Meditation: Deep Relaxation, Compassion, and Energy
The demands of modern life make you attend to several things at once but, not one single task will be completed with full awareness as a result. The pace of life has accelerated, your attention is fragmented, and your mind is over-stimulated. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years to move you beyond the mind’s busy activity. Through regular meditation practices you can recover a focused approach to daily activities. Aspire to achieve a calmer, more intuitive, and present state.
Meditation is also a powerful tool that can be used to produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. With meditation you can reach a sense of calm, peace, and emotional stability. During meditation you are happy, loving, and focused. These effects don’t end when your session ends, and the practice can have lasting effects on both your emotional and physical well-being. After having achieved this wonderful state of tranquility you can transfer the same attitudes you’ve experienced to all of your interactions.
It is one of the most powerful tools you can use to achieve mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Research has shown that some of the benefits from meditating include:
- Deep relaxation
- Increased energy
- Decreased anxiety
- Heightened immunity
- Pain control
- Stress reduction
- Self-expansion and growth
- Mental clarity
- Good Sleep
Meditation connects you to your core being. The ever present source of inner peace and wisdom from which you can draw strength, courage, clarity, and compassion. It is easier to respond to any situation when you are in a calm and grounded place than it is when you act out of habit and repeat old dysfunctional patterns.
You are also better equipped to navigate life in alignment with your needs and goals. Having time and space to simply be yourself allows many of the distractions from other people’s agendas to melt away.
WHEN SHOULD I MEDITATE?
The time of day is not really so important, so pick one that works well for you.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Choose a time when you won’t have any distractions. For example, a time when the phone won’t be ringing, and the kids won’t be knocking on your door. To quiet your mind, you’ll need quiet in the home.
- It’s best to avoid times that fall right before, or right after, eating.
- Try to meditate at the same time, in the same place, every day. Allow the body to remember that this is the time to look inward and be still.
WHERE SHOULD I MEDITATE?
It’s important that you find a great place to practice meditation. You’ll need an environment that’s both relaxing and quiet, so nothing takes your attention away. You may also want to keep a pen and notebook handy to write down things you experience and feel.
- Make a space that is yours. One that will make you relaxed. You may want to set a calm mood by closing the curtains, turning on soft music, or lighting a scented candle.
- Turn off the TV so that you’re not distracted. Turn off your phone so that you’re not interrupted.
- Sometimes going outdoors can provide an inspirational place for meditation.
DO I HAVE TO SIT CROSS-LEGGED ON THE FLOOR?
There are many different ways to sit for meditation. Experiment to find which way works the best for you.
- Using a Chair: Sit with your feet on the floor, shoulders back, and hold your spine straight against the back of the chair. If needed, you can place a pillow behind your lower-back for support.
- On the Floor: Sit cross-legged in half or full lotus position. You may want to place a pillow under your tailbone for comfort.
- On Your Bed: If sitting positions are too difficult, or are painful, you may start-out lying down. We associate our beds with sleeping so, for meditation purposes begin by lying horizontally rather than vertically across your bed if it’s big enough. Another option is laying in the opposite direction, 180 degrees from your normal position. (Don’t use pillows. This may trick your mind into staying alert since your head will be in a different position than the rest of your body.)
- Once you have more experience, try moving to a seated position on the bed. Put your back against the headboard, with pillows placed under your hips, to get a nice straight spine.
I’M ALL SET UP, NOW WHAT?
It all starts with the breath:
Place one hand on your chest, the other on your abdomen, and take a deep breath:
- Exhale deeply through the nose, completely contracting the belly.
- Inhale slowly through the nose, expanding the abdomen, expanding the chest, and raising the shoulders upward.
- Hold for a few comfortable seconds.
- Exhale in the reverse pattern. Slowly dropping the shoulders, relaxing the chest, and contracting the abdomen.
- Repeat slowly, fast, faster, and then slow until the face flushes, the neck loosens, and the mind steadies.
Even when we’re still our mind continues to think.
Focus your attention on meditating and work to clear your mind.
- Breathe deeply and concentrate on relaxing your body. Picture each part of your body going limp. With each breath- inhale peace and exhale your worries.
- Envision a place that brings you happiness. This place can be real or imagined as long as you’re relaxed and no longer thinking about your problems.
- Find your inner peace. It’s the place inside you that’s quiet and far away from the cares of the world.
- When you’re able to totally clear your mind you can bring yourself to a place where you truly feel peace and happiness. Allow yourself to stay in this place for a while, calming and relaxing your body and mind.
If your attention wanders you can use your breath to slowly bring yourself back to the object, sensation, or movement you were focusing on.
It’s not hard to meditate, and over time it will become easier and easier to reach your goal of finding peace. Remember these strategies and you’ll find meditation to be a very pleasurable experience.
Experiment and discover which types of meditation work the best for you. Adapt your practices to suit your needs at the moment, and remember that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. What matters is that meditating helps you gain clarity, reduce stress, and feel better.
IS THERE A WAY TO JUMP-START MY MEDITATION?
Tildet has recorded CDs (available in the Growth Store) to assist you in mastering this powerful tool, and help you make it a part of your life.
There are also classes available for all ages and experience levels. If you are interested in learning meditation either in a class, or as a private session, contact Tildet to explore the possibilities.