Meditation: How Do I Do It?
With the inundated levels of stress most of us are exposed to through our work, environment, food, relationships, and rapidly advancing technology, it’s no wonder so many people are turning towards meditation for relief. When we are under constant stress, mild or extreme, it not only takes a toll on our physical and mental health but on our connection to the people around us and ourselves.
I am often asked by my clients and friends about meditation. How do I meditate? Which method do I use? How do I keep my mind still? How do I sit still long enough for there to be some effect on the mind and body? How long do I meditate for? Which meditation do I think is best?
I started meditating in my teens. To be honest I didn’t know exactly what I was meant to do. I would sit still and close my eyes. But over the years I was introduced to a variety of different meditations as there are thousands of ways to meditate. There is no one meditation that is the best way to meditate. It purely depends on what resonates with you and allows you the opportunity to experience peace and connectedness. As for how long do I meditate? Sometimes 10 minutes. Sometimes hours. It only matters what feels right for you and how much time you have on any given day to spend meditating.
My meditation practice is very sacred to me. It allows me to maintain a constant connection to my relationships, my work, my environment, my personal growth, and the divine energy that guides us all.
Currently my meditation practice is helping me heal old wounds and transcend old patterns that no longer serve me. It’s also raising my vibrational frequency, allowing me to attract that which better serves me in this life.
If you’re interested in meditation I am going to list the various forms of meditation that I have practiced which may help you in choosing one to try. Then I’ll describe the practice I am currently using which, for me, is providing the deepest connection and experiences I’ve ever had. That’s not to say it’s right for you, but I will share this practice should you be interested in trying it.
Past Meditation Practices
Visual: Breath and Colored Light
When I was 20, I found an unconventional Naturopath. Originally I went to see her regarding a physical health issue that doctors told me was incurable. The good news is, our work together proved them wrong in just 6 months. But the more relevant parts were the methods we used. Some of it involved meditation while she worked on me.
The Practice: While I laid on a table, I was asked to envision a ball of light in front of me (I was allowed to choose any color I wanted - I usually chose white or gold) and with every inhale I envisioned breathing the light into my body through my nose. I was asked to send the light deep into my torso with each inhale sending the light a little further down, until my entire torso was filled with light. Then I began to send the light further into my hips and legs, eventually reaching my toes. When this happened I felt my entire lower body tingle and become light. Once my lower body was filled with white or gold light I would then start sending the light down into my arms, eventually reaching my finger tips. Finally, I would send this light up my neck into my head until the light was pouring out of my crown chakra, the top of the head (or just above).
I found this meditation extremely helpful in relaxing my entire body and mind while increasing my vibrational frequency which I believe was crucial to my physical healing. The focus on the breathwork and visualization of light anchored my mind into my body and brought profound presence within. You can choose whichever color resonates with you in that moment.
I bought several different guided meditation CDs (this was before the dawn of downloads and Spotify!) that were helpful in mindful relaxation. Listening to someone else guide you into a particular state of happiness, abundance, etc can be very helpful for the novice meditator. These were very helpful to me when I first started meditating since I wasn’t sure what to do.
I learned this meditation at a 10 day retreat. The retreat itself was a silent retreat however the practice alone can be done at any time. The technique of this meditation is best learned by an instructor (there are many around the world) and attending a 3-10 day retreat is helpful in learning. These retreats are donation based. The focus is on your breath, moment to moment, while noting all sensations, thoughts, and feelings with equanimity. It’s a great practice that teaches you how your mind is working and the impermanence of all things including pain and suffering. If you’re interested in learning more or attending a retreat you can visit their site https://www.dhamma.org
Practicing yoga, there are a variety of different meditations to try. The majority of my experiences came from simple Vinyasa work, paying close attention to connecting my breath with each movement of my body. I always use the Ujjayi breath as this deepens my awareness and connection the most. Committing fully to your breath is key and if you’re insecure about how loud you might be in a class then you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. It’s the most important aspect to creating a deeper meditative experience. Other forms I’ve practiced are Pranayama breath work and Kundalini yoga.
Metta means kindness and goodwill. This meditation helps to create empathy towards others and yourself through compassionate thoughts and a loving attitude. This is great for acknowledging the abundance in your life when we too often focus on what we don’t have.
Practice: Any time of day works, but I would do this at night before bed so that I entered my sleep with a sense of gratitude and peace. Closing my eyes and sitting upright, I use my breath to anchor my mind. I then begin focusing on my heart chakra and expanding that energy out into the universe. If you’re not comfortable with energy work you can skip this step. It isn’t necessary, however it does amplify your experience or vibration level. Once I’m connected, I give gratitude for everything I can think of in that moment: a roof over my head, a healthy family, my own health, a smile from a stranger, etc. Nothing is too small or big to be grateful for. The more you’re grateful for the more your heart will fill with joy. Once my heart is filled with joy I then send out loving thoughts to those who I care about, those who may have caused me pain, or anyone I believe may need the love. It can be one person or many at a time. It’s always up to you and what resonates in that moment. Learn to trust your instincts and whom/what you are connecting to in that moment. This meditation is extremely powerful especially if you are struggling with a relationship (family, friend, business, or romantic.) Our energy is all connected and your thoughts carried on higher vibrational frequencies such as love, joy, and gratitude can positively affect the person you’re thinking of. It may not happen overnight but with continued work you'll see this person interact with you in a more positive light. And even if they don’t, your work will bring you peace.
I often use music in my meditations. I have a few playlists that really assist me into a more receptive state. Certain meditations like Vipassana are not meant to use music but sometimes simply listening to music can take you into a very meditative state. I have also done meditations listening to Tibetan Singing Bowls. Personally, this is my favourite sound. My body and soul resonate with this sound deeply and I've profound experiences listening to them. If you can find a singing bowl meditation near you I highly recommend it. I've done this seated and lying down. If you ever find yourself in Ubud, Bali I recommend you try the Tibetan Bowl Meditation at the Yoga Barn. There is usually a waiting list to get in so sign up early. You will not be disappointed. http://www.theyogabarn.com/schedule.html
My Current Meditation Practice
This practice is something I learned in a group meditation I used to hold at my house over ten years ago. Today I practice it alone, but I find it the most effective and expansive meditation for me. I’m not sure what it’s called exactly but the premise is instead of trying to control your thoughts, you follow them without judgment. The idea is that your soul knows what to show you...if you can allow yourself to be shown. Through this meditation process I have been able to see past lives, receive messages of insight, connect with my guides, heighten psychic awareness, and heal on the deepest levels. This meditation isn’t for everyone as I am aware not everyone is open to everything I listed above. However, if you are, this is a highly intuitive and transformational meditation. It will exercise your ability for limitless living by expanding your perception.
I almost always listen to music for this. I have carefully selected music that resonates with my practice, allowing for expansion. I usually sit upright and cross-legged with a cushion underneath my buttocks to ease tension on my hips and spine. I close my eyes and begin to tune into my music. I set an intention for my meditation. Sometimes I ask for guidance in an area of my life, I ask for answers, or I surrender to what it is I should be shown that day. And then I observe. I observe my thoughts, my visions. Sometimes it takes me minutes to move into a meditative state and sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. I try not to judge my experience so that there is no pressure or expectation. When I do slip into my meditative state I’m no longer thinking about what I have to do that day or any other distractive thoughts. I’m observing what might seem like a movie in my mind. Without judging what I’m seeing I follow the images. Soon I become part of the experience almost like I am watching myself in a movie. Sometimes it makes no sense to me and a little out there so maintaining no judgment is crucial to allowing this process to unfold.
In group meditations, we would often do this in 20 minute segments. We would focus our energy on one person in the group. After the 20 minutes we would discuss what we saw and many times we would all see the same thing. It would often help the person who was held in the meditation space understand certain struggles in their life or help them make upcoming decisions through the guidance the meditation provided.
On my own, I have been able to see and experience my soul in a variety of different settings - often a forest. For me, the forest is a sacred space for me and each meditation deepens, showing me more. It has helped me understand old wounds, heal, expand my creativity, strengthen my intuition, and understand relationship to others and myself through a deeper connection. If you do try this meditation, you may experience emotional releases. I most certainly have. Don’t be frightened. It’s your healing. This meditation can be quite profound if you’re open enough to receiving what will be shown to you. I advise journaling what you see and experience in case you don’t fully understand it at that present time. It could make sense down the road providing great insight for you. Or as I sometimes do, you can discuss your revelations with a healer you trust who may be able to provide additional insight.
Meditation is a practice that ultimately brings us back to who and what we are. We have become so disconnected in so many aspects of life here on earth that through meditation we can be reminded once again where home really is. Over the last 10 years I have witnessed a huge spike in global awareness. More people are waking up to their connection and spreading their wisdom to share with us all. You can see the changes in the food industry, the corporate world, our governments, and the health industry. More and more people are wanting better for themselves, a real purpose. No longer are people accepting of a system that tells you what is right. People are waking to their own wisdom and forcing a shift in human and global consciousness that is changing the way we think, work, live and love. As important as reducing stress is, meditation offers us so much more. It allows you to begin making the necessary shifts within that contribute to the global shifts of consciousness. As each one of us commits to our own spiritual evolution, we help others commit to theirs.
There are so many different forms of meditation. Some of these may help you in discovering which meditation works best for you. Through your connection you will develop a process that assists you in living your most fulfilling life, raising your vibrational frequency as you tune into your highest power, and inspiring others to tune into theirs. It's a form of service that starts with you. And our world thanks you for it.
If you’re interested in some guidance with your meditations or would like insight on what you see, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.
Love and Expansion,