IT was in 2013 when Tai Bundit, then volleyball mentor at Ateneo University, introduced meditation in the Philippines as part of a coaching method.
The Thai coach explained that meditation helps players focus and calms them down in crucial matches. During timeouts, instead of shouting at his wards to do better, he would make them close their eyes and meditate.
Bundit steered the Lady Eagles to two titles in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament and in the process, made Alyssa Valdez even more of a star, and in 2018 led Creamline to back-to-back championships in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced and Open Conferences.
Meditation is not just for athletes, of course. For “Real People,” Lisa Cosmillo, a registered yoga teacher and former journalist, teaches 6 Simple Meditation Techniques on her website, www.mindbodygreen.com.
All you need to get started, says Cosmillo, is a comfortable spot or chair where you can sit with your back straight. If it’s uncomfortable staying seated for a long time, you can get yourself into a propped, lying-down position—just try not to fall asleep!
Cosmillo has been practicing meditation for several years now, and has seen her mental and emotional state dramatically improve as a result. To others, she suggests that 10 minutes a day is all you need to see a real change in your life.
Begin your meditation practice with these six simple methods.
There are hundreds of resources online that provide guided meditation cues and music to help you focus and begin your meditation journey. If you don’t know where to start, try downloading the Headspace App by writer and health advocate Andy Puddicombe, and then move on to your other choices.
To help you focus better and stop your mind from wandering during meditation, light a candle and observe the flame. This will anchor your mind to the present.
Repeating words over and over can help you find calm and focus. You can choose from a number of Sanskrit mantras like the Gayatri Mantra, whose words and sounds have meaning, or you can even make up your own.
Another simple yet effective technique is to picture in your mind an idyllic being or a peaceful setting. Focus on the picture, and embellish it as much or as little as you want.
Present Moment Meditation
Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath. Imagine your breath flowing through your entire body. Once you are able to feel your breath in every inch of your body, focus on the sensations touching your body from the outside. From here, expand your awareness to everything you can hear and sense. To close, reverse the process and come back to your breath, one step at a time.
Become the Observer
Close your eyes and focus on a spot on your forehead, about an inch above the spot between your eyebrows (Third Eye Chakra). Begin to watch what your mind and body are feeling, thinking, and doing.