How to MEDITATE …

I’m no expert on meditation, so I recommend that you search Google – seriously, there are so many sites out there and lots of different ways of meditating.  There is no one right way to do it, just find something that feels good for you.

Here is my MEDITATION RECIPE:

Ingredients:

Time –  Set aside a specific time for meditation, and try to make it the same time every day.  You brush your teeth every day, so care for your spiritual health by meditating daily also.  The best time is early in the morning, as this will set the tone for the rest of your day.  You might also want to do a 5 minute meditation when you get home at the end of the day or before bed as a stress buster.

Place – Set aside a specific place to meditate – a chair in the corner of your bedroom, or somewhere that you can be sure you will have privacy and a bit of peace and quiet.  You really don’t want to be interrupted and distracted if you are trying to meditate.

Chair – You can sit cross-legged on the floor on a cushion if you prefer, but if you are using a chair it should be firmish and straight-backed, not a soft armchair that you sink into.  It is important to keep your back straight to allow your breath to flow freely and stop you from becoming sluggish or sleepy.  This is meditation time, not nap time!

Props – You don’t have to have any, but a small table with some fresh flowers and a fragrant candle creates a nice setting.  Lighting the candle before starting your meditation session is a good idea.  There is nothing mystical about this, it is just the power of association.  Your meditation will become a habit (hopefully it is something you do on a regular basis) and the smell of the candle will become associated with the nice feelings you get when you meditate.  So after a while, just the action of lighting the candle will immediately put you into a receptive state for meditating.

Preparation:

Have a shower first if you can.  If not, just wash your hands and face.  Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Take your shoes off.  Light your candle, settle down into your meditation posture (on the floor or on a chair).  Be still and relax.

Method:

Close your eyes. Begin by taking some slow deep breaths.  Breathe in through your nose to the count of 8, hold for 8, breathe out through your mouth for the count of 8, pause for 8.  Repeat a few times.  Then continue to breathe naturally without attempting to control your breath.  Just notice it, how it feels as you breathe in and breathe out.  The breath is the object of your meditation.  Focus on it, but not with all the might of your concentration, just observe it in an easy and interested way.  At first you may find that your mind wanders all over the place.  Don’t worry about this, your mind is always this active, trying to be quiet only serves to highlight the activity.  Every time you become aware that you are thinking about something else, bring your attention back to the breath. You are in the infancy stages of meditation, so you just need to patiently and kindly keep redirecting your mind back to focus on the breath.  Do this as many times as necessary.  Gradually your distracting thoughts will subside and you will gain a sense of inner peace and relaxation.   After the meditation time you will notice that you feel more spacious and refreshed.

Result:

Try not to have high expectations of what the meditation will achieve for you in the beginning.  Just taking 5 minutes out of your day to pause, relax and slow your mind down is a great thing to do.  Enjoy the experience for what it is, and feel good that you have made the effort to do it.  Make it a habit and over time you will reap many rewards.

As you progress meditation will allow your consciousness to deepen, so that you move from analytical thinking to intuitive experience.  These moments of revelation connect us to our higher self.  You may find that messages begin to arise from within.  It is a great idea to keep a journal on your meditative experience, recording your progress and the ideas/sensations/impressions that you receive while meditating.

Some tips:

  • If concentrating on the breath is difficult to begin with, you might like to have an object, such as a leaf, which serves as your focus point.  Keep looking at the leaf and let all your thoughts be about the leaf.  Notice every tiny detail about the size, colour and structure of it.  Once your brain has managed to focus on the leaf and slowed down, then close your eyes and begin to focus on the breath.
  • Some people find that peaceful music will enhance the quality of their meditation.
  • As you get better at entering into a meditative state you will find a deepening of the experience by doing it outside where you can be grounded and connected to nature.

A great resource is http://meditation.org.au  This web site provides a free online meditation course with a written step-by-step guide for people learning to meditate, an audio recording of the discussion topic and a guided meditation exercise that you can download and play.  As I mentioned at the start of this article, there are lots of web sites on meditation.  Do a search on Google – you are sure to find something that works for you.

Please leave a comment and share your own meditation experiences or tips.?

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7 thoughts on “How to MEDITATE …

    • With a 6 month old and a 2 1/2 year old, I could definitely use more petiance! I’ve been reading “Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting” and I really want to try to make meditation a daily practice in my life.

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