When I first heard of meditation, I was curious. Curious about things outside of me. I had so many questions and a rooted desire to seek answers. I had also heard of the benefits of meditation, an enhanced physical, psychological, mental, and emotional well-being, so I decided to give it a try.
For over thirty years, I have had many meditation sessions. I also enjoyed meditative walks on the beach where I allowed myself to just enjoy the moment. Even today, I set my intent, visualizing something I need or want, I focus on my breathing, and I lose myself. I just let my mind wander and see where it wants to go. Thoughts and emotions surface and dissipate and I just let them.
It is the most engaging, profound, and rewarding experience of my life.
It is such a unique experience, because no two people meditate the same. No two people feel the same while meditating. No two people take the same out of a meditation session. And no two meditation sessions are exactly the same. Feelings change, intentions change, and as time goes by, even you change.
And it has so many advantages.
Simple and available to everyone, meditation can help reduce stress, calm the body and the mind, make your head clearer, and promote happiness. It can bring you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that will influence your emotional well-being and your overall health.
And the best part is the benefits don’t end just because the session does. With continued practice, meditation will help you maintain a calm state throughout the day, and it may even help with certain medical conditions. The stress levels reduce, as do random disruptive thoughts, and this helps you improve your focus, understand your pain, and connect better to what is inside and outside yourself.
Meditating helps you gain a new perspective over stressful situations while keeping you focused on the present. Imagination, Creativity, Patience, and Tolerance become your companions on this journey where you are building your own skills to manage your stress and reduce negative emotions, as you are bombarded with an overload of information every day.
Furthermore, meditation doesn’t come with a specific timetable. It is up to you to learn your body and understand when you would benefit the most from a session. There is no rule stating how often you should meditate or for how long. If it is once a day, several times a day, once every few days, for five minutes, half an hour, or three hours, it really doesn’t matter, because what matters is what works for you. What feels good. What you take out of each session. What calls to you.
And the great thing is, there is no right or wrong way to meditate. It’s a judgment-free zone.
Sometimes, even just dancing, praying, or even cooking can be meditative experiences if you let yourself go. If they allow you to find that inner peace. To align yourself internally and externally.
It is so liberating that it is worth it.
Whether you make it a formal or informal ritual, you should include it into your daily routine. When you wake up and before you go to bed, try and take some time to just be with yourself. To quiet your mind, align yourself, reconnect with your true self. This will help you face the day and night with your head clear and energized in a positive way. It will help you deal with any issues you might be having and help you calm and make peace with what is troubling you.
It’s you being with the real you. Raw. Honest. Open. And you need to make a commitment to yourself to show up, to be there. For you. Because the most important moment in meditation is the moment when you commit to it. When you actually set out to do it. When you say to yourself, “I want to meet my True Self” and you take steps in that direction. When you make the conscious decision to be mindful.
Because when you finally align yourself, mind, body, and soul, the universe aligns with you and things start happening. Intents you set are met. And the true benefits of meditation can show up when you least expect them. That is the true magic and beauty of meditation.
Just remember that meditation is not about getting something from the experience. You won’t experience shifts in all your meditation sessions. You won’t always have a so-called perfect meditation session, because your state of mind is not always the same. You may even have some very uncomfortable first few experiences because your body is fighting the process. However, there are no bad sessions. And whether you come out of a peaceful session or a challenging one, it is important to remember that you took the time to try and reconnect with yourself and the world around you, and connect with the ‘you’ you are supposed to be. That means, you are one step closer to your true self.
You are being Mindful.
How to Meditate
Meditation can be a very rewarding experience, and it can also be challenging, but it is not hard to learn. It is actually very straightforward, and the benefits can come quickly.
All you really need to disconnect from the world and mindfully connect to yourself are five little things: a focused mind, relaxed breathing, a quiet place, a comfortable position, and, most importantly, an open mind. It is important to remember that this isn’t about whether you are doing it right or wrong, or what you get from meditation. It’s about being in the moment. With your true Self.
Choose a place where you feel at peace. Where you feel comfortable. It can be inside or outside. A room, a porch, a park, a beach, a forested space, a garden bench, the top of a mountain. Wherever you feel a sense of peace. Where you feel you can be with yourself. Safely. Calmly. Relaxed. A quiet, calm place where you know you won’t be disturbed. This doesn’t mean you have to be alone, locked up somewhere with a ‘Do not disturb’ sign. It means you should consider disconnecting from the world by something as easy as turning off your phone, your computer, or your TV, or closing your door and keeping any distractions on the other side. The peace will allow you to enjoy it and take the most from it. Whether you are alone or with a few like-minded people.
Find a place where you can sit comfortably. It is important to be comfortable because you will be maintaining that position for a while. When you are comfortable, stable, and safe, if you can, close your eyes.
The most important things about meditation are the intent you put behind it and the breathing that helps you be in the moment.
That brings us to the next step. Intention. Focus on something you really want or need. It can be anything. A new home, a new job, something you need to complete an assignment, a cure for an ailment you are suffering from, help for someone you know that is struggling. Whatever you desire.
Once you have your intent, it’s time to focus on breathing. In and out. All the way to your core. To your heart. Slowly. Deeply. Feel it fill you, going through you, coming out. See yourself, in your mind’s eye, as you want to be. Imagine all the sights, sounds, smells around you at that moment. Be one with your intent. Visualize yourself having reached that goal. Feel it. Let yourself go.
As you do, notice how your mind wanders to other places. Don’t focus on those thoughts or feelings that are trying to emerge. Let them flow in but let them go. It’s important to understand that thoughts and feelings surface and dissipate, so don’t judge yourself if you find you get lost in them, just come back to the here and now and let them go.
If one comes that needs addressing–maybe a persistent inner judging voice or a fearful voice–listen to it. Really listen. Not from a fearful place, or from a judgmental place. Listen from a place of safety, of calm, of peace. It will help you address your fear or self-judgment and realize that you are safe, you are brave, you are true to yourself. You have to be brutally honest with yourself. Face your fears. Face your flaws. And then let everything go.
When you are done, take a moment to adjust again. Open your eyes, if you have closed them, notice the sounds around you. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts. Your emotions.
If this was your first experience meditating, you just gave your first step toward mindfulness.
Did you enjoy the experience? Have you tried basic meditation before and want to learn more? Want to take your methods or your healing a step further? Join us and connect with experienced professionals and other like-minded people who are also making their journey on the same path as you.