I just completed a brief, but relaxing meditation. I am not a Vedic monk or other deeply accomplished meditator. Nonetheless, meditation has been an essential part of my healing process for two decades. Most of my clients who begin meditating also report varied rewards.
The benefits of meditation are numerous. Relaxation is one of the greatest benefits which is particularly beneficial for individuals who have been traumatized. One can incorporate most spiritual beliefs and practices into their meditation, or none at all. Energy healing modalities such as Reiki can be included as well.
Let’s take a look at some basic meditation practices you may wish to consider.
I love to meditate in the woods sitting against a tree or on the beach. However living in the city, I rarely have access to such. Instead, I work with what I have available. Most often, I do a quick meditation when I lay down for bed. I find this relaxes me fairly quickly so that I fall asleep without effort.
Another favorite position is laying in a hot tub of water. The water can provide a womb-like experience to some (though often subconsciously). For most, the prenatal time in the womb was experienced as a safe and warm environment, even if it did get a bit crowded.
Other positions of meditation have included laying on a comfortable rugged floor, sitting in a chair, or sitting in the lotus position (i.e., crossed legs). Location, time available, how tired I am, and the purpose of the meditation all contribute to the position chosen.
Many find grounding techniques to be vital to their meditation. Grounding can ameliorate that “floaty feeling” many people experience on a regular basis. This is particularly true for people who tend to think too much (i.e., live in their heads) or tend to be too emotional. Either extreme can make it difficult to attain an objective perspective needed to deal with daily responsibilities or trying circumstances.
The grounding technique that I prefer involves first visualizing roots growing from the feet all the way to the crystal core center of the earth. The roots have several purposes. First, I am able to get out of my head, where I am all day as a therapist or coach. Grounding puts me firmly in connection with solid ground. The technique has even greater effect when I am able to dig my heals into a sandy beach or soft grass.
Second, I invite the energy of the Earth to traverse the roots into and surrounding my physical and emotional bodies. This provides me with a since of peace and relaxation. And third, I often release physical and emotional pain from the mind/body to be carried by the roots to the core of the Earth. The Earth is then able to transform this energy into something positive. Meanwhile, the Earth’s healing energy fills the emptiness that results from the release of the negative energy.
I love color and often incorporate colors into my meditation. Once grounded, I visualize white light, which represents my higher power (aka God, universal energy, great spirit, etc.). I allow the energy to penetrate my mind and body, focusing light more intensely where physical or emotional pain or discomfort is experienced. I also intensify the energy when intending a specific healing of an organ or system. As white light contains all colors, this practice is generally sufficient. Other times I visualize a specific color.
Call on Angels and Spiritual Guides
I believe I am not alone in the world. No matter how lonely I may feel at times., I regularly experience the presence of Angels in my life. Therefore, I call on the guidance of my guardian angel, any other angels who would like to assist, and my spiritual guides when I meditate. Requesting their presence does not require a special ritual. Simply ask them to be present and it is done. Don’t know about you, but I’ll take all the help I can get.
Statement of Intention
A simple statement of intention communicates my desired outcome. For example, a quick mediation before I go to sleep will include a statement such as “I go into a deep sleep, waking fully rested.” When there is an issue on my mind I also state, “I wake with greater clarity about [the concern].” Some people like affirmations, while I prefer Afformations by Noah St. John. Afformations involve changing the questions asked. Instead of asking, “Why do I always wake up so tired,” I ask, “Why do I wake full of energy and ready to take on a new day?”
Personalizing one’s meditation is best. Some people light candles and/or incense. Others listen to nature sounds soft music or guided meditations to enhance their meditative experience. I sometimes listen to the recorded prayers by Ann Taylor.
There are many meditative practices that I have not covered. None of these details are required to quiet the mind, but some use them to get in a meditative mode. The methods used depend only on personal preferences. When you are pressed for time or privacy or are just learning to meditate, simplicity is the key. Only add those practices which you find enjoyable and/or helpful.
Return tomorrow and I will share a sample meditation, meanwhile what are your favorite meditation practices?