When we sit and quiet our mind, we stop our thoughts and emotions. We become aware of our true selves. We realize we are more than our thoughts and emotions and begin to experience pure joy. Even one minute of a quiet mind opens us up to expansion and transformation.
Meditation helps us tune into our true essence and helps us be more present, enabling us to connect with ourself and others in more meaningful ways.
In meditation our body and mind release accumulated stress, tension, fear and confusion – and we regain our natural state of, balance, joy, and calm. Being in this more relaxed place enables us to open up to our own brilliance, our creativity and we make better decisions.
In meditation we stop the momentum of whatever is going on in our life. When we stop thoughts that are working against us our natural state of joy flows. It’s hard to go from a negative thought to a positive one. It is much easier to go from a worried or negative thought to no thought. This is what we do in meditation.
Health Benefits of Meditation
Scientific research has found when we meditate our breathing slows, blood pressure decreases, and stress hormone levels fall. If I told you there was a pill to do this would you take it? If I told you, you had to sit for 5-10 minutes quietly to ingest this pill would you? So here it is your magic pill.
Meditation not only boosts our mind but it also improves our body. Studies show it can reduce pain (1) and support our immune system.
A few more benefits:
- Stress and anxiety relief, decreased production of cortisol and adrenalin
- Decreased blood pressure and hypertension
- Lower cholesterol levels
- More efficient oxygen use by the body
- Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA
- Restful sleep
We have trillions of cells that have a direct relationship with our inner being, our source energy and if we can just get out of the way and by that I mean stop thinking and controlling they will communicate to work together and create health. This is what happens in meditation.
3 Easy Meditations
There are many ways to meditate. There is no single “correct” way to practice meditation.
The best way to meditate is the one that works for you.
Meditation can be as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your breath or a mantra – a word or phrase. Find a meditation practice that you like and stick with it for awhile.
1. Davidji Awareness Technique
If you are new to meditation this is a good one to start with. It gives you an experience of what it is like to quiet your mind.
This is a breath meditation.
- Think about something disturbing you or irritating you, nothing too deep.
- Close your eyes, take a long slow deep breath in through your nose and watch that breath as it goes down into your belly.
- When it gets there hold it and watch it and witness it.
- Now watch it as you release it. Watch it move up your chest through, your throat, out through your nostrils.
- When you get to the end of that breath hold it, and witness it, and observe it and watch it. Now breathe normally and gently open your eyes.
That was 16 seconds. During that time you were not in the past and not in the future. If you were truly watching your breath watching it move in, watching yourself hold it and watching it move out and observing it as you held it, you were not thinking about the discomfort, the irritation that you were thinking about before. You did that naturally by following your breath, which was the present moment. Scientists confirm we can’t be in 2 places at once in our mind.
Everything we put our attention on blossoms and grows and everything we take our attention off of withers away and dies. So what we did here is we took our attention off of that irritation and in those moments we were whole.
Start by doing this mediation four times, which is one minute. The next day do it eight times, two minutes. Gradually work up to 15 minutes.
2.“So Hum” Meditation
This is a breath-mantra meditation.
- Set a timer for 5-20 minutes.
- Let’ss begin. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Take a few gentle deep breaths. Feel your breath flow in and out.
- Take a slow deep breath through your nose while thinking the sound “SO”. Exhale slowly through your nose while thinking the sound “HUM”
- Allow your breathing to flow easily silently repeating SO HUM, SO HUM with each inflow and outflow of your breath.
- Whenever your attention drifts to thoughts in your mind, sounds in your environment or sensations in your body gently return to your breath, gently repeating SO HUM. You will move from your thoughts back to your breath, from sounds back to your breath and from physical sensations back to your breath. Your meditation will be this gentle drifting back and forth. Continue on SO HUM, SO HUM…
- When the time is up gently release the meditation. Sit quietly for a few breaths in the stillness and silence of the meditation and when you feel ready open your eyes.
Notes on the So Hum meditation:
Easily allow the mantra to go with the natural rhythm of the breath. You don’t need to make a strong focus to associate them. If you notice you have other thoughts while you are thinking the mantra, that’s fine. Let your attention easily favor the mantra over the thoughts.
You don’t need to search for the silent witness within, following the meditation practice will automatically bring you to that experience of the self. In time, that state of awareness becomes stronger, more persistent in and out of meditation, until eventually it is there permanently, whether you are awake, asleep or dreaming.
3. One Minute Breathing Meditation
This is a one-minute breathing meditation that calms you down and connects you to your heart. It is incredibly simple and amazingly effective. It’s known as Bhastrika Pranayama or Bellows Breath followed by 30 seconds of calm breathing.
The bottom line is when we are stressed the brain overworks. Thoughts become incessant and the circulation and oxygenation to the brain becomes compromised. Without adequate oxygen in the brain we become nervous, anxious, and feel unable to cope. The One Minute Meditation literally pumps oxygen into the brain, delivering quick and effective relief for your stress. By pumping oxygen into your brain you begin to feel from your heart rather than thinking from your mind. You fill your body with hormones that calm you down allowing you to reconnect to yourself. It also improves your digestion.
With this process you interrupt your thoughts and calm yourself down. More oxygen in your brain pumps enough energy into your nervous system allowing your mind to settle. You stop thinking, you connect to your true self and you engage your brilliance and creativity.
Free Resources for Guided Meditations
Sometimes it’s hard to meditate without a guide. Some people find guided meditations help them to find that calm peaceful place of a quiet mind. Here are a few places you can go to find a guided meditation that works for you.
- Meditate at the same time every day.
- It is good to meditate when you wake up in the morning. This is the best time to achieve optimal brainwave states. In the morning you have less momentum going with your thoughts. If you need to, set your alarm clock a little earlier. Morning is also a beneficial time because our busy schedules often get in the way and it’s easy to feel like we don’t have time to meditate.
- Meditate in the same place. Sit in a comfortable place with a backrest if necessary, try not to slouch. If you have to, lie down, that is fine too. Make sure you’re comfortable.
Many of my clients tell me it is hard for them to meditate. They find it’s hard for them to stop their thoughts. I understand completely that is why I created a tapping script to use before meditation. My clients and I use this tapping script to quiet our mind and release resistance to meditation. The way it works is, tapping on the various acupressure points before meditation moves our body into a more relaxed state. It only takes a few minutes.
You should know if you meditate for 10 minutes and get 1 minute of a quiet mind you are doing great.
Experiencing silence by that I mean no thought gives you access to your inner guidance. If you keep coming back to the mantra your mind will quiet down. With practice you will be able to experience the silence longer. You will feel a sense of joy and satisfaction, a feeling that all is well.
Find a practice that you like and do it every day but to make it easier aim for 5 days a week. Notice how you feel as you go about your days. The shift may be subtle at first but you will soon find that you have more patience, feel grounded and better able to respond to stressful situations, and are more in touch with your intuition or “gut feelings,” Stay with it and soon will be enjoying the many benefits of meditation.
Like building any muscle in your body meditation is a practice that transforms your body mind and spirit over time.