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how to meditate

In spite of the documented benefits many people say they cannot meditate. Perhaps you are one of them. Your mind wanders. You can’t sit still. It’s just too miserable. If this is your perspective, keep reading. I’m going to present you with the easiest meditation in the world with the same powerful effects as meditations that leave you feeling a failure.

William James, sometimes called the Father of Modern Psychology, was keenly interested in the ability of the human mind to concentrate and focus. He wrote:

“And the faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention over and over again is the very root of judgment, character, and will. No one is compos sui (trans: ‘Master of himself’) if he have it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence.”

The Principles of Psychology, Chapter XI: Attention, William James, 1890.

Bringing Your Attention Back to The Present

how to meditate effectively

James’ statement about the importance of being able to reign in a wandering mind is strong. In the past 25 years or so, numerous researchers have studied inattention or mind-wandering. What they have documented is that 30 to 50% of daily life consists of mind-wandering. Not surprisingly, mind-wandering is related to making mistakes. Also documented: mind-wandering is related to negative or ‘bad’ moods.

Conversely, facility in bringing one’s attention back to the present has positive benefits. These include:

Many forms of meditation are devoted to enhancing what is called mindfulness or ‘being present’. This doesn’t mean a person has no idle or wandering thoughts. It refers to being aware of what is happening both externally and internally. This includes being aware of your emotions and your physical state. It also includes noticing idle thoughts. The ability to notice you are having idle thoughts allows you to return your attention to the ‘task at hand’. Research has also shown that self-reported mindfulness is positively correlated with a sense of well-being.

What all this is leading up to is a recent study in mindfulness (A Mind You Can Count On) conducted at the University of Wisconsin Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. These researchers taught non-meditators the simplest form of meditation in the world (Just wait, I am going to share it with you) and it worked!

That is, the simplest form of meditation ever enhanced mindfulness defined as consciousness of one’s mental, physical, and emotional state including the presence of idle thoughts. As a result people taught his form of ‘meditation’ reaped the reward of greater attention to the ‘task at hand’ and a greater sense of well-being or positive mental outlook. And all of these occurred in the short span of four weeks.

meditation techniques

So here it is: Breathe and count your breaths.

That’s it. Those are the instructions. As I said, it’s the easiest meditation ever. If you still doubt your ability to meditate, here are two suggestions to assist you.

1)    Set a specific goal, say 80 breaths.

2)    If your mind wanders and you lose count, try using a pencil and paper to help you keep track. Every 10 breaths make a mark on the paper. When you catch your mind wandering and you’ve lost count, glance at the marks you’ve made for a baseline to pick up the count again.

If you have thought you cannot meditate I challenge you to try the easiest meditation ever for four weeks and discover the effects for yourself. You may never again say, “I just can’t meditate.”

Ready to experience the benefits of  healing meditation in Scottsdale but unsure how to get started? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Sandra Egli for support on your journey. Call (480) 860-0400 or Book Online Today.

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Meditation: Sandra Egli
Music: Torey Ronhovde

The wisdom of a thousand generations guides you today. Only listen. Without a sound their voices reverberate in your cells. Settle within and choose your path.

All of us come from strength, fortitude, perseverance. No matter how difficult their lives, our ancestors made it through and passed on life for the next generation. Over and over, until it came to you. The intelligence that guided them has also come to you.

To Thine own Self be true.

If I could present you with a single blessing, it would be the gift of Mindfulness. Awareness of yourself: body, emotions, and self-talk, all the time. Our immediate experience is the ultimate exploration that only grows richer with time. What we do or don't do, and the roots of our behavior, are accessible with the simple practice of noticing immediate experience. It is this practice that makes it possible to know and be true to ourselves.


Sandra's graceful way of listening & non-judgmental demeanor allowed me to open up effortlessly. I was certain, as I left her office, that I had received precisely the healing I needed.

Female client, age 44
Phoenix, Arizona