Ok…so exactly what is meditation? According to Merriam-Webster it is the “act or process of spending time in quiet thought”. Sounds simple enough and the truth is that it is that simple. I am telling you here and now as a daily meditator and someone who teaches workshops on meditation that you don’t have to sell all your worldly possessions, move to India, and get into positions that only a pretzel can maintain to be successful at it. Simply put it is a way to calm yourself from the inside out no straining, just allowing. With the various techniques of meditation available it is easy to find one that will accommodate any life style.
In my private practice and workshops I make meditation as easy as possible. “A comfortable meditator is a happy meditator” I like to say so I offer a variety of seating options all designed so the students can totally relax. There are no goals and I admonish first timers that it is best not to have any preconceived notions as to what’s going to happen. I set the stage by having gentle music playing, candles burning and dimming the lights. If meditating outdoors I choose a place where nature provides the ambience. Once the students are comfortably seated I ask them to close their eyes and begin with a few deep breaths. From there I talk them through a total body relaxation and then take them on a guided meditation visualization journey based on what the subject of the meditation is. For example if the students are interested in overcoming a challenge they are dealing with that would be the focus. The meditation usually lasts from 20 – 25 minutes. I have created a CD the students can take to practice at home, Butterfly Blessings, or I can create a recording that is specifically designed for their meditation needs.
I also do mindful walking meditations with my students and I love doing these on a beach although it is effective wherever you may live. We walk slowly, very consciously and I have them survey their senses while noticing everything about their surroundings. What do they see? Hear? Smell? Taste? This brings them into being totally present and what they are viewing actually takes on a heightened aspect with all the senses brimming with insights. The result is a feeling of oneness with nature and produces a wonderfully calming effect.
While classes and individual instruction are a wonderful way to learn the meditation technique that works best for you the goal is to begin a practice of your own. There is no right or wrong time of day to meditate. It should be based on what works best for your schedule. Once you commit to a time create a space in your home conducive for relaxation. Put a do not disturb sign on the door, hide the phone and get comfy. If you desire use music, a water fountain, scented candles anything that will put you in the mood of this time you have set aside for yourself. There is an abundance of meditation music out there to choose from and if you want to time your practice there are great smart phone apps that will do just that.
Whatever method you choose once you begin a meditation practice your personal results will make it well worth the time and like any practice the more you meditate the more benefits you will derive. I often hear my students lament that they just don’t have time to meditate. My response…you don’t have time not to meditate!
Join me this week Tuesday on The Night Shift at 7:00 PM Eastern where we will do a mini meditation together!
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