How To Meditate
Before you “learn how to meditate” you need to know “what is meditation”…clarity is the key!
What is Meditation
Now let’s see if we can answer the “what” in a way that convinces you of the importance of incorporating meditation into your daily routine to live a happier and more peaceful life.
Meditation can be defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. A science which has an order and a process it follows, with defined rules that produce results that can be quantified…according to verywellmind.com in their “What You Should Know About Meditation” article.
Ok then let’s break that down a little.
“A set of techniques” – it is an action, something you do…
“encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention.” – it is a state, something that takes you somewhere…
“A science which has an order and a process it follows, with defined rules that produce results that can be quantified.” – there’s a proper way of doing it and the results can be seen…
Excellent, we now have an actionable process to take us somewhere we want to go, in a manner that is conducive to producing the results we seek, that we can gauge.
If we dig deeper we find…
Meditation is a way of changing the mind. Giving you added focus, concentration, clarity, emotional release and a calm to see things in their true perspective.
Your mind, according to David Ryan in his short but brilliant book “Living Life Without Limits” is the all-knowing, all-powerful part of your make-up as a human being.
Meditation is an art form that involves training your thoughts to remain in the present moment.
Now why would we want to remain in the present moment?
Because thoughts of what can happen, what might happen, what will happen leads to fear, stress and anxiety. Anything that tries to forecast the future creates an air of tension because it relates to the unknown.
Thoughts of what did happen, or want might have happened leads to sadness, depression, anger or jealously. Any time you look into past events of regret and disappointments you conjure feelings that are destructive and negative to your well being.
Thus, being totally immersed in the present eliminates past and future thoughts freeing the mind from negative emotional thinking giving greater scope for clarity and resolve.
Now I’m not sure if you understand the significance of having greater clarity and resolve in life but trust me without them life becomes a roller coaster, a ship without a rudder, an endless stream of confusion and frustration.
At the Institute of Higher Balance they recommend you…
“Choose a simple meditation technique that helps balance the hemispheres of your brain, accelerate learning and develop laser focus allowing you to tap into the deep levels of intuition.”
This will allow you to make better decisions and to use better judgement.
By learning how to meditate and integrating it into your life you will find a plethora of benefits as well as triggering signals within your body as guidance and wisdom mechanisms. So that you can FEEL whether or not you are moving in the right direction towards your aims and goals in life.
Mediation helps you get unstuck giving you CLARITY of who you really are and what you really want from life.
Again, I can’t stress the importance of having direction in life and knowing exactly what it is you want from it…it just makes “living” that much simpler.
Practicing meditation allows you to develop patterns of habits that shape your mind by introducing you to new areas of growth and experiences that impact positively on who and what you are and the life you live and want to live.
Various meditation techniques quieten the mind gaining a state of consciousness that heightened your awareness beyond your normal day to day existence. Do this consistently with extreme patience, these states of mind can create the most amazing results in your life allowing you to take huge leaps forward in your evolution.
Raising your awareness can ignite dramatic change opening up a whole new understanding.
Awareness forces you to observe, to think about what has happened, what is happening and what can happen in the future. Awareness forces you to REFLECT giving you a deeper sense of KNOWING.
The challenge with meditation is NOT to turn it into a goal-orientated activity with a defined destination.
Because you put undue pressure on performance, on getting results opposed to just doing and gaining experience.
Thus, the aim is to increase awareness providing you with the clarity and knowledge that you have choices. If something in your life developed a certain way its because you made a particular choice that steered you in that direction. If you want change or a different outcome than you need to change your mindset and start making different choices to experience the desired outcomes.
Granted there are occasions when you have little to no control on the outcome but you can always choose how you will react…yes!!!
The more you meditate the greater your level of awareness becomes the greater the opportunities present themselves the more you realize that your choices create your reality.
Understand that meditation isn’t only to clear your mind of babbling thoughts, it’s true essence in actual fact is to “connect” you to the infinite source, way beyond the mind.
This is a very deep conversation that we need to have at a different stage in your meditative development, but for now realize the consistent effort you put into your meditation practice is building to bigger and greater energies far beyond anything you could ever imagine.
Meditation will enrich your life, bring you closer to others, improve your health and connect you to higher energy levels.
Meditation For Beginners That Will Make A Difference in Your Life
Before we begin make it your ultimate purpose to view your meditation experience as a journey toward peace within and true happiness.
To the untrained mind, nothing is ever good enough. The ego will always demand more.
Through meditation you realize that you are not your ego, your mind or your personality. You are the pure unlimited awareness driving it and the realization of such profanity allows you to connect with your genius within to reach the best you can ever strive to be.
Getting started with meditation can be daunting to the uninitiated, their is many different types of meditation that it can confuse the beginner. Essentially, the reason behind your want to meditate will determine the type you ultimately pursue.
Again, I would be doing you an injustice if I was to briefly list the popular types of meditation (be it traditional and/or modern) here, so I will contain myself and share my thoughts in another article post later.
I personally have been practicing Chakra Meditation over the years with the aid of high-tech sound technology and here I will briefly share a definition found on the, Mindvalley Blog in an article they wrote titled – “A Beginner’s Guide To Chakra Meditation”
“The chakras are important centers of energy that appear throughout your body. For thousands of years, keeping the chakras in balance has been linked to maintaining mental and physical well-being. Through chakra meditation, you can improve the balance of your key chakras and bring your health and mental attitude into a more peaceful state.”
Understand from the beginning meditation is only as powerful as the frequency and consistency with which you experiment with it, no matter what type of meditation you choose to follow. The longer you meditate and the more often you meditate, the more benefits and clarity you will gain.
So before we continue make a serious commitment to meditate for at least 15 minutes a day for the next 21 days. This will allow you to form a life habit that will change your life for the better….OK?
Again, the most important thing to remember is the need to meditate on a regular basis.
Should you stop meditating everyday your mind will become stressed out and life will get more hectic, frustrating and chaotic. Before you know it life will get the better of you again and you will become too busy, caught up in your own hectic world and meditating will seem like a chore and the very last thing you will want to attempt.
Daily meditation is the very thing that guards your mind against the hustle and bustle of life bringing you balance, maintaining clarity and calm.
Thus, when should you meditate?
Every single opportunity you get…
Because research shows you have between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day…everyday.
A large percentage of these thoughts are repetitive. We are playing the same scripts, the same story, the same movie over and over again in our heads…day in day out.
Many of the benefits of meditation such as increasing your creativity, stress relief, relaxation and rejuvenation occur by simply closing your eyes and disconnecting from the outside, material world.
All these meditation benefits provide you with huge value in your life increasing the love you have for who and what you are. The purpose of meditation is it allows you to get comfortable with YOU, yourself, your own being.
The reason meditation techniques as a tool runs supreme over anything else is because it helps you to connect to your “inner genius” a place deep inside of you that is whole, complete, that is content, detached from the outside world, the noise, the chaotic rules and regulations. The place you feel most comfortable with, the place where the REAL you subsides.
This space, the inner genius is still, silent, peaceful, heavenly bliss…something that has been with you since birth that society has forced you to bury into the unknown deep inside of you. It has all the answers you need all you have to do is still your mind and allow it to deliver.
This silent, peaceful space has seen every movement, every act, every trial and tribulation, every success and failure you have experienced, it has been there through everything imaginable waiting, just patiently waiting for you to re-connect with it.
Don’t fear if the connection, through your meditation, isn’t immediate because it will continue to be there throughout the rest of your life…patience my friend, patience even if you feel time is running out. The ultimate prize is eventual connection which brings you one step closer to your final destination.
Regardless of the external circumstances, internally you feel calm, you feel connected and you feel at peace.
Now before we move on to how to meditate especially for beginners lets look at the benefits of meditation.
The Benefits Of Meditation to Last You A Lifetime
Again, I couldn’t do this topic justice with only a brief outline of the many benefits of daily meditation practice. So a more thorough review will have to come later but for now I’ll stick with the more widely known benefits just to keep you interested.
According to healthline.com in their article “12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation” written by Mathew Thorpe MD, PhD. Are as stated…
1/ Reduces Stress;
2/ Controls Anxiety;
3/ Promotes Emotional Health;
4/ Enhances Self Awareness;
5/ Lengthen Attention Span;
6/ May Reduce Memory Loss;
7/ Can Generate Kindness;
8/ May Help Fight Addictions;
9/ Improves Sleep;
10/ Helps Control Pain;
11/ Can Decrease Blood Pressure; and
12/ You Can Meditate Anywhere.
Again, the topic of meditation benefits requires a thorough review, just remember the benefit of meditation really boils down to what you want to achieve, the real purpose you are pursuing it for. This is where you begin, this should be your focus, your search for clarity and connection within.
Again, the main objective of the meditative experience is to shift the focus of the mind away from the thousands of repetitive thoughts and the hustle and bustle of everyday living.
Meditation techniques involve training your thoughts to stay in the present moment to connect to the inner self, the inner genius, the place of peace and tranquility.
So where do you start?
First start with a goal.
Ask yourself the purpose for meditating, get clear and understanding reasons, this clarity will help you stay consistent and focused. Distractions unfortunately are part of life but it is these very distractions that will keep you from practicing meditation long enough and frequently enough to get the desired results.
Now that you have decided on the WHY you are meditating now it’s time to create your space.
The where…and when…
Somewhere quiet and peaceful minus the disruptions would be ideal. Later as you get more proficient in the art of meditating you will deal with the disruptions but as a beginner any disturbance will only destroy any energy you build towards mastery.
Ensure the space is well lit with airflow to assist your breathing techniques. Some like to burn incense. It creates a Neuro-Associative Conditioning where your brain begins to associate a stimulus (incense) with an experience (meditation), it will continue to create a similar experience when it comes into contact with that same stimulus again.
Also if you make a habit of practicing at the same time again the brain becomes conditioned expecting to feed the habit with the habit. Daily meditation is crucial if you are to receive the maximum results and benefits.
Next get comfortable.
For many learning to meditate the so-called traditional way is not only time consuming but quiet strenuous on the body, especially in the beginning. For some the knees are not as they used to be and sitting crossed legged for any length of time can do unnecessary damage.
So get comfortable, for some if that means lying down flat on the floor, do it. Even though posture is important in meditation, if the pain, the aches, the discomfort is the cause of your distraction then you need to find a more comfortable way of practicing.
The most important concept here is to avoid slouching or leaning. Become a statue so to speak, again get comfortable in your position, connect with your breath and try to stay completely still.
Erect but not rigid, straight but not stiff if that makes sense?
Trust me you will get distracted and the urge to itch will be great but try and avoid moving and allow your mind to flow away from the thought. Ultimately if you need to move do so and reinstate your comfortable position and proceed with your meditation.
So like all distractions notice it, but don’t react to it, let it flow through until it disappears, should the thought or distraction return follow the process again minus any annoyance or impatience.
The best way to gain and regain control of your thoughts is to focus or concentrate on your breathing connect with it.
Next I’m going to introduce you to three principles to your meditation practice that will increase your chances of having a better meditation.
They are Being Casual, Observe and Change
Being casual is a state of being, an energy that derives from your attitude. As you sit to meditate your first goal should be getting casual, relax and rid your mind of the chatter. It may not always happen immediately but make it your goal to prepare yourself pre-session opposed to just doing. Being conscious of the need to relax beforehand allows you to get casual sooner, to silence the chatter, silence the babbler which allows you to connect to your inner being that all knowing, peaceful, tranquil space that’s your own.
Constantly remind your self to be casual, let your body be casual, let your mind be casual, let your soul, your spirit be casual, just relax. Should you find yourself struggling and swaying in and out of the casual state don’t get impatient or frustrated with the process. Don’t beat yourself up just let your thoughts, your energy flow.
Listening to some meditation music not only gives you an indication how long to meditate but it also helps you with the casual stage. I will talk about meditation music in greater detail at a later stage.
Now observe how you feel, observe the thoughts that are flowing in an out of your mind, observe how your body feels. Observe but do not react allowing yourself the luxury of being in the moment, don’t force anything to happen…just observe.
As you observe notice the changes, in your breathing, the flow of energy within you, the subtle changes, the thoughts that are flowing in and out. Become aware of the changes, the shifts from one thing to another, bring yourself back to balance or center. Change without frustration, without resistance, this will be challenging at first but with daily practice it will become easier.
The many aspects revolving around the art and science of meditation cannot be fully explained in one article so my intentions are to build on this article to provide you with a different perspective. A perspective that illustrates the major benefits of meditation and how to meditate without getting all caught up with the politics of what is meditation.
My aim is to get as many of you on board to a life changing habit that will totally transform who and what you are.
Until next time…Stay casual and peace be with you…