Meditation is power. When exercised properly and regularly it can bring calm, peace and clarity to your life. Meditation can feel like a rapid build up and a slow release of your inner most emotional congestion. It is an inner shower. A cleansing ritual that rids the soul of dirt and clutter that weighs heavy on your soul. Meditation takes you places, it lets you travel back in time to corners of your memory you thought you hid forever or on the contrary it can transport you to the future where you can visualize yourself in your highest state of peace, calm and tranquility. Meditation is the vehicle, you get to drive. Lots of research has been done on meditation, some psychologists sought answers to questions like: Why is meditation good for you? Does it really work? How does it work? What are the benefits?
I cannot say with certainty that the answers found in studies or labs are entirely true or valid, but there is one thing I can guarantee. Meditation feels amazing. It works differently for each one of us but when done correctly I promise it will work. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts if you’re starting out on your mediation journey.
When practicing meditation do:
1. Do have an open mind. You may not have an epiphany or get the next bright idea while meditating but rest assured knowing that taking the time to rest your mind and body is beneficial for your focus, patience and attention span.
2. Do start out with smaller increments of time to ease yourself into ongoing meditation practice. Once mastered, increase the time frame every few days. I suggest starting out with 5 minutes.
3. Do experiment with different types of meditation. Every style of meditation offers a unique comfort. You can try silent meditation, guided meditation, visualization, mindfulness breathing or mantra repetition. Oh you don’t have a mantra? Check out my how to guide for creating your own personal mantra here Power of the Mantra
4. Do experiment meditation with others. There is something surreal in sharing your meditation space with someone you care about. It could be your lover, a friend or even a room full of strangers who share your passion for meditation.
5. Do use modern technology to aid you in your meditation journey. There is an array of apps and websites that can offer you various meditation styles. From meditation timers to guided meditation, there is certainly the right one for you. I recently discovered a free apple app called Insight Timer, however, I am always interested in trying something new. So if you have a site or app you love, please do share!
Here are some common pitfalls of meditating:
1. Don’t wait for ideal surroundings. Meditating can be as quick as 5 minutes and as long as….you want it to be. Its better to have a quick meditation session than a long one that never actually happens.
2. Don’t be intimidated by thoughts and feelings. It is very natural to feel a surge of emotions come to the surface when meditating, simply acknowledge them and move on, you’ll be amazed how good it feels to be in control of all that busy talk that goes on in your head.
3. Don’t give up. If meditating doesn’t work out the first time, let it go and try again another time.
4. Don’t compare your meditation experience with others. Meditation experiences vary from person to person, they may even vary for you from time to time. It’s best to let go, have no expectations and go with the flow. After all, going with the flow is the essence of meditation.
5. Don’t worry about how much time you’re spending meditating. The end goal is not to meditate for hours, but to find the calm and peace within yourself. So while others may enjoy 60 minutes of meditation, you may be content with 15. Its about the journey, not the destination.
For me meditation is an out-of-body experience. It is a chance to slow down, quiet my mind and focus on all the good and abundance around me. Meditation goes beyond skin deep, it dives into the very core of my soul and allows me to strip away layers of stress, worry and anxiety. If you found yourself interested in meditation, you’re on the right path. I urge you to give it a solid heart-felt try. And just in case you need a bit more convincing, here is an excerpt from one of my favorite motivational books The Willpower Instinct,“Neuroscientists have discovered that when you ask the brain to meditate, it gets better not just at meditating, but at a wide range of self-control skills, including attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, and self-awareness. People who meditate regularly aren’t just better at these things, overtime their brains become finely tunes willpower machines.” – Kelly McGonical author of The Willpower Instinct.
Love, peace, unity and of course…namaste
Alyana – Love Paper Pen
Photo credits: @camilloduque