When you want to see; close your eyes.
Meditation has played an important part on my journey to enlightenment. I was introduced to it during my first yoga class. Yoga and meditation are two different practices that beautifully complement one another.
Through meditation I have learned that when my intention meets my attention, I can achieve peace of mind, happiness and success. Being open, honest and aware are the three keys necessary for allowing the magic of conscious living to happen. Meditation encompasses all of these qualities and it has allowed me to transform in ways that no other form of practice has. Our world is experiencing a new shift in awareness and consciousness and transforming into a more enlightened state of being, and I believe meditation can significantly help in this transition.
When I discuss meditating with others I am often asked how to start, how I prefer to practice and how I am able to focus. This is why I decided to devote an entire post on my experiences, with helpful tips to get you started.
Steps for Meditating
- Find a quiet area that you feel comfortable in. It is important that you feel free to express yourself during your practice and that you will not be interrupted by distractions. I have enjoyed meditation in both private and public places. While both offer their own benefits, I find it can be easier to focus in an inside environment. Sometimes I like to light candles during meditation. I also set an alarm to go off before I begin. Beginners may want to start with a few minutes and work their way up to longer periods of time.
- Once you decide on a spot, sit on the floor/ground crossed legged. A cushion can be used to sit on if you prefer. Sit tall though not rigid, as though a string is pulling you from the top of your head. Rest your hands with your palms facing up on your knees; the tip of your thumb on each hand touching the tip of your middle finger. Although this is a popular position, you can try experimenting with different techniques such as standing and lying on your back. There is no “best” one; whichever one allows you to have the greatest experience is the one you should use.
- Close your eyes and scan your entire body. Starting with the top of your head, bring your attention to each body part; relaxing one by one and working your way down until you have finally reached your toe tips. Take three deep and slow breaths in and out.
- Be still and fully present in the moment. Take in all of the sensations of your experience. Be aware of all that you are feeling.
- Now bring your focus to your breath. Really concentrate on each inhale and exhale. Without forcing your breath; allow it to flow in and out naturally. Let your relaxed belly be filled with air and slowly let it out, also feeling it in your throat, nose and chest.
- A mantra is a word, sound or phrase that is repeated or that represents your beliefs during a time of meditation or prayer. Mantras can be very helpful in your practice. They can be anything that you wish and can be said out loud or to yourself silently. Beginners may find it easiest to start with the word “breath.” This can help you to focus all of your attention on continuing your proper breathing.
- When other thoughts come into your mind, acknowledge them and then allow them to flow freely out, diverting your attention back to your breath and mantra.
- Once you have finished your practice, take a few minutes to say a prayer of gratitude for what you have accomplished and for the opportunity to practice.
Wishing you a happy meditation!