Meditation is something that has become quite popular, almost mainstream in a way to treat stress, anxiety and depression. There’s a lot of talk about what meditation does, but many people do not know how to ‘meditate’. As well, just getting started can be very difficult for the beginner.
It is for this reason I am writing this post to share some tips that have helped me.
How to Meditate:
Create a quite relaxing atmosphere somewhere in your home where you will not be disturbed. Ideally it is best to sit on the floor with a comfortable cushion or in a chair. The spine as straight as possible, with the neck slightly tucked in. The purpose of the spine being straight is to allow the Kundalini energy to rise upwards from the base of the spine. As well, the spinal cord houses all of the nerves in our body and allows energy to flow to every organ. In the seated posture begin by focusing on your breath. Breathe deeply into the abdomen, expanding the diaphragm. Then continuing to inhale expand the middle part of the chest and then the upper part, till the point that your lung is at maximum capacity. Suspend the breath, for as long as is comfortable and then slowly exhale, brining the belly button to the spine. This will naturally allow all the air out. Once all the air is completely out of the lungs, suspend the breath again. Hold for as long as comfortable. Repeat the process for as long as you like. The mudra ( hand placement) for this meditation is to have the left hand on the heart with the arm parallel to the floor. The right arm has the elbow tucked into the ribs and the fingers are pointing to the sky. The index finger and thumb are touching. The breath is continued with this mudra. This is a meditation for a calm heart. It is great for calming oneself down after work or after an argument, or just generally anytime. It allows us to slow down and enter a meditative state with the use of breath and mudra. The eyes are closed are directed straight forward.
Here is the link for a photo and clear discription of this meditation :
Meditation is the process of clearing the mind, it can be done many different ways. Generally, the consensus is to just allow whatever happens to happen. To watch the thoughts and not be identified with them. Even though many thoughts with continue to come, just surrender to them and let them go. They will continually be replaced by more, but this is the mind clearing itself out. When we do not react or buy into the story of the thought, it looses energy and dissipates. With continued steady practice we get to point where the mind is stilled and no thoughts come, this is Suniya, deep inner silence. We will all get there if we ‘keep up’ and don’t identify with the thoughts but allow them to pass. Eventually we will carry this state of peace with us through out our day and even through stressful events.
How To Keep Up To Be Kept Up
Beginners can find it difficult to start meditating. I believe this is a combination of many things.
First of all, it is that they are not sure what the benefits are and so there is doubt. If one doubts they don’t really feel like giving the time to do it. Therefore, it doesn’t become a priority. My advice with doubt is to learn as much as you can, experience and try different types to see what works for you. Eventually you will find a meditation technique you really like and you’ll know the benefits which will make it easier to commit to it. From my experience, there is many benefits to meditation like relaxation, calmness, focus, concentration, increased creativity, being more present, awake to sensations etc.
Second, it is hard because its not a pattern/habit we have. We aren’t used to meditating and so its hard to do it. Our culture is not focused on being silent and if anything there is is over use of chatter. It is important to take a moment to be reflective, contemplative and integrate our experiences. Therefore, by committing to the practice and doing it daily, even for a minute a day it will really help to just get it in you daily schedule. Once you do this for a couple weeks than it will be something you don’t want to miss. It will be your sacred time with yourself, where you communicate with You.
Third, too busy. In our world we are bombarded with so much information, people, things to do etc. There is just too much going on and we get hyped up. It can be hard to just sit down and meditate when we are totally not in the mood because our body just wants to keep going. But this is when we need it most! So set a time to do it and even if your body is resisting just be aware that it needs this time to just stop. Perhaps, take 15 minutes to wind down before bed ( warm shower, oil body massage and aromatherapy) and then proceed to being your meditation practice.
Fourth, the mental blocks to meditation. Many say they just can’t start, theres no time. Well, make it a priority. Stop giving into the bullshit that your mind is telling you and sit down and do it. Take charge. Your mind is living by old patterns, it doesn’t want to change. However, you’ll keep living the same way, repeating the same patterns if you don’t just sit down, observe them and let them go. To create change, we have to take the steps to the solution. No one is going to save us but ourselves.
Fifth, distractions. Turn off your phone, turn off your electronics and give yourself this time to connect with You. You have given so much attention outside, now its time to give attention inside.
When To Meditate:
It is possible to meditate anytime. Traditionally the best times are 4am-6am in the morning and 4pm-6pm in the afternoon. This is the time when the mind is calm and so meditation is easier. However, you can do it whenever it works best for you. Before you start work or before bed is always a nice time. I find meditation before setting out for the day allows one to be centred and approach challenges with a clear, calm mind. In the evening, it is nice to relax and clear the thoughts which leads to a deeper rest.
As well, full moon and new moons are great for meditation. During the full moon we can release all that doesn’t serve us and which we wish to let go of to live our life more fully. New moons are great for manifesting what we wish to bring into our lives.
– Make yourself comfortable
– Turn off electronics
– Focus on the breath, as soon as you get carried away in your thinking just come back to the breath, be easy and loving with yourself, its practice. Not meant to be perfect
– Commit to your practice. Start with 1 minute a day for a week, then increase to 3 minutes a day for a week, then 5 minutes a day for a week and then 10 minutes a day for a week. Continue till you reach 31 minutes. Progress slowly, but be consistent.
– If you miss a day, don’t feel guilt just get back on track the next day.
– This is your practice meant for you, not anyone else
– If your mind is very active and your having a hard time focusing on the breath, choose a mantra and recite it out loud for a while till the mind steadies then either continue saying the mantra silently or go back to just focusing on the breath.
– Keep up, keep practicing, if your steady you’ll see results. You have to give it a chance for it to give you a chance.