What is Meditation ? It actually means "to become familiar with" and is a way of turning inward and nurturing our inner selves.
'Turning inward to listen to the body, the breath and the sound of your own heart beating, noticing sounds, smells and sensations. Opening into the quiet bliss...' ('Zen Soul Your Life' )
Calms and relaxes the mind
Calms and relaxes the body
Slows the ageing process
Empowers true confidence & true feelings
Deepens self awareness and boosts self esteem
Improves decision making & problem solving
Less reactive to stress and dramas
Improves mental focus and clear thinking
Helps to heal trauma
Helps to heal illness
How do I actually Meditate?
Tips and instructions
There are many techniques of meditation and teachers will vary according to their preference and style. I've given one technique below as a simple introduction I use at the beginning and end of my Yoga classes.
Learning a few simple ideas for yourself at home will make a big difference to your life and ultimately meditation is a personal journey. It's important to create a regular habit for at least 10 minutes each day when the mind is still first thing in the morning (5-7am). At this time the chi energy of the universe moves to our small intestine and it's the most powerful time of day to let go of 'stuff' from our mind and our body that no longer serves us. (including any stored negativity)
Choose your temple
Creating a home mediation zone 'temple' can be fun and rewarding for the mediation experience. Preferably surrounded by nature or a small garden as the power of nature helps you resonate more deeply will your own innate stillness, strength and peace. Perhaps use essential oils, (I use only pure certified therapeutic grade oils, (http://www.mydoterra.com/madonnawilliams/ ) also candles, soft yoga/meditation music and hang inspiring meditation prints. You only need enough space to sit comfortably on a firm cushion to keep your hips square with your legs crossed. At first you may sit with your back supported against a wall and as time progresses your back and torso muscles will strengthen. If cross legs is too difficult to maintain for 10 minutes, release each leg in front one at a time. Eventually you will be able to extend your sitting time.
Nurture your practise
Sit tall and notice your posture as you rest your hands on your thighs and connect your thumb and forefinger to lightly touch. (thumb represents universe and forefinger represents individual self).
Notice the way your body feels, acknowledging any resistance and discomfort as observation without judgement.
Start to bring awareness to the natural rhythm of your breath, feeling the natural rise and fall of your breath. feel the cool air moving through nostrils, back of the throat and expanding into the chest, lifting and opening each rib.
Imagine you are drinking the breath and every cell in your body is being nourished with this elixir of life. Breath is 'Prana' which means life force. Bringing regular attention to your breath will literally improve your life.
Start to count as you breathe in and follow the line of your breath for at least 4-5 seconds (extending to 6-7secs with regular practise).
Hold the breath for 1 second and then gently press the breath out through the nostrils with the mouth soft and belly drawing inwards. Try to breathe out for the same time 4-5secs ( extending to 6-7 secs)
After 10 rounds of breathing in and out ( long, slow, deep breaths) simply rest at the end of the 10th breath and again bring your awareness back to how your body feels.
Scan through your whole body (extending the crown of your head upwards, relax your shoulders down, releasing shoulders blades down the back, feel the length in your neck, notice the natural curves of your spine, feel the warmth and softness in the belly, feel your hips open, arms and legs relaxed and notice the subtle vibration of energy in the palms of your hands and soles of your feet.
Sit here and notice any sounds, listen to sounds underneath sounds, the touch of air or sunlight on your skin, sensing the flow of energy through your body and the same flow of energy around you. With practise you may feel the seamless flow of energy between you and nature. This a powerful feeling when you match the vibrational energy of nature and take that vibration of serenity, beauty, peace and strength into your day.
If your mind wanders, this is normal. Simply bring your attention back to your body and your breath. Rest assured that your mind will be waiting for you after the meditation but it will really appreciate the REST and nurture. See the thoughts as clouds moving through the clear blue sky.
With regular practise, you may see colours and lights that reflect the chakra energy lights in your body. Simply notice and be in awe of the miraculous creation of your body, energy and the universe.
Just sit and notice. '...basking in the warmth and contentment of presence itself'