Guest Post By: Dimple Bindra
The act of meditation helps us to clear our minds and get them in a more peaceful state. By focusing on our inner world with a daily meditation practise, we can become more aware of what we’re experiencing. There is a tendency among many of us to dismiss or reject certain emotions or thoughts, creating an artificial separation from ourselves. Practising meditation helps us to reconnect with who we truly are.
By concentrating on our thoughts and by being an observer of them, meditation can provide a number of psychological, mental and physical benefits, along with improved problem-solving skills and a reduction of stress hormones in the body, along with better sleep. Benefits can be enjoyed without spending hours sitting cross-legged. You can simply learn how to concentrate on a point and you are on your way to wellness.
In addition to the misconception that meditation is too boring, hard, and religious, it is also generally perceived as having only cultural significance. But this is not the case. There are infinite ways to meditate, ranging from beginner to advanced practices. You can choose one of the following meditations if you resonate with it. Listen to your gut feeling and simply try it. Even if you don’t feel the excitement while reading it, simply jump to the next category.
- Mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to your thoughts and observing them without any judgement or reaction to it. You are just the observer and all you are doing is watching your thoughts as a third person.
- Mantra meditation is when you recite a mantra over and over again, such as “Om.” “Jesus” or even shorter statements such as “God Is One” or “Satnam Waheguru” which means Truth is my Identity. Wahe is like “WOW!!” Guru is that which brings us out of the darkness of ignorance and into the light of understanding. Mantra meditation can also include chanting a longer statement, for example – “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim” which translates to In the Name of God, The Most Compassionate and The Most Merciful.
- Focused meditation is when you concentrate using any of the five senses, like breathing or staring at a candle flame. This can also be applied to when performing a task or completing a project. If you are not focused enough, you can’t complete anything on time. Hence this meditation helps to strengthen your mental power.
- Energy meditation is used to balance the energies of your body and outer environment. The techniques of visualization of colors, symbols, sounds are used so that the participants can reflect on a deeper connection or purpose. Most reiki and spiritual practitioners use this form of meditation to enhance their client’s healing.
- Movement meditation involves moving the body in some way that brings peace, such as walking, tai chi or yoga. If you like another form of movement such as dancing or swimming, that can also be a form of meditation as long as your awareness is only based on the action that you are performing.
Other types of meditation include walking meditations, mandala meditation, vipassana meditation and many more. You’ll want to acquaint yourself with the various methods, and then begin with the one that sounds the most comfortable and accessible for you. Because meditation is so customizable, you’re bound to find something that truly works.
So here are some tips on how to begin your meditation practice if you want to start right away.
- Set up a place in your home where you will start your newer practice. Just like anything in life, the more consistent you are, the better you get at it.
- Pick a time and stick with it. Is it easier to practice before you go to sleep or as soon as you wake up? I highly recommend sticking with a certain time and making it into a habit, because when you do that, it will stick with you for the rest of your life.
Pro tip -A 2009 study says it can take an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.
- Play an instrumental music of your choice so that you can tune out your thoughts & get into the relaxation vibe.
- You can meditate on a chair or sofa or even on the floor, it does not matter as long as you keep your spine straight and chin away from your chest. If you are like me and want to meditate on the floor, then use a meditation cushion, towel wrapped under your hips or a firm blanket. This will help your lower back and you can reap the benefits of staying in meditation for a longer time.
- You can start practicing for as little as 5 minutes or up to 45 minute, but start slow and work your way up weekly by adding 5 more minutes to your ritual.
- When you are not in meditation, bring your attention to your breath while driving, cooking, cleaning etc. This improves your concentration & will help you when you actually do sit in meditation.
- Don’t check your text messages, DMs, emails, social media pages, the news or anything else. Simply wake up and directly sit before the day takes its toll on you. I find this very useful as your mind is in an alpha state when we wake up. Interestingly, a 2009 study suggests that your brain may produce even more alpha waves in the posterior part of your brain when you meditate. Your brain isn’t totally at rest, but it’s not attempting to tackle anything big that requires concentration.
And if you prefer to simply be guided check out Meditation for Beginners here –
You will learn how to increase positive energy, calmness, and productivity throughout the day with this short meditation that can be done in the morning if you prefer. You can also use meditation in the evening to unwind, relax, and distress. We will practice: finding a comfortable seat, bringing your attention to the breath, and becoming aware of any sensations and thoughts that enter the mind while meditating. So what are you waiting for?
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