“…those who seek the self through meditation, self discipline, faith in God, travel after death by the northern path…”
The Prashna Upanishad
Regardless of your faith, the practice of meditation can be a valuable part of your spiritual practice or physical care. You deserve to take this time for yourself – you’re worth it. Meditation allows you to stop, clear the chatter in your mind, slow your pace and silence the noise that surrounds you. The act of putting aside thought, and taking time to listen is all you need to hear God, or the voice inside your heart…it even helps to truly understand what you are hearing on a daily basis. If you have meditated before but don’t do it regularly, maybe it is time to plan it in to your day. If you have never meditated, I offer these next steps to help you start. It’s as easy as breathing…
Find a special, quiet spot, in your home, or outside; someplace free from the traffic of everyone else. If you feel the need for quiet at work, find an empty conference room and sit with your back to the door.
Create a comfortable place to sit. I prefer a chair, but if you like, you can sit on the floor. Either way, find that special blanket or a comfortable cloth that you can sit on, or wrap around you. It doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as it makes you feel good. Once you choose it, notice it’s texture and its scent…remember why it is special to you and cherish that moment.
Sit up straight: comfortably. You should feel relaxed from your forehead, through your shoulders and lower back, right down through your legs – let your chin, your shoulders and your hands go as if they are falling away from the body. You are light and free…weightless.
If sitting in a chair, plant your feet flat on the ground. Remove your shoes and feel the earth beneath you. If sitting on the floor, align your lower back and tailbone to feel as if they are pointing straight down – keep your back loose and relaxed. I do this to ground myself with the earth and connect to its energy as well as release energy I no longer find useful, back into the earth; like I’m recycling it…this may be a little too much for your right now, so simply focus on the connection your body makes with the earth.
Close your eyes and place your hands gently on your lap, breathing in…gently and deeply. Hold your breath for a second or two, then slowly release it back out into the air. As you breathe in, feel your chest and belly expand…let them. You are taking in fresh air, fresh energy, filling your body with life and light…allow it to fill you up.
As you exhale, understand that the breath that filled you with life, is now being released back into the world to be cleansed by nature. The strain in your body from stress, should be let go too, as your body gently releases the air from your core.
As you continue to breathe in, notice the thoughts that may be filling your mind. If they are not about celebrating the air entering and leaving your body, let them go. They are not necessary; you can deal with them later. This is your time for quiet…breathe in…expand your core, breathe out, release air gently, as you cleanse your self.
If you struggle to keep your mind quiet, sometimes it helps to repeat a prayer or what some call a “mantra“. Over the coming weeks, I will add some thoughts through this space, that you can use. In the meantime, this may help you as you start this journey into meditation…
As you breathe in say these words to yourself, “I breathe in and fill my core with life and light”
As you breathe out say these words to yourself, “I breathe out what is no longer necessary to fuel my life and light”
All it takes is 15 to 20 minutes to clear your mind and create space.
Meditation does not require you to follow any particular religion or dogma. It does not need to become a burden on your time. Meditation does not require fancy equipment or special memberships. It is available to you any time you choose to be available for meditation. Meditation requires that you be willing to find the space of quiet and that you step away from the noise and chatter of the day briefly, so that you may come to know your self, and respect your self, and heal your self. If you have any thoughts or questions, please let me know through email or through the comment section.
“…when the mind becomes still and quiet, the self reveals itself. At these depths, one experiences the joy and peace of complete fulfillment”
The Prashna Upanishad