There are many different styles of meditation, so which one is right for you?
You can choose from:
1. A writing meditation ? using either the dominant or non-dominant hand
2. Focussing on an object such as a candle
3. Repeating Mantras
4. A visually guided meditation
5. Through painting or sketching
6. Walking - anywhere
7. Through breath work
8. Body movement
10. Listening to soothing music
To find one you're going to be happy with try and road test a few first.
Maybe you've already tried to meditate and found yourself even more frustrated than before you started.
Two comments I've heard in the past regarding meditation that really stand out for me are:
1. To meditate you must completely clear your mind and think nothing.
Yeah right. Personally this has never worked for me, nor have I observed this to work with newcomers. How can anyone new to this practise think nothing? Words as well as immediate issues arise, and mind chatter just keeps on keeping on. The good news is that you can learn to overcome this; it just takes some practise coupled with patience.
2. If you're stressed, meditate.
Speaking from experience, if I am pretty stressed out (which incidentally happens rarely) and I try to have a decent meditation session, it rarely works well for me. For a start I'm not adequately prepared eg, not in the present moment and still in problem solving mode. From my observation of others when they're stressed and try to meditate they become further frustrated because they're unable to stay focussed and get into the zone. The secret is to prepare yourself adequately first.
Find yourself a technique you know you'll enjoy so practising will be a positive experience. Alternatively find yourself a meditation group that has a good teacher. Not only will you learn to meditate, you might also form some great friendships that will last a lifetime.
Meditation is a discipline that can be learned through a step by step process, and once adept, you can use it for any number of reasons. Decide if your meditation is for relaxation; connection to spirit or self; to achieve clarity of mind; or to regain some inner strength.
My reasons for meditation are numerous. I meditate on purpose to receive answers to questions I might have. Before going into a meditative state I write down exactly what my question is, give it a timeline, and wait. Generally the answer is received during the session or shortly afterwards, depending of course on the timeline I gave.
I'll also meditate to access my creative self. After I've jotted down what my intention is I go into a meditative state with pen and paper handy. Generally what happens for me is that I start receiving ideas one after the after which I quickly jot down. I've written an entire workshop through one of these meditation sessions.
A great self healing tool, whenever I feel 'flat' I'll use colours, crystals, sound, and essential oils for my meditation sessions. After each session I am lighter, centred, balanced, and more focused.
So if you're now ready and keen to get started with some serious (or light hearted) meditation simply follow the 10 basic points listed below to help you on your way:
1. Decide where and when you want to meditate.
2. Get yourself ready by putting on soothing music and have your aromatherapy oil burning with your favourite oil blend. Activate the answering machine. Is there anything else you need?
3. You might like to have a journal and pen ready for some note taking at the end of your meditation with inspirations and insights that come to you.
4. Spend a little while settling into your space until you're happy with your comfort level. Are you too cold or hot or is the temperature just right?
5. Slowly begin breathing in and out, using your diaphragm muscles tuning into the rhythm of your breathing and the rise and fall of your chest.
6. You may wish to close your eyes at this point and enjoy this peaceful, relaxing moment, closing the door to the outside world for now.
7. If closing your eyes is not for you, focus on an object such as a candle (take extra care with any lit flame) or something similar.
8. If images or internal chatter starts to become frustrating, avoid suppressing them, instead name them, release them, and move on. If this persists, make a mental note that you will deal with it after your session. Refocus and continue.
9. When you're ready to come back, return wide awake and alert, wriggling your toes and touching your nose and have a really, really big stretch.
10. Use your journal to write any insights or inspirations you may have had during your journey, or simply enjoy the present moment with greater clarity and peace.
Welcome back! If you haven't tried meditation yet, why not give it a go? Add another 'life skill' to your resource toolkit and enjoy greater health and wellbeing!
Michaela is a Transformational Coach, certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), writer and Metaphysician who is totally committed to helping others create positive and action oriented changes to their lives (see http://www.michaelascherr.com)
Michaela is the author of several e-books including Book of 10 Colour Meditation Scripts and publisher of a monthly newsletter called From My Desk.
Married to David, Michaela has two children and a grandchild and currently lives in Brisbane Australia.