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MEDITATION 101



Clarity members who meditate, even just once within a week of a session, seem to get more out of the work. We recommend meditation for everyone, as often as feels right for you, and here are a few introductory thoughts you may find helpful as you embark on your meditation practices, along with a simple and effective method with just you and your breath.

What is meditation? There are probably as many answers as there are people who meditate. My favorite comes from John Kabot-Zinn, who says that meditation "is about stopping and being present, that is all."[1]

Why do people meditate? Some of the reasons people meditate include to find enlightenment, de-stress and relax after a long day, access its health benefits, clear out heavy or negative energy, and many, many more. Meditation can serve various purposes, but a word of caution: if we get too caught up in achieving a specific purpose through meditation, we ma


y miss its greatest gifts. Meditation teaches us that this moment is it. It shows us the only thing that is real--this moment: where we are right now and what is most important for us. Reaching this place opens the door to tremendous insight into ourselves and the world around us. It allows us to make real change in our life because we can move from where we actually are. It can be a powerful tool for affecting our energy. It can take us away from the constant chatter of our minds and outside influences, to a place within our soul that is calm, quiet, wise, and powerful.

My personal experience with meditation has varied greatly. My first recollection of meditation was as a young boy playing in the dirt. There's a picture of me in the middle of a pile of dirt with a red, plastic, miniature toy rake. I'm not building anything with the dirt - I'm just mesmerized by it, raking it as you would a mini zen garden. I can reach back and feel my connection to the earth and to my inquisitive, non-judgmental self that was observing life and seeing myself in it all. It was natural, no one taught me. But life taught me other ways of learning, relying on and taking in information only through my analytical mind. It's just been in the last few years that I have felt that my new and now established way of learning doesn't always serve me and can even harm me. I've worked to reach my natural, instinctive approach that my 5-year old self naturally knew. I think we all instinctively know how to access meditative states, and for those of us who forgot, the hardest part of getting there can be letting go of how we're "supposed" to learn, spend our time, or find truth. The deepest truths are inside us. Meditation can help us to access them and act on them.

Meditation Methods. After attending multiple meditation courses and using a number of meditation apps, I've discovered that there is no one "right way" to meditate. Some recommend sitting cross legged and back erect while others emphasize being comfortable, whether that's laying down, sitting in a chair, or another way. I recommend feeling this out and exploring what works best for you. You may find certain methods suitable for the type of meditation you're using. Medical News Today provides a summary of seven of the best-known ways to meditate:[2]


  1. Loving-kindness meditation

  2. Body scan or progressive relaxation

  3. Mindfulness meditation

  4. Breath awareness meditation

  5. Kundalini yoga

  6. Zen meditation

  7. Transcendental meditation


Guided Mediations can be really helpful--they are typically led by a trained individual and can be done in person or by other means such as an audio or video recording. The meditation may be free flowing or it may have a focused intent. My first experience with guided meditations was using the basic (and free) 10-day guide on the Headspace app--great for starting out or for experienced meditators. Insight Timer app is filled with meditation gurus who will take you through specialized guided meditations for practically any purpose you can think of. Sarah Blondin is one of my favorites.

All of these types of meditation can support the work you do at Coming to Clarity. Once we understand how everything we do and whatever we are exposed to affects our energy, the more we realize how critical it is to silence ourselves and let go of what doesn't serve us. Your awareness of this and of energy will enhance your meditation practice. You can incorporate energy into meditation by simply visualizing your energy body and manifesting access to your energy and heart. It's powerful and can help you to shift further away from the noise in your head.

Simple Meditation

Here is a simple way to meditate and access the benefits of finding stillness:


  1. Get comfortable but not too comfortable--you want your body to be able to relax but not so much that you're falling asleep a couple minutes into your meditation. Find what works best for you.

  2. Observe your natural breath and find a focus point. I suggest the spot just above your upper lip, where the breath is moving in and out of your nostrils.

  3. Relax your body.

  4. Notice what comes up. You may feel tension as you try to relax, or you may have feelings, emotions, tension, or nothing at all come up. Just notice it all and have awareness of it without judging it or creating stories around it. Just notice that it's there, allowing for whatever comes up and moving through it.

  5. Stay in this place and just be. Accept wherever you are, whatever you feel. You may find yourself in stillness, or something else. Try not to crave or avoid any particular experience. And if this is hard, or if you start judging your meditation, do your best to be ok with it. This is where we get to practice being present and not judging our experience. There is learning in accepting that this is our reality right now, and with acceptance comes the biggest changes in energy and a calm to mind and body.

  6. Pray from this place of stillness or of being without judgment. You are with your higher self, connected to your energy, with greater capacity to find clarity in your life, to forgive, and to send love and hope.

Feel free to modify or add to this what feels right for you. You might use the Ho'oponopono prayer when you begin, or recite a simple mantra that resonates with you through your practice. We'd love to hear any of your meditation tips or how it has benefited you - please share in the comments below.

Recommended Meditation Apps

Headspace

Insight Timer

REFERENCES

[1]Wherever You Go There You Are by John Kabat-Zinn, page 13.

[2] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320392#types-of-meditation retrieved May 6, 2020.


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