Meditation is fast becoming “the everyday persons guide” to managing life – but is it easy to meditate?
First up, yes meditation is easy to do.
However, starting out, you do need to know that there are different types of meditation techniques from open-eyed meditation (practiced by the Dalai Lama/Tibetan Buddhism and the Raja Yogis) to closed eyed meditation (practiced by Zen Buddhism), to meditating with a Mantra (a special word, sound – usually a vedic slogan given to aid in concentration – often used in TM aka transcendental meditation or other Indian practices), plus a whole lot of varied meditation and relaxation practices from mindfulness meditation practice to physical yoga (known as Hatha Yoga in India – of which there are also many different types). Physical Yoga is often mistaken as meditation because it is physical exercise that is meditative in its action PLUS usually, it’s common practice to allow a few moments of actual sit down meditation at the end of their yoga workout.
All are very effective according to the technique and the way you want to use them.
For instance open-eyed meditation is very useful for people who are seriously on the go and just need to slow down for a while – especially at different intervals throughout the day (and move the thoughts into a mindful reflective state whilst on the go). Then there is close eyed meditation which is often used to calm down the body. With either meditation you may get in touch with your feelings or you may wish to direct your feelings towards a set of thoughts (such as a mindfulness meditation). Finally Physical Yoga does an amazing job of calming the body and putting it into healthy state through ancient postures that replenish our bodily reserves.
What to Prepare:
- Look for a little area in your home where you can sit undisturbed and safely light a small candle if you want to. Sometimes people want to burn incense or essential oils because it is relaxing and enhancing to have a nice smell but this is not compulsory.
- Choose a comfortable chair to sit in or find a way where you can be comfortable sitting on the floor – if this is what you prefer.
- Sometimes people will set the alarm on their phone – as in choosing a nice meditation song to come back to (there are plenty on Google Play or iTunes). Its important to set an alarm if you have somewhere to be after your meditation.
Then you could do any of the following:
- Begin by focusing on breath. Breath in and out slowly and purposefully at an even pace.As you breathe in an out breathe in freshness and replenishment and breathe out stress and tension and just let it go.
- Just let yourself focus on breathing in and out and letting go of the whole day and just letting the day – without judgement, without further thought, the day was the day and its already passed now so you can let it be as it is… There is nothing to pursue further to do about the day – it is what it is… If there are further things to to think about or pursue in relation to this day – you will… But resolve to think about it later…
- If you want to try open eye meditation (which is my practice) you can choose an object to focus on – such as a candle – and position it so that your eyes are tilted slightly downwards (not too much otherwise you’ll go to sleep and if your eyes are looking up too high you will begin thinking too much). Technically speaking, allow your eyes to tilt slightly downwards until you find the comfortable groove where your eyes just seem to slip into a comfortable space and suddenly feel very easy and natural. Now your eyes are in the right place to begin your meditation.
- If you have access to a guided meditation commentary you could play it and listen to it at this point.
- If you have a mantra someone has given you, you can quietly chant that to yourself at this point.
- Then once you have reached whatever maximum time you have set 5, 10 or 15 minutes allow yourself to come back from your peaceful state and give yourself a few moments to absorb that peace within you before you get up and leap off into your next “big thing to do.”