Excerpt from Enlightened Weight Loss


The Basics

When you meditate, you’re setting aside time to let everything go. To appreciate life in its purity, without the distraction and filter of thought. In the beginning, that won’t be easy. You’ll need to repeatedly guide your focus towards something like your breath or a sound, and away from your thoughts. The goal is for it to feel good, reduce stress, and improve your focus and clarity. Everyone goes about it differently. Some people listen to guided meditations on the train or in their office. Others lie in bed or sit on the couch with a candle lit. However and wherever you choose to meditate doesn’t matter. It’s all based on your preference. The guidance below will help you figure out what works best for you.

Understand The Mind

While the goal is for the chatter of the mind to cease, it is not under your direct control. During this time, you won’t be forcing the mind to stop. This will never work. The reason you will not be able to do so is because of your misunderstanding of the mind. It is because of your identification with it. The mind is not you. The mind is simply a recording, a firing of nerves and synapses in the brain. You hear the thoughts in the mind, a voice in your head and you believe that it is you. However it is not. You are simply awareness. You are pure consciousness. The mind is something that you can use. However now it is using you.

Do not try to force the mind to stop. Instead become aware of who you are. Sit in your meditation and hear the mind chattering. Realize who it is that is hearing the mind. That is you. You are the awareness behind the mind. The awareness is quiet. The awareness is experiencing all of the senses.

Once you have broken the identity with the mind and come to realize that you are a state of quiet awareness, the mind will become quiet. It will no longer be the master. Once you realize who the master is, the mind will have no authority to speak.

Meditation Throughout The Day

While it is beneficial, if not necessary, to set aside time to meditate, it should not be seen as a task in isolation. Meditation is something that can be done in everything you do. In every breath and in every action. In meditation you are experiencing yourself and your actions through awareness as opposed to moving subconsciously while being lost in thought. When you breathe, when you take each step, when you brush your teeth, when you eat, do so with awareness. The more energy that moves into awareness, then less energy there will be for thought.

What To Expect

During each meditation, you might only feel that your mind was clear for a few seconds. Especially in the beginning. However even that’s enough to start feeling the effects. Meditation will make you feel happier, calmer, and more focused. If you keep it up, you’ll notice that it becomes easier to focus away from your thoughts. By the end of each session, you might feel a kind of high. You are accessing the natural state of bliss that is available to you once you have moved above the mind.

Refocus Without Judgement

When you start to meditate, you’ll notice that your thoughts are emerging and wandering without control. Every thought you have is causing an emotional reaction and preventing you from being relaxed and present to the moment. You will use a focal point like your breath to focus away from them. Whenever you start to notice that you’re lost in thought, gently steer your attention back to your focal point.

 This might be hard at first, however don’t become frustrated. Getting frustrated or putting yourself down will defeat the purpose of the meditation. It’s only difficult to focus because the region of your brain that’s responsible for wandering thoughts is overdeveloped from years of using it. Your ability to focus is underdeveloped from a lack of practice. The more you practice meditation, the easier it will become to steer your focus.

Don’t Obsess About An Empty Mind

It has taken many people many years to break the identification with the mind. To be in a state of pure awareness. For some it has been spontaneous. However the expectation of an empty mind will prevent your experience of it. It is also not necessary for your initial journey. Even moments of clarity are enough to create more bliss than you have had in the past. Do not be discouraged or distracted if you don’t have an empty mind, simply continue to experience life while separating from the mind.

Find What Feels Good

Granted, there will be times that you can’t be as comfortable as you’d like. Sometimes you’ll only have a chance to meditate on the train or in your office, however you will want it to be as enjoyable as you can make it. You can use scents from candles, essential oils or incense, wear comfortable clothes, lay down with a blanket over you, shut off the lights, or play relaxing music. Some people find it more enjoyable to sit up straight or meditate while they walk, or stretch their body. Whatever works for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find what feels good.

How To Breathe

How you choose to breathe depends on how stressed you are when you start. If you’re stressed or very anxious when you begin, then a controlled breathing technique can help you relax. It will trigger your body to switch from your “fight or flight” nervous system to your “rest and digest” nervous system. Once you feel relaxed, the meditation will be more enjoyable. There are several breathing techniques to use. Two of the most effective are described below. You can start with them, and then continue the meditation while you breathe naturally.

Another technique to understand is to recognize the personal patterns of your breathing. While the methods below can give you relief, it would benefit you to become familiar with your own breathing patterns. At times of anger your breathing will follow a pattern that is different from the pattern you breath in during times of relaxation. Over the next few weeks become familiar with how you breathe during relaxation. Begin to bring this same pattern of breathing into your meditation.

4-7-8 Breathing Method
  1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the exercise.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  6. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.


2-4 Breathing Method
  1. Inhale through your nose for a count of two.
  2. Hold the breath for a count of one.
  3. Exhale for a count of four.
  4. Hold the breath for a count of one.
  5. Repeat until you feel more relaxed.


Eyes Open Vs. Eyes Closed

Keeping your eyes open or closed depends on how you’re meditating. If you’re doing it while you walk, then I would suggest you keep your eyes open. However for the most part, you can open and close them as you please. Sometimes closing your eyes will help you relax, but other times it can make it harder to get out of your head. Do whatever feels natural and comfortable for you.

Pick A Focal Point

Whenever you start to notice that you’re lost in thought, gently steer your attention back to your focal point. Experiment with the focal points below until you find something that works for you, and switch things up if you’re getting bored with your routine. Keep in mind that you can use more than one at a time. For example, you can use a breathing exercise while you listen to music.


Guided meditations make it easier for some people to get out of their heads. Sometimes, the person’s voice can be bothersome, or you might find it too dramatic or distracting. Take some time to find the ones that you like. I would recommend you use Insight Timer because it’s free and has a lot of options.


  1. Insight Timer
  2. Headspace
  3. Breathe
  4. Oak
  5. Binaural Dream
  6. H*nest Meditation



Music, natural sounds, and binaural beats can be used to trigger relaxation or positive emotions. However, it can also be distracting. You might find that you prefer silence or whatever noises you can hear from outside your window. The following apps have many different sounds to choose from.


  1. Breathe
  2. Insight Timer
  3. Binaural Dream

Open Eye Focal Point

As you breathe in a relaxed way, with open eyes, maintain focus on a single point. The mind would like to take your visual focus away from this point however maintain your focus until the point that the concentration fades into a state of meditation.


Breath is the most common focal point to use. You can use it at the same time as body scan, sound, active, visualization, and guided focal points. As mentioned before, controlled breathing techniques can be used to trigger relaxation if you’re not already relaxed. Once you feel relaxed, you can focus your attention on the feeling of your breath. There are different ways to do this. You can focus on the feeling of your breath as it moves through your nose or mouth, and how your stomach moves up and down as you breathe. You can think of how you’re inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide.


If you have trouble sitting still, then you can do something with your body while you meditate, like walking, stretching, coloring in mandalas, or using meditation balls. Walking on a treadmill works well because you can hold onto the sides, listen to music, and walk carefully with your eyes closed. You might find that exerting energy prior to meditation helps you become relaxed during the meditation itself.

Body Scan

Lie down or sit up straight, and breathe naturally as you individually relax all the muscles in your body. Start from your feet and work your way up to the top of your head, or the other way around. If you find this difficult to do on your own, then you can search online for guided body scan meditations.


Experiment with the timing of your meditation. For instance, when you wake up, before you leave for work, on your commute, at lunch, when you get home, or right before bed. You will likely find that there is a time you prefer. Meditating in the morning will keep you focused and relaxed throughout the day while meditating before bed is the most helpful for sleep. You can start off with a few minutes at a time, and work your way up to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or even an hour.

Keep It Up

People often avoid meditation because they are too stressed. It is easy to make that excuse for yourself, however it doesn’t make sense. If you make meditation a priority, then you would not be so stressed. Time restraints are no excuse either. You can always find a few minutes in the day to meditate if you try. Even one minute would make a difference.

You might even stop meditating for the opposite reason. Regular meditation will have you feeling better daily, so you might feel like there’s no need to keep doing it. The efforts of consistent meditation can be easily lost. You spend most of the day creating patterns of thought. Creating an identity with the mind. In the time that you spend not meditating, you are undoing the habit of separating from the mind.

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