How To Meditate - A Beginners Guide
Ever wonder how people live to be 100 with a great quality of life? In his book, "Aging Well," Harvard researcher, George Vaillant, M.D., found out just what centurions do. They cultivate a sense of peace, well-being and maintain a positive attitude. How? Here's one of their biggest secrets: meditation. What's ironic about meditation is, it has just become known in the West as a healing technique, but it has been practiced for ages in the East.
Therefore in my quest to give you easy sensible ways to live a long healthy life, I'll begin by showing you why you should make meditation a priority. Next, I'll give you some easy exercises to help get you started.
Meditational exercises primarily use the experience of the body and thought as a means to reconnect with the environment and its healing power. Meditation, when practiced frequently, has been proven to promote inner peace and wellness. Meditation is also a mental practice in which the mind is directed to one area, often the breath. It draws its energy from the human connection to nature and creates a sense of unity or one-ness with it.
This unity has been shown to increase communication with the spirit of the body. It has also been known to allow positive thoughts in and to stimulate positive physiological and psychological effects. Meditation techniques are easy to learn and can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle. If practiced regularly, meditation will bring balance to your body and mind.
General benefits of meditation and breathing exercises include:
- Deep inner peace
- Improved self-esteem
- Increased creativity
- Physical health/healing
- Reduced medical care
- Slowing/reversal of aging
- Reversing of heart disease
- Stimulation of the body's immune system
- Reduced stress
I have found there is really no one right ways to meditate. Here are a couple of my favorite meditational exercises that will get you started. Remember, there is no wrong path here. Try these, or simply sit in silence for 20 minutes, daily. You'll be glad you did.
Meditative Grounding Exercise
- Sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable (Indian-style) position with your hands relaxed on you lap. Close your eyes and imagine a beam of light dropping from the base of your spine through the earth and connecting you to its center.
- Allow this beam of light to expand in width until it is wider than your own body and envelopes it. This is your personal space.
This exercise places you totally in your body and reminds you that you are anchored to the earth. Remember, the more grounded you are, the more aware you are. Sense the presence of your higher self: listen to its voice.
Energy Cleaning Exercise
Now that you are grounded, it's important that you cleanse this personal space. Often we collect other people's energies and are not aware of it. We do this both through interaction with others and basic activities of daily living.
- To remove all foreign energies from your space, imagine holding a brush and sweeping away the debris.
- Allow the debris to fall to the ground and become washed away. Let the light from the previous exercise envelop your body and spread its healing energy to the edge of your space, forming a protective force field around you.
Cleaning out the area surrounding your body will keep you grounded, define your personal boundaries and declare your space. Then choose who and what you wish to enter you space, keeping disease and illness out.
- Follow your breath as you slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your nose. Count with each exhale until you reach 10 then begin again at one.
- If you find yourself past 10, acknowledge this and begin again at one from wherever you are.
- Imagine your body's cells being replaced with fresh, pure oxygen and positive healing energy from this power source. Picture yourself exhaling old cells, stress, illness and worries.
- Let your thoughts pass through your mind like drifting clouds. Let them in and gently let them pass through. If the mind should harbor a negative thought, refocus on the breath.
- Thank any persistent negative thoughts for coming into your mind then gently let them go.
- Listen only for the positive, pronounced voice; the voice of your body.
Retrieve Your Energy Exercise
Since foreign energy often resides in your space, let's also assume that you leave energy in other places. After completing the preceding exercises it is necessary to re-energize and call energy back.
- Imagine you have an energy magnet used to attract your energy back to you. Visualize energy flowing back to you, filling your body with light, health and empowerment.
- Allow a few minutes for the process.