As I’ve been practicing one form of meditation or another for 25 or so years, I’ve developed a custom style that works really well for me – and I’m continuing to investigate different kinds and try them out, to further refine my practice. This will just naturally happen over time for anyone. However, my husband got really frustrated when he started the effort, because I forgot to explain to him some of what I would call the basics. I guess I assumed since we’ve been through 5.5 years of martial arts practice together, that he would at least know something about it!
You know that saying, about the word assume? Yeah, well, you got it. SOOO….I guess it would be a good idea for me to put some basics on here, for the beginner. Anyone reading, please feel free to chime in under the Comments section!
- Wear what makes you most comfortable. When you meditate, you’re completely leaving your bodily concerns behind. You can’t really do that if you’re wearing clothing that doesn’t fit well! Anything that is going to distract you isn’t good. So… pajamas, sweats, workout clothes, heck your birthday suit, if you prefer.
- Pick a time to meditate when you’ll be able to relax, but not fall asleep. Depending on the type of person you are, pick the time of day when you’ll be able to zone out and focus without dozing off completely. For example, I’m definitely a morning person, so meditating is much more effective for me if I do it early in the morning, right after I wake up. If I do it later in the evening, it’s hard for me to relax without falling asleep. However, sometimes, a lunch break meditation works really well, too! Try out different times, get to know your body’s rhythms, so you can pick the best time possible for you.In my opinion, the goal to a good meditation is to clear the mind, quiet the voice, and just exist, so you can let the Universe flow…. I call that the “twilight” zone, in between being awake and falling asleep. If it’s done right, you come out of meditation completely refreshed and ready to take on the world! It’s difficult to find that zone at first, but once you get there a few times, it becomes exponentially easier. Don’t feel bad if it takes a few tries – it still happens to me every once in awhile! However, when you first start out, it’s easy to accidentally take that extra half-step and fall asleep. If you have insomnia and it’s the primary purpose of your meditation, that’s fine. However, if you are introspecting, working to calm physical functions, visualizing, manifesting, working on your non-physical/psychic abilities, or connecting with your guides, your higher self,or just connecting, the most effective zone is that “twilight zone”!
- Sit someplace that makes you comfortable but not so comfortable that you’ll fall asleep. This was my husband’s toughest obstacle in the beginning of his meditation efforts. He’d sit in a plushy chair or lay down on the sofa. Guaranteed, within 15 minutes, he’d be snoring away!Some people can lay down all the way and meditate without falling asleep – I usually can’t do that, but I’ve found that I can - for some meditative purposes – incline myself back about 45 degrees and still stay awake. For me,the best position is sitting straight up in a comfortable (but not too comfortable) chair, with my feet flat on the floor or cross legged on the floor with my back up against the front of a chair or sofa.When I can, I love meditating outside – there’s nothing better than fresh air and smells surrounding you, especially at the ocean, in the woods, or some other inspiring scenery! However, most of don’t actually live in or near places like that, so we have to make do inside our home (or at some studio) when we can’t do that.
- Make sure you won’t be interrupted during the time you’ve blocked off to meditate. If someone barges in on you, the phone rings, or the dog or cat decides to nuzzle or snuggle you while you’re meditating, it can blow the whole effort. I also find that I get really irritable when that happens – which again, defeats the purpose of meditating! So, wherever you decide to meditate, strategize about where you’ll be. I’ve literally gone into my bedroom and posted a paper sign on my bedroom door that says in big letters: “MEDITATING UNTIL ____; DO NOT DISTURB!” And when I do go in my room, I throw the cat out, shut the door, made sure my cell phone was either in another room or had the ring turned off, and and I’ve even pulled out the phone plug from the answering machine – because no one’s going to need you that badly that they can’t wait an extra half hour or hour to call you back (do you remember the days without answering machines or cell phones? People actually somehow survived back then!)
- If you get distracted easily, use headphones, guided meditation, and/or at least some relaxing music or nature sounds to prevent noises that will cause you to lose your focus. At first, you might even prefer to do guided meditation, which is when someone else actually guides you through the meditation. This allows you to focus on the practice of not getting distracted until you get used to getting into your “zone.” Plus, guided meditation is great when you’re learning the basic rhythm of meditation, and how to go about it. Try different people/guides, either in groups, classes, and/or DVDs/downloads! I’ve included some great resources to use at the bottom of this blog.Since I do get distracted easily – and because I have a noisy household, with 2 tween/teen kids, a husband, 2 dogs, and 2 cats – I usually listen to meditative music of some sort, with stereo headphones on my head, plugged into my laptop or iPod. Earplugs don’t do it for me – I’ve yet to find a pair that don’t always feel like they’re falling out of my head!Another great tool I’ve recently discovered is Theta wave meditation. When we meditate, we typically aspire to reach theta waves for optimal results (here’s a good basic explanation of the different brain waves we have). After you’ve been meditating for awhile, you know how to get there; however, until you mapped the route, it helps to have a guide! Theta wave meditation gets you to the optimal brainwave level for the best results from your meditation. Even when you’re more practiced, this is helpful – I love it because it gets me there very quickly, and I can get down to business – and get to the focus of my meditation.
- Sit with your back straight, unencumbered. Whether you’re inclined or sitting up, you need to keep your nerve and energy flow pathways as clear as possible when meditating: no slouching, crossed legs (though cross legged is fine), crossed arms, or twisted body.
- Starting the meditation.
- Close your eyes and take 7-10 deep, intentional, cleansing breaths. This helps the process of slowing your heart rate, “centering” you, and it also helps you to clear your head and take your focus away from the outside world. Do it in sets that are easy for you – 5 breaths to a count of 5 (breathe in for a slow count of 5, hold it for a count of 5, let it out for a count of 5, hold it for a count of five, and repeat it 5 times), 7 breaths to a count of 7, etc. Usually, it’s best to do at least 5 repetitions of this type of breath. Also, if you can do “heart breathing,” even better – imagine your heart had a nose, and the air you breathe is being inhaled and exhaled from a “nose” in your chest. You can also do diaphragm breathing.
- Focus. For some, all you need to do is close your eyes and think of a blank, black wall, or some method to think of “nothing.” Others can’t clear their mind that way; in that case, you can use a piece of paper with a dot in the middle, light a candle and focus on the flame, or another similar method.
- Center and ground yourself. Focus your entire consciousness on your heart. Breathe into your heart. See/feel a white ball of light start to emanate out of that heart chakra. That is the core of You. Break off a small ball of White Light – which still contains your consciousness – and shoot it down through your spine, through the floor, into the Earth, towards the core… all the while leaving an impervious tendril of White Light connected back to your physical Being.
- Purify and retain your space. With this in place, state the following, in your head, or out loud: “Creator, it is commanded that Creator’s Light saturates every cell and in between every cell of my Being, at all levels, all lifetimes, all languages, and all auric layers… rendering my full Being impervious to attachment and depletion by any entities and energies that are of any other intention than my Divine Highest and Best Good. I also call upon the Violet Flame to edge such Light and all cells, allowing any Being to share my space, but in doing so, transforming that Being’s energy to that of Creator’s Light, as well. Thank you… it is done, it is done, it is done… and so it is.”
- Set your intention. State specifically – whether out loud or in your head – what you intend to accomplish in this meditation. Need to focus on health? relaxation? The answer to a problem? Want to use manifestation techniques? Improve self love? Do you want to meet your spirit/angel guide? Do you have a specific question you’d like to have answered? Any of these are good intentions. If you state the intention at the beginning like this, it immediately connects you with your “higher” self, and puts you on a mutual concentrated path. Believe me, it works!
Find the core – the heart – of the Earth, a huge, magnificent red crystal beating like a heart to the organism of which we’re a part. Wrap a tendril around the heart, all the while sharing love and gratitude with Mother Earth – the organism of which we’re a part. This will keep you grounded and connected to her. Then shoot back up, through the Earth, to your physical body, up through your spine, and back to your heart core.
Now, feel a beam of beautiful Platinum Light come down from the skies, into your crown chakra, and in to your heart. With some of the ruby red energy you shared from the core of the Earth, that combines with your White Light and the Platinum Light to make a sparkling, brilliant pinkish-white-gold ball of Universal Love. Breathe in to it, and feel it expand, beyond your heart, through every cell, and in between every cell of your body… until it fully encompasses you. Just sit for a moment, feeling that brilliant ball of Light, connecting you to Everything That Is, while still giving you individuality.
Feel the saturation in every level of your Being…. and then continue on.
Now you’re on your way! This is a great start… for some good resources, see the section below. And if you have some great resources to add, please do so, in the Comments section!
Some of my faves for meditation:
Non-Guided (sound/music only)
- The Healing Touch – Music for Reiki & Meditation, Vol. 2, Shajan
- Meditation Drum, David & Steve Gordon
- Tibetan Chakra Meditations, Ben Scott & Christa Michell
Theta/Alpha/Beta Waves (sound/music only)
- You can find a lot of short, 10-minutish options on You Tube (http://www.youtube.com)… just type in binaural wave meditation
- Solfeggio Harmonics, Source Vibrations
- Any of the options available from the Unexplainable Store (particularly Shaman Consciousness, Christ Consciousness,… but I’ve done most of them at this point, and enjoyed every one, depending on my mood)
- Brain Wave Therapy: Living Prayer (there are both guided and unguided versions), Kelly Howell
- Brain Wave Therapy: Living Prayer (there are both guided and unguided versions), Kelly Howell
- Any of the guided meditations from www.enlightenedbeings.com (particularly Samadhi and Kundalini), Jafree Ozwald
- Awakening Kundalini Meditation, Kelly Howell
- Manifesting with the Angels; Past-Life Regression with the Angels; Karma Releasing; Healing with the Angels (full 4 CD set), Doreen Virtue
- Shamanic Meditations: Guided Journeys for Insight, Vision, and Healing, by Sandra Ingerman
- Spiritual Detox, by Stephen Petullo - GREAT for detaching any unwanted energies, entities, and/or consciousness… or just to give yourself a good ol’ spiritual cleaning! I do it regularly… especially when I get into an unknown funk