How to Meditate? Its easier than you think & A few meditations to get you started

Meditation and Awareness

Mistaking the method for the goal
Many people think meditation is about being a good meditator when you sit on your mat, meaning you don’t have any thoughts. This is simply untrue and nearly impossible. This is mistaking the method for the goal. Meditation prepares us to live our life with awareness of how thoughts constantly spin in the back of our minds and how they effect our actions and behaviors and how we interact with others — and how we mindlessly talk to ourselves all day long. We need a meditation time to practice controlling these thoughts and redirecting them to reality or something productive. Being “good” at meditating during your meditation time is not as important as applying your meditative mind to your life.

When you sit for meditation, DON’T TRY TO STOP THE THOUGHTS . . . you won’t . . . the purpose of your meditation time is to watch the thoughts in your mind and realize how crazy most of them are and then to practice either not believing them or shaping them to something productive.

  • Your mind, it lies to you.
  • Don’t believe everything you think.

How to Meditate?

Keep it simple … just sit. Find a comfortable position. 3-5 minutes is a perfect meditation time for beginners. The only really required posture is to keep your spin straight, you can do that lying or sitting, sitting on the floor or chair or pillows or couch, just get comfortable and allow your spine to be straight. Then slow down your breath, and breathe through your nose only. Now what?

Outer focus vs. inner focus

Choose one “thing” object, sound, heart beat, breath … whatever you chose, just think about that now. As soon as your head starts to play a movie bring it back to your object of choice.

You can choose an outer focus such as a mantra, candle, a sound, the sun, OM, anything outside of your body that reflects a higher spiritual purpose to you. Or you can choose an inner focus such as your breath or heartbeat or feeling the rhythms of your body. Here are a few short meditations for you to try:

Sun Meditation – This one is especially nice when you can sit outside and meditate. Take a moment with each bullet point and if you can stay with the last one as long as you can.

  • Facing the sun, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, close your lips, and part your teeth.
  • Smile just a little.
  • Take your breath a little slower and a little deeper.
  • Now envision your heart is the sun. Feel the sunlight radiating from your heart.
  • Feel this light illuminate your inner body, like you are glowing from the inside out.
  • Feel your heart sunlight shine up your throat and start to reflect on your brain.
  • Feel your brain as the moon reflecting the sunlight. Feel your brain reflect what is in your heart. Sit with this.

To come out of your mediation, take a deep inhale and exhale through your open mouth with a haaaaa sticking your tongue out. Rub your hands together to get some warmth and place your palms on your eyes for a moment. Keep this feeling and take it with you as go off into your day or evening.

Breathing Meditation, this one is easy

  • Sitting or lying comfortably, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, close your lips, and part your teeth.
  • Smile just a little.
  • Take your breath a little slower and a little deeper.
    See if you can take a 5 second inhale and a 5 second exhale.
  • See if you can keep this cadence or a comfortable cadence for 30 breaths.
  • Every time the movie in your head starts, come back to your count. (Realize your mind can spin stories all the while you keep count! Try to be aware when this is happening.)

Now take this breath with your throughout the rest of the day.

Mantra Meditations.
Many people like repeating a mantra to distract their mind or help pull their thinking mind away from thinking thoughts. A mantra can be a formal word or chant “given” to you by a meditation teacher, or NOT. It can be your own idea, thought or word, or phrase (positive, uplifting, and/or motivating) that you sit and repeat to yourself.  Popular in the yoga meditations are mantras like “Om mani padme hum” (which means the jewel is in the heart) or “Om Namah Shivaya” which is honoring the hindu god of destruction, Shiva, knowing that transformation sometimes comes in the form of destruction.  And of course there are the classic mantras of just chanting, saying, or singing “OM” repeatedly or “Ram”.

One of my favorite meditations is the Loving Kindness Meditation aka Metta Meditation.  The story on this meditation goes back to the Buddha.  He was teaching his pupils how to meditate in the woods and they were afraid of the animals, so Buddha gave them this mantra to make peace with the animals and insects that were around them. Click here to link to our Loving Kindness Meditation page.

Here is a little blip from Dr. John Douillard’s blog on stress, mediation helps us realize how our mind puts stress on our body:

Do the same childhood worries serve you as an adult? These protective emotional patterns are generally created to keep the child safe and out of emotional harm’s way, but as adults, they put significant stress on the body. Childlike worries of what people will think of you—am I pretty enough? Tall enough? Smart enough? Athletic enough? Do they like me?—all are interpreted by the body as stress.

Specifically, research now tells us that these emotional stresses are processed through the gut, causing the digestive process to break down first. This is perhaps best illustrated by the current gluten-free and dairy-free fad diets—shunning so-called “bad” foods which are just a touch harder to digest – that’s all.

Stress Breaks Down the Body
From stress-related digestive distress, a degenerative stress response is driven into every cell of the body. Depending on your genetic predisposition (or what Ayurveda calls your body type or dosha), your body will break down in its own unique way as a result of a compromised ability to process stress.

Additionally, though these emotional reactive patterns to stress or trauma are created in the mind, they eventually store in the fat cells as molecules of emotion. By purifying the body, these emotional molecules are released, setting the stage for deep mental, emotional, and spiritual transformation.

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