Wednesday, March 27, 2013

10 Tips for Meditation




1. Set time aside: Make sure you are going to be alone for awhile.  It doesn't feel very good when you are super rushed or someone may enter the space, etc. Try setting a quiet alarm (relaxing stuff at low volume or maybe just on vibrate).  Remember that you’re doing a kind thing for yourself!

2. Find a quiet place: Find a quiet place wherever you are, whatever situation you may be in.  Work with the space(s) you have.  Outside in nature is especially wonderful!

3. Give up expectations: Try not to set goals or be too strict/serious about it. Give up, let ideas and feelings come naturally, allow it to be a spontaneous experience. But also, just briefly consider what you might be looking for.  Healing?  Wisdom? Peace & relaxation, right?

4. Focus on the breath:  This is pretty much my most important piece of advice.  Remember that you are looking to maintain a breath pattern that soothes the nervous system, improves brain function, and overall may improve your state of health & happiness!

5. Relax the body:  Make sure you are in a comfortable position, perhaps against a wall cross-legged, using props under the knees, seat, etc.  Scan your body, consciously think of each body part relaxing, and it will.

6. Withdraw your senses:  Try to focus more internally, on your thoughts & breathing, rather than anything going on outside of the body (common daily noise, anything inside the room, etc).  Allow yourself to feel safe.

7. Use a mantra:  Not gonna lie, I totally took one of my favorites from Disney’s “The Lion King,” where Mufasa is all like “remember who you are, Simba!” lol So I like to say remember who you are, as in - remember the good things about you, the good you can do.  That got me through a few things. Another I like is "grace brings contentment," which I read at the end of my tea bag the other day :)

8. Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for the thoughts that arise.  Just notice them and let them go. Try to name how you're feeling.

9. Be creative: Consider other methods.  For instance, moving, guided, and/or group meditation are all different experiences aimed at the same idea, which is to clear or quiet the mind.  

10. Keep at it: Practice often. It doesn’t have to be as formal as you think.  Experiment with when, where, for how long, whatever sort of schedule (or non-schedule) you want.  But try to keep at it over time, even if you go long periods of time without doing it.

Personally, I find myself meditating most during times of stress or sadness.  Recently I've decided that it is the closest thing to praying I have ever felt, and during these instances I have spontaneously found myself closer to, or more understanding - of God (or the gods, goddess, universe, Ja, Allah.. whatever!).  Meditating has helped me observe my life patterns and improve myself so that I might also somehow improve the world. I can't say that I prefer doing it alone or allowing someone to guide me in a group, because it has been a powerful practice for me either way.  

Anyway, so, just to review: Why meditate? Because it helps us feel better and live a healthier, more peaceful life!  The most important thing? Whenever your thoughts wander or tension arises - go back to the breath. Do you guys practice meditation at all? Is it formal thing, on a pillow surrounded by bamboo & all that, or maybe in your car, or some place strange? What have your experiences been like?

Thanks again for the artwork, Rachel! :)

4 comments:

  1. This is very helpful, Megan! I always have a hard time meditating, my mind is always racing!

    Rachel

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  2. This is really great advice on meditating - it is something I definitely need to try to do more

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  3. This is really great, I've tried meditating a couple of times but find it really difficult to clear my mind (there is just too much going on up there) this has inspired me to try again xo

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  4. thanks so much for your awesome tips Megan! i just featured it on my monthly muses last week & know a few other people found it super helpful as well. now i really have no excuse to finally give it a better shot
    http://dusanabotswana.com

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