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My Meditations

I’ve been learning how to meditate using the Muse headband and mobile app. It’s taken some time, but I have a consistent approach to achieving a calm mental state.

I’m sharing my personal technique with the hope that it will help you develop your meditation skill faster. Of course, you still focus on your breath as best you can. However, there’s a shift that happens inside that allows you to really settle into this focus rather than struggle to keep focus.

Yes, and… improvisation

In the beginning, I used the improvisational technique of “Yes, and…” to redirect my mind to my breath. This meant that when I noticed thoughts popping up, I said to myself, “Yes, and I’m breathing,” to refocus my mind. This is in contrast to trying to jerk myself out of my thoughts and forcefully redirect myself to my breath. It was very helpful. For brief periods of time (seconds), I was able to notice my breath and get a little bit of calm.

I noticed the thought processes that crept in repeatedly. First, there were thoughts related to “reward”, or focusing on experiences of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Then, there were thoughts about the reviewing the past or dreaming about the future that popped up, which I define as “task master” thinking. They kept me from calming myself and instead engaged in life, so to speak. I wondered what would help get me past that.

Receive and release

I got better at noticing what happened inside me, including my posture and heart beat as well as my breath. The rhythms started to hold my attention, and this helped me shift to the next level of calm.

Receive and release is when I notice the rhythm of my breath (or heart beat) and then followed it along. With my breath, it can feel automatic, but I can also take control of it easily. If I just try to experience my breath, I let go and simply receive air, because my body knows how to inhale, and then release, because my body knows how to exhale. This helps me settle down further and get closer to a calm mind. Even though I made it to this stage, I knew I was still missing one more thing.


I realized that surrender is the basis for a truly calm mind and for meditation practice. I know I must simply let go of control and let thoughts, breath or whatever happen as it happens. That is what gives me a calmer mind, the ability to sit back mentally and merely observe what is happening rather than trying to engage it.

As I surrender, I notice thoughts come up while I start to enter a trance like state. Trance thoughts feel like dreaming but they happen while I am essentially awake. They can be random thoughts. However, they can also be thoughts that bring me back to engaged thinking. The receive-and-release technique is helping me to identify engaged thinking and redirect myself into a state of surrender.

As I start a meditation, I tell myself to receive and release my breath. As I do this, I allow myself to follow my breath rather than lead it. This puts me into a better state of surrender. If I ever have to redirect my mind, I use the first technique and say to myself, “Yes, and receive” or “Yes, and release” to refocus and surrender again.

More to come?

I hope to share more about my meditation practice, either here or through my blog posts, as I continue.

See my blog posts on meditation

Here are a couple of other resources to help you think about your own meditation practice and how you want to proceed.

Learn about the Muse headband

Learn about three types of meditation and their brain-wave patterns