Recently several people have asked me how I meditate.
While my meditation varies, as I have different meditations for different things, I meditate the same way I teach others.
Morning meditation is best for me, 20 minutes or more. Usually sitting up in bed, in a chair in a sunny spot or outside in the morning sun to top up my vitamin D!
My meditation varies as I have different meditations for different things. I do try new ones but this is what I come back to time and time again.
To start I relax my body from head to toe. I move my awareness around my body, starting at the head because it’s harder to relax the smaller muscles found in the face than the bigger muscles of the lower body.
I do this because I like the feeling of physical relaxation, the release of tension and the sensations that we often ignore or don’t notice at all.
I talk myself through this, I use words like relax, let go, soften. I name any aches and pains.
I vary this from time to time by starting at my shoulder or I do Yoga Nidra. I like to use visualization when I am relaxed. I will see and feel myself in a favourite scene from nature, usually the beach. It’s very good for creativity to use the five senses at this level.
From here I focus on my breath. Following my breath in and out of my nose, watching my thoughts come and go with detachment. If I get distracted by a thought I gently and kindly come back to my breath.
If my mind is very busy I will name the thoughts, past, future, old, new.
I often default to a Mantra. So Hum, works for me. I use it because I like the repetition and the vibration. This naturally dissipates as my mind settles and I rest in the awareness of my breath.
I set an intention or motivation for my day and I finish with a recitation of Loving kindness for myself and for others.
“May I be well
May I be free from all suffering
May I find deep peace
May I be happy.”
It doesn’t matter what you do, you can’t get it wrong!
Let me know what works for you.
Btw – I don’t meditate in a cross legged position as my legs tend to go to sleep so after the ecstasy of a lovely meditation is the agony of pins and needles!
Image – Jo Westaway Photography