In this bustling world many people are turning to ‘Old Age’ traditions in order to cope and improve their lives, one of those being meditation. As one who has been there I know how frustrating it can be to have no clue where to start and who to ask. It is possible for you to spend a tremendous amount of money and never actually achieve anything. You will have heard people talk of the wonderful health benefits including increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of peace and happiness. But how is that achieved? As always I would suggest keep things simple and it doesn’t have to cost anything. You don’t have to seek out a guru, sit in a certain position or convert to another religion.
This is an exercise I leant while enjoying a meditation class many years ago during a spa relaxation day.
Sit comfortably and close your eyes, take a few moments to just relax. If you feel it would help you can put on some relaxing music but it is not necessary especially if you have a quiet environment.
Now bring the attention to your breath. Simply notice the breath as it moves in and out as the body inhales and exhales, in and out automatically and effortlessly. Don’t try to force it in any way. Notice all the details of the experience of breathing; the feeling of the air moving in and out of the nose, the way the body moves as it breathes, etc.
Now as you breath in and out say the phrase in your mind ‘only now’ while still concentrating on your breathing. If your mind wanders bring your attention back to your breathing and mantra. Your mind will wander when you are new to meditation and don’t expect to manage more than a few minutes so when you are ready take one last long breath out and open your eyes.
I found this very simple and very achievable. There are a number of simple breathing meditation you can find on the internet.
Tips for those new to meditation:
- Meditation is the art of focusing of your attention and quietening the mind so set aside specific time every day to be quiet and still.
- Stretch before you to sit comfortably. Start by taking three deep cleaning breaths. Breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles and focuses the mind.
- Be purposeful, understand that meditation is an active process and set goals. For example relaxation or to reduce anxiety.
- · If at first you don’t succeed don’t give up. Many do but the benefits are wonderful.
- A great practice for beginning meditators is to take notice of the body when a meditative is achieved, how is it different to normal.
- Pick a quiet place specific place in your home to meditate where it is warm and comfortable.
- Make sure you will not be disturbed.
- Use a candle. Meditating with eyes closed can be challenging for a beginner. I have mentioned this in a previous blog.
- No matter what happens during your meditation practice, do not stress about it.
- Show gratitude at the end.
Although a great number of people try meditation at some point in their lives, only a small percentage actually sticks with it long-term. This is unfortunate, and one reason is that many beginners do not begin with a mindset needed to make the practice sustainable. Which is back to keeping it simple and achievable.
If you are having difficulty with meditating successfully or you have a specific purpose for your meditation and need to take it to the next level , you may want to try listening to guided meditation CD’s. There is a huge selection available and you have several thrifty options. Look around at what is on www.youtube.com , you may want to check out the feedback on these first as there are some that are not as good as what you expect and don’t do what they say on the packet. There are a number of reputable meditation sites that will allow you to download so examples of their CD’s before you buy. Lastly you local library may stock a range or can get them from you from you City library.
If you do want to buy guided meditation CDs look for them second on Ebay and Amazon for a fraction of the original price. If people of selling them often they have only been used once or twice.
My personal favorite stockist of guided meditations are :
Do be aware that some meditations are used on more than one CD.
I hope that meditation becomes as permanent feature in your life as it brings many benefits.