Posts Tagged ‘meditation’
By Diane L. Ross
What is the most powerful tool you have? Your mind, your most powerful resource. Are you using it, or is it using you? How do you learn to use your mind to get what you want? How do you harness your power?
What does that mean and how do you do it? Most people have a vague idea of what meditation means, but that vague idea is just that – vague. Vague is the opposite of what one wants to achieve through meditation.
Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention on a single object or idea, usually of a divine nature. Prayer has been called talking to God. Meditation has been called listening to God. How can you listen to God if your mind is full of chatter? That chatter takes up the space in which God can speak to you. That’s why meditation is so important. Meditation stills the chatter of the mind so that space is available for inspiration, creativity, bliss, and other God-like experiences.
Focusing your attention is easier said than practiced. Ever notice that meditation is referred to as a “practice?” That’s because it requires practice. It’s a skill, and all skills require practice.
Most meditation techniques suggest that you “get comfortable,” and focus your attention on your breath. When your mind wanders off (notice that the mind wandering off is assumed) simply put your attention on your breath again. I dare you to try it!
First of all, how do you “get comfortable?” That statement assumes that you already have the ability to be comfortable in your body and that you know how to access that comfort almost instantly. Secondly, the mind gets bored easily, and focusing just on your breath can become tiresome and boring after about 15 seconds. The mind doesn’t like tiresome and boring. The mind wants a job, but not a boring job.
One of the meditations I teach (Instant Meditation, available at www.dianeross.com/audio.htm) addresses both of these pitfalls. First of all, I take your body through a modified progressive relaxation, so that you are comfortable and relaxed before the mind is addressed. Then you are directed to alternate your attention between your breath and your “third eye.” The third eye is the area in the center of your forehead, about an inch above your eyebrows. It has been called the portal into the spiritual realms, and requires your focused attention in order to be activated.
By first achieving comfort, the mind is more easily harnessed. The attention is directed between the breath and the third eye, therefore eliminating the boredom most commonly associated with meditation. What happens when you begin “practicing?” The side effects are incredibly awesome and truly endless! First of all, you learn to be aware of your thoughts so that you can shift your attention away from the negative and toward the positive.
Studies have shown that the brains of long-time meditators actually change. The frontal cortex grows! This is where all the good stuff is – your ability to reason, your ability to access peace, tranquility and bliss! This is also where your creativity is accessed.
In addition, when you meditate, your heart rate decreases, your blood pressure lowers and your respirations lessen. Stress is released and the benefits of deep relaxation are multiplied. The ability to access happiness becomes natural and automatic!
Want bliss? Begin to meditate and utilize your most important power – the power of your mind!
To harness the energy of your mind, check out my, “InstantMeditation,” CD at: www.dianeross.com/audio.htm.
Bio: Diane Ross, author of Meditations for Miracles and more than 50 audio CDs, has studied meditation since 1970. She has a Master’s Degree in Secondary Reading, is a Certified Hypnotist and is a Master Practitioner of NLP. She is available for public speaking and sees clients privately. Meditation for Miracles is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.
I had a roommate who was learning the guitar. He was overly apologetic about all the noise and made efforts to not practice anytime I could be disturbed. But I loved it. His soft, repetitive strum of acoustic strings was soothing and the perfect sort of light background music. I meditate frequently and it wasn’t long before one of my meditations and one of his practice sessions coincided—harmony.
In my opinion, meditation is about submission. It’s about letting go. I’ve become used to meditating to a metronome or a fading gong, but there was something newly challenging about meditating to music I had no control over. It was powerful.
Many people practice with music and, of course, I dream of an in-house meditation studio with luxury mats, a gurgling fountain, a customer home theater system to play meditation music and soft, ambient light. While my personal studio may never happen, music is the next best way to create a perfect environment for meditation. In the meantime my roommate’s guitar music drifting through apartment was enough.
Now, I have well-worn CDs of rainstorms and Japanese flutes that make a great background for meditation, but practicing with live music is different. Before long you get used to your recorded music and know what is coming up next. With live music it is less predictable. Meditation is all about letting go of control. Live meditation music adds another element of surrender.
Using live music to accompany meditation is not a widespread practice. Not because of unpopularity–I’m sure many more people would adapt the practice if they could. But to do it you need a musician. This artist seamlessly integrates his music into meditation sessions. The experience is similar to what happens when a group gathering has each member hold a tone. The individual hums collect into an emotional harmony. One person cannot control the sound beyond himself or herself.
Dave Antonio uses a didgeridoo, which sends out high vibrations. This makes the experience of the sound physical as well as aural. He navigates the room of meditation with his didgeridoo resting on the floor. The vibrations from the instrument increase as Antonio gets closer. The participants feel the pulses intensify and yield but are never touched directly by the instrument.
I think it’s important to experiment in meditation. What works for someone will not always work for another. Things that assisted me let go at one point in my life may no longer channel that release. But I think music is a fantastic way to encourage and structure your meditations. Recorded music quickly creates a relaxing and harmonious environment while live music provides are extra element of surrender that can really help one slip away. No matter the type of music, vibrations of sounds can easily help you channel the vibrations of the universe.
Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting in the same pose doing variations of the same thing time after time. This can become boring to some and make them lose their interest in meditation. There are different more fun kinds of meditation though such as this eating meditation that will develop mindfulness.
For this technique you will need something to eat and a comfortable chair. I recommend food such as a salad containing as many different types of flavors and textures as possible – lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, spinach leaves, beetroot, onion and pumpkin seeds all make for good ingredients.
Once you have prepared your salad sit down with it and take a moment just to look at it and all the colors that it holds – the greens of the lettuce and spinach leaves, the reds of the tomatoes and peppers and so on. Hold the salad to your nose and try to smell the scent of each ingredient you have placed in your salad individually.
Take your fork and feels how it passes through each item of food. You’ll find it passes through lettuce much differently than it does a tomato.
When you are ready take your first mouthful. Chew slowly and allow the salad time to dance on your tongue so you can fully appreciate the flavours. Experience the different textures that different vegetables hold. After you have swallowed the first mouthful take a short moment to think about everything you have experience just from eating a small amount of salad. You might notice that there is now more saliva in your mouth as your body readies itself to ingest more.
Experiment eating different ingredients in different combinations – you may take a mouthful of lettuce, tomato and peppers in one bite and then spinach, tomato and pumpkin seed the next.
Continue to eat in this slow, deliberate manner until you are full. You don’t have to finish the salad if there is some left. Just eat until you feel your hunger is satiated.
Besides developing mindfulness this eating meditation is also an excellent method of losing weight. As you eat more slowly and appreciate the rich flavors of the food you are also allowing your brain to register when you are full. This will help guide you to stop eating at an appropriate time for your nutritional needs.