Welcome to The Majickal Garden. A mystical cyber garden for anyone traveling the path, who is interested in enhancing their spiritual growth. There is an acceptance here to new ideas as well as others beliefs. We are all students in the light of life. The Universal ways have gifted us wonderful tools for our soul’s evolvement and discovering them is a pleasure found in The Majickal Garden.
Thank you for taking the time to spend some of your precious time here. We hope you can find something of interest to take with you on your own path of spiritual journey.
Peace and Light…Jasmine – Webmistress
Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.
( If an item appears on this website that should not be posted, please let us know and we will be happy to remove it or add credit to its authenticated origin.)
Late Autumn 2014 Update
Written by Jasmine
(Webmistress The Majickal Garden)
Here we are counting down the weeks before Christmas and I am just doing my Fall update. Where has the time gone! I enjoyed a beautiful sunny Indian Summer and the garden lasted well beyond usual. My goal of nurturing my pale green thumb was met with pleasing results. The seeds I started in the garage in April flourished once planted in the ground, tubs and hanging baskets much to my surprised delight. I felt such a feeling of accomplishment that “I” could actually do this and the satisfaction exceeded years of buying them and keeping them alive! I bonded with these wee beauties and they taught me tips to alter for next year.
My back yard is covered in small red rock with a few beds. I use plenty of containers. Mid-summer while weeding my “rock lawn” I realized that some of the “weeds” might want to be allowed to grow…just a hunch I had, never seeing them before. I had let the chore go for a good month so some had taken quite a foothold and were very healthy. They were centered around the proximity of the bird bath and looked different from the normal weeds that get yanked out.
They grew quickly and I did not have to wait long before I was rewarded when they showed color. Extra interesting to me is the area they were located in usually did not catch my target for watering and at an especially dry part of summer until they caught my attention. They were very tenacious and appeared to want to be there. One type flowered into what looked like purple wild petunias, if there is such a thing! The other was purple lobelia, another wonder to me.
Not long after they bloomed; one sunny morning while garden tending, I had a sudden thought of my beloved Grandma, who watches over me from the other side, and was overwhelmed with love busting from my heart. Quick heartfelt tears stung my eyes as I remembered each summer she always had petunias and draping lobelia together in her baskets. It is my knowing that she sent them to me via the birds where nature takes its course! I had a sudden overwhelming feeling of love intertwined with feeling that I had been granted a precious gift from her in the form of these particularly specific “wild” flowers in MY backyard! I had a pot ready with soil that I never got around to planting in and within some weeks it was lush with the petunias.
I know from many ways she is around me when I invoke her from the heart in certain situations. From birth my grandparents were always an active part of my life and later my own children’s. As busy as they were with their own lives, they always made me feel special as they spoiled me a little and taught me much with subtle guidance at the same time as I was growing up. I feel a distinct blessing in knowing she found a way to touch me even closer on my side of the veil! She was always supportive of me with her unconditional love. I now know she did not always approve or understand some of my choices made but she trusted me and never seemed to express negativity. I know her daughter, my mom, raised me the same way. They knew I had to find my own way and at the same time; at the ready to talk to me when I needed their input.
My Grandma is with my Grandpa as well as my Mom. I miss them dearly. I have so many questions I never asked when I had the chance. However, the more I mature in age and experiences the more I feel their loving support. It does not matter I don’t have all the historical family facts…they are with me now as I continue down my own path.
When I am in the garage on a creative mission looking for something to make happen out of my head fumbling around for that certain component to appear; my carpenter Grandpa smiles silently over my shoulder guiding me. And when it suddenly shows up with a “hey presto” moment I can smile gratefully back at him.
My mom guides me still with her strong ironic humor wrapped in her own life experiences where emotions weighed heavy. When I am scared, confused, or in tears I can feel her supportive presence with her empathetic concerned loving knowing smile. She felt them all in her time here and that visual of her loving face packs a most effective punch in the gut to buck up and go forward.
The holidays are ever challenging for me. I am blessed with so many wonderful majickal memories via the closeness my family shared packed into decades. The balance lies in keeping them with me and endeavoring to create new ones in my life now.
I look forward to Spring in the hopes I might be blessed once again with “wild” petunias and lobelia! The delightful blessings of miracles in this lifetime cannot be expected nor taken for granted, however large or small. Living in the mindfulness presence of the moment, by not allowing the mind to wander to yesterday, tomorrow, or what might be done later allows openness to what might be experienced or lost for lack of “being there”. If I had done a mindless clean sweep of my backyard I never would have discovered what I did and never known what I could easily have missed! I was open and therefore ready for what might come to be.
I hope your holidays are sprinkled with sparkles of special moments all season long!
Written by Jasmine
Cycle: a group of events which happen in a particular
order, one following the other and which is often
Cycles of life. Somewhere along the line I found myself becoming aware of a new one beginning, enjoying the more comfortable middle area where it seems it always was and will remain to be. However, the slight flavor of change was in the air. Sometimes it was in a friendship, a job, relationship or even a peaceful lull following a hectic time. In many cases it was not the direction I might have liked things to go.
When I consciously found myself living in the light, listening to my inner self and seeking the guidance of my spirit guides, was when I began to recognize the *signs* posted along the way. They were always there but the difference was in my perspective to be able to see them when they crossed my path. They are easy to miss when, unaware, everyday challenges of life block the view.
One example was with a particular friendship. I met her thru a mutual friend. We hit it off immediately and we had plenty in common. We both had families. In the beginning, our friendship was great. Somewhere towards the middle I knew I was emotionally stronger than she was. I did my best to be there for her when she called, day or night. Lending support as a good friend does for one another. Then the time she needed from me began to increase. It took a serious cut into my own young families’ needs, business and other social obligations. The more I gave the more she seemed to need and it was pulling me down.
The signs were in front of me, that I was hindering her more than I was helping, and it was time to back off our close friendship. However, I fought the intuitive feeling and opted for the thinking that if I were a true friend, I would continue to help.
Then came the beginning of the end. I found myself pregnant with my second child and bedridden for the first 2 months. My mom moved in with us to help out. What it took for me to understand this part of the cycle was the fact my good friend did not contact me once thru the whole time I was down. (Sure, I could have contacted her, however, that was not the point.)
Finding myself in a situation where the only choice was to protect the life inside me as well as doing the best I could for my 7 year old. Holding the family together during this difficult time was all I could handle. I had been crying out for help on a spiritual level for some time. Ending up in a prone position for so long tends to re-arrange the thinking patterns! It literally jerked me to the center of reality about what was really important in my life. Perhaps in my spiritual search to that point, I had missed the minor ones posted for me and required a huge billboard in the form of the blessing of a new life.
Back to this friendship. I had been able to see the cycle of our friendship and where it had ended up. Honestly, knowing her as I did and understanding how incapable she was to extend beyond her own personal situation and it was really alright. After much consideration I accepted the signs of change and of moving on. It felt right in letting go. Our paths had crossed for a reason and I was better for having had her in my life. The fork in the road was clear.
Of course, not all friendships are meant to end this way. However, I think this was the first serious situation where I was able to consciously recognize in retrospect the full cycle and how my acknowledging this with the spiritual trust to follow the flow.
The key to being able to recognize these cycles and their stages lie in living everyday in mindfulness. This means living in the moment. Not spending too much time on a past that is over or a future yet to come. Accepting that which is out of our hands and doing what is in our power to deal with at this time. De-clutter the mind of useless thoughts, let them go. Cycles can be repeated when they become circles!
Focusing on the situation at hand, be it career, relationship or friendship. Being fully aware in the moment on time spent in a situation without cluttering the mind with other thoughts not related to what’s going on at the time. If you can train yourself to do this, it becomes easier to recognize where cycles are in your life as well as *opening your eyes* to signs posted along the way. You might better be able to recognize red flags marking that which could be holding you back in your life situations.
To put it simply, when situations in our lives become a continuous struggle, perhaps it’s time to take a serious look at where you’re really headed with it. Using awareness in this way will enable the signs to be read and recognize where changes might need to be made in order to continue on an honest spiritual path.
When I have consciously found myself faced with recognizing where change or adjustments were required and following thru with them, I have been rewarded with a feeling that it was right. I might mourn a loss with some of the changes but what was gained meant so much more in the long run. Sometimes doors or windows need to be closed before others are allowed to open.
Written By Jasmine
Ever feel like your brain is on a fast track to nowhere? You’re thoughts rushing up multi-lanes and then switching lanes up ahead, at 90 miles an hour? Taking your mind off of what is in front of you all day, just to keep you awake at night? We have all been there at one time or another, and in varying degrees.
I was plagued with insomnia from an early age. As an adult, I needed to find some answers to this dilemma. Anyone that has spent night after night painfully aware of the fact that one is not sleeping, and sneaking occasional looks at the clock validating this fact, will understand what I am talking about. Compound by years and there is a personal epidemic at hand.
Sleeping pills have just never been an option for me, the idea of slapping a bandage on a wound that won’t heal and suffering the side effects that accompany a drug were unacceptable. I found a few solutions that eventually worked for me. One was meditation and relaxation technique I would practice once I had jumped into bed ready for sleep. That is a type of whole body and mind solution. The other I found to be useful was journaling. To me it was beginning at the source of what was holding me back. Writing down my thoughts in a journal I made special for this purpose. I began by writing at night before I would try to go to sleep. Whatever was jumbled up in my mind, at the time, was written down. I discovered a key thing was to not worry about spelling, punctuation or sentence structure.
Focusing on that takes away from what you’re trying to do. Just get it down on paper. By doing this it allows the mind to be freed up from that particular thought and enabling it to move on. Starting slow is a good thing. This allows you to establish a routine and writing thoughts down becomes easier as you go along. Once you become comfortable with it, making it a practice at other times during the day will afford you an outlet to the chatter that does not differentiate between times of day. You might find your able to concentrate better on your task that is in front of you, rather than spacing out to where a troublesome spot is in your mind, after writing down thoughts that are plaguing you at the time.
It works for times when you wake up and find it difficult to go back to sleep. Once you realize you’re not going to drift off and quickly back to dreamland…pull up your handy journal and jot the top most thoughts on your mind. Then try again. If you take stock of the thoughts that merry-go-round in your head, you can put them into categories. There are the issues in your mind that you have no control over, nothing you can do to change it and are out of your hands. You still might worry about such things, but by recognizing that you can do nothing about them, you’re acknowledging this in your conscious mind.
The next step is to let it go. It does not mean you don’t care about the situation, it simply means you are letting it go from worrying about it.
The other category of concerns and thoughts are the ones you DO have some control over. It might be easier to start with the simpler ones. One at a time, take stock of the nagging top of the pile, stuff that you can step in and deal with right now. By paring down the mountain of concerns and focusing on them one at a time, you can lighten your load of concerns. Using journaling as an outlet to help the chatter in your mind is only a beginning to where it personally might take you.
Some might discover a creative vein buried inside that desires to be vented. Others might use it as vehicles to get down the road, and then in retrospective reading, find out they really have made progress where it was not realized before. At the very least, you might see a pattern, where you see no progress being made, and you can then make adjustments and try a different course of action. A pattern in a particular subject that keeps popping up in your writing can lead you to a possible solution or allowing yourself to let it go because you have no control over it.
Whatever an outcome, for your own personal gain, it’s an inexpensive and creative choice for helping yourself move down your path in a healthy manner. Then, finally find peace of mind to drift off to sleep to discover some nice sweet dreams.
Article By Jasmine
The quality or state of being serene
1 a: clear and free of storms or unpleasant change b: shining bright and steady
2: marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose or quietude
God, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change…
Courage to change the things I can
and the Wisdom to know the difference.
Reinhold Niebuhr (American theologian, 1892-1971)
Pagan Serenity Prayer
God & Goddess grant me:
The power of water, to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change
The power of fire, for the energy & courage to change the things I can.
The power of Air, for the ability to know the difference.
And the power of Earth, for the strength to continue my path.
Despite years of research by numerous individual, the exact origin of the prayer is veiled in time and mystery. Every time a researcher appears to uncover the conclusive source, another one crops up to confound the claim. The impact in the meaning of, with due respect to the real author, is undeniable.
Of all the tools I have been blessed to add to my toolbox for maintenance of the Soul, one of my most treasured is, modest in first appearance, one of my most useful. These simple 4 or 5 lines of a poem pack a wallop of an impact, if one chooses to see and feel past the initial simplicity.
I have found myself at times, in extreme states, sitting firmly upon a horse that is securely bolted to the floor of a complex merry-go-round of life, with the full gamut of possible emotions whirring inside and about me, frantically grasping for anything solid to help me get off the dizzying contraption. These seemingly basic lines have proved themselves, time and again, something that I could grab a hold of.
It gives us permission to ask…in the chaos of human emotion, to find the Serenity, a moment of calm, to understand the things that we have no power to change. It allows us to ask for the Courage to see and make changes to the things we are capable of changing. Most importantly, we can ask for the Wisdom to understand the difference between what we CAN change and what we CAN’T change. Admittedly, during times of calm and control, this might seem an elementary feat. Anyone having experienced times of feeling so out of control will know quite differently.
In the middle of emotional Chaos, it is such a relief to discover the ability to recognize and screen out the crap, shove it aside, to focus on the real issues at hand. I liken this result of grabbing a firm hold of these words to…finding yourself blasting around a chaotic tornado… looking down into the calm of the center and wanting so badly to plant your backside firmly on the bottom, longing for merely a short break, to look up and out, but not knowing how to get there.
Some basic knowledge of Human Nature 101 is most helpful at this point. The mind can be a wicked culprit for allowing the merry-go-round to persist. Over analyzing situations to the point of “if I had/had not done this” or “if he/she had not or had done this” and the what if’s, in second guessing different outcomes, won’t ever change what actually came about. However, playing things over and over again in the mind is one of the games it can play on us. Another player in this is the heart. Emotions of jealously, anger, pain, hurt, fear, love, etc create a chaotic whirlpool as to find oneself lost in confusion to the degree of feeling out of control.
The Serenity Prayer invites your Soul into the equation. By, with respect to your well being, it allows you to set aside you’re thinking mind, you’re feeling heart and lets you focus on the facts at hand and what you can and cannot do about your situation. In asking for peace of mind to recognize the answers to your questions, your able to clear out the irrational thinking of the past, being unchangeable anyway, and the emotions of the heart coloring your perception of how to proceed to attain an acceptable sense of sanity, and allowing yourself to continue down your life’s path, instead of spinning helplessly out of control.
Having said all this…and especially at my most serious moments of crying out for help…I have found peaceful respite, some breathing space, to get my feet more firmly planted on the ground. It’s in times of extreme emotion and crying out to the universal energies for help, that we find our intentions the truest. It’s with True Intentions our requests for help are most heard. With our honest efforts to occupy the sense of Serenity for even the shortest time, we can most loudly hear the answers to our heartfelt questions.
One of my favorite analogies is, if you’re going to win the lottery you have to make the effort to go out and buy a ticket. If we want to reap the benefits the Universal Energies, they so lovingly want to bestow upon us…we have to make the proper efforts to allow them the open channel for us to receive. Just as in winning a big lotto jackpot…we must allow our Souls the opportunity to reap the benefits they so deserve.
This poem has, over time, never ceased to amaze me. No matter how simple or complex my situation…the words seem to change, sometimes ever so slightly, to accommodate my understanding of a particular situation. For as many years as I have known it…there are times it seemed to pop right up into my mind…and other times I had to go dig it up just to be sure. As simple as 4 or 5 lines can appear, this is a true testament to the depth of meaning it can take on for those in need.
The Universal Energies have blessed us with some wonderful tools. It’s with our choice in free will we are able to accept the use of them. This is but one of the many I have been thankful to have experienced and one I will never discard.
UPDATE: Quite a while after this article was written and while doing some research for a different subject, I came across the Serenity Prayer with credit given to Reinhold Niebuhr. I have included a short biography from http://who2.com/reinholdniebuhr.html and a few of his quotes.
Name at birth: Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr
During his lifetime, Reinhold Niebuhr was the best-known Christian intellectual in the United States. Ordained as a minister in the German Evangelical Synod of North America in 1913, Neibuhr pastored a middle-class congregation in Detroit for 13 years. In 1928 he began a career-long association with New York’s Union Theological Seminary, serving as professor of Christian ethics (1928-60) and dean (1950-60). Niebuhr neither created nor defended a particular belief system as much as he worked to apply Christian morals to contemporary political and social problems. His theological stance has been described as “Christian realism,” and most of his work was devoted to reconciling the concept of perfect love with a world in constant violent conflict. A prolific writer and a popular, engaging lecturer, Niebuhr became a national celebrity and influenced Martin Luther King, Jr. and policy makers in the administration of President John Kennedy. His books include Does Civilization Need Religion? (1927), The Nature and Destiny of Man (2 volumes, 1941-43) and Faith and History (1949). He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.
Niebuhr is credited with authoring what has been called the Serenity Prayer, a form of which is used by Alcoholics Anonymous. One version of it goes like this:
God give me the serenity to accept things which cannot be changed; give me courage to change things which must be changed; and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.
Extra credit: His brother, Helmut Richard Niebuhr, was also a well-known theologian and clergyman… In his early years Reinhold Niebuhr was an active socialist, but he advocated early intervention against Adolf Hitler in World War II, and by the end of the war had moved away from socialism to condemn totalitarian communism.
“Original sin is that thing about man which makes him capable of conceiving of his own perfection and incapable of achieving it”
“Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.”
“If we can find God only as he is revealed in nature we have no moral God”
Written By Jasmine
Finding the right place in your home for a relaxing ritual is an important part in making it become routine. Whether you want to meditate, do yoga exercises, setting up time for spiritually enhancing reading or writing…to have an area that is an extension of yourself can be inspiring.
Most meditation and yoga experts suggest keeping a regular schedule (20 to 30 min. a day if possible). There is nothing more convenient and special than dedicating space in your home to the meditative activity of your choice. Spiritual growth is nourished by the nutrients you choose to feed it. Your environment is a direct influence. It can also be an encouraging means by which to maintain a regular schedule.
Choose a room that feels comfortable and adapt it to fit your needs. Avoid a busy area, as in the kitchen or living room, where noise and activity is high. Focus on a space that is more private and not the center of activity in your home. Some might be able to relax more in a dark room while others might prefer a space filled with natural light. A room where the decor is not so busy as to have your energy bouncing off everything but is tranquil. If its too dark you might have the urge to go to sleep. Perhaps a peaceful den, extra bedroom or a sunroom are all good choices for a meditative space. Get rid of any clutter so it’s a dedicated space. A quiet area and a good choice is away from a telephone. A room with a window overlooking a garden, pond, lake, etc. is a wonderful, calming inspiration. A window is also a good choice, besides the view refreshing you upon opening your eyes, in offering fresh air to keep you alert.
Not everyone has the luxury of devoting an entire room to their own sacred place. A corner or alcove can be just fine. You don’t have to be behind closed doors, especially if this is not an option in your home. It can be helpful to face away from the doorway of the room you’re in, to avoid distraction. The key point to meditation is that it can be done in any circumstances. If the place you feel most comfortable turns out to be the living room couch, don’t be discouraged, so be it. Just make sure anyone who shares your home knows your plans so you can avoid unwanted interruptions.
A small table draped with an appealing cloth and objects placed on it, such as special spiritual book, symbols of your faith, photos of loved ones or mementos of special places you have visited. Elements of nature can also be incorporated, such as a feather or a rock found on a special adventure. How about one of those personal, table top waterfalls, if you have the room? Perhaps a special gift you received of a living plant. Candles and incense can add an element of ritual. Especially important in establishing sacred routines.
Once you find the area you choose to call “yours”…set about to claim and re-decorate! If your fortunate enough to claim a whole room, adding…for example, a comfortable chair, bookshelves for your own library, meditation rug, a table for your personal alter or anything else you deem *sacred* for your own personal place.
Its a place to set thoughtful, and meaningful items that, collectively, will emanate positive energy. A place where you can sit…and absorb the energy you have planted the seeds for. Don’t try to fill it up all in one go. As with anything done on a spiritual level, its a layering, natural process to evolve with your own growth.
Once you have chosen and set up this area…for yourself…let it be known this is your own personal space. Others in your household should respect it as such, as should yourself. It’s a part of your life to keep dusted, uncluttered and always tidy, with a certain reverence and honor. Always ready for your next visit. It should be a part of your home you will feel comfort in. No window? A pleasing poster or painting would serve the purpose. Don’t allow it to become a dropping ground for those odds and ends of domestic life!
In this busy, freeway fast, world…its so essential to our Soul to recognize the need for spiritual comfort. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed, its easy to feel, since there is no huge blocks of time to give to such luxurious needs of the soul…its futile to even try! The truth is, the Soul really requires little upkeep. Most people spend much more time on personal hygiene than they do in providing food for the Soul on a daily basis. Claim and create your own, personal, sacred space and make it a special place to spend a few minutes of your time out of the day.
Written by Jasmine
(Webmistress The Majickal Garden)
Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. I think this is a popular enough phrase. Do most of us know what it really means? It sounds simple enough. I know what I am wishing for at the time and I really want it. In my naiveté, in a time of lesser enlightenment, little did I realize the reality of such a seemingly simple request.
I have learned plenty about cause and effect thru serious changes in my life set about by decisions I finally made. Situations that I spent years looking at with the frustration of not knowing what to do about them but wishing things would change. Praying they would change. Asking for help from the universe to guide me to a way thru them with the least amount of negative fallout to affect those around me.
The thing is, what I was wishing for was indeed valid to the path of my life and it stood far ahead in the distance waiting for me to make the first move. The thing was that I did not have any idea what was out there…but I saw a definite warm light in the distance reach out to me. I had nothing to go on but faith and trust that my destination was where I belonged and I had to do this.
My fear of the dark shadowed valleys, which I filled in the blanks with my imagination of how I thought it might go, lay between myself and my path. They had left me frozen for so long. It suddenly dawned on me what was required to start this desire to make the change, was to know I believed deep in my soul that it was right for me. Then I was able to make a firm decision. When I reached that point there was a feeling of a part of the load being lifted up off my shoulders. Lightness and relief to find I am not in this alone and would be guided in the move ahead.
The next step was to push fear and guilt aside as *the bad guys out to sabotage my goal* clearing the way to begin baby steps toward my desires and wishes. Stopping what I imagined might happen. This was not as easily done as said but listening to my souls desire via meditation and keeping my mind clear from the mutterings of worry about *what if* and *how can I*, etc. allowed the messages from the universe, my spirit guides, to come to the surface of my understanding mind. I recognized these messages because they were wrapped in a feeling of warmth, rightness, evoking faith, strength and trust that no matter what happened, it would be alright. I learned to call up that feeling whenever I started to feel the darkness overwhelm me. Getting to this point gave me the strength and courage to face the things in front of me that needed my attention. Sorting thru what I could do something about and omitting the things I had no control over.
As time went on, and I continued using my tools for accomplishing my goals, I realized some of my worst fears never materialized. On the other hand, some things I never imagined in the changes occurring were quite surprising and something I would not have chosen had it been mine to make. I think this is where *be careful what you wish for…* becomes relevant. If you ask for something, take care of what you might receive and are you ready?!
I believe in living life on the spiritual path, calling upon the support and tools the universe will supply for us. Whenever I have done this with true intention I have always found results. Sometimes not as I thought they might come about but results just the same. The misconception is that just wishing or asking that something be so, because we think it’s something we really do want does not make it necessarily what we need.
Making a *wish* or request for change should be done with the responsibility of effort on our part. To know what it is we are asking for and what we are willing to do in order to help this come about. You can’t possibly win the lottery if you’re not willing to go out and buy a ticket!
Written by Jasmine
(Webmistress The Majickal Garden)
I am not an expert on this subject by any means. I can say I have researched it over the years and practice it by varying degrees at different times of my life. I understand the concept. I know that when I keep it up with regular consistency it has a positive impact on me. I have more energy, stress is relieved and my spiritual well being is enhanced. It can also increase the healing ability in the body. Be it used for quieting the mind…connecting to spirit guides or prayer. It is something anyone can do with desire and practice.
One misconception is that meditation has to be a deep mystical experience to be valid. Granted that could be a wonderful outcome when someone gets to that point. However, it’s no less valid to the health of spirit and the soul. It’s simply put, quieting the mind from the everyday chatter; a time for inner peace to take over soothing the inner self. If you happen to find it difficult holding still in your mind for any length of time, know that is o.k. A minute would be sufficient as a starting point if that is where your level of comfort is. Desire and effort is what counts.
The best place to start is to choose a room you feel most comfortable in. A time when you can be alone is best, especially when you are just starting out. A pleasant incense and maybe some new age instrumental music playing softly in the background can create a relaxing mood. Preferably turn off the phone. You can sit in a comfortable chair or on the floor. Allow yourself a few minutes to get comfortable adjusting as needed. Next, acknowledge any outside noises you might hear…like a barking dog…or a car driving by, etc. Don’t dwell on it; rather, once your mind recognizes the sound, you can let it go without analyzing it.
Next, put your attention to your breathing. Don’t try to alter it but listen and be aware of it. After a few minutes of doing this, take a slow deep breathe in thru your nose. As you inhale your diaphragm should expand as you gently breathe in…feel and “see” fresh pure air moving throughout your body. When you slowly exhale…let your diaphragm contract as the grey stagnate air leaves your body. Do this about 3 times. Remember to do this slowly. When you finish, you should already feel a sense of slowing down and increasing calmness. Be aware of how you feel without focusing on the words in your mind. (This part of the exercise alone is a great way to de-stress). When a thought comes across…acknowledge it, then let it slip out the other side. This was tough for me at first. However, the more I allowed my body to relax, the easier I was able to let these conscious thoughts go.
There were 3 methods I used to help me out in the beginning. One was to think the word inhale as I did and exhale as I did that during the beginning breathing exercise. Don’t try to alter your breathing, just be natural. The idea being the mind can’t think 2 things at the same time. It takes the focus off drifting thoughts and allows the body to slow down. Continue this for as long as it helps or feels comfortable.
Another way to help focus is when a thought drifts in…picture the thought as a curtain you can gently push aside.
The third might help if you have a thought that keeps poking at you. Have a pen and paper hand to briefly jot the thought down. It can release it from being a concern at that time.
At the end of your meditation session, when you are ready, open your eyes and give yourself a few minutes to bring the world back into focus. You may find this difficult in the beginning. Be kind to yourself and take it slow. If it begins to feel like it’s a struggle, it might be a good time to stop until next time. Think of it as a process that will progress if you practice regularly. It is best done, in practice, in the morning for a great start to your day. Whenever time works best for you…try to do it the same time every day. Once you get the hang of the exercise it will become easier. The beginning breathing is a basic for many types of meditation in the preparation. Practicing that part first until you feel comfortable with it can be helpful.
Once you have learned the breathing exercise you can continue on with the rest of your meditation session depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Getting in touch with your guides, listening for answers, prayer or just allowing your body to enjoy the peaceful calm. There is also some wonderful imagery guiding meditation tapes that you will find in metaphysical based shops or book stores.
Mediation can be a refreshing fuelling up for a busy day or an unwinding from the same, a time just for you. Goodness knows how much you give to others in the course of a day. Take time for you and enjoy. When all else fails…remember to breathe!
“Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”