Meditation put simply, is the practice of focusing your attention on a particular object — generally something simple, like a word or phrase, a candle flame or geometrical figure, or rise and fall of your breath. In everyday life, your mind is constantly processing information and a barrage of sensations, visual impressions, emotions, and thoughts. When you meditate, you narrow your focus, limit the stimuli bombarding your nervous system — and calm your mind and body in the process.
The intentions for meditation:
- Stronger focus and concentration
- Reduced tension, anxiety, and stress
- Clarity of thinking and less emotional rollercoasters
- Greater creativity and enhanced performance in work and play
- Increased self-understanding and self-acceptance
- More joy, love, and gentleness
- Deeper sense of meaning and purpose
Develop awareness: The secret to meditation
If, as the old saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, then the journey of meditation begins with the beginning of awareness or attention.No matter which path or technique you choose, the secret of meditation lies in developing, focusing, and directing your attention. With this approach we can look at meditation as a practice and release the need for perfection or self judgment in whether you feel you are doing it right or wrong… small steps.
Meditation has so many benefits, but here is 2 to start with:
- Increases your power of awareness by developing concentration on a particular object.
- Cultivates positive emotions and mind-states.
You can use a variety of techniques to sharpen your sense of awareness. Here are a few of the many techniques that have been developed over the centuries:
- Repeating a meaningful word or phrase that empowers you
- Being mindfully aware of the present moment
- Following or counting your breath
- Paying attention to the flow of sensations in your body
How to Prepare for Meditation
Meditation does not require much. You can prepare yourself and your space in your own unique way. Comfortable floor, seat or cushion for sitting.
- Quiet, tidy spot.
- Loose-fitting, comfortable clothing
- Phone turned off, answering-machine volume turned down low
Other items you may want to include are
- Stretches to prepare your body for sitting – gentle yoga
- Sometimes a brisk short walk can help shake out any tension
- Special objects, pictures, candles, or prayer
In this blog we are going to explore and experience an affirmation meditation.
You will need:
A piece of paper with your affirmation.
Sit comfortably on a chair or you can do this one lying down in bed.
If you are in bed or sitting the practice is the same. However if you are sitting you have the option of having your affirmation in front of you, in written form.
Begin by placing your hands on your tummy and noticing the rise and fall of your breath.
After several breaths of getting connected in your body and breath begin the affirmation meditation.
On the inhale say to yourself “breathing in I have calm”
On the exhale say to yourself “breathing out I have peace”
Continue this cycle for 8 to 11 minutes. If meditation is new to you, perhaps only a few minutes.
If you feel yourself drift off, or your thoughts wander… gently come back to the practice without judgement.
When the 8 – 11 minutes is finished, gently bring yourself back to your breath, noticing the rise and fall of your breath and peacefully and mindfully go about your day.
Happy whole-hearted living!