02 · 02 · 2022
Magnus Fridh grew up in Karlshamn, Blekinge, in southern Sweden. Magnus discovered meditation in his teenage years, and through academic studies in Indology, specializing in Tibetan language and culture, he gained an in-depth knowledge of the subject. He regularly teaches group Ashtanga yoga, mindfulness, and meditation classes. Magnus has in addition to his teaching written multiple books, the latest one is called The Art of Stillness in a Noisy World.
Meditation is like a rest stop, a space that can both heal and strengthen, allowing us to see our lives, our struggles, and triumphs from several perspectives. It is a chance to acquire new tools to place in the toolbox you carry through life. All of this is only two breaths away.
There are many different kinds of meditation with different purposes. But to put it simply, one can say there is one kind of meditation that stabilizes the mind and trains you to stay mindful in the now. There is also one kind of meditation that is more analytical in its approach. These two go hand in hand and are often woven into each other during the same exercises.
But no doubt, the techniques of mindfulness are very important, especially in the beginning.
Ever since I was little, my train of thought has always had a furious momentum. Fortunately, I acquired meditative techniques a long time ago in order to tame my thoughts on their onslaught. Like me, I think there are many who meditate in pursuit to find calmness. It is an attempt to make contact with the supporting building blocks: A kind of prehistoric element in humankind that is still present in that which grows and in itself creates the meaning of existence. Nothing else has given me more understanding of my own existence than silence. My experience is that this is attainable and necessary for anyone and everyone. It is there to be found even in the more basic meditation techniques. At the moment as the meditator enters the zone of stillness, heavy becomes light, high flying is grounded, every challenge and hardship is reasonable – and I sometimes feel that I am touched by something that is truly and absolutely radiant. Like love.
Nothing else has given me more understanding of my own existence than silence.
If you are willing to invest time in meditation, the benefits are many. What is interesting is that research nowadays has found evidence of these benefits, which is amazing. Here are a few of the benefits to await if you get started with meditation:
You will gain a new perspective on stressful situations.
You will gain skills to manage your stress.
You will increase self-awareness.
You will get a more skilled capacity to focus on the present.
The meditation will reduce negative emotions.
The meditation will increase imagination and creativity.
The meditation will increase patience and tolerance.
And then compassion towards others and self-compassion is, if you ask me, the most beautiful effect that comes out of meditation.
Start slowly. Find a book, an app, or something that attracts you and makes you want to start. Meditate for shorter sessions like 10 minutes each session. Do not overdo it, but instead, stay self-compassionated. Remind yourself it is like learning how to play an instrument. It takes time to become skilled and there will be a lot of distractions in the beginning. Accept that, and make some space for the distractions. Do not fight it. Here is an example you can start with.
Rest in the breath
Before you begin this exercise, set a timer for about 5- 10 minutes. You can choose whether to sit with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair keeping your back straight and your feet steady on the floor. A third alternative is to lie down. If you’re going to sit up, place your hands on your thighs, with the flat of your hands faced down – lightly shut your eyes, take three deep breaths, and consciously feel the way your shoulders trend down and the muscles in your face relax, more and more. Relax your lower jaw and tongue.
Let your breathing find its natural rhythm. Do nothing that might affect even one breath. Move your immediate attention to your nostril openings and from there, follow your breath as it flows in and out of your body.
Observe, attentive and in stillness, every breath: When you breathe in – When you breathe out. All the way in – All the way out.
Now, we make it a little simpler for ourselves: Every time you breathe in, quietly say, “inhale”.
Every time you breathe out, quietly say, “exhale”.
Stay with your sense of being relaxed and continue to notice how each breath comes and goes, together as one, with support from the words inhale and exhale.
Be nowhere else than here. Nothing else is more important.
After five minutes, once again take three deep breaths, and remain seated for a short while in silence.
If you would like to know more about Magnus, his approach to meditation and mindfulness, follow him on Instagram @magnus_fridh