MEDITATION: A MINDFULNESS PRACTICE.
And the crowd goes silent!
Wait! Don’t go! Stay with me., Look at the peaceful photo with the powerful words.
Please don’t poo poo meditation yet! Just take 5 minutes to learn how just maybe this might be the answer you’re needing to help reduce your stress now. Or at humor me and just stare at that photo, it’s pretty darn beautiful. Ahhhhh that counts as your mindful moment. P.S. If the word meditation doesn’t really jive with you, I so understand, so call it “taking a moment.” Okay back to why meditation:
It’s holistic, so no meds required, it’s free, it’s portable, and it’s available 24 hours a day! Think about those nights, it’s 2 am and you can’t sleep, so naturally your mind has started overflowing with thoughts about what happened yesterday and what’s going to happen tomorrow, you just want it all to stop! I have your solution:
Meditating: Changing the way you spend your time with yourself even for just a moment like looking at that photo. It is sincerely a natural and effective means to erase deeply rooted stress, anxiety and even fatigue. Meditation reduces anxiety by slowing the heat rate, sitting quietly focusing on your breath physically and emotionally heals you.
So, with science backed benefits, such as reduced stress , anxiety, and pain and wait for it a higher IQ! Why not try it! And Yes before you leave, we acknowledge the below will definitely happen:)
But think of this:
If you know how to free your mind of “conditioned ideas”of your possibilities you can honestly and holistically change your experience in life!
You will immediately see the benefits: in how you speak to yourself when you make a mistake, how you greet a stranger, or possibly the biggest benefit; you will see a change in you and how you react when you’re facing some kind of adversity. Also side bonus you gain a larger attention span- that’s a huge win today!
Fact: Attention is a muscle that can be made stronger through mindfulness. ✅
Let’s get thoughtful just for a moment -Here is a question asked to a Master Meditator:
What have you gained from Meditation ? “Nothing.”
“But let me tell you what I have lost:
Fear, Anxiety , Anger, and Depression.”
Come on! That’s just good stuff! We could lose a little of those emotions.
So, why not start with our young people? There has never been a better time.
Here is my yoga class where we take mini moments of silence:
Look at this picture- a moment of stillness, young people being still, meditating; no phones, learning how to quiet their mind. It might be the best gift they give to themselves …ever!
It looks like they’re not doing anything but they are literally CHANGING THEIR BRAIN through this holistic, free and portable practice.
Brain scans (the science) show that mindfulness/ meditation increased gray matter in brain areas associated with learning, memory and compassion and decrease in the part of the brain linked to anxiety and stress. Woohoo!
With those facts, I’ll keep going, I hope you’re still with me.
You may ask: So, what exactly is Meditation?
It is quite simply quieting the mind. Being mind/full. That’s it! Simply trying to quiet the chatter, the noise, the thoughts that we ALL have and keep to ourselves.
You sit, listen while focusing on your breath and you “watch” the thoughts come in, and then you “talk” to them, and say ahh thank you so much for visiting, have a nice day. And you continue to “clear the mind”. It’s a process like a conveyor belt until somehow the belt/the mind is clear. It actually happens!
How? Well, there is no right way, no right time, no right place, whenever and how ever you can find time and space to give yourself the gift of a quiet moment is how.
Here are some examples of the different types of Meditation:
Sitting, Moving, Guided, Using Mantras, Visualization, and Journaling.
Sitting still: For a period time that you can give, literally just sitting.
Driving in a car solo.
In the Shower.
Watching a game, sounds a little nuts, but I am at so many games, if I find a moment, I take it for me.
So obviously you get it, you can meditate anywhere.
LETS JUMP RIGHT TO THE MOST WELL KNOWS BEFORE I LOSE YOU!
TRY RIGHT NOW: SITTING MEDITATION
Find a comfortable posture for meditation, you can place your palms up with forefinger and thumbs touching or just have palms up
Try it for one minute – have a timer set.
Tip: When your mind wanders bring your attention back to your breath.
Try to breathe with lips closed in and out slowly through your nose.
Goal: instead of reacting to the thought, acknowledge it and respond wisely which could be not at all or just a wink.
STILL HERE ..GREAT! HERE ARE SOME OTHER WAYS:
Moving Meditation is a thing too!
Walking or breath awareness, walk step by step focusing on the steps, slower than usual and when thoughts come up go back to focusing on your steps or breath.
Yoga- focus on matching breath with movement.
Guided mindfulness meditations are an effective entry point.
They teach you to focus, center, and find peace in your always on the go lifestyle.
They work by creating a judgement free awareness of your inner dialogue. You will begin to recognize the recurring thoughts and “stories” that produce anxiety, sadness, anger or fear.
Try Headspace App – Guided meditation like having a coach supporting you every step of the way. There are honestly so many good apps today!
There are currently so many tools, a few will be listed below.
As mentioned above, there are different “ways” to meditate, but also different ways to quiet and empty the mind.
Using Mantras: As a tool for meditating.
One well known type of meditation that uses mantras is Transcendental Meditation (TM). It is a type of meditation that gives you a unique mantra for you.
You do not have to go to a TM specialist to find a mantra that works for you, but of course if it’s available to you , then try.
The word Mantra comes from two Sanskrit words—manas (mind/ to think, reflect) and tra (vehicle/tool). Mantra literally means “a tool for the mind,” and was designed to help practitioners access a higher power and their true natures. So a man–tra is literally a “mind-vehicle” or a way to transport us beyond our thoughts which are just thoughts, probably some really good fiction.
Meditation is a practice of chanting, whispering, or reciting aloud or silently. When your mind wanders bring it back to your mantra.
Reciting Mantras actually changes the rhythm of your brain. You can get to what some call super consciousness in which you are tuned in to yourself at your highest level which is your truest self because it’s just you, no distractions!
It can feel super weird, but if you say this is just a thought and I don’t have to believe it, eventually you teach your mind to become aware that they are just thoughts with no meaning. You are able to see them as just words. Meditating dissolves the thoughts completely if negative. If you have positive let them in and use their energy to for more creative powers. Your brain is wired for survival, it wants positive channels!
Try reciting a Mantra. Yes it feels uncomfortable.
“I am strong,” “I am focused,” or “I let go and surrender”
Metta Meditation/ Love Meditation – Positive Energy over Negative Energy
Love is the answer to fear.
Metta Meditating Mantras Examples:
May I be safe.
May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
Say these 3 and then offer to beings everywhere..even those who challenge you.
I am loved and I have good friends.
May I be kind to myself.
May I give myself the same compassion I would give to a friend.
I forgive you, please forgive me , let’s forgive ourselves
While meditating, there is another tool: Yes! There’s more!
Visualization: to “see yourself”/ imagining something positive happening for yourself. Meditating in a Visual form.
In Sports, Visualization is quite common. Visualization works! Have you ever played the movie in your mind, and then it happens. How about when a batter gets up, and points to the stands, and he actually hits it there.
Once you learn to harness your imagination into being, you have learned to create positive energy from your stream of thoughts or also called consciousness. THIS IS HUGE PEOPLE!
This always sticks me :
What you focus on, grows, so focus (visualize)on the positive, it may require a flip of your narrative, especially if your narrative, the story you tell yourself is not always positive.
“I’ll never..to I’m so grateful, If I put effort into this then maybe, …”
Your thoughts have will have even more power than you could have imagined, so keep them positive please!
Moving forward with giving your thoughts power and another tool comes up:
I tell you there’s lots of good stuff just waiting for you to tap it!
Intention Setting: Easy. Focussed Meditation.
Try to create an intention for you day every morning.
You can write it down.
I will stay positive today.
I will finish whatever task I start today.
You can write also as if the intention has happened.
I did well on my science test.
I made the team.
My friends and I started a club and it’s growing.
Lets’ be for a real for moment! It will again feel weird at first but it works.
“Without soul time for ourselves, we lose our imagination and ability to hear our inner longing, we become stunted by conditioned attitudes and adaptions to otherness that lacks our own thinking and imagination.”
True words, we completely lose ourselves to society, friends and family influences. Getback to you truest self by just trying some of or one of these methods,
A controlled trial found that students ages 13-20 who took part in a mindfulness program experienced less depression.
Here is an Easy Way to Meditate especially for kids/teens/students:
S top what you’re doing
T ake a few breaths
Think of Stop, Take a breath, Observe, Process
Make it a habit to pause once in a while!
Another Tool that goes with Meditation that is the P in (STOP) process:
Journaling: sometimes really important stuff comes up during your quiet time and it might be helpful to have a journal near by to jot down some of the thoughts.
If you do you Journal – Always add something you’re thankful for…ie something as simple as a comfortable to place to sleep or something deeper like family or friends. Gratitude can be a mantra. I thank God and all my peeps up in heaven for getting my kids and my husband home safe and continue on.
Prayer counts. However prayer looks to you, in recited words since you were a child or own conversation with God or whomever you speak with and share your worries or concerns, or sometimes just gratitude as mentioned. But also try to listen for responses, this is where the quiet mind comes in, many times you will hear an answer.
All of our minds can be overactive, they prefer to constantly plan, critique, worry and obsess over whatever the topic of the day is so maybe it’s time to try to take a moment to meditate, recite a mantra, visualize, set an intention or journal.
It is now a go to for elite athletes, CEO’s, and anyone who has been exposed to the benefits understands it is a gift to all of us! It is, it’s big in major league sports.
You’ve just got to do it, not just think it’s a good idea. There are many styles and traditions and they aren’t all suited for everyone.
So, at the end of the day ask yourself, how did I take a mindful moment today.
Here are some other ways to learn about meditation.
Apps/podcasts – just type in meditation and try a few.
Some of the ones I like:
Meditation minis, headspace, calm, ten percent happier.
Wrapping up, the human race is always on the search for more mechanisms, gadgets, apps but you now know the greatest tool of all is the power of a trained and refined mind.
However you decide to spend quite time with yourself:
Meditation, Visualization, Journaling, Prayer, and Setting an Intention, you owe yourself a moment or two.
Help free yourself today and become the person you know you are really meant to be.