About Meditation, for Beginner, Advanced and every single person!
I love nature, to swim and snorkel in the ocean, walk in the mountains, work in the garden or just sit or lay outside in silence, feeling a bit of a breeze on my face or listening to the birds. And I learned that when you do all these things with awareness, and focus on that very moment you might be already there, doing meditation. Like kids, when they are lost in their own world, their own fantasies and creations. It is when we calm our mind completely and everything around us becomes peaceful naturally and automatically. Then we disconnect from all our worries or discomforts and we are just there in that very moment.
There are also some very nice techniques to meditate! These can be shown as either
- Objective meditations focusing on a statue, picture, candle, flower or any object.
- Active meditations in Yoga for example, practising asanas (postures) or a series of asanas (as in the Sun Salutations), doing walking meditation or karma yoga (e.g. helping others or working/volunteering)
- inactive meditations sitting still and silent, focusing on your breathing, on sounds or imagining and concentrating on light or colour.
The goal of meditation is to calm the mind, to center attention, to focus naturally and to be completely aware of what you are doing in that very moment. No noise or distractions will really affect you, they might even be integrated into your meditation.
If you like to practise meditation, you will see that it is not always easy. Just stick with it, as you do with your yoga practise or any other routine you have, no matter how it goes … just stick with it and don’t let it slip away. Every day, every single time you practise will probably be different in the output, you might experience a different awareness and feel a very spontaneous or sensational feeling during your practise (e.g. peace, freedom or space)
Beginners might like to start with a 5 to 10 minute meditation in the morning. When you practise, use the same time. This will help you to create a routine and it will be easier to continue. After practising for a while, you might find that you can increase the time of practise to about 20 min easily. No fixed length of meditation is needed, adjust the time to your own needs and likes. Recommended times for the practise is sunrise or sunset or whenever you have time for yourself without disturbances, especially in the beginning.
Start position for a meditation
You can meditate sitting in a chair (feet hipwide open and completely on the floor) or sitting in a meditation asana, as Thunderbolt position or Easy crossed legs. Always have your back straight so the energy can freely flow along your spine. Your shoulders and arms should be relaxed, hands lay loose in your lap or on your knees. In the beginning you might like to lay down for your practise, this is nice to start with, as long as you do not fall asleep.
Before you start with the meditation give yourself a couple of deep and steady breath to arrive and calm the mind. When your mind is jumping to other thoughts, do not worry or question it, just let it pass or send it away with your next exhale, as if you put the thought on a cloud….. In the beginning choose a meditation you like and stick with it, the more you practise it, the more you will enjoy it.
An example for an inactive meditation
while you sit or lay down comfortably with your spine erected, you may close your eyes. Breathe deeply, slowly and steadily through your nose, in and out. Be aware and focus on your breath, try to feel the air passing through your nose, how it touches the sides of your nostrils with every inhale and exhale. Find your own breathing rhythm, without forcing or holding your breath, just a gentle and conscious breathing.
You will find that your mind will probably, sooner or later drift away, but that’s fine. It also shows us that we are, mostly, constantly busy with all kind of thoughts, from shopping and to do lists to work, family, the neighbours… and that’s why its great to practise meditation to let go of all these distractions and focus only on important things. Be aware of your thoughts, but don’t let them disturb your meditation.
Come back to the breathing and if you like, count, while you inhale, to 4 and while you exhale to 6, while staying in your own breathing rhythm… Later, stop the count and just continue focusing on your breath.
Variation I Focus on your breath and imagine the scent of a rose while you inhale, when you exhale bring a smile on your face!. Continue inhaling the scent of the rose and while exhaling set a smile again!.
Variation II Focus on your breath and imagine a warm, clear light. Inhale the light and when you exhale, imagine to release fear, negativity and darkness. With every inhale breath in more warm, clear light, which goes into every tiny cell of your body. And then exhale and let go of negativity, darkness and fear.
Practise about 2 to 10 minutes in the beginning. Its better to start for a short period of time but regularly!. Try to practise every day or as often as you can, the more the better! At the end of the meditation, continue to sit still for a while with your eyes open and with your normal breathing cycle.
Be open on your experiences and have fun in exploring! Your benefits will be a calm mind, and/or a free and open spirit, a more balanced life. It may help you to deal with problems in your daily life better, as you can use these techniques to focus and concentrate more.
If you like, give my post a LIKE, and if you want to know more, e.g. walking meditation, let me know and I am happy to help you with that.
P.S. you can click on the underlined green words to get additional informations! And to access my webpage: AboutHathaYoga.com