Try these 6 Easy Meditations
Judi Wolder at Cedar Light Life Coaching in Orange County, suggests these 6 easy meditations:
- Follow the Breath
- Muscle Tension
- Progressive Relaxation
Follow the Breath
In your chosen place of meditation, begin breathing in and out, and notice your breath. Breathe in and out. Notice how you feel as you inhale and exhale. Use your exhalation as a chance to really let go of all muscle tension. As you breathe in, visualize your breath filling your lungs and improving circulation. Your exhaled breath can symbolize your release of all tension and negative thoughts. Visualize all bad influences, negativity and toxins being released. When you inhale breathe imagine you are breathing in positive energy, strength and white light. Everything good and all that heals. Each time you exhale let go, and feel yourself reaching a deeper state of relaxation. Notice how your body sensations feel – the chair against the back of your legs, the sounds around you, the air on your skin. Each time a thought passes into your mind, catch yourself and let it go. Just notice it but do not dwell on it. Begin this practice for 5 minutes a day and increase as it gets easier to clear your mind of interrupting thoughts.
Learning how to let go of distracting thoughts can be challenging. Concentration meditation helps you achieve a silent mind through the repetition of a single focal point or word. Your focus can be as simple as watching your breath, focussing on a single visual point, or repeating a word or mantra. The word can be your name or what you want to achieve from meditation or in life – like ‘peace’ or ‘abundance’ or ‘flow’. Trance like states occur from this repetition. You may also rock, sing a repetitive tune or count beads on a rosary, necklace or abacus. You may want to drum a rhythm on your lap or tap your fingers repetitively. Maintain focus on your object of attention to eliminate any wandering thoughts. Each time you notice your mind wandering. Let all random thoughts go and continue to pursue your point of interest.
Muscle Tense/ Relax
This meditation teaches you to differentiate between what tension and stress feels like compared with relaxation and release. Start at the top of your body – Your head. Tense every muscle in your face and hold on for a few seconds, and then release. Notice how you feel when relaxed. Notice the difference between the two states. Now do the same ny tensing all the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Hold on for a few seconds….. and release. Again notice the difference. Take note of your sensations how you you feel tingly after waking these muscles up and how you feel relaxing that part of your body. Now breathe and relax your head and neck completely. Breathe in and out a few times and then prgress to the next part of your body. Each time you tighten and release a body part, focus on relaxing the new set of muscles and add this set to the previous set so that you are relaxing a whole block of your body eg. Head neck, shoulders and back. Keep tensing new parts and add them onto the previous parts until you achieve total body relaxation when you reach the soles of your feet. Remember to breathe in and out at each juncture, focusing on the physical relaxation. Once you have achieved whole-body relaxation, remain in that state and continue following your breath and eliminating distractions. At this point you may add on other mediative techniques like having a focal point or using visual imagery in your mind’s eye.
Progressive relaxation is the same as the muscle tension/relaxation form of meditation but with out the tension. Simply visualize each part of your body from head to toe, or starting at the feet and moving upwards to the next body part, until you have visualized all your muscles and completely relaxed each part. I like to start at the feet because I feel the most benefit when I release my neck, jaw and facial muscles. Once I relax these muscles where I hold most of my tension, I am able to reach a deep sense of relaxation. Once your whole body is relaxed, remain this way focusing on your whole body in a deep state of relaxation. Imagine your muscles getting heavier and heavier and sinking closer and closer to the ground. Feel the gravitational pull and let go of any and all resistance. Continue breathing. Follow your breath or choose to continue with mindfulness visual imagery. You may after a time to begin feeling light as if you are floating. Do nit judge this sensation, simply go with it and surrender to it.
This form of meditation is to help you move away from the busy-ness of your day and the circling of thoughts and worry that occupy your mind. By a simple shift of focus, you will be able to escape over-thinking, and achieve a sense of calm. You may do this several times a day when you have a few moments. Even three minutes. When you are having racing thoughts of many thoughts, catch yourself and do not dwell on them, simply notice how they drift through your mind and do not judge them. Do not call them ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and choose not to make any decisions relating to them. Take a few moments to notice the present. Use all your senses – Sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. Perhaps notice 5 of each. Things you can see, tatse, touch, hear or smell. Take these sensations in, take note of them and let them pass without any judgement. Pretend you are simply a passer-by who notices but is not attached to these experiences. This type of mediation can be done while standing, sitting or walking and does not require you to close your eyes or set yourself apart from the outside happenings in the world.
There are many CD’s available and youtube videos that can help you with visualization while meditating. You may create your own. It’s setting a scene and telling yourself a story. You may picture your favorite place to be or your best vacation. You can picture yourself in any pleasant surroundings and imagine the setting. You can create your sensations by imagining how each of the 5 senses feels in this setting. Incorporating what you see and what you feel. I sometimes move into visualization after progressive muscle relaxation when I am feeling relaxed and peaceful and getting to that point of floatiness. I imagine myself lying on a beach in the warmth of the sun and feeling the breeze, hearing the waves and feeling like the universe is at peace. Sometimes my vision progresses to me floating upward onto a cloud and experiencing this beautiful day from that high point – seeing the blue ocean beneath me and the seagulls flying below my cloud. Some images can be of beautiful gardens or forests or rolling hills with tall grasses and flowers, or a magical cave full of gem stones. This is your unique opportunity to create your own story – your own space – your own happy place. A place that you can go to at any time of the day.