Minding the Mind

There’s 3 weeks left in January, and you know what that means! It’s time to begin the January Mind Your Mind Challenge!!!. For only 12 minutes per day, for the rest of the month, we’re going to play a little game with our thoughts. Let the mind-games begin!

Sit cross-legged, either tuck your feet under your knees or place one foot on top of the opposite knee if you find a foot getting crushed. Lean forward a little and straighten your back, and lean back until upright and supported. Overlap your hands (palms facing up), while resting your forearms on your thighs. Tilt your head up, and bring it down until comfortable. Let your eyelids gently fall. Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your nose. Inhale. Notice your tummy inflating and deflating.

Now when exhaling, say the word “om” silently within the head, pronouncing it in a relaxing way. Inhale. Exhale while mentally saying “om”. Keep doing this. Eventually you’ll notice that you’re thinking about something else and no longer saying “om”. Good job! Now repeat the pattern: inhale, exhale “om”, notice your wandering mind, inhale, exhale “om”. Eventually your mind will wander less, you’ll be inhaling, exhaling “om”, inhaling, exhaling “om”, for longer stretches at a time.

Practice this routine for 12 minutes per day. Consult a clock or timer to know when the time is up. If you get sleepy during your practice, try a different time of day — then settle on a time and stick with it. Maintain this practice for the rest of the month. Remember, this is just a friendly little game with the mind.

Bonus Feature: At some point during the challenge you might begin to notice yourself drifting — you’re no longer saying “om” but you’re not thinking either, it’ll seem like you’re somewhere beyond thought. You might notice a calm peacefulness, as if you’re away from the world floating into the infinite. This is the entranceway to tranquility — embrace it.