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  • - [Instructor] Welcome, and thanks for joining me on this,

  • let's call it a voyage of the mind.

  • So before we begin, posture and breathing

  • make a big difference in meditation.

  • So if you're not already on a nice firm chair

  • with your back straight, pause this recording

  • and go find a nice firm chair with your back straight,

  • ideally in a place that's kind of quiet and peaceful.

  • So now that you're there, sit with your back straight,

  • try to put your feet firmly on the floor.

  • When I do this, I like to rest my hands on my lap,

  • palms up gently curled, so really no effort.

  • And now start to slowly breathe a bit deeper

  • than you were just now and a bit slower.

  • In and out, at your own time but just a little bit deeper,

  • a little bit slower.

  • If you like, a lot of folks like to breathe

  • in through their nose,

  • out through their mouth,

  • but the key, once again, a little bit deeper,

  • a little bit slower.

  • And as you do so, start to soften your gaze

  • if your eyes are still open,

  • and when you feel comfortable, gently close your eyes.

  • Now, before we get into the heart of the meditation,

  • I'm going to give you a few reminders.

  • This whole exercise is about exploring your inner being.

  • It's about curiosity.

  • It's about relaxation.

  • There's no perfect way to meditate.

  • Sometimes folks think that they're not doing it right

  • or their mind is wandering too much.

  • And then it causes stress.

  • And that's the exact opposite

  • of what you want meditation to be.

  • It should be fun, it could even be funny at moments.

  • You should be curious.

  • You should be enjoying it.

  • If there are some random distractions,

  • and there inevitably will be,

  • it could be sounds around you,

  • it might be part of your body that itches or tingles.

  • Don't let it stress you out, just accept it.

  • It's part of the universe.

  • It's just atoms doing what they do.

  • It's the universe doing its thing.

  • And no worries if you need to scratch

  • or adjust part of your body, no reason to stress.

  • Now to add to the idea

  • that this shouldn't be a stressful experience,

  • I'm going to ask you to do something

  • that may or may not feel completely natural.

  • I want you to smile right now.

  • Give yourself a good smile

  • with your eyes closed, just smile.

  • Obviously, we smile when we're happy.

  • But sometimes, making a smile

  • can actually make us a little bit happier.

  • It can make us a little bit less stressed.

  • So even if you need to force it, smile.

  • And as much as possible, as we go through this meditation,

  • as long as you don't have to force it too much,

  • try to keep a gentle smile on your face the whole time.

  • All right, now let's get into it.

  • So, one thing to keep in mind

  • as we start trying to still our minds,

  • is to just appreciate that you're alive.

  • You're in this vast mystery we call life

  • and that you're taking pause

  • to appreciate who you really are.

  • And the beauty of this mystery,

  • this existence, this universe that we share.

  • So as you breathe deeper and slower, your eyes are closed.

  • Try to become aware of your thoughts.

  • What are you thinking about?

  • Are they random thoughts, something you saw on TV?

  • Is it something going on at school?

  • Are you thinking about some tests you might have coming up?

  • Or someone at your school, you tend to think about a lot?

  • Just observe your thoughts.

  • Don't try to fight them, just observe them.

  • And as you observe your thoughts,

  • start to appreciate that you are not your thoughts.

  • You are something different than your thoughts.

  • They're all in there in your head with you.

  • But clearly, you can observe them.

  • You can see them go by.

  • Sometimes we can get lost in them.

  • But I think you're seeing right now

  • that you are not your thoughts,

  • you can actually observe your thoughts.

  • One metaphor that folks sometimes use

  • is that your thoughts are cars on a road

  • or cars on a highway.

  • And oftentimes, we're in the middle of the highway

  • and those cars are bombarding us.

  • They're hitting us, or we have to dodge them in some way

  • or they're overwhelming us.

  • And one thing to do to observe them

  • is just get out of the highway.

  • You don't have to fight the thoughts,

  • those cars will keep on going by.

  • But now that you're on the median,

  • you're no longer on the highway, you can see them go by.

  • And what you'll often find is

  • when you're observing your thoughts,

  • they start to slow down.

  • And so if your thoughts start to slow down, great,

  • really embrace that, start to realize what that feels like

  • when your thoughts slow down.

  • And then there's even going to be moments

  • when you have no thoughts.

  • For the next few breaths, try that.

  • Try to have no thoughts.

  • Just breathe in, breathe out.

  • No thoughts.

  • Just stillness.

  • Just your consciousness here in this universe.

  • No time, no space, it's all in your mind.

  • No thoughts, stillness.

  • Now as you try to keep that state,

  • your mind will inevitably wander.

  • You're going to start thinking about an assignment

  • that you have due soon,

  • you're going to think about something

  • that you have to do this weekend

  • or someone that you think a lot about, that's okay.

  • Don't beat yourself up, if your mind wanders,

  • just remind yourself, just gently nudge it back.

  • Try to get back to the stillness.

  • Say, oh, look, I got a little bit distracted,

  • I started thinking about something.

  • That's funny.

  • I'm going to get my mind back to the stillness.

  • I'm going to try to slow down those cars.

  • And so gently breathe in and breathe out.

  • And I'm going to give you a few minutes

  • to just sit there, still.

  • Breathing in, breathing out.

  • Being still with your thoughts.

  • If your mind wanders, no big deal.

  • Just try to nudge it back when you can.

  • And if the silence starts to get to you a little bit,

  • don't worry, I will be back for sure in a few minutes.

  • Now that you've had a little bit of time on your own,

  • I'm going to give you some ideas

  • that just might help appreciate who you really are.

  • A lot of times we get caught up in the day to day,

  • we start worrying about test scores

  • or things we have due or what people think about us.

  • But remind yourself that you are not that.

  • You are not defined by your test scores.

  • You are not defined by your grades.

  • And you are not defined by what people think of you.

  • You are pure consciousness.

  • You associate yourself with your body with your thoughts.

  • But they're part of you, they aren't you.

  • You're something deeper and you're something far larger.

  • Like the whole universe, if you really think about it,

  • it's a construction of your mind.

  • Your mind has set up the simulation for you to enjoy.

  • In theory, there's a universe out there,

  • sound waves stimulating your ear.

  • Photons stimulate your eye,

  • air particles bouncing into your skin.

  • But from that input,

  • your mind creates the reality that you're in.

  • When you realize that,

  • that everything you see is a construct.

  • It's a construct of your mind

  • to make sense of all of that information.

  • You realize that you're a lot more central

  • than you might have appreciated before.

  • And you also realize