Implementing a daily meditation routine is the perfect way to quiet your mind, and open the door for a deeper relationship with yourself and the universe. Meditation can feel intimidating if you have no experience with it, but don’t worry! The truth is there are many meditation methods, and you can choose one that feels right for you.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is the act of quieting the mind. Meditation has so many uses, as it relieves anxiety, induces calm, and leads people to a deeper relationship with their inner selves.
The word meditation may bring an image of a cross-legged Buddhist monk to your mind, but there are many ways to meditate! Some meditation techniques involve a lot of movement, some involve musical instruments, some involve chanting, and I could go on and on.
There is no one “right” way to meditate, and you may want to incorporate a few different forms of meditation into your life.
Benefits of Meditation
Throughout history, all over the world, humans have reported numerous benefits from meditating. Meditation decreases anxiety, increases focus, and gets you more deeply in touch with your subconscious.
Meditation is often used as part of a larger spiritual practice, connecting you more deeply with universal, or Source, energy.
My personal experience with daily meditation has been life-changing. I’ve never felt as calm, content, and balanced as I have since I incorporated meditation practice into my life.
This website is a product of my passion for meditation, and all of the positivity it has brought into my world.
If you are completely unfamiliar with meditation, then guided meditation is a great place to start.
In a guided meditation you simply need to get into a comfortable position (usually seated or laying down), and play a guided meditation recording.
This a great way to begin learning to meditate. Quieting the mind can be tricky if you aren’t used to it, and a guided meditation will walk you through the process.
Additionally, guided meditations are an excellent option if you are trying to meditate with a specific purpose, like chakra clearing, or releasing dense energy. Guided meditations are a great way to learn new meditation techniques.
You can find a myriad of guided meditations of all types on Youtube. Spotify also features a number of guided meditation tracks.
My absolute favorite guided meditations are from Rising Higher Meditations, which can be found on Youtube, Spotify, or Itunes.
Simple Mindfulness Meditation
The quickest, most basic form of meditation (and the foundation of all meditation practice) is simply directing your attention to the act of breathing.
I recommend setting an alarm when you start this practice. Eventually, you will just be able to feel when you are ready to end your meditation, but at first a set amount of time works best.
Start with just 5 minutes, then extend to 7, then to 10, 15, and eventually you’ll want to set aside at least 20 minutes for this meditation practice.
When you first start meditating, it is easiest to practice in a comfortable position, either sitting or laying down. So take a few moments to find a really comfortable position.
- Now close your eyes and take a long, deep breath in, allowing your chest and belly to fully expand. Then gently, slowly exhale that breath fully. Repeat this 3-4 times.
- Continuing to keep your eyes closed bring your attention to your body. Pay attention to the sensations in every part of your body, and try to relax any tension you feel.
- For the rest of your meditation focus on your breathing. Feel yourself breathing in, and then breathing out. If your mind begins to wander, gently bring your attention back to your breathing.
- At first, your mind may wander a lot, that’s okay! Just bring your attention back to your breath each time you find your mind wandering. The more you practice this meditation, the less your mind will wander.
Pro tip: It is VERY helpful to play binaural beats, or a calming meditation track through headphones when you first start this practice. This will help shift your brain into a calm, meditative state with less resistance. These tracks are widely available on music streaming services, and on Youtube.
Once you have some experience with meditation, and you want to dive deeper into meditation variations, try a mantra meditation.
In mantra meditation, you repeat a word or phrase verbally over and over again. Repeating a mantra helps you slip into a deep meditative state, and also helps to print the mantra firmly in your subconscious.
The most common/well-known mantra is “Om”. This mantra has been used throughout history in meditation practice. When it is spoken, the sound of “Om” creates a calming vibration in the body.
If “Om” doesn’t feel right for you, consider personal mantras that feel good. A meditation mantra should be very short and easy to repeat. Some examples of possible mantras include: “I am”, “I am love”, or “Share love”.
Feel free to create any mantra that feels right for you! There are no rules for meditation, other than remaining fully present in the now.
To practice a mantra meditation, follow the Simple Mindfulness Meditation guidelines, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on the feeling of the mantra being repeated.
Where do you feel the vibrations of your voice? How does your body respond to the vibration of the mantra?
Loving Kindness Meditation
This is a favorite of mine, and I think for many people this will feel really good. The purpose of this meditation is to deeply feel love and gratitude for yourself and others.
- Once you have found a comfortable, seated position, take some deep breaths until your mind and body feel relaxed.
- Now imagine someone that you love very much. Picture them sitting across from you, smiling. Feel how grateful you are to know them, and feel the immense love you have for them. Sit with that feeling as long as feels comfortable.
- Now, allow all of that love and gratitude to form into a light around your navel. Feel the warmth of the light, and the movement of the energy within it. Imagine that light forming a beam of light between you and your loved one sitting across from you. Picture the light radiating out from the beam to surround them.
- Now, feel their love for you radiating back across the beam of light between you. Sit with this as long as you’d like. Allow any emotions that arise to be expressed- tears, smiles, laughter, whatever comes up- allow it.
- If you’d like, you can continue to add people you love to the meditation.
Pro tip: You can turn this into a powerful self love meditation by picturing yourself as the loved one you are focused on. This is an excellent practice in building your relationship with yourself.
Meditation on a Question or Difficulty
Meditation is a powerful way to connect with your inner self or higher self, the part of you that is not conditioned by the physical world. When you have a “gut” feeling you are connecting with your higher self, the part of you that is guided by love.
When you face a difficult decision, or an obstacle in your life, meditating on that difficulty can help reveal the best path forward. I regularly use meditation as a way to work through difficult emotions and events in my life, and I’ve found this to be one of the greatest benefits of a daily meditation practice.
- To meditate on a decision, question, or difficult emotion, begin with the guidelines for a simple mindfulness meditation.
- After a few minutes of bringing your attention to your breath, imagine the decision you are facing, or the question you want answered, or the difficult emotion you’ve been wrestling with.
- Don’t allow your mind to wander into an analysis of the decision, question, or emotion. Simply imagine the difficulty, and continue to focus on your breathing. It may take some time for an answer to reveal itself, be patient here.
- At some point you will find that an answer, solution, or peace has found its way into your attention. I realize that this sounds vague, but the solution may appear as a feeling, a vision, words spoken in your mind, or some other manifestation. Allow it to come to you in any form, and do not have expectations about how you will receive a solution.
This is a more advanced meditation technique, and I recommend getting very comfortable with the simple mindfulness meditation before you attempt to meditate on an obstacle, question, or difficulty in your life.
Movement Meditation- Yoga, Tai Chi, etc
Meditation through synchronized movement and breath is an ancient form of meditation. Since your entire body is engaged in a movement meditation, you may find it an easier way to quiet your mind.
To get started with movement meditation try a few methods out by watching free guided classes on Youtube.
There are many different styles of yoga, and you should definitely start with a beginner’s introduction class.
Yoga for meditation will focus heavily on breathing- how to breathe and when to breathe in conjunction with the movement. If the class you’re watching doesn’t discuss breathing much you should move on to one that does.
As yoga has become more and more mainstream, some classes have moved away from the meditative roots of the practice, so keep that in mind when choosing a yoga class.
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese practice that combines breathing and movement to bring you into a meditative state. Tai Chi is a very gentle meditative movement system made up of slow, controlled movements.
Thai Chi allows proper energy flow throughout the body, and promotes inner balance.
You can find introductory tai chi classes on Youtube.
Don’t underestimate the power of going for a walk! Walking can be a very meditative activity.
In order to enter a meditative state while walking, commit to being fully present on your walk. Notice the things you see as you pass them- trees, bushes, houses, people, etc. Pay attention to smells and sounds. Notice the way your body feels as you walk.
If your mind wanders to the past or future, gently bring it back to the present moment.
Meditation through Creativity- Art, Music, Writing, etc.
If you’re an artist of any kind you have likely experienced a state of flow when creating your art. Flow is when the creativity seems to effortlessly move through you. Flow is a meditative state, and it is one of the most easily accessible meditative states for beginners.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative person, you can experience flow.
One easy example of flow is coloring in a coloring book. In recent years adult coloring books have become very popular, because they are relaxing. That relaxing state that comes from coloring (which is creating) is a flow state.
Another way to experience flow is with flow movement toys. Hooping, poi spinning, and juggling are all flow toys that will help you to slip into a meditative state.
Dancing is another great way to easily enter a flow state, and it’s probably the easiest to access since all you need is music. Put on some music you really love, and dance in any way that feels good to you. After a few minutes you will ease into a flow state.
Daily Meditation Practice
Meditation is most effective when practiced regularly. In order to implement a daily meditation practice you should first choose a general time of day that feels good for you to meditate.
I meditate in the morning, just after I’ve had my morning coffee. This works for me because I am fully awake with a clear mind. For me, evening meditation is more difficult because there’s an entire day’s worth of experiences that are fighting for my attention, which makes it much harder to quiet my mind.
However, this may not be the case for you. Many people prefer evening meditation as a way to clear their mind before they sleep. If you have the time, you could certainly meditate both morning and evening.
When you first begin your daily meditation practice you should see what feels right for you. Remember, that there are no rules here, whatever feels best for you IS what’s best for you. Learn to trust yourself.
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