There is a wonderful meditation technique that allows me to get into deep pure awareness in just 3 minutes.
I use it to “momentarily deactivate” my brain during 25 minute high-focus work sessions (See: Pomodoro technique), recalibrate my focus and stay productive. Below are links for 3 minute meditation audio files.
“A study in the journal Cognition reveals that people can maintain their focus or “vigilance” much longer when their brains are given something else to think about every 20 minutes. […] This trick is called momentary deactivation.”
The technique is called “Just Note Gone”.
In the past I used to meditate by putting awareness on an object such as f.ex. my body sensations or breath. After a short while I always drifted off in thoughts, and got annoyed that I’d been unable to keep focused on my object of awareness. This was very frustrating.
When I practice “Just Note Gone”, I pay attention to the ending of sensations / thoughts / sounds / tensions / etc., and mentally acknowledge the ending with “Gone”.
- Whenever I notice the release of tension in the body, I mentally comment “Gone.” when the tension is gone.
- Whenever I notice that a sound just stopped, I mentally comment it with “Gone.”
- The same when I’ve been drifted off in thoughts: In the moment I notice that I’m drifted off, I mentally comment “Gone.”, and am back in awareness of my body sensations.
The most powerful thing about this technique, for me, is that I don’t get frustrated that I’d been drifted off in thoughts. With other meditations, I drift off in thoughts, realize that I’d been in thoughts, and feel annoyed. With the “Gone” technique, I celebrate the return of presence, and the opportunity to practice noticing “Gone”. It’s a radical shift in connotation about drifting into thoughts: from frustration to celebration, and using it as a tool.
Short explanation by Chade-Meng Tan, out of Timothy Ferriss’ book “Tools of Titans”
More detailed explanation by Shinzen Young