I've decided to start my daily meditation, first and foremost as a way to access my pre-birth plan as suggested by Robert Schwartz in his online document entitled A Meditation to Access Your Pre-Birth Plan by embracing my life challenges and knowing my true nature, and then as a way to alleviate my OCPD and improve my general well-being as was recommended by our psychological counselor.
Of all the practical guides to meditation I've found and checked Meditation for Dummies by Stephan Bodian has appealed to me most because of its detailed practical guidelines and explanation of their underlying physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual principles. And of all the meditation techniques mentioned there mindfulness meditation has appealed to me most. He defines mindfulness as "moment-to-moment awareness of your experience as it occurs". Here are some of the tips he writes about mindfulness meditation which I find most useful:
Because mindfulness grows like a house on a foundation of concentration, you need to strengthen and stabilize your concentration before you can proceed to the full practice of mindfulness. That's why the initial meditations provided here emphasize focusing on a particular object of concentration: your breath.
Ultimately, the goal of mindfulness meditation is to develop the capacity to be fully present for whatever is occurring right here and now. When you've stabilized your concentration by focusing on your breath, you can expand your awareness to include the full range of sensations, both inside and outside, and eventually just welcome whatever presents itself, including thoughts, memories, and emotions.
As soon as you've developed a certain ease in following your breath, you can expand your awareness as you meditate to include the full range of sensations both inside and outside your body: feeling, smelling, hearing, seeing. Imagine that your awareness is like the zoom lens on a camera. Until now, you've been focused exclusively on your breath; now you can back away slightly to include the field of sensations that surrounds your breath.
When you become accustomed to including sensations in your meditation practice, you can open your awareness wide and welcome any and every experience - even thoughts and emotions - without judgment or resistance.
I've also found some useful practical tips about mindfulness meditation on a content-rich website called Mindful:
- Mindfulness: Getting Started
- Mindfulness Meditation: Guided Practices
- How To Practice Mindfulness Meditation
After reading these practical tips I've started to mediate daily by following two guided mindfulness meditation practices: Meditation for Dummies Resource Center (track 4, which is about mindfulness meditation), and Mindfulness Meditation Lite (free daily program and part of Mental Workout) by Stephan Bodian, the author of the above mentioned guidebook.
I'll also complement my understanding and practice of meditation with Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the most important authorities on mindfulness in the world, Increasing Wholeness by Rabbi Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz from a Jewish perspective, and Integral Meditation by Ken Wilber as part of Integral Life.
It's still to early to see the effect of this new daily practice of mine. But I really hope it will at least serve as yet another way in my struggle with my OCPD, if not as a way to access my pre-birth plan. One important thing I've already learned is that (mindfulness) meditation is simple but not easy as Jon Kabat-Zinn also writes.
Now my daily practices on weekdays (after getting up at 05:00 and before going to bed at 23:00) look like as follows (and the best part is that I do all these practices with my wife):