I want to try meditating because I heard that it could strengthen mind. How do I meditate and what’s the other benefits of meditating?
In practice, meditation is simple : Just set a timer(start at 5 minutes, when you are starting out). Then sit down somewhere peaceful, away from all distractions, if you can sit in padmasana, that is great, if not, just sit comfortably. Then as the timer starts, you focus on your breath. Be completely aware of your breath as it moves in and out of your body, filling the lungs, the pressure it exerts, the warmth it fills, think about just your breath. Do not try to breathe in a certain way or anything, just observe it, be mindful of the present moment. If you feel your thoughts wandering, shift attention back to breath. Do this every single day at the same time, consistently increasing duration by a minute or so each day. Just sit, relax, observe your breath till the timer runs out. That is it. It is an act of non-doing. We are trying to feel the moment, each moment, experience it, exactly as it is. Nothing else. This is the fundamental principle mindfulness.
To realise the “why” of meditation and mindfulness, to realise the concepts and theory, I suggest you start with the book “Wherever you go, there you are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn. This book has a lot of ideas on mindfulness and meditation. It can give you a lot of insight. I’m reading it right now. Hope this helps.
Practicing meditation actually helps us detach from our thoughts, emotions, impulses and desire. They all come and go and we are not any of them. In metaphor, our consciousness is the sea and all thoughts and feelings are just the waves on it. Meditation helps us recall this fact so we can better follow our true will instead of following those temporary feelings or urges.
Meditation also makes our mind clearer, so we can understand when the ‘waves’ come, what triggers the waves, so we can tackle them better. After regular meditation, you may even find your ‘waves’ reduce and have a sense of peace.
On top of focusing on breath, you can also do a body scan, paying attention to your body from toe to head or reverse. This practice also enhances your connection with the body.