Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Your Simple Guide to Meditation


If you haven't started meditating, then you really should. However, it is becoming increasingly hard to meditate in such a digital world. Our minds are programmed to be constantly thinking, going, doing-we never just take the time to sit, relax, and stare.

It is best to aim for at least 15 minutes of meditation daily. You might think: " I don't have that time to just sit there and do nothing at all."

There are 1440 minutes in a day. We waste countless minutes watching tv, surfing the web, pinning things we will never make, and checking our Facebook or Twitter newsfeeds.

Some health benefits of regular meditation are:
  • reduced stress
  • lower blood pressure
  • improved immunity
  • improves focus
  • better memory
  • lowered blood sugar
  • increases life satisfaction
  • improves mood
  • reduces loneliness
  • decreases pain
  • generates helpfulness
  • decreases depression
  • decreases anxiety
Proper meditaton pose should look something like this (but it can vary):

  • legs crossed in vajra pose
  • shoulders level & relaxed
  • eyes neither open or completely closed
  • elbows pointed out to let air circulate
  • sit back to avoid slouching
  • back is straight but not tense
  • mouth is in neutral position
  • head is tilted forward with chin slightly tucked inward
  • hands placed in lap or on the knees
How to meditate:

Everyone has their very own way or technique of meditating so to say "this is how you should be doing it" would be impractical. Also, there are a ton of different ways to do it! But here is my favorite method that always gets me relaxed and ready to start the day. It is called Light/Dark Visualization or  Black & White Meditation.
  1. While breathing in, imagine that all the positive energy of the universe enters your body with the breath. Visualise this positive energy as pure white light which enters all the parts of your body, it pervades every cell and atom. Enjoy this clear white light as you take a deep breath through your nose, filling your lungs completely.
  2. While breathing out, imagine that all your negative energies, mistakes, misunderstanding and emotions leave your body with the breath. Visualise this energy as black smoke, which goes out through your nose and into space, completely disappearing.
  3. If you feel comfortable, use every breath to inhale light and to exhale black smoke and problems.
  4. When distracted by other thoughts, simply observe them without getting involved; transform them into black smoke and breathe them out.

Some meditation tips to remember:

No matter how you choose to meditate, here are a few tips to always remember!
  1. Find a quiet place with zero distraction. Ask your partner to watch the kids, put your cell phone away, and turn the tv off.
  2. Find the perfect time. I love meditating at morning or sunrise; however, it really does not matter when you do it as long as you can relax.
  3. Sit in meditation pose or lay down. This is your preference! Neither way is right or wrong, as long as you are relaxed and able to focus.
  4. Let go. All of your tasks for the day, all of your problems, people who piss you off, money and bills, and everything in your life that is constantly going, going, going-just forget it!
  5. Visualize. Lastly, think happy.
If you still don't think that you can sit still long enough to truly enjoy the art of meditation, try some alternatives such as going for a walk (alone). breathing exercises with your eyes closed, or doing some yoga (in a quiet room). 

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are taking time for you to reflect.

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