How to meditate: 12 sure-fire techniques
It’s not hard to learn how to meditate. The secret is to find the technique that works for you.
Psychologists estimate the average person has at least 50,000 thoughts a day and 90% are the same as yesterday. Meditation is simply stilling the chatter of our mind to come to a place of relaxation and peace.
Here are a dozen methods for you to try. Start with five minutes once or twice a day and work up to 15-20 minutes. While you do it, sit or lie down keeping your spine straight.
- Observe nature with eyes open. One of the things I learned from Native Americans is that meditation doesn’t have to be sitting inside with your eyes closed. Sitting outside with eyes and ears opened and observing the world around us is a very powerful meditation. Watch a bug, birds in flight, flowers in their array of colors, kittens playing – any of these can bring a wealth of joy and insight.
- Walk in nature while making the same observations.
- Take a class and learn a mantra or choose a word and focus on it.
- Follow your breath while sitting with your eyes closed; if it’s very quiet, you may be able to hear your heart pump and blood flow.
- Go into silence: turn off tv, radio, ipod, phone.
- Practice the Native American teaching of eating in silence: no tv, no conversation. Just focus on the blessing of the food and nourishment you’re receiving. Visualize it going through your body creating health and well-being.
- Close your eyes and feel the contours of a small rock. What is its temperature, texture, shape, size?
- Read something meaningful and/or inspiring and contemplate what you’ve read.
- Listen to a guided meditation CD. I offer two on my Books/CDs page.
- Focus on something with your eyes open for a few minutes, then close your eyes and visualize it.
- Listen to beautiful music.
- Chant the word OM. It’s the sound of creation. Scientists have recorded the sound of the earth spinning on its axis and determined it’s the sound of OM. Buddhists teach that enlightenment can be reached just through the chanting of OM.
You haven’t failed if extraneous thoughts come in; it’s part of the process. One second of deep peace is more than worth the other 15 minutes or so of passing thoughts, I guarantee it. I used to hate meditation; now it’s the highlight of my day.[quote]“Thoughts will always come when you meditate, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair.” Francis de Sales[/quote]
What would be different in your life if you relaxed more by meditating? Give it a try and let me know.
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Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman” and other books on health. She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes, healing practice and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com