Let me begin by stating a few MAJOR points:
- There are a lot of ways to meditate.
- In my opinion there is no “wrong” way to meditate; but consistency is key.
- You get brownie points for just trying. And by brownie points, I mean, you reap the AMAZING, scientifically supported, benefits of meditation by consistently meditating for a minimum of 3 minutes a day.
Now that’s covered, let’s pick up where we left off in the last post. We discovered that meditation and mindfulness are two different practices. Mindfulness is the come back practice. And, meditation is the surrendering practice.
I know most of you are wondering how are you suppose to “let go.” Sure, surrendering into mediation sounds great in theory but how the hell am I suppose to do it. First, let’s navigate the setting.
Suggestions in prepping for mediation:
- Find a space that suits you, with minimal distractions.
- Grab a blanket, play soft music, dim the lights; basically set up your space so that it invites you to meditate.
- You can either lay down on your back or sit tall in a comfortable position.
- Close your eyes; aka-get rid of visual stimulus and minimize the distractions.
Then we begin with a little effort. Start with a mindful practice. I like to think of mindfulness as the runway that allows you to gracefully fly into your mediation.
There are a variety of different mindfulness practices that you could use. But for the sake of argument, let’s use the five senses. Bring your awareness to what you are hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling in the present moment. Mindfully tapping into the senses will allow you to help remove distractions from your periphery.
Once you have found presence you can fall deeper into your meditation. And again there are a variety of ways that you can do this, but for the sake of this post we will use a mantra.
I’m sure the word mantra, may come across as woo-woo to some of you. So let’s break it down. Mantra is a Sanskrit word; “ma” meaning mind and “tra” meaning vehicle. Simply speaking, mantra is the mind’s vehicle to meditation.
Let’s revisit the runway analogy. If mindfulness is the runway, then the mantra is the plane that allows you to fly high into your meditative state. You can repeat the mantra either out loud or in your mind. The repetitive nature of the mantra brings you into a meditative state.
Soham is one of many Sanskrit mantras that you could use. Pronounced so-hum, and translates to “I am.” If Sanskrit isn’t your thing, no problem, you can totally repeat the mantra in English. It works the same, it is about the repetition of the mantra not the language.
After you’ve done your mindfulness practice and scanned all five senses, start to repeat the mantra. Use the mantra as a forgetting device. As you repeat the mantra it will fade away. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to fade. When the mantra fades, you will notice the sensation of surrender in the mind and in the body. Congratulations! You are now soaring into your mediative state. At this point you have enter a higher state of consciousness in which the brain gets to take a break from processing information. In this space you may feel like you’re sleeping, but you know you’re not asleep because of a deep sense of presence and awareness.
Give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen? Literally falling asleep is the worst thing that could happen. Which honestly isn’t the worst thing, because your body is giving you the information that you need more sleep! Set your timer and give mediation a fair shot. Cultivate a short mediation practice each day, stay curious, and see what happens. I have a feeling it will change your life!
If you want more help with mediation and/or mindfulness practices, schedule a 1-on-1 coaching session with me.