Meditation for the Meditation Challenged
(The first of two parts)
So you’ve tried meditating and you’re not sure you’re actually getting it right. You want to meditate for many reasons: you’ve learned that it is the best way to access your intuition, guidance and Universal wisdom; you’ve heard that meditating gives you a doorway to inner peace and tranquility; you’re aware of the studies that reveal the medical benefits of meditation—lower blood pressure, increased sense of wellbeing, faster healing.
But meditating isn’t that easy. Sitting still for a long time, trying to close out those thoughts speeding across your mind, rhythmic deep breathing…do you visualize your future, do you listen for guidance? How is this supposed to work?
The answer is that finding the right meditation practice is like finding a therapist. You have to try a few different ones till you find one that works for you. So in the following content, I will offer you many different options from which to choose. I encourage you to try a variety until you have a growing sense of comfort—and you don’t have the annoying urge to just get it over with!
I’ll begin with my two personal favorites.
Sending and Receiving
As a Conscious Creator, you know that much of your power in creating your own reality is visualizing how you want your life to be. But if you have a limited time for meditation, say 30-40 minutes a day—how do you do both? My solution has been to do a sending-receiving meditation. The first half of my meditation is when I send my desires to the Universe, visualizing with emotion the desire I wish to see manifested. The second half I commit to receiving, blanking my mind, putting out my “antenna” and allowing messages and guidance to come forth. I begin that process by asking God/The Universe what it wants me to know that day and then stay open to whatever comes through.
Oftentimes we think there is a right way and a wrong way to do something. But the blessing of meditation is that we don’t have to do anything. We can just BE. When you get quiet, simply eliminate any should or shouldn’ts. Release everything that binds you, worries you, demands of you. Just let your soul BE. It’s a profound sense of relaxation to not have to do anything. Breath in, breath out. Just BE. Be with yourself. Be with the oneness. Be with the source. Be at peace. Just BE.
There are many, many versions of meditative breathing, but most recommend that you breathe deeply from your abdomen. Inhale and exhale to a steady rhythm. Some suggest breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. The point is to focus on your breath so it becomes almost hypnotic and takes you away from any outside stimulus.
Here are some options:
- Breathe one beat in and one beat out
- Two beats in to four slow beats out
- Count up to 10 breaths and then reverse the count down to 1. Then Repeat.
- Count to 100 and start over. Or count from 100 down.
One way to release yourself of the tyranny of your thoughts is to make yourself an innocent bystander. As your thoughts float by, just notice them as if you were an observer and let them escape. Don’t judge. Don’t shoo them away. Just observe and refocus on your own inner place.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing exclusive on what is going on in or around you. You become totally focused on what you are feeling physically or emotionally to the exclusion of everything else. You notice how your buttocks feels as it is pressed to the ground, where it has contact, if your muscles are tense or released, if it feels cushioned or pressed onto a hard surface. You become aware of what that part of you is experiencing internally and externally. Become aware of all sensations. This forces you to stay present. “All that is asked is that you bring compassionate attention to what you are experiencing, moment by moment,” says Dr. Jeffrey Brantley in his book Calming Your Anxious Mind.
Here are some mindfulness meditations:
- Begin at the top of your head and slowly become mindful of your scalp and how it feels. Then deliberately take individual segments of your body and do the same, slowing moving down your frame until the tips of your toes.
- Do this same mindfulness meditation while walking.
- Scan your body for emotional blocks or constrictions. Wherever your feel constricted ask what it is about. Then encourage your body to begin releasing the emotion. Scan again to see if it is now feeling more open. Do this until you can feel the energy flow cleanly everywhere.
- Breathe mindfully. Become aware of the breath coming in, going down your body, expanding your lungs and pressing against your belly. Feel it come back up slowly and feel it rise up through your mouth
- Sit quietly in nature and become aware of every sound, every color, every movement, every element—taking each one at a time. Allow yourself to feel you are a part of this natural world.
To Be Continued…