Meditation has many benefits. You can meditate to help you sleep, to relax, to spark your creativity, work out issues weighing on your mind, deal with stress, prepare your mind for a diet, and much more.
Continued use of meditation can have lasting effects beyond your meditation session.
Meditation in the modern world does not have to be woo woo. You don’t have to know the whole history of meditation, eastern philosophy or sit like a pretzel as in the picture above, unless that is your preference. I like to lie down when I meditate. It’s enough to be comfortable and take time for yourself. Meditation is actually very simple to learn.
It’s a time to be alone to find inner peace.
Start out with short sessions, a couple of minutes a day. Then build up to 5 minutes, 10, 20, 30. Take as much time as you need to get used to the practice. It’s just that: a practice. If you practice every day, you will get better and better at it. You don’t have to be perfect. It’s a continual practice that you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
The first time I tried meditation I followed from a book. And sometimes I meditate on my own without any aids. But I’ve grown to prefer listening to guided meditations or relaxation music. It’s important to find someone whose voice you enjoy listening to, who is soothing and not over-emoting. The voice should be soft and almost a monotone. The point is to find someone who will not jolt you out of your reverie.
Give yourself a few minutes to settle down. I’m a fidget so I give myself a few minutes to relax and scratch any itches, and work out the kinks.
Concentrate on your breathing. Your attention will wander and that’s OK. It’s natural. Our minds are very active all day. We are training it to focus and sometimes that takes a little time.
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Make sure your arms and legs are not crossed.
Start by just breathing — slowly and deeply. Breathe in through your nose and push the air out through your mouth. This helps to release tension in the body. After you get into the meditation you can stop thinking about your breathing and let it flow naturally. If you want to breathe only through your nose, that is OK. As you progress through your meditation you’ll find that you’ll stop paying attention to your breath as you begin to feel a deeper sense of relaxation.
I will now guide you through a very simple color meditation.
Close your eyes and imagine you are surrounded by a sphere of glowing white light. As you breathe in, imagine the white light filling your lungs and body. As you exhale release any tensions or worries you may be feeling. Breathe at your own pace. In and out in a constant flow.
Now imagine that the light is changing to a sparkling gold. Continue to breathe the light in and out as you release your cares and worries.
The light is changing to a pale yellow. Let it surround you. See it in your mind’s eye.
The light is changing to a vivid orange. Let it warm and calm you.
Now the light is deepening to a red. Allow it to fill you and ignite your natural healing powers.
The red becomes purple and fills you with a sense of comfort and confidence.
Now the light is blue and as you breathe it in, you feel calm and happy.
The light changes to green, and as you take it in, you start to feel refreshed and energized.
Now open your eyes.
Congratulations. You’ve just completed a very simple meditation. It’s easy, right?
How do you feel?
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to meditation, and continue to explore and expand your mind.