Monday, July 1, 2013
Meditation Techniques for Beginners
Meditation sounds simple enough, and it actually is, but many things in life that are simple are not easy, and meditation is a perfect example.
How hard can it be to just sit? Well, if you’ve ever tried meditation before now, you’re probably a lot like me. I would unplug the phone, turn off the TV and all the lights in the house, light a candle and some good incense, and then try to force my legs into the pretzel position and sit quietly.
The first thing I noticed was that my legs hurt and my lower back was screaming. I couldn’t shut my mind up long enough to relax, and started remembering and thinking about things so upsetting and chaotic that I gave up and took a nap.
What I learned was that my first mistake was trying to sit like that and assuming that I’d be able to quiet my mind on the first try.
Try sitting cross legged or on your feet or whatever way is most comfortable for you. A dimly lit room and the incense was a good start, now as you try to quiet your mind, count slowly from one to ten with each breath-it gives your mind something to do while it’s learning to shut up. Also, closing your eyes is not necessary, you could get a piece of wood with the grain easy to see, a big enough piece that when you look at it that’s all you see (the back of a door?)
Sit in front of the wood grain and watch it as you slowly inhale and count, Inhale through your nose slowly and hold-exhale slowly out through your mouth and “one,” again and “two.” Try it for five full minutes. It’s okay if your mind gets distracted (it’s used to being distracted) not sitting still, so forgive yourself and start again when retraining your mind. Try to listen to the sounds behind the car doors, the sirens, or any of the other daily sounds you hear in your place, listen for the birds behind the cars, for the wind behind neighbors, just listen and breathe.
On you next attempt take it a step further, setting your timer for 7 minutes instead of 5, and add the habit of practicing listening to your feelings of warm or cool, hard and soft, pressure and breath, be here now. Take your mediation only this far for the first month or so, and allow yourself time to learn how to breath and congratulate yourself on beginning to mediate, never be hard on yourself or give up, it takes a long time to get good at this, but the holistic benefits are great, increased breathing power, a sense of calm that you can tap into anytime you need it, are all excellent benefits of meditation exercise.
Follow your breathing as if it was a tennis ball, without manipulating your breath, watch it in your mind as you inhale and exhale, the tennis ball bouncing against a soft wall, and the wall bending with each breath as it throws your breath back at you, cool visual, huh?
You may also choose to take advantage of a mantra, or sound that you hum or say while you are meditating. While “Om” is popular, you may hum your mantra or make up any sound that you like. The only hint is the simpler, the better. One vowel mantras seem to work best. You can even use a prayer or part of a poem, it if helps, but I tend to stick to simple.
The last and maybe best part of meditation is sending good feelings and warmth to others. While meditation is a wonderful preventative exercise in medicine, you can give it away as well by thinking good thoughts about those you care about.
Originally posted on: Native Natural Remedies