Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to start a meditation practice

Start a meditation practice or deepen the practice you already have built. Meditation is a powerful tool that cannot be overlooked. There are many forms to it. For example, I have plenty of times when I'm walking when I have a meditative experience. A dear friend has meditative experiences being creative. You can also sit for a traditional spell of meditation during the day with your eyes closed. Find the form that works for you. Remember, meditation is time with you being with you, not hanging out with friends chatting away about meditation. Meditation is one exercise you do alone.

Mediation will leave your physical senses dulled and it opens a range of new experiences on your inside. Don't rush to a lot of conclusions. Mediation is not spending time analyzing data, the pros and cons, what he said - what she said, or considering what someone thinks or doesn't think about you. All that is being caught up in your mind - aka a form of worry. Keep in mind that a meditation practice takes time to build. In the same way that it takes years to get a degree at school, experiencing subtle results happens slowly. When doubt arises about the quality of your meditation or the effort to continue it - know that your mind is speaking and not your heart.

Let's face it; we live in a homogenized, race paced civilization. Everyone expects results to appear as fast as a drive through meal does. We take news to be informational because we're trained that it takes only 60 seconds to get the whole story. Sitcoms create major issues, solve 'em, and set you up for the next episode in 44 minutes plus 16 minutes of commercials. Meditation and the exploration of our internal world is just not on that race pace schedule. In fact, it is the opposite. You must provide an authentic effort to open your inner world and then explore it. But the rewards are far more sustaining, enjoyable, magical, and unpredictable.

Meditation Practice Techniques

1. Find a comfortable, clean location where you will not be disturbed. If you have a cell phone be sure to mute it.

2. Light one candle or more. If you have a deity you want to call in to support you then place their picture by the candle. Another option is to light some incense.

3. Sit in a comfortable posture. If you are sitting on the floor or a chair then use pillows to support you. Place pillows under your knees and behind your lower back. Another option is using a wall to lean against to support your back. You want to take your awareness off your body so make sure it's comfortable and you're not feeling any aches or pains.

4. Remove your glasses if you wear them. If you have music on, make it low and not overwhelming. You want to place your attention within you and not be rockin' out to the tunes.

5. When you are ready, close your eyes. Begin to focus on your breathing. Take five deep breaths: in slowly - hold it - then release it slowly.

6. Keep your attention on your breath: taking one breath in and then releasing it. As you take your breath in, repeat quietly to yourself "OM". OM on the in breath and OM on the out breath. OM is the primordial sound of the universe. It's the sound of the stillness that pervades every atom.

7. If you get distracted or your attention begins to wander, gently bring your focus back to your breathing and OM.

8. If you notice your body start to itch or tense up, return your focus to your breathing and OM.

9. When you are ready to come out of your meditation - go slowly. Take several more breaths and open your eyes slowly. Take a mild stretch to adjust your body. Before getting up, take a few minutes to write in your journal. Notice any insights that rise to the surface and capture them.

Remember, meditation is about going inside. It's a very conscious effort at directing your attention. In a typical western lifestyle we are accustomed to letting our attention wander to whatever pleases our eyes, ears, or touch. Your meditation practice will reprogram your ability to direct your attention. Be patient with your mediation efforts and have fun.


Steu Mann, M.Ed.
He is an author and Reiki Master. His web site is ShastaConnect.com and offers a free directory of the diverse energetic and spiritual resources in the Mt Shasta area, which can be utilized around the globe. You can connect him about a free Reiki session. Discover Discernment Times Magazine and promote your business in the online marketplace there
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