Have you heard the tale about the Gods? And how they decided to place the secrets of the universe inside the hearts of mankind because they knew that man would never look there.
Buddhism and Hinduism use meditation and chanting as a means to still the chattering mind in order to listen from within to what the universe has to say. In Kabbalah, the goal is to plug into the Light, which can be defined as universal energy, which exists in everything including you. According to Christianity, the Holy Spirit dwells inside you, guiding you towards truth, including love, joy, peace, and all that is good. Yoga is a practice that allows you to go within and leads to Samadhi, or enlightenment. Hello people?!? Did you get the message yet? Every philosophy/religion/faith/practice/belief system guiding mankind towards becoming the best possible version of one’s self is saying the same thing. There is a powerful “something” inside of you that needs to be tapped into. When discovered, it presents as a form of strengthened intuition or increased awareness, allowing you to attract all the goodness you deserve and more! So how do you get inside your heart? Well, it’s not that easy- Meditation.
Most people think of a bald monk in orange robes sitting in nature when they imagine meditating. Meditating is not that formal. Anyone can do it any time, any place, anywhere. Despite what you may think, there are no rules when meditating. Yes, there are guidelines and different types of meditations but if you’re just getting started, don’t worry about getting so technical! Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be worth it? Of course! And even when you think you did a terrible job, your mind, body and spirit will still reap the benefits.
From a health and benefits perspective, meditation: (just to name a few)
- Regulates your hormone levels, increasing the good ones and lowering the cancer linked ones like cortisol
- Decreases anxiety and stress levels, making you feel relaxed immediately
- New studies show mindfulness practice (aka meditation) can significantly decrease blood pressure and migraines.
- Increases that number of brain waves that result in “AHA moments,” so you'll have more good ideas!
- Strengthens your intuition, which makes life decisions really easy to make. You may even find yourself having to make fewer decisions, because the answers will be THAT obvious.
Nothing negative can come from meditating. You will see your life more clearly and you may even find yourself inspired in new ways you would have never imagined. You may become more positive, less depressed, and every type of awesomeness this world can offer you will come your way. Why not challenge yourself to sit 10 days for 10 minutes and see what happens. Here are some guidelines if you’re trying it for the first time. Also, don't be afraid to go with any ideas that pop up while you're sitting still because they may in fact help your meditation.
- Sit in a comfortable seated position with your spine straight. Either on the floor or upright in a chair with your feet planted on the floor. You can place a pillow beneath your bottom for more comfort.
- Tuck your chin slightly so that the back of your neck is in line with the rest of your spine.
- Place your hands in your lap with your pointer finger and thumb lightly touching on each hand. Palms up for inspiration and palms down for grounding.
- Keep your mouth closed with your tongue resting on the roof of your mouth behind your teeth.
- Close your eyes and have the intention to be in a listening mode. Release expectations.
- Breathe through your nose and into your abdomen.
- Focus on your third eye (the space between your eyebrows) and become an observer of your thoughts. Expand the stillness between your thoughts. Don’t try to control your thoughts. If you have thoughts it’s ok, acknowledge them and let them pass.
- Or, focus on your heart, and as a way to concentrate, list all the things you are grateful for in your life.
- Or, you can choose to focus on your breath. Notice the temperature of the air around your nostrils, how your abdomen expands and deflates. Don’t try to control your breath, just be an observer.
- Oh yea, and don’t forget to keep a small smile on your face just like all the Buddhas
I can’t promise anything will happen. Maybe you’ll have some life epiphanies, or maybe the chattering monkey in your head just won’t shut up. Either way, at least you took some time for yourself, which resulted in feeling a bit more relaxed. Even if you feel discouraged don’t give up. Meditation is called a practice because it takes a lifetime and beyond to master. It will probably be one of the hardest things you ever do in your life but I promise it will be worth it!