Any of you meditate? I do and have for 10 years. It was a long process for me to get myself grounded in the benefits of meditation and if it would have any real, noticeable effects on me. I am happy to say that, it did. I look back now and think, how was I not doing this my entire life and why isn’t this something that is a thing for everyone from child hood. The why for me was simple, I wanted to quiet the constant internal chatter in my head. You ever stop and pay attention to what your mind is telling you all day long? I mean, if you stop and pretend you are an outsider observing you, you would be amazed by how much your mind talks to you..Asking you questions, judging other people, and let us not forget all the self-doubt chatter. Ex; you’re bloated, you gonna eat that?, thought you were dieting, your hair gurl, you cannot really do that ? Who are you kidding? And so on and so on.. Well, I didn’t want to hear that voice all day or ever actually ! What I did want to do was gain access to who I really was, the authentic me, the me I was created to be. So, when I heard that in meditation I could practice quieting my mind and how to get connected to the source of who I was spiritually, I was all in. I have my definition of what Meditation is, but I found this definition and it’s pretty on point.
“Meditation is a process of calming the mind and an affirmation of the individual relationship to the universal. ” Deepak Chopra
How to Meditate
Initially, my intention was just to quiet my mind liked I said. But, I tend to talk a lot and so I also think a lot! How and the hell was I going to get MY mind to stop for at least 10 mins a day? I started toying with the idea that I could really do this when I started attending a spiritual center ( kinda like church ) in LA. Fifteen minutes before every service they held a guided meditation. So, every Sunday and some Wednesday evenings, I made sure I was in my seat 15 mins before service time and “allow’ myself to be guided into meditation. The meditation facilitator always let us know in the first 5 mins that it was “ok” if our mind wandered. All we need to do was acknowledge our random thoughts and let them pass by. Imaging them kinda floating by in your head. I did this for weeks until one day, I decided to try it at home, on the floor in my bedroom without guidance. That was 1o years ago! I now meditate sometime for up the 45 mins not even noticing the time. It really feels like 1o mins, I swear ! Once I realized I could do this on my own it was ON ! I use to set a timer on my phone for 11 mins and found some meditation type music and I began my meditation practice. Now, there are all kinds of meditation apps Headspace, Calm and my favorite Insight timer. Here are the basics for the beginner:
- Sit or lie comfortably ( I have to sit or else I’ll fall asleep ) You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or cushion, especially if you have lower back problems. The floor even carpeted can be brutally on your butt and back.
- Close your eyes and try to focus on the area between your eyes.
- Make no effort to control your breath; simply breathe naturally.
- Focus your attention on your breath.
- Your stomach should be full on the inhalation and pulled in on the exhalation.
Once you are comfortable with your breath you can introduce a mantra to help you stay focused and keep that mind from wandering. Om or A-um is the most basic and powerful mantra you can chant. This universal mantra will create powerful, positive vibrations in your lower abdomen. It is often combined with the mantra “Shanti,” which means peace in Sanskrit. You can repeat A-um as many times as you wish for your chanting. I still use these during the times I’m finding it difficult to stop my mind from wanting to chat it up while I’m meditating.
Some people ask, why meditate? what’s the point? For me, meditation has changed how I live my life completely. During my meditation time I am able to quiet my mind, and when my mind is quiet, I can hear what the universe is trying to tell me, where it’s leading me. We are always in search of how, why and what our life is about, and what our purpose is, etc. Well it’s not hard to uncover the answers to all of these questions, because they live inside of us. But, first we need to get quiet. I don’t think the universe ( GOD ) is a screamer about to yell over our internal conversations to share something with us. Well, sometimes when attention is really, really require, we may get a rock thrown at our head. ( of course, I mean metaphorically )
I have had more actual guidance coming out of meditation then I ever had racking my brain or seeking advice from others. And, I like I said, the answers to all of our questions are already inside of us, we just need to be quiet, be still, listen, and trust. Oh, and let’s not forget all of the scientific research out there that says Meditation is GOOD for you and your state of mind. In case you don’t believe ME ..LOL ! When we are in tune with our TRUE nature, our authentic selves, that is when we can hear what our SOULS are trying to communicate to us. xoxo, Andrinique