Hello! My name is Sean and I have studied meditation for several years now. I know for a fact mediation helps improve your health, your concentration, and your state of mind. The benefits of taking even just a few minutes out of your hectic day to intentionally relax and reset your mind are limitless. So read along with me, and see how fun, easy and rewarding meditation can be. I promise, it is for you!
If you have never meditated before, maybe this word conjures up images of a Guru sitting on mountain rock, or perhaps a Monk in a monastery. It can be hard to relate to that image, huh? While I guarantee you they are using meditation as a regular tool, I can also guarantee you that people all around you – even you – are using meditation on a daily basis. Some of us are meditating and we don’t even know it.
Have you ever sat back to relax during your day and started to day dream? Guess what, that is your brain relaxing and resetting itself. Since your body already craves meditation, it already knows what to do when you relax yourself. Most of initial challenge with intentional mediation is learning to consciously relax ourselves and quiet our minds. This is for many reasons. Not the least of which is, we are not taught to meditate in our culture. Quite the opposite – we are constantly stimulated mentally.
Our culture worships hard work with long days of continual focus that tire the brain, which in effect takes a toll on our bodies and makes it oh so hard for us to hear the higher wisdom of God and the universe trying to guide us to our desires. We will get to that more in depth in a later blog, but for now know this: there is a higher power that loves you and wants you to be happy. Even though the supreme being, God cannot force us to do anything because we have free will. If our free will is constantly running rampant and never listening, then we can never be in accord, harmony or alignment with divine guidance, which is a recipe for strife and struggle.
Why would I want to be in accord, alignment and harmony with another will, you may ask. Well we all want to have our way. This is our will power at work, and the human will is one of the strongest forces in the universe. When we are in accord with God’s divine wisdom and take action accordingly, we can use that will to our advantage. We begin to be in alignment with our true hearts desires and the result is harmony in our lives. Stress is reduced, we intuitively know how to handle situations we would not know how to otherwise, and we are fulfilled beyond what would be our ability otherwise.
How do I hear this divine wisdom? The trick is to intentionally quiet your mind through meditation. With all the stress in the world today, our minds are constantly at work, usually much faster than they were meant to run. A mind moving at high speed is great for getting a boat load of work done. However a quiet steady mind is capable of discerning which work is truly necessary to our goals, and so it reduces the amount of work actually needed to be done. We become more efficient. Here is how.
Before I go further though, I need to tell you that coffee, cigarettes, sugar and salt all raise your blood pressure which sends adrenaline to your brain. This adrenaline speeds up your brain and can make it quite difficult to relax and quiet your mind. Before you try this, if you have never meditated or think your brain is racing, take a minute to sit still and see how you feel. If you feel like your mind is racing, go drink some water. Have a cup of hot tea. Look at a relaxing picture, and focus on taking slow deep breathes. It is worth a few minutes of preparation to assist yourself.
However, if you do not have the time to do this, just know that it is okay if your brain is racing the first few times you try this technique. Your body understands what you are trying to do, and it will work with you. Even though you may feel like you are not getting the desired results, I urge you to continue the practice as I assure you with time you will master the techniques of relaxation. The trick of mastery is to practice on a regular basis and listen to what your body is telling you. If you are truthful with yourself, you will intuitively know what to do to relax. If you have questions, ask your body. It will answer.
Okay, now to the technique. This is the fun and easy part. Congratulations, all you have to do now is relax! You get to take a break! Are you ready? You should be. You deserve a break. First you need a place where you will not be disturbed for preferably at least fifteen minutes. A half hour is optimal, but take what you can get during the day. Five minutes is better than nothing. It is helpful to have low light or be in a dark space. If this is not possible, try covering your eyes with something to help you relax. It is helpful to be in a quiet space. If the quiet is too quiet for you, try playing some soothing music. Anything without a fast beat. Classical works well. If you have access to mediation music, that is even better! Again though, work with what you have got.
Once you are settled in a relaxed seated position in a dark quiet space, just sit for a minute. Relax. Take a deep breath and hold it in nice and long. Exhale slowly and wait a few seconds before you take your next breath. Repeat the process several times until you feel your mind start to slow down. If you are having trouble with a song playing in your head, or images flashing in your mind, don’t worry if you cannot stop them. Treat them lovingly like children at play, and gently ignore them. Try to focus on a sunset – or a sunrise if you prefer – right between your eyes. It will almost feel like you are crossing your eyes when you do this. You may feel a pressure on your forehead, this is you opening up to the divine spirit. It is perfectly natural.
Imagine a beam of white light coming down into the top of your head. You may feel a tingling sensation on the top of your head when you do this, which is also completely natural. If you don’t notice any physical sensations, that is fine. Just know that they can happen, and they are good. Imagine this light filling you up like sunshine, with every deep breath, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Imagine you are filling up with energy with every breath, that you are energized and alert. Focus on relaxing your muscles with each intake of breath and energy.
When you feel ready, say “God, I am listening to you now. I would like you to help me make my life happier, healthier and more effectively. How can I do these things?”
Now, wait. Pay attention to any sudden ideas that pop in to your head. This is often your answer. If you miss it, don’t worry, because this image or idea will repeat itself in your head even after your meditation is over, and you may even dream about it. This is perfectly natural. If you have questions about your answer, meditate again later or the next day and ask for clarification. Once you get used to this process, you can come to God with specific issues. Or if from the get go if you know you are burdened with issues, share them with God in the quiet time. Just talk them all out in your head until you are done. Trust me, God wants to hear about it. And the answers to your issues will come, even if you don’t realize it at first.
I strongly encourage you invoke God when you are seeking answers to your issues. God will always tell you the truth, and God will never give you any ideas that would hurt you. You may not like the answer you get at first. I encourage you to be open minded to accepting the truth however, because it will be the quickest easiest way to make positive changes in your life. Those positive changes will make you have an easier time with your choices, they will lessen your stress levels, they will make your work more efficient, and they will ease your mind. As you repeat the practice, an ongoing conversation with the divine will develop after a time, and you will be amazed what you can learn about yourself and the world from this wisdom.