I received a question asking how to meditate and I decided it would be a good idea to do a post on it. I immediately started writing and thought that I would post it the next day. Instead, I was hit with a huge amount of resistance and self doubt. I began thinking about how meditation is such a vast practice and began asking myself who am I to write about this subject? I’m no where near an expert on this topic. Do I really know what I am talking about? So, every time I sat down to write the blog post, I found myself thinking that it would just be stupid and a waste of time. Then, this morning, I woke up and thought what the hell?! The purpose of writing this blog was never to present myself as an expert on anything. The purpose of writing this blog was to express to others that the LOA can work for anyone, especially people like me who work in traditional careers where there is a perception of lack of time for spiritual growth and stability. Accordingly, I can certainly write about how I make time to clear my mind of all of its clutter through daily meditation. How I meditate is not advanced and possibly not news to anyone who is reading this right now. But if it helps just one person add peace to their daily life, then I have succeeded.
When I meditate, I am either sitting up in a chair at the kitchen table, sitting on my couch, or sitting up in bed. I rarely lay down on my back because I’ll just fall asleep. Although most meditation experts recommend sitting on the floor with the legs crossed, that posture becomes painful for me after about 5 minutes and ruins the whole thing. When I started meditating, I had the hardest time figuring out what to do with my hands. Do I face them up with the thumb and index finger touching? I did that for a while but found that when I’d get distracted halfway through the meditation, I would overthink about keeping my hands set up the “correct” way. Now, I just let them sit lightly in my lap wherever comfortable.
When I first started meditating, I would simply set a timer for 15 minutes and count my breathing. I found that to be effective as a beginner but soon found that my mind wandered every time I heard any noise and I often felt like I was doing it wrong. Then I came across www.MeditationOasis.com which has a bunch of free guided meditations (Click on the Podcast tab at the top of the page). The first few meditations on the list are tailored towards beginners and offer basic breathing and relaxation techniques. After doing those for a couple weeks, you can try the other meditations listed such as “Flowing with Change,” “Relief from Stress and Pressure,” and one of my favorites, “Resting in the Source.” Each meditation discription tells you how long the meditation is so, as you progress in your practice, you can see if you can graduate from a 15 minute meditation to a 25 minute one. It also has a meditation specifically for grief that I have recommended to friends who have lost loved ones. The woman who leads the meditation has an extremely soothing voice and definitely adds to the relaxation of the meditations.
Some people hate guided meditations because the voice can be jarring or distracting to them, but still do not want to sit in silence. If that describes you, then I would suggest listening to mediation music. Generally, I just go on Youtube and search “meditation music” and find what works for me. When I find meditation music that I like, I save it in my LOA Youtube playlist for later. Some of my favorites are the following:
Both of these Youtube videos contain several hours of music. Usually, I set it so that there is only 15-20 minutes left in the video. I would recommend listening to different types of meditation music to see what works for you.
Similar to meditation music, binaural beats are a form of sound you can listen to to help you meditate. Binaural beats are two sounds played at two different frequencies that can create an illusion of pulsations when listened to with headphones. Some meditation experts claim that binaural beats can have a positive influence over the brain, aid in healing and reduce depression and axiety. There haven’t been any studies to conclusively confirm any of this and I haven’t had any life altering experiences. In my experience, it’s just another effective method that I use to relax and turn my mind off at the end of the day.
There are a whole host of binaural beats meditations on Youtube, some of which are better than others. Here are some of my favorites:
Again, you should listen to binaural beats with headphones on in order to actually hear the differential in the tones. I find this to be my favorite and most relaxing form of meditation.
I hope this is helpful and brings some relaxation into your life. How do you meditate? Do you use any of these techniques? Are there any techniques that you use that could be helpful to others? Please share in the comments.