“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.”
Meditation is a connection to your inner truth. As life goes on and you grow older, with all of your life learning experiences, meditation helps you piece everything together in a way that makes you feel at peace with your process. On one level, meditation is a tool that helps strengthen some of your most important resources. It can help relieve stress, strengthens physical and mental health, helps with chronic pain, can make you sleep better, feel happier, be more peaceful, as well as be more present.
But on a deeper level, meditation is a doorway into the unknown……An unknown of your unknown areas of untapped loved, potential and creativity. It can help us in figuring out the mystery of who we are.
When you start meditating, you will begin to notice how wild and unruly the mind naturally is. Some find it hard to begin practicing meditation due to the high volume of various thoughts that enter their mind whenever they try to be still. However, this natural behavior is something that you acquired through life, and the same was you learned to let your mind run wild and rapid, is the same way you can learn to center yourself and control your state of mind.
Profound thoughts about your past or future can play with your meditation time, but practice makes perfect. So decide right now that you’re going to claim your peace. Don’t be hard on yourself, because the wild mind is a natural condition. In time you will learn to work kindly with the wide variety of thoughts and you will find some clarity and peacefulness.
Here are 10 simple tips on how to start meditating.
Whether you sit upright on a chair or cross-legged on the floor, make sure that your spine is upright with your head up. If you are slumped and too comfy your mind will drift. Mind and body are intertwined. If your body is well-balanced, your mind will also be in balance. To straighten up, imagine that your head is touching the sky.
During our regular everyday consciousness we are hardly ever present. We find ourselves on our commute to work letting our mind wander, and before we know we’re at work and have no idea what we did during the time getting there. Meditation is a wonderful way of waking up to our life. Otherwise we miss most of our experiences because we are somewhere else in our mind! To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in the centre of awareness. Making sure what you’re placing at the center of your awareness isn’t causing you to feel uneasy, but at ease. Try using the breath as a focus. It’s like a natural door that connects ‘inside’ and ‘outside’.
Paying attention to the breath is a great way to center yourself in the present moment. Notice your breath streaming in and out. There’s no need to regulate the breath – just let it be natural. So powerful mantras to help you when meditating are “I Am” or “So Hum” (which is “I am” in sanskrit).
When you notice thoughts (and you will definitely notice thoughts), gently let them go by returning yous focus to the breath. Don’t try and stop thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Just continue to focus your soft attention onto your breath.
It can be very difficult to practice meditation if you are struggling with strong emotions. Some emotions tend to be so strong that create stories and scenarios in the mind. Especially angry emotions. They can bring about shame and fear that create repetitive stories that repeat over and over in the mind. Anger and shame make us keep looking at past events of the past. Fear looks at the future with stories that start with, “What if…”
The way to deal with strong emotions in meditation is to focus on the body feelings that accompany the emotion. For example, this could be the tight band of fear around the chest or the hot roiling of anger in the belly. Let go of the stories and refocus on your body. In this way you are honoring your emotions but not becoming entangled in stories…..because that’s all they are….stories
The timing for meditation can be during any time of the day, just do it at a time and pace that works for you. Don’t try and rush in a meditation session if you know you won’t be settled in your time alone. You don’t want to stress yourself anymore, when trying to bring peace. No matter if it’s early in the morning before you go to work, or right before you go to bed at night, meditate at time that feels right to you.
Silence is healing. When we sit in silence we actually get to experience what our mind is doing. There is steadiness and calmness that comes from sitting in silence. In time outer and inner silence meet and you come to rest in the moment.
Try and start meditating for at least 10 minutes and only sit longer if you feel that that 10 minutes is too short. Do what comes and feels natural to you. Don’t force yourself to meditate longer if you are not ready to do that. In time you might like to extend your meditation to 25 minutes or more. That’s a length that allows you to settle your mind without causing too much stress on your body. Just do what feels right for you.
It’s lovely and quite pleasing to create a special place to sit during your meditation. This place can become your hideaway spot, or your safe haven. You might like to place a candle on your altar, or objects that have meaning to you. Create a space that feels like pure blissful peace to you, and make that your meditation location.
Most of all it’s important to enjoy meditation. You might like to try sitting with a hint of a smile. Be extremely gentle and kind to yourself. Start sitting just a little each day. It’s helpful to establish a daily habit.
Love yourself, and get in touch with the real you.