Meditation- 3 Techniques That Will Simplify Your Practice
Meditation is one of the most beautiful and life-changing tools you can gift yourself. It not only gives you access to the deepest realms within you, but also to a magical world that is full of love and possibilities.
I have been practicing and teaching meditation for 15 years. When I started meditating, I was awash with insecurity and self-doubt. But slowly over the years, this lifted and I attribute this to my practice.
For many years, meditation has been my anchor. When I sit for meditation at the end of the day, I come back to a place of presence, and to a feeling of peace deep in my heart.
It has opened me up to a magical world of deeper love, a love that radiates with gentle peace. I feel very blessed to have this wonderful practice in my life.
As much as it is a life giving and transformative tool, it remains illusive and unattainable for many people.
This was my experience when I started. I remember the agony of practicing meditation at the end of a yoga class. My mind was highly agitated, and trying to empty it of thought was akin to climbing Mount Everest. I would come away feeling frustrated and annoyed.
In those 10 long minutes, I would think about anything other than focusing on the breath.
So Why Is Meditation So Difficult?
There is a simple answer to this question. If you ask a highly agitated mind to focus on only one thing, like the breath, it is like running a marathon without any training. It is near impossible.
The ancient yogis described the mind as being like a drunk monkey bitten on its testicles by a scorpion. This is a graphic description, however it explains why it can be difficult for the mind to slow down and be still.
In my experience, it is much easier for those who are new to meditation to give the mind more than one thing to focus on.
Here are 3 techniques that can greatly assist:
1. Introduce Movement Into Your Practice
A moving yoga practice is a great way to prepare for meditation because the mind has to focus on the body and movement and breath.
If you cannot practice yoga before you meditate however, you can prepare the mind by raising the arms over-head on the inhalation and lowering the arms on the exhalation for a few breaths. This is an excellent way to start your practice because the mind has to focus on two things, movement and breath.
2. Introduce Sound
It’s even more beneficial if you also include sound. You can raise the arms over-head on the inhalation, and make the sound Hummmm as you lower the arms. Repeating this a few times will calm and still the mind because it now has to focus on 3 things, movement, sound and breath.
3. Focus On The Flame of a Candle
Open-eyed meditation is perfect for a highly agitated mind, because the mind tends to be more active when the eyes are closed. Focusing on the flame of a candle is a great way to practice open-eyed meditation.
Softly focus on the flame of a candle and visualize that you have a still flame burning in your heart. On the inhalation, visualize that you are traveling along a pathway of light from the flame of the candle to the imaginary flame in your heart. On the exhalation, visualize that you are traveling along the same pathway of light from your heart to the flame of the candle. To give the mind another point of focus, as you exhale, softly make the sound Hummmmm.
In this practice the mind is focusing on 5 things, the flame of the candle, the flame in your heart, breath, movement and sound.
Focusing on more than one thing in your practice leaves less room for the mind to be distracted. It is a great way to train the mind to focus and be still.
Meditation can be accessible to everyone. You just need the right approach for you and one that is suited to your mind. A qualified teacher will assist you.
With practice, you will really look forward to sitting for meditation and you will reap its rewards.
I wish you well with your practice!
Teagan is a Yoga Teacher and Therapist who inspires and educates people how to change and transform their lives. She has taught in Australia, New Zealand, Peru, and Mexico and has assisted hundreds of people to find inner peace through yoga, meditation, & counseling. Click here for more information