Meditation Tips – How to Meditate
There is great power in meditation. It has the potential to change nearly all aspects of your life. Some of the benefits are better health, more peace of mind, release of anxiety, stronger willpower, greater self-worth, freedom from fears, increase of joy, greater focus and mental clarity. The purpose of meditation is to expand your awareness beyond your body and mind into the depths of your being. Its you fully embracing and experiencing your inner self without judgment. The following tips will help you with your meditation practice.
In a previous post Meditation Styles, I discuss the limitations that are imposed with various styles, so if you do take a course maintain a level of inquiry to avoid adapting others limiting beliefs. Ultimately, Meditation is you sitting with and learning you and there is no wrong way to discover yourself. Right and wrong are all at the level of the ego and silence will take you beyond all of that. We all have our own unique experiences and so there is no single method that will work for everyone. So find what works for you and create your own practice.
Consistent practice = results
The effects of meditation are cumulative so it is important to establish a daily practice and remain consistent. Even if its just a few minutes a day, consistent practice is what yields the best results. You can increase your time as you progress, ideally getting yourself up to 10-15 minutes or more a day. You will notice fascinating results with consistent practice over time, even with as little as a few minutes a day.
Creating your sacred Space
Find a place where you can avoid being disturbed for a few minutes each day. This will help you remain consistent with your practice. Even if its just a corner in your bedroom, create a place where you can incorporate all the things you need to help with your practice such as music, incense, candles, singing bowls or whatever you prefer. The idea here is to create a space that serves as a reminder for your daily meditation practice with minimal distraction.
As mentioned in Meditation Styles, postures are really just about keeping the spine straight. So if you lay down, keep your head level with your body. If you sit, think of yourself being suspended by a string from the top of your head. You want to remain relaxed without being tense to allow for good circulation and blood flow up through your spine and head. Choose whatever posture works best for you that allows for you to remain awake so you avoid falling a sleep.
Letting go, embracing silence
When you start meditating you might notice your thoughts running rampant. Its important to note that our thoughts will continue to cycle when we feed them and we feed them with our attention. By observing and not engaging in the thoughts they continue to pass. Think of it like being on a high speed train passing through a forest, you see all the trees and animals but your not reaching out to grab anything. You simply notice them and allow them to pass. If its challenging, try deep relaxed breathing while focusing solely on your breath. If that’s not successful, incorporate counting with your breathing. Play with it until you find what works for you to observe and release. With practice you’ll find your thoughts fading away as you drop into the silence.
To start your practice get comfortable and then focus on your breath. You can do this with your eyes closed or by gazing on a particular object. With each outward breath release all your thoughts, false ideas and concepts, and any part of your identity that brings you back to yourself. Think of it as a continual process of letting go as you continue to relax the mind and release all resistance. Anytime you find yourself getting caught up in your thoughts, bring your awareness back to your breath. You can also incorporate a mantra or chant if you find benefit in that. With practice and time, you’ll find yourself dropping into that deep state within minutes and that’s where you’ll experience greater benefits in your meditation practice.
Meditation, the end game
Often I’m asked, what the end game is with meditation. The challenge with having an end game in mind is that you continue to reside in thought. If you remain at the level of thought your practice will be more superficial. We must be willing to let go of this idea so we can continue to grow and expand with the experiences. Meditation is really a way of living, something that we incorporate into our daily lives as a process of clearing and resetting the mind. Its a tool that allows for us to become present in any moment, even during conflict as we learn how to breathe and drop into our self.
Enlightenment, an infinitely expanding state of consciousness. When we first experience enlightenment the mind wants to grasp onto the experience as an attempt to remain in it. The minute we do this we lose it. The attachment creates a mental block that prevents us from getting back into that state. If you’ve had that experience and you’re feeling stuck, let go of the attachment and you’ll be able to get back into the state in a short amount of time. The idea here is to grow and expand with it freely and openly and we cannot do this if we attach. There is great guidance available in this enlightened state, and we have the ability to tap into this at any moment with a disciplined meditation practice.
With practice you’ll notice a level of awareness that develops around your thoughts. Its as though you become the thinker and the observer but with complete power over your thoughts and emotions.
Until next time,