There are many forms of meditation around and there is sure to be one style that suits you. Make it a regular practice and you will enjoy the lasting health benefits too.
Four styles of meditation that I teach and practice are
Mindfulness Meditation is simply that. Being mindful of what you are doing now. I read recently that the future is only an illusion and it is important to be mindful of your actions and be fully present. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere and the more you do it the sharper your focus becomes. For instance, I am typing now and mindful that as my thoughts come on this topic, my fingers move automatically over the keys. I am aware of the touch of the tips of my fingers on the keys and the difference in texture of the home keys under my index fingers. I am also aware of my eyes tracking the characters as they appear on the page and the cursor acts as a stop, thereby focusing my attention no further than the word being typed. I can then turn my attention to how I am sitting and the ambient air temperature – a chilly Melbourne morning! I am also aware of the sound of the keys as I quickly type this post and the gentle hum of the computer hard drive as it processes the information.
Focused meditation is just that. Focus. You can focus on anything you choose. Starting with the breath is just fine and creating an easy rhythm of in and out breath is very relaxing. Using a candle is another simple and accessible method. Light the candle and focus on the area between the flame and the wick – it’s usually a blue colour. Why focus here? The flame will move around with drafts and the process of burning and that can cause your attention to wander. The centre of the flame is more likely to be still.
Relaxation meditation such as clenching various muscles & then relaxing them, from the top of the head down to the tips of the toes combined with breath awareness is a wonderful way of winding down after a busy day. Doing it with the eyes open or closed doesn’t matter, but if you have your eyes closed and then gently open them at the end of the relaxation, then you will notice that your perception of the light and surroundings will have changed. If you are doing this in a group, take a few moments to gather your thoughts and you may even notice how different other people look as well. The tension that was stored in the facial muscles has miraculously melted away.
Where do you want to be today?
In your mind’s eye, you can go anywhere, create anything. This form of meditation is often used as a guided meditation where the facilitator will take you on a tour using metaphor and your imagination provides the images. Not just for escape, as by using the creative power of your imagination, you can gain insight and clarity for problems that you previously thought were insurmountable.