Whenever I mutter the word meditation, people glaze over or go scrambling for the door. What is it about meditation that freaks people out? There have certainly been times for me that I have put meditation on the back burner and made all sorts of excuses … the best one being I’m just too busy.
Recently I delved into why I have avoided meditation in the past and have asked others for what prevents them from having a daily meditation practice. These are the most common reasons why we avoid/resist meditation:
- I want to meditate but I’m not sure how. I was raised Christian and find it hard to transition from prayer to meditation.
- I have a 4 year old running around almost all day and work full time.
- Sometimes just feel that everything is fine and taken care of.
- I don’t have time.
- If I have a little time, I worry during meditation that I’ll then be behind on my next task.
- I’m too tired and will fall asleep.
I have found that one reason why meditation is avoided is that we are uncomfortable with the silence, uneasy about being with our own thoughts, and we are nervous about what we might “hear” during meditation. In a chaotic world, we have become numb to silence and meditation can take us into that discomfort zone of quiet.
But meditation is what can pull us out of discomfort. These are just some of the many benefits of a daily meditation practice that I have personally experienced:
- Lowers stress
- Calms the mind for clearer thinking
- Helps you process difficult decisions
- Makes you more compassionate
- Allows for more restful sleep
- You feel healthier and vibrants
- Opens intuition so that you make good life decisions
- Gives you creative ideas
- Stays with you throughout the day for more thoughtful, and less stressful, interactions
- And it positively impacts the brain to allow it to rest (check out this article about it).
When I do not meditate, I can feel the difference in how I go about my day, how I interact with people, and how I respond to stress. If you Google “benefits of daily meditation” you will find numerous articles expounding the benefits, including this one from the Huffington Post
You do not have to be a Zen Master in order to successfully meditate. Some techniques encourage you to get to a place where you have no thoughts, but I find that is too stressful for most people because they experience monkey mind where their thoughts bounce around like a monkey. So here are a couple of simple techniques that you can do to meditate each day without stressing yourself.
- Sit comfortably, palms on your lap, spine straight, and just focus on inhaling for a count of 5 and exhaling for a count of 5. I like to use a technique from one of my advanced healing classes where I visualize inhaling up the energy of the core of the earth up the back of my spine and up to the heavens, and then exhaling the energy of the heavens down the front of my spine to the earth, and repeat. Ten repetitions of this and I can guarantee that you will be relaxed.
- Sit comfortably, palms on your lap, spine straight, and focus on relaxing every part of your body starting with the top of your head all the way down to your feet. Give yourself 5-10 seconds (or more) per area where you invite it to relax.
- Sit comfortably, palms on your lap, spine straight, and go on a mental visualization journey to a serene location. When you arrive at the location, sit, enjoy the surroundings (with all senses) and then see who arrives (it could be people, animals, spirits). Then just ask “what do I need know?” and wait for answers to come to mind.
- Engage in a walking meditation. Leave the ear buds, music and smart phone at home. Just walk (preferably in a quiet location), pay attention to how your feet touch the ground, look at the trees, animals, sky, and just soak in your environment which will calm your mind. If you have a dog, do this technique while also watching how your dog responds to the environment.
- Listen to soft meditation music, or binaural beat music. My favorites are: Crystal Sonic music, HemiSync music, Wayne Dyer’s I Am meditations, or if you want a more intensive long-term program I recommend Holosync.
- And when you meditate I like to hold a crystal (usually my Brandberg or Ajoite), sit at one of my crystal grids to take in its energy, sit before a spiritual alter, diffuse essential oils or burn candles and anything else to enhance your meditation experience.
You can really meditate anywhere without detection. At home or walking in a quiet location is best, but you can also meditate at your desk (close your office door or put up a sign on your cubical that you are focusing and cannot be disturbed), go outside and find a quiet location, on an airplane (I do this a lot), or in your car (when it is parked).
If you start with 5 minutes of meditation daily and work yourself up to an amount of time that works for you, you will notice how you begin to interact and live in the world differently. This does not need to be complicated; just find a method and a practice that works for you and stick to it!!!
I would love to hear from you about what your favorite meditation practice is, so leave a comment!
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