How To Meditate
Below are three very simple meditations that are easy for those who have not meditated before or have been meditating for a while.
The best time to meditate is when you just wake up. However you can use these any time, sometimes even just for a minute during the day will refresh you.
It is also possible to use these meditations whilst you are having your massage. Combining the two can lead to a very deep sense of relaxation and help you make the most out of your massage.
This is a simple technique for relaxing and calming the mind. In the beginning it is best to meditate for short periods, 10 or 20 minutes.
- Sit comfortably and relax your body.
- Focus your attention either on the tips of your nostrils or on the rising and falling of the abdomen as you inhale and exhale. Choose either one but not both. Breathe normally and calmly
- When thoughts arise, don’t worry. Note their existence and gently return your attention to your breath
White Light Meditation
- Set your motivation for meditating clearly. Sit comfortably and breathe naturally.
- When your mind is calm and clear, visualize before you a beautiful expanse of water, a river or pool on which the sun is shining brightly. The sunlight sparkles on the water and reflects brilliant rays in all directions.
- Contemplate that this light represents all goodness, happiness and love and fills you joy. Imagine this white light completely surrounds you
- Breathe the white light in slowly, drawing the light in with the breath. Let it fill your heart and your whole body. Then as you breathe out, imagine all your pain and problems leave in the form of a dark smoke and dissolve in the radiant light in front of you.
- At the end of the meditation imagine yourself purified and filled completely with this white light. Then imagine this white light emanating out from to you those around you and into every corner of the world.
- Dedicate whatever good has come out of your meditation to the positive achievement of your motivation
- Stand with your hands clasped at your navel. Focus on your body and breathe gently for a short time
- Note any tension in your body and release it when you breathe out
- Next be aware of your feet. Be aware of which parts of your feet are in contact with the floor
- Slowly begin to walk. Be aware of the changing sensations as each foot lifts, moves forward and touches the floor again
- Walk slowly for five minutes and continue to remain focused on the feelings in your feet.
- If other thoughts come to mind, gently bring your attention back to your fee
Choosing Where to Meditate
You can meditate anywhere. The only general rule is that is has to be in a space where you can relax and find peace. Some people like to have a specific place that they use each time they meditate, with the familiarity helping them to feel grounded. Others choose places that are meaningful to them such as a place in their home or a religious space, and others choose their place based on beautiful surroundings like nature.
To help create the perfect space to meditate, you may like to light a candle or burn incense (look for scents that promote calmness and clarity). You can also make your own shrine or altar if you wish, with things that make you happy like flowers, stones or seashells.
Your workplace can also be a great place to meditate if it’s somewhere you are able to do it. Taking a moment in your lunch break to relax and meditate in your office will help with stress release and allow you to function more efficiently for the rest of the working day.
Choosing When to Meditate
Anytime is a great time to meditate – as long as it works for you. Many people find meditation in the morning a lovely way to start the day, and a perfect time to do it because their mind is clear and they can go through the day already feeling relaxed. Others prefer to meditate before they go to bed at night as a way to unwind and help them sleep (if you suffer from insomnia, this could be a great time to try it).
The only thing not to do when planning your meditation is to tell yourself that you will “do it later” or “fit it in sometime”. Everyone knows this is code for it’s not going to happen. Although it is essential you do not feel like scheduled meditation is a chore, and you know it is okay to be spontaneous about meditating, you should have some idea of when you are going to do it.
When you have found your time and place for meditation, the first step is to breathe. Paying attention to your breath is an easy way to clear your mind of background noise and anchor yourself in the moment. There is no need to regulate your breath, but just notice the air naturally coming in, filling up your lungs, and then being released.
If you are finding it difficult to clear your mind by just being aware of your breathing, you may like to try counting it. Start by counting “one, two, three” as you breathe in, and then again “one, two, three” as you breathe out. If you ever find your thoughts have strayed, begin again starting at one. In this way, “one” is returning home to the present moment.
Depending on where and when you choose to meditate, you may listen to different things. Background noises are fine as long as they are not distracting or make you feel uncomfortable. For many people, silence is preferred during meditation because it allows for a truer internal experience with the only focus being on what the mind is doing. However, for others playing meditation music helps them to escape into a tranquil state. As long as there is calmness and steadiness of thought, you can listen to whatever pleases you.
With all forms of meditation, the general rule of thumb is to hold good posture throughout. The reasoning behind this is that if your body is well balanced, your mind will be balanced as well. If you slouch or slump, your breathing will not be as deep and your mind is more likely to drift. Many people like to sit during their meditation, either cross-legged on the floor of upright in a chair. If you choose to sit, keep your spine straight and your head upright – imagining your head floating up to touch the sky may help.
How Long to Meditate For
As a starting point, try to meditate for 10 minutes. If you ever feel this time is too long or short you can change it to suit yourself. Never force meditation to last longer than you’re able to make it go for – just for what feels nice and just right for you.