With the new month just days away and it being promoted as Mindful May, I was very mindful myself (pardon the pun) to finally complete my online meditation course.
It was started sometime ago, but somehow most of the audio that I recorded for it disappeared into the ether when updating some software.
The next hurdle to overcome was Mercury in Retrograde, noted for issues with electronics and the like…… I couldn’t get rid of the noise of the computer fan that ran in the background. Eventually I found an app that I could use with an iPad and completed the last of the recordings just in time to get the course up and running for May.
If you have never meditated before and are not sure how to or what sort of meditation suits you, then this introduction to meditation will help you work that out.
Create a quiet space. Turn off the phone, the tablet the computer… if you have trouble disconnecting completely use the “aeroplane mode” so that you won’t be disturbed while you are doing your visualization. Check that there is nothing else to distract your attention either…..dogs, cats etc…and make sure the ambient temperature is just right and you are sitting in a comfortable position.
Take a deep breath and as you exhale, close your eyes. Do several more deep breaths, breathing in relaxation and exhaling any tension. You may notice your heart rate slowing down a little and as your eyes are closed, you will be more aware of other sensations and noises in your environment.
In your mind’s eye, imagine your success participating in a particular endeavour dear to you. You don’t have to disclose your vision or goal to anyone else. Make the picture clear and focus on the details. Include the sounds you would hear, feelings of how you would feel if you were to jump into or become a part of this vision. Are there any smells that you can add that would make the vision even stronger? Expand your vision further by using your imagination to hear what others are saying and how positively they are reacting to your success. As your vision gets clearer, notice how your feelings change. Keep this picture in your mind’s eye and see yourself achieving even more, setting and achieving goals easily and effortlessly…. manifesting the success that you are destined for.
To create new and successful thought pathways and to reprogramme your subconscious mind you need to practice. Just as you need to practice a musical instrument or a sport to become proficient, visualizing or manifesting requires some effort. Done daily or even twice daily, using positive language …. as if your success is happening right now…. will make it more real.
Take your time….create a quality vision and be open to what comes up during your sessions, as your subconscious mind will seek to bring you even more clarity to your visualization. New and unexpected opportunities and synchronicities will pop up as you refine your vision and the time spent in this meditative state will have other benefits such as enhanced creativity and an inner peacefulness. After each session, journal your insights or add to your vision board.
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.
Visualization meditation is only limited by your imagination.
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.