Different Ways To Meditate

<img src=I must admit, the first time I tried meditation, it was an epic failure.  I couldn’t, for the life of me concentrate on not thinking about anything.  I wanted to give up, I thought this is not for me, and how could anyone really quiet their mind?  Seriously.  How is that even possible?  As soon as I shut my eyes closed, ten million other things started to flow in.  It’s non-stop noise in my head and no matter what I try to do, I couldn’t keep my mind clear.  It was so frustrating.

But I really wanted to learn how to do meditation properly – how to do it the right way, so that I can experience what I’ve heard most people feel during and after their meditation.  I wanted to know how to get to that state of being, so I learned more about meditation, what it is and the benefits you get from it. 

Let’s first define meditation; what is it? 

Meditation is a form of mental exercise, of deep concentration “for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness” (Merriam-Webster).  That is the end goal that most people aim for when meditating, a heightened level of spiritual awareness; the more in tune one is with the divine self, the better one feels. 

But is it really possible to completely “quiet” your mind while meditating?  No.  Over the last three years I’ve learned that meditation doesn’t mean you have to completely clear your mind, it’s about training your mind to focus and be mindful of the present moment.  If a thought comes while meditating, it’s ok.  Observe the thought, and just allow it to flow, then gently tune back in to your breathing, your mantra, or your music – whatever it is you may be using to help you stay focus.

Now, I’m more comfortable trying out different ways to meditate.  You heard that right!  There are different ways to meditate.  It’s not just sitting on a mountaintop surrounded by picturesque background, or in a room full of incense, sage and singing bowls all around you.

Living a busy life, juggling work and family, I don’t have time to take a trip somewhere peaceful to meditate.  Nor, do I have an extra room or space in my house to use as my meditation room.  But, I needed to find ways to unplug and quiet my mind that works for me and my lifestyle. 

Here are some ways I meditate, and they all work for me, I hope it can help you too.

  1. Sit (or any position you’re comfortable in), close your eyes, and focus on your breathing.  When you focus on your breathing, it brings your awareness to the present moment which in turn helps quiet the mind from thinking about other things.  If your thoughts start to wander, just gently bring back your attention on your breathing.  Counting softly, or taking long deep breaths in and out, also helps.  Just notice how your body is responding to every breath you take in and exhale out.  When we bring our awareness to our breath, we “feel the essence of being alive”, it helps bring our focus to the present, and aligns our body and mind.  This took a while for me to get used to, because it takes practice and a great deal of patience, but it works like a charm once you get the hang of it.

  • Praying.  They say that when you pray, you are talking to God (or Source, Higher Being – whatever term you’re comfortable with).  This is the time that your mind is focus only on one thing; to make your requests and desires known to God.  It is a form of meditation because when praying, your mind, body and spirit aligns with your higher self, and this is where you get in tuned to your inner being and tap into those divine powers from within. 

  • Music.  This is a tool that I use most of the time during meditation; listening to music that raises the frequency and helps quiet the mind.  I love listening to Tibetan singing bowls especially if it’s in the 432 hz frequency.  The sound is soothing, relaxing, and if you completely immersed yourself in it, your mind and body will get into that calm and quiet state of being without making any conscious effort at all.  It helps release stress – mentally and physically – and yes, you can feel the difference.  You can listen to any soothing music you prefer, but some studies (and personal testimonials) show that when you listen to music that emits a certain number of frequencies in it, it makes for a more powerful and effective meditation.

  • Being in NATURE!  Eckhart Tolle said in one of his interviews that people don’t need an elaborate ritual to meditate.  Wherever you may be, even at work, you can take the time to meditate for a few minutes every day.  One way to do this is to take a 5–10-minute walk, or just go and sit outside where you can feel and smell the trees, the grass, the flowers, hear the birds, etc…  Those precious 5-10 minutes you give yourself is not only a good mental break from working, but it also does wonders to your well-being.  If you can’t go outside, find a window where you can look outside; observe the trees, people, birds – anything in nature, really.  The point is you find the time to unplug even for just a few short minutes of your day.  Being in nature improves mindfulness, promotes mind-and-body balance, reduce stress and negative emotions, and helps with mental clarity.

  • Creative ARTS!  By this, I mean any creative outlet that works for you; dancing, singing, painting, writing, cooking, etc…  And yes, this is a form of meditation too because when you’re so engrossed in doing any one of these activities, you’re also in tuned to what makes your spirit happy!  You’re going with the flow, nothing else matters, and all is right in the world.  You’re not thinking about any problems, or what’s next on your to-do list.  You’re living in the moment, the NOW – which is all that matters – enjoying and appreciating what you’re feeling and creating.  It truly is a game changer when I learned about this because the concept is so simple and, yet many of us completely miss the point!  Think about it, when you’re doing some activity you really love and you’re completely “in the zone”, doesn’t time seem to go fast?  It feels effortless, light and easy.  Why is that?  Because you’re doing something that expresses your true Self.  And when you’re in alignment with your higher Self, you raise your frequency and vibration, and this my friend, is another form of meditation. 

You might think, “Really?  5-10 minutes and I should feel better?”  Well, yes!  Absolutely.  You may not feel the difference right away but including it as part of your daily routine, it is absolutely life changing.  Before you say, “I don’t have the time” – STOP!  You can’t tell me you don’t have about 10 minutes to spare in your very busy day, to just bebecause you know that’s not true.  I know most people who spend their whole lunch break on social media, so 5-10 minutes is a breeze.

Meditation is “about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective.  You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts and feelings.  You’re learning to observe them without judgment.” (www.headspace.com).  They say that if praying is the way to talk to God, meditation is the way that God talks to you.  When you’re meditating you are getting in tuned with your divine Self, that God-like power we all have and have forgotten how to access.  

So, what are you waiting for?  Make time.  Start NOW.  Schedule your daily 10-15 min of meditation, if you have to.  You have nothing to lose and a LOT to gain.  Happy meditating!  

Love, light and joy to all of you.  Till next time!   

References:

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-practice-music-meditation-3144791

https://www.headspace.com/meditation-101/what-is-meditation

https://www.freepressjournal.in/spirituality/guiding-light-benefits-and-joys-of-meditating-in-nature#:~:text=Many%20spiritual%20gurus%20believe%20that,It%20is%20a%20peaceful%20experience