Meditation – Meditation Techniques
There is a common misconception that to get any benefit from meditating, you have to sit still and listen – and focus on your breathing for hours. Sitting still and listening and concentrating on breathing in and out is the ideal – but other things often work just as well for everyday meditation – and different things benefit different people.
Alan Watts says that meditation should be fun – it should make you feel good – not stressed because you can’t sit still for long enough!
Meditation is not a competition, it should be a pleasant, relaxing experience leaving you feeling calm and refreshed.
The purpose of meditation is simply the meditation. If you’re trying to get something out of it, you’re forcing it and you’ll find this will impede progress.
Meditation is self-study through observation, it enhances insight into your true nature in a way that cannot be truly explained in words.
Meditation stills the mind so we can find peace and see life with greater clarity.
Meditation is about discipline, so that you can practice being calm and not letting your mind distract you. Its about accepting those distractions and still being able to sit still.
Where to start:
- Choose some music and press ‘play’.
- Set a timer for 20 mins and try to just sit just for that amount of time.
- Sit comfortably;
- Close your eyes;
- Take a deep breath;
- Notice any tension and release it;
- Relax your face muscles (stop frowning!)
- Listen to the sounds around you; let sounds fall on your ears and fade away;
- Listen to your body, breathe in, expanding your chest, and then breathe out, notice how each breath makes you feel more relaxed;
- Let any thoughts happen and simply notice them passing through your mind;
- Widen your focus and become aware of everything, sounds, body and thoughts;
- Relax, listen to the music and focus on your breathing – in – and out.
If you find that your mind keeps wandering, there are images that can help – imagine:
watching falling leaves,
ripples radiating out from a raindrop in a puddle,
waves cascading onto the sand,
a waterfall splashing into a pool,
a seagull soaring in the sky.
There are other techniques that can help.
Mala Beads are often used for meditation, they consist of a string of 108 beads and one guru bead. They are useful because they help you focus on your breathing whilst counting the beads – one breath for each bead you touch.
Instead of counting, you can repeat a mantra – which can be one word like ‘Om’ or a phrase like ‘I am calm’.
Light a candle and focus on the flame, feel the candlelight ebb and flow around the room.
You can also repeat the chakras, focusing on each part of your body.
Imagine a flower for each chakra – a rose bud opening into a rose and closing back to a bud again, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
You can use a guided meditation track:
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