Here is a step-by-step Be the Pebble mindfulness meditation for stress relief.
We live in stressful times. Besides the usual stress agenda, we now have the added problem of a pandemic sweeping the world. Be the Pebble meditation may be just what you need right now – at least for some temporary stress relief.
Meditation practices focus on the breath to build concentration and mindfulness. It gently brings you back to the present moment. When you focus on your breath, you also harness the natural ability of the mind and body to become calm.
We know the impact of stress on our health – this can be unpredictable and turbulent. When you use Be the Pebble mindfulness meditation along with a word or phrase, the mind can find peace and quiet.
How does Be the Pebble mindfulness meditation work?
Your stress is the ocean. Imagine that you are a pebble that gently sinks below the surface of the ocean (your stress) to the bottom where the water is still and peaceful. The pebble no longer experiences the chaos at the surface above. It would just rest, peaceful and serene at the bottom of the ocean floor. And that’s what Be the Pebble meditation is all about, especially when you are stressed and going crazy with your thoughts.
Be the Pebble mindfulness meditation blends breathing with a calming word or phrase or image that will play the role of your metaphorical pebble.
Let’s face it—with social media ruling our lives with its never-ending stream of messages, Be the Pebble meditation can be a valuable tool to bring us back to the present moment even as it calms the mind and helps us focus on the now. In fact, this meditation has been extensively used for stress relief and is also known to disperse anxiety in students, helping them focus and concentrate better. This is because this meditation centers around the calming word or words and then holds its attention on it.
Some things to remember
It isn’t mandatory to pick a word. You can also pick an image to focus on. In fact, you can even choose a movement, like taking a step or picking something up.
Schedule Be the Pebble mindfulness meditation for about 5 to 10 minutes every day at a convenient time.
What you need
- A peaceful spot to sit in
- 10-15 minutes
- Your presence
3-step Be the Pebble Mindfulness Meditation
Pick your word or phrase or image
Choose any word or short phrase that you can focus on and repeat in your mind. Any word that works for you. If it helps, it can also be a short prayer. Or a word that has no association for you. Just be creative and choose neutral words that feel good. Try and avoid words that you associate with a memory. The idea is to release stress and quiet your mind by steering it away from the turbulence. Your word (your pebble) will take you below the turbulent surface where only peace reigns, where your mind and thoughts settle down, go quiet and still. Imagine you are slowly calming the water’s surface so you can float on the water.
After you start focusing on your chosen word, give yourself at least 10 minutes in silence to reflect on this word/phrase. Find a quiet place where you can sit and stay focused.
Sit quietly with eyes closed
Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Breathe evenly into your belly. Think of your word, but don’t concentrate too hard. Think of it without forcing yourself. Gently, effortlessly. As if resting in the stillness below the water. You are simply picking your word over other thoughts. Should your mind wander off into the past or future, let it. If you feel drowsy, that’s okay, too. Just come back to your word again.
At times, you may feel as if your word is there even if you are not repeating it. Allow yourself to experience this. Your other senses may also come in the way as you repeat the word. A noise, a physical sensation . . . let these happen. Don’t resist. Just be aware of them and return to your breath and the word.
Let your negative feelings pass
You may experience strong feelings or emotions when you repeat your word. If the feeling is negative, what is it like to sit with it? Let it pass. Your mind will be drawn to it but you don’t need to explore or understand it. Just notice whether it increases or decreases in intensity. Suppose it does not go away and makes you uncomfortable, stop the meditation by opening your eyes. Distract yourself or just rest. You can return to the practice when you are ready.
Sometimes you may experience an uplifting feeling when you practice Be the Pebble meditation. Whatever your experience today, your next time can be totally different. Allow yourself to open up to whatever comes up.
During the practice, if you feel like changing your position, go ahead and do so, but be conscious about it. When you first begin the practice, you may want to sent a timer. Gradually you will sense when the 10 minutes are up.
Just before you open your eyes, allow yourself to just sit in the presence of your body with compassion. Then, slowly open your eyes. If you would like to conclude your 10-minute meditation with some sort of prayer or gratitude, you may.
Reflect on these
- How did this practice settle your mind?
- Were you able to stay with your pebble with ease?
- Did you have to force it?
Keep track of how long you are able to practice Be the Pebble meditation initially – 5 minutes? 10?
Check your anxiety or stress level before and after the practice. How does it compare on a scale of 1-10?
Will you practice Be the Pebble meditation and let me know how it feels?
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verse, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor.