May Meditation Series: Focused attention

We all have monkey minds. Our minds chatter, swing from thought to thought, and, sometimes, even hurl shit at us.

To help tame the monkey mind, we can practice mindfulness to focus our attention.

One of my favorite ways to practice is four square breathing.

To do this:

1. Breathe in for four counts. Keep your focus on your in breath. Maybe notice the air passing through your nostrils or your abdomen expanding.

2. Pause. Hold your breath for four counts.

3. Breathe out for four counts. Again, notice the sensation of breath passing through your nostrils or your abdomen falling.

4. Pause for a count of four.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 four times.

Your mind may wander and monkey around. If it does, label it "thinking" and return to focusing on your breath.