If there is one thing I truly appreciate, its meditating.
People tend to think of meditation as sitting in a quiet room, in lotus position, with your eyes closed, saying “om”
Like many people, I was weary on how to meditate, and giving reasons like “I don’t have time”, or “I can’t sit still”.
Truth is, there are many ways to meditate, it doesn’t require sitting still for 30 minutes, and you can actually be active while meditating.
Be sure to try to my 60-Second Meditation mentioned at the bottom.
Being in a meditative state, could be watching the leaves blowing in a tree; it could be washing the dishes, saying positive affirmations for yourself or someone you know, it could be sitting in a quiet room, observing your thoughts.
Meditation allows you to train your mind, with the option of many forms of meditations, and with different purposes.
Types of Meditation
There are MANY forms of meditation! Focused Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation, Guided Meditation, Transcendental Meditation, Active Meditation, Yoga Meditation and so much more!
The meditation you choose to practice, depends on your objective; do you want to be more relaxed, more focused, connect with your higher Self? The important thing is that you choose a meditation type that you will enjoy, that you will dedicate yourself to, and that help you achieve what it is you set out to do.
I practice Kundalini Yoga and the meditation sessions involve the use of breath (pranayama), mantra (sound), mudra (hand gestures), and focus.
Among the popular choices include: Guided Meditation, Focused Meditation, Transcendental Meditation and Yoga Meditation.
Read more about them in my article Types of Meditation.
Why We Meditate?
You may think people who meditate are Yogis, Spiritualists, Buddhist Monks, Hippies, “woo-woo”, or any other title you want to name, but one thing you’ll notice is, they see life differently; they are more relaxed and free-spirited. Meditation allows you to disconnect from society and materialistic things, it disconnects you from being connected and online / social media; meditation allows you to reconnect with yourself and your thoughts by looking inward.
For most, feeling connected to oneself doesn’t come easy, because it requires patience, dedication and practice.
Why look inward and find that inner stillness, when you can easily be distracted by other peoples lives on social media? *pst* it’s all a distraction to keep you from connecting with yourself!
I was first introduced to Guided Meditation from the Yoga Detox Retreat I attended, then shortly after, I included more of it while doing yoga.
The evening my family and I took my mom off life support, I caught the last meditation class of the night, which was a candle light meditation; I had such an emotional experience and a new curiosity for self-discovery, I vowed to dedicate the practice to myself, and after a few months, was guided to Kundalini Yoga.
So if you find a type of meditation that you would like to try, remember that anyone can meditate including yourself,
and that your willingness to experience something new in your life, is just the beginning of your practice.
Is Meditation for Me?
Yes. You don’t require any specific skill-set, there is no audition, or someone to tell you, you are doing it wrong.
Anyone can meditate!
Even if you are a type-A personality, with a busy life and always on the go; you can find time to take a moment to stop what you are doing, breathe and feel connected – trust me, you owe it to your Self and you’ll feel great!
How to Meditate
As I mentioned under Types of Meditation, it depends on your objective.
For Focused Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation, Guided Meditation and Transcendental Meditation, you will want to sit in a chair, or cross-legged (“easy pose”) on the ground, or laying down flat on your back.
I would recommend Focused Meditation as a starter (if you are new), and don’t have “time”.
A super simple practice is to sit in a room (where you won’t be distracted), close the door and stare at the door knob,
or anything that you can keep your gaze focused on – what’s called “drishti”.
Any thoughts that come to mind, set your focus back on that door knob!
Another easy method is starring at a candle flame.
Set a timer for 3 minutes, and gradually add more time as you continue each day.
Also be sure to dedicate yourself to your practice. Whether you meditate in the morning, or evening, keep it consistent, so you won’t give up, and you will begin to train your mind with this new change.
As Yogi Bhajan, who introduced and taught Kundalini Yoga says:
Keep up and you will be kept up!
Guided Meditations are also great, if you find it easier to follow instructions, or Transcendental Meditation, where you repeat a mantra, which helps your mind focus on sound.
What do I do with My Hands During Meditation?
Again, this depends on the type of meditation you are doing.
Meditation types like Guided Meditation, Active Meditation, Yoga Meditation, will instruct you on the hand gestures to use.
For starters, you’ll want to place the back of your hands on each knee, with your palms open if you are sitting cross-legged on the ground, or simply sitting on a chair.
When starting out, you don’t have to worry about hand gestures and what to do with your fingers, which I explain in Hand Mudras for Meditation.
You’ll want to focus your practice on controlling your thoughts, and then move onto implementing tools and gestures.
I Think too Much When I Meditate
Something that is common for most, and is completely fine!
You won’t be able to turn everything off when starting out, and all those thoughts are a way for you to practice.
Depending on the type of mediation you practice, focus on a thought that comes to mind, one by one.
This may be difficult if doing a Guided Meditation, as you’ll have to follow instructions, or Transcendental Meditation where you are repeating a mantra.
Individually, think about what brought you to that thought, then think about how that thought makes you feel.
By observing your thoughts, you open yourself up to self-discovery; you may realize you hold resentment towards someone, or yourself. Certain feelings start to appear, and when they do, accept and surrender.
By accepting, you can either forgive yourself (or that person), and by surrendering, you move on, not allowing it to affect you any longer.
To clear your mind, one method that requires practice, is concentrating on counted breathing.
Inhale for a count of 5, exhale for a count of 5 – that way your focus is on the counts of your breath.
This is also great to do when in a stressful situation, or you feel you are about to blow up at someone or a situation.
I like to imagine, breathing in the life force energy of the Universe, and breathing out things I wish to accept, forgive, and let go – let go of the resistance holding you down!
Do I Need Tools to Meditate?
When starting out, no.
Maybe a pillow, or blanket to sit on, to assist in maintaining proper alignment, and keeping the spine straight.
Sitting on something comfy, is just to ensure you will be comfortable and relaxed while meditating, otherwise you’ll have thoughts of a sore bum.
You may be familiar with seeing mala beads, which is similar to the use of the rosary in the Catholic religion.
Mala beads are used during meditation to count and and keep track, as you recite mantras, or affirmations which help you concentrate and stay focused.
Other tools to deepen your practice may include a singing bowl, incense, himalayan salt lamp, candles, pictures of inspiring people such as Buddha, Jesus, a Guru…, statues, gem stones or crystals…
Remember, this is your practice, so whatever you feel will help you feel comfortable and connected.
Everyone has 60 seconds in their day! Heck, you may have a few 60-seconds in your day to commit to spending that time in silence! Following this super easy breathing method to connect with your Self…
Breathe in for 5 seconds
Hold your breath for 5 seconds
Release for 5 seconds
Hold for 5 seconds
Continue this pattern in 3 repetitions for a total of 60-seconds.
Do You Meditate? Let me know, in the comments below.
What form of meditation do you do, or have you tried? Do you have difficulty meditating?
Doesn’t it feel great to feel connected?!