Three Easy meditation styles
For the most part, we all know there are many benefits to having a meditation practice, but are we taking advantage of that? To see results you need to do it daily. The biggest challenge in my practice is making time to meditate consistently.
To help me I put a few parameters around it.
1. I put it in my schedule.
2. I decide in advance how long I’m going to meditate.
3. If I miss my meditation appointment, I forgive myself and start again tomorrow.
I also choose one style of meditation and stick with it for a while so I can take it to its deepest level. I like to see what it can do for me. If I’m just not getting into it, I change to another style. I also use my time in nature to be meditative. That means I’m unplugged and alone.
Below are the three meditation styles that I’ve found to be not only easy, but very helpful in getting me quiet, connected to my spirit, and relaxed.
This is a meditation that takes you on a journey in your imagination. They can be pre-recorded by someone or of your own creation. Often there is a goal to the meditation like, balancing your chakras, going to someplace beautiful and relaxing, doing suggested healing techniques, practicing grounding and centering, and releasing toxic energy. There is a definite beginning middle and end, much like a story. I like these kinds of meditation because they give my mind and ego something to focus on or something to do so they don’t interrupt me with random thoughts or pull me back to my daily responsibilities.
Breath focused meditation
In this style of meditation, we use our breath as our focus. Doing this helps control our minds and reduce responses to distractions. This is a sitting meditation and can be done in silence or with soft ambient music playing. Many meditation practices start with this technique to quiet their mind and let go of the world around them before they start another style of meditation. Still, this technique can stand alone as very effective in lowering blood pressure, letting go of stress, loosening tight muscles, and calming emotions. To do it, you sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair and breath naturally. You literally focus on the inhale and exhale until you feel yourself relaxing and letting go of awareness of the space around you and your thoughts. This is not the same as falling asleep or passing out. You are still conscious and in full control. I like this meditation because it does put me in an altered state of deep relaxation. Its benign nature really helps soothe my overstimulated mind and emotions. Another way to do an object focus meditation is with a candle. Focus on the flame with half-closed eyes. Coventry Creations has a wonderful Meditation Affirmation candle just for this purpose.
Vocal focused Mediation
Chanting a single-syllable word that is meaningless to you is used as a focal point. It’s designed to help you go within and let go of external happenings. It is unlike repeating an affirmation which is designed to reprogram the thoughts and beliefs in your subconscious mind. In this meditation, you talk/sing a one-syllable word with a one-note tone on every slow exhale. Ooooohm. At some point, you will stop singing your word and move into a silent meditation of bliss.
For those who need the benefits of meditation but don’t care for sitting, chanting, or going on a journey in their imagination, here are some suggestions for meditation while moving.
Walking in nature meditation is a gentle stroll in a natural habitat while being mindful of your surroundings. You use all your senses to connect with the plant material, animals, and the very air you are breathing. This walk is generally only an hour long and is about letting your encounter with nature influence your biorhythms to align with the rhythms of the earth. It is found to relieve stress and depression, lower blood pressure, clear the mind, and prepare it to receive creative inspiration. In Japan it’s called Shinrin-Yoku, roughly translated to forest bathing.
Walking a labyrinth dates back to ancient Egypt and has been found in cultures all over the world. Each civilization had its own legends and uses for these labyrinths. It is a circular maze with one opening and a flowing path that has turns but no choices of direction and leads the walker to the center of the circle. Today the labyrinth is used to represent the spiritual journey of man, the circle being a universal symbol of wholeness, completion, and unity. Walking the labyrinth is an opportunity to solve a problem, heal, or get answers to a prayer. One would enter the labyrinth with an intention and hopefully find resolution or relief upon completion of the walk at the center.
Folding Laundry is a meditation created by one of my teachers who found meditation possible through doing mundane chores. The act of doing a repetitive motion allowed your hands and mind to be occupied while your soul soared. This is a great meditation for connection to source for the purpose of creating peace, solving problems, and getting clarity on a situation.
No matter how you meditate or participate in mindfulness, find time to do it every day. It will change your life for the better. We are meant to connect to something bigger than us and becoming quiet will open the door to that. Thomas Edison knew this and used it to help him with his creative process. If I could, I would give him an honorary Witches Union Meditation patch. Oh, the look on his face would have been priceless.