Written by Jasmine
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.”