aim to develop some qualities of mind. The main qualities we will develop throughout the lessons are the following:
- Concentration - stability of attention
- Mindfulness - clear and open awareness
- Joy - an intrinsic feeling of well-being
- Tranquility - a deep sense of calm and relaxation, both physical and mental
- Equanimity - a mind that remains balanced regardless of what it perceives
Our preliminary goal will now be to reduce the length of mind-wandering and to extend the periods of attention. To do this, we will practice following the breath.
This guided meditation will walk you through the technique of following the breath as taught in The Mind Illuminated.
Connecting the breaths is an additional technique that will help further strengthen stability of attention.
This guided meditation will walk you through the technique of connecting the breaths as taught in The Mind Illuminated.
To keep progressing swiftly through more advanced stages and reap even greater benefits, we will now increase our daily meditation practice to 40 minutes.
To keep moving forward, we need to develop introspective awareness : the capacity to observe the state of our mind. To cultivate introspective awareness, we will practice checking in and labeling.
We now explore the two main obstacles we’ll inevitably run into when meditation: agitation and dullness. By learning to apply the right antidotes to these obstacles, our meditation will become more enjoyable and fruitful.