A growing number of physicians and medical centers are suggesting meditation as a holistic practice to relax the body and relieve stress. It's exciting to see this form of mind, body and spirit connection given the credence and attention it deserves. The act of meditation is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give to yourself, yet for many the concept is daunting. There are some people who enter into meditative practices, which evolve into an entire lifestyle, but for those who have never tried to meditate, the idea of sitting in an uncomfortable position in complete silence is enough to discourage even the slightest attempt.
This does not have to be the case, as there is a meditation practice suitable for each type of person, regardless of their limitations or challenges.
Interested? Here are a few suggestions to get you started on a meditation practice of your own.
First, begin by disregarding any preconceived notions you have about meditation and how it is supposed to work. The key is to create a practice that feels right for you. One of the easiest ways to do this, is to adopt a simple 10-minute meditation practice which I like to call:
10-Minute Bliss Breaks
Step One: Create a Routine
Establish a set time for your meditation. Perhaps you'll wake up early in the morning before the rest of your household to have those quiet 10 minutes each day, for others it might be during the lunch hour outside in a park. Many people prefer to meditate in the evening to relax after a busy day and to open their mind to a deeper dream state.
Step Two: Don't Forget to Breathe
Crucial in any meditation practice is the breath. Regardless of whether you wish to spend 10 minutes or 10 hours in meditation, slow, deep, methodical breathing will relax the body and bring in oxygen to both the lungs and blood stream. It will also help to retain focus and awareness.
Step Three: Relax and Give It Some Time
When beginning a new meditation practice, you may find that it proves to be too difficult to simply relax and think of nothing. Do not feel concerned, you will find that your practice will evolve over time. In the beginning, even deep breathing is good for the body and will relax you. If you're finding it hard to sit in silence and concentrate on nothing, you may prefer to explore guided meditations.
Exploring Guided Meditations
For many people, guided meditations are a wonderful way to meditate. Simply choose the meditation that appeals to you and enter into the journey. Guided meditations allow your mind to focus on particular images, and mentally travel to exotic locations, allowing for creative visualization.
There are hundreds of guided meditations available, including ones that focus on specific problems as well as others that simply chant a peaceful message with music. Some days though, you're so busy that you don't have enough time for a 30-minute guided meditation, but you still would like to meditate for a few minutes to center yourself and relax. This can be achieved by creating a sacred space using visualization meditation. The only tool needed is your imagination! Follow these simple steps:
Creative Visualizations and Sacred Space
Athletes are taught to visualize an outcome that makes them happy. They close their eyes and see themselves winning the race and imagine the feeling they will have during the event. This same technique can be used for your meditation. A very empowering way to stimulate the energy is to design a mental sacred space using your imagination. This space becomes your private retreat and sanctuary, where you can return to and visualize often in your mind while meditating.
As you begin to meditate, picture a peaceful scene that you find relaxing. Perhaps it's the beach or a mountaintop or a lush garden. Build the scene in your mind, adding beautiful details so that it's a warm and welcoming space for you to visit in your mind during your meditation.
If you find a garden to be calming, create a bench where you will sit in the garden. See a grove of trees surrounded by flowers blooming in multitudes of color. Listen for the sound of birds chirping, and notice the soft breeze blowing through the trees. Tilt your head back and feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Breathe in slow and deep and exhale fully, releasing the air from deep within you. In this imaginary garden of your making, slip your shoes off and sink your feet deep into the soft grass, flexing your toes.
As you breathe in again deeply, take notice of the flowers as their fragrance fills the air. Relax and spend some time in your garden, enjoying the sights, scents and sounds of nature.
Now if you wish, while in your garden you can let go of whatever is troubling you. You may choose to invite someone to sit with you on the bench, who will listen as you share your thoughts and concerns. You might create a lake around the garden or a waterfall, and as you swim, you release all of your cares into the water and watch as they float away. Perhaps a pet from your childhood joins you in the garden and you spend time playing with them and forgetting your concerns of the day.
Continue building this garden in great detail each day during your meditation until you see it fully in your mind and know it well. Then claim this scene as your sacred space. Know that you can return there anytime, all you need to do is to sit quietly, breathe deeply and imagine this scene in your mind.
Practiced daily meditation can make a significant impact on your day and create a sense of relaxation and well-being.
As host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show and author of the award-winning 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled, Ghosthunting North Carolina, and The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body, Kala Ambrose's wisdom teachings are described as discerning, empowering, and inspiring. A highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire, Kala presents workshops nationally on the Mind/Body/Spirit connection at the Omega Institute, the Learning Annex, LilyDale Assembly, and around the U.S. Learn more about Kala at http://www.ExploreYourSpirit.com and read her blog on Red Room.