Meditation has changed and continues to change my life, for the better!
I remember the day in 2001 when a former colleague was rather persistent during a lunch conversation to take me to a workshop. I resisted but did give in to the voice inside which said “why not?” Little did I know what was going to open to me as a result.
I recently reframed the word meditation to mean “time spent in conversation with my Higher Self – or the Divine in me”. By now, meditation has become a sacred, daily experience that I don’t want to miss. It connects me to my inner self and allows me to guide my life from that, which makes me feel more true to myself, somehow.
Don’t let your stubborn mind give you an excuse not to try meditation. If you think that you can’t stop thinking, think again. Imagine what it will be like to observe your thoughts. It is worth it as it will help connect you to your true essence, a deep sense of joy. Meditation helps us become more calm and less distracted.
The choice of meditation styles available is growing ever so fast. This meditation guide will help you to find your style. The question for beginners is: What it is I feel I need?
Five Styles – Choose Based on What You Most Want to Achieve
Just do keep in mind that one or many styles may suit you, and that this can change over time.
I also like her article because it allows me to pick a style based on what I feel I need. Ultimately, after all, we do want to achieve something, not feel that we are wasting our time.
1. Better breathing. Instant stress release. Grounding. A clear and centered mind. A revitalized body. Spending less time dwelling on the past or the future.
Choose: A Breathing Technique.
The only time that we truly have any control over, at all, is the present moment.
Practicing breathing meditation can help bring focus back to this moment. This, in turn, can help us make more conscious decisions. Working on the mind-body connection, both mind and body are calmed. Visit yoga studios or wellness centers in your area, or consult the internet for tutorials, such as for Nadi Shodhana, a breathing technique that can be performed anywhere at any time.
2. Facing a challenge. Wanting to get unstuck. Focusing an active mind.
Choose: A Guided Meditation.
Following guidance in a one-on-one session, in a class, or to a recording, normally requires some imagination. If you feel you’re lacking in this department, pretend! It will still work. Meditations can have a theme, such as creating abundance. Rachel Williams, in her article, offers a link to some recordings: Guided Meditations.
3. Increased Self-love. Better physical health. Improved mental well-being and relationships. Yearning to change view of self and the world.
Choose: Loving-Kindness Meditation.
In Loving-Kindness Meditation words are applied to invoke qualities of love and friendliness toward self and others. Research has shown this meditation to actually provide benefits such as those listed above. The internet has a wealth of choice, but here’s an audio clip recommended by Williams: A Loving Kindness Meditation.
4. Focused attention. Less stress. More happiness. Enhanced self-awareness. An ongoing practice that may prove life-changing.
Choose: Mindfulness Meditation.
Eating, walking, sitting down… are things that most of us do often, and which mindfulness practice can help us do with more awareness and less judgment, cultivating surrender. Mindfulness helps us come home to the present, where we can recognize happiness. Rachel Williams points us to the STOP method: Stop the doing. Take a breath, pause. Observe your mind, body, and environment, observing default anger, fear… Proceed mindfully.
5. More structure. Less of a wandering mind. Less stress. Wanting to know true desires.
Choose: Mantra Meditation.
This structured meditation practice uses a mantra, which is often silently repeated for the duration of the meditation. A mantra can be sounds, words, or phrases. It helps focus the mind and serves as a vehicle to higher states of consciousness. It can have a meaning or no meaning other than its vibrations. Williams proposes learning from a qualified teacher, for which you can search in your area, or check out Chopra Centre’s website for more information on Primordial Sound Meditation.
Remember: This is only a Meditation Guide; Go Experiment!
The above is a good list of gateways that can help you establish a daily practice. Keep it simple and have fun. You’ll know when you have found your style.
If the above list does not seem to offer a style that suits you, keep in mind that there are many more meditation styles available. Keep experimenting!
Ultimately, says Rachel:
“[Meditation] is the beginning of a journey into the inner depths of your heart and mind. It is through the exploration of these depths where we tap into our true desires and develop an understanding of who we are and what unique talents and gifts we can bring to the world.”
I’ll only add that meditation helps you be in your life more fully.
Food for your Soul is a regular column featuring short posts for moments of reflection – to look at life from a different perspective (should you choose to!). Invest a few minutes and allow your thoughts to ponder. Awareness creates choice.