MEDITATION


 

Meditation is the collective term for a number of techniques used to still the mind, relax the body and produce a state of inner harmony. It differs from sleep, hypnosis or other types of relaxation simply because your mind remains alert.

There are many ways to meditate. You can meditate while sitting, walking, or practising yoga, but it is easiest to learn by sitting comfortably in a quiet room for several minutes twice a day, every day. There are 2 basic steps: to focus on a single word or phrase (of your choice - perhaps "peace" or "one", or a religious word) or simply to focus on your breath; and to ignore or disregard all other thoughts.

When we focus on a single word, thought or image, we produce a state of calm that increases mental alertness, while relaxing other body systems.

Meditating twice a day for 15-20 minutes has been shown to be the most effective. Make an effort to practice every day, even if it’s initially only for 5 minutes. You may find it’s easiest to meditate first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
 

Find a quiet place. Make yourself comfortable by either sitting cross-legged on a large cushion on the floor, or upright on a straight back chair, with feet flat on the floor and hands resting lightly in your lap. For meditation, don't feel tempted to lie down as this might make you fall asleep.


It is important to clear your mind of anxiety and your body of physical tension. Just close your eyes and let your breathing become slow and gentle. As you breathe out, sigh to release the tension in your body. Bring your attention to each part of your body that feels tense, and as you breathe out, feel the area soften and relax.

By focusing on your chosen word or your breath; let it have your whole attention. Continue to breathe slowly and naturally. Just let your breaths come and go. If you are using your breath as a focus, count each breath as you exhale repeating the word “one”, 1 and 2, or count to four and repeat.

Do not force your mind to concentrate, just let it rest without effort on your chosen focus.  Just ignore any other thoughts and let them flow out again.

Gradually let your mind return to everyday thoughts. Open your eyes but stay sitting for a minute or two. Stretch gently before you get up.

Meditation takes practise so persevere! Practise at least once a day for 5 minutes, gradually lengthening the time.


 


What is meditation?

There are many types of meditation. The one definition that fits almost all types is..."Consciously directing your attention to alter your state of consciousness."
 

There is no limit to the things you can direct your attention toward... symbols, sounds, colours, breath, uplifting thoughts, spiritual realms, etc. Meditation is simply about attention... where you direct it, and how it alters your awareness.


 
What is the purpose of meditation?

Traditionally meditation was (and still is) used for spiritual and personal growth.  More recently, meditation has become a valuable tool for finding a peaceful oasis of relaxation and stress relief in a demanding, fast-paced world.



General Guidelines for Meditation

Put your expectations aside, and don't worry about doing it right. There are infinite possibilities and no fixed criterion for determining right meditation. There are, however, a few things to avoid.

  • Trying to force something to happen.
  • Over-analyzing the meditation.
  • Trying to make your mind blank or chase thoughts away.
  • Putting too much emphasis on doing it right.

It's not necessary - or advisable - to meditate on a completely empty stomach. If you're hungry, have a little something to eat before meditating.


Find a quiet, comfortable place to meditate. You can sit in a comfortable chair, on the bed, on the floor... anywhere that's comfortable. It's not necessary to sit cross-legged. Your legs can be in any position that is comfortable.


Eliminate as much noise and as many potential distractions as possible. Don't worry about those things that you can not control.


When you sit to meditate, sit comfortably, with your spine reasonably straight. This allows the spiritual energy to flow freely up the spine, which is an important aspect of meditation. Leaning against a chair back, a wall, headboard, etc. is perfectly all right. If, for physical reasons, you can't sit up, lay flat on your back.


Place your hands in any position that is comfortable.


If it does not go against your beliefs, call on a "higher source" for assistance in your meditation. Any form is all right. This can be quite helpful, but is not absolutely necessary.


Mindfulness and meditation mp3 downloads



  
7 Steps to Stillness

  • Take a moment to be comfortable in your environment.
  • Keeping your eyes open, gently rest them on a chosen point somewhere in front of you.
  • Withdraw your attention from all sights and sounds.
  • Follow the thoughts suggested on the exercises below (or listen on website)
  • Acknowledge and appreciate the positive feelings and thoughts which may spring directly from the exercise.
  • Stay in these feelings for a few moments.
  • End your meditation by closing your eyes for a few moments and creating complete silence in your mind.


Breathing Calm

I take a few moments to focus on my breathing. As I breathe in, I imagine gathering all my tense or anxious thoughts, and as I breathe out, I blow all those thoughts away.

Now as I breathe in, I draw down calm and tranquil thoughts from my mind. As I breathe out, I spread these thoughts through my body. The body relaxes, and my mind becomes calm.

 



Rising Above

 I imagine stepping into a hot air balloon. The balloon slowly lifting up into the blue sky, looking down, I see the picture of my life. Any problems seem so small.


 I take this moment to enjoy silence, peace and rest my mind, as the balloon gently descends, I return to my day with a quiet and peaceful mind.


  
The Art of Silence

 I stop and observe the space between my thoughts. I move to that space with my awareness and it begins to expand. I feel the power that lies between and behind my thoughts.

It is the power of who I am. It is the strength within. I begin to see the potential of my life.

 



Focusing thoughts

Sitting quietly, I become aware of my surroundings. I focus on any object in front of me, allowing it to fill my awareness.

Letting go of any distractions, I hold only the object in my awareness. Even if I am distracted, I gently return my focus to the object. I identify one quality of the object, and focus on this. I hold this one thought.                                    


 
Mindfulness Meditation

The primary focus in this Mindfulness Meditation is your breathing. However, the primary goal is maintaining a calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting enmeshed in them. This creates calmness and acceptance.

Sit comfortably, with your eyes closed and your spine reasonably straight.
Direct your attention to your breathing.

When thoughts, emotions, physical feelings or external sounds occur, simply accept them, giving them the space to come and go without judging or getting involved with them.

When you notice that your attention has drifted off and become engaged in thoughts or feelings, simply bring it back to your breathing and continue.
Remember... it's ok and natural for thoughts to arise, and for your attention to follow them. No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing.

 


Colour Healing Meditation

We are not just our physical selves. We are multi-dimensional beings, composed of an Inner Spirit, a mental body, an emotional body, a vital body, and a physical body.

The energy of these bodies becomes progressively subtler from physical to spiritual. Illness begins with disharmony in one of these energy bodies. If not harmonized, the dis-ease moves outward, effecting the denser bodies, ultimately manifesting as physical illness.

Total healing requires restoring harmony to all of our bodies. This meditation is designed to cleanse and harmonize your various bodies with the healing energies of colour.

Sit comfortably with your eyes closed.

Visualize a large ball of radiant Golden light a few inches over your head. Visualize that ball of light slowly descending through your crown, filling your entire being with golden light.

Imagine yourself absorbing that light as it nourishes, cleanses & heals your whole being - your Spirit and all of your bodies - dissolving all blocked and toxic energies.
 

Repeat this exercise, visualizing a ball of Red light. Continue through the entire spectrum like this, visualizing a ball of Orange light;  Yellow light;  Green light;  Blue light;  Indigo light;  and Violet light. Go through the spectrum at whatever pace feels appropriate.

Take some time to visualise yourself in a state of good health.



Energy Healing Meditation

In this simple healing meditation, you send the powerful healing Life Force directly to the area in need of help. This Life Force is the energy behind all healing.

  • Sit reasonably straight and close your eyes.
  • Breath slowly, as silently as possible. (Holding your breath after inhaling or exhaling is not recommended.)
  • As you inhale, feel yourself breathing the healing Life Force in through your solar plexus. Picture this Life Force as a very refined, light energy.
  • As you exhale, gently direct this light energy to the afflicted area. If there is not a specific ailing area, disperse this light energy throughout your body as you exhale.
  • Continue until you feel the area has received enough Life Force.
     

 


RELAXATION MEDITATION

This easy and relaxing meditation makes use of a little-known secret about the eyes. Allowing the eyes to rest in a soft downward gaze has an instant, automatic relaxing effect.
 
Steps of Relaxation Meditation

Sit comfortably with your spine reasonably straight.


Allow your eyes to rest comfortably downward, gazing softly, but not focussed on anything.


Without closing your eyes completely, let your eyelids drop to a level that feels most comfortable.

Continue gazing downward... the act of gazing is your primary focus (rather than the area at which you are gazing). You may notice your breathing becoming more rhythmic.

It’s ok to let your attention drift a bit. If your eyes become very heavy, it’s ok to let them close. If you notice you’ve come out of your relaxed space, simply bring your attention back to your relaxed downward gaze.



 
INNER LIGHT MEDITATION 

This is a meditation for connecting you with your Inner Spirit.... your essence or core Self. It uses the light that is already within you as an object of focus. It's a fairly simple meditation, but is quite powerful, and potentially very deep.
 

Sit comfortably with your eyes closed.

Look at the "screen" that fills the space behind your closed eyelids.
 

There will be particles, images, or patterns of light on this screen. (Consider anything that is not pure darkness to be a form of light.) Gently focus your attention on the light.

Don't try to create or interpret images. Don't attempt to focus clearly. Simply look at the light with relaxed attention.

If you feel as though your consciousness is shifting, or you are slipping into a dreamlike state, allow it to happen. Whatever you experience is ok.


If you find you have drifted off into your thoughts, simply bring your attention back to the light.





CENTERING MEDITATION

Centering is meditation in action. Within you is a space that is always calm and at peace. This space is often referred to as your "calm center". Being centered means remaining in your calm center amidst the busyness of everyday life. Being centered means not allowing your inner light to be overshadowed by stressful circumstances or negative thoughts and emotions.

When you are centered, you are in a state of clarity, focus, peace, and balance. When you are not centered, you are unclear, unfocussed, stressed, and off balance.

A good centering technique will require only minimal attention, allowing you to keep some of your attention on the activity at hand. Here are some very easy, effective centering techniques.



Simple Breath Awareness

While involved in whatever you are doing, bring some attention to your breathing for just a few moments... it needn't be your full attention... just enough to bring you back to your calm center. Breathe naturally, or perhaps just a little more slowly and deeply

 


 

Reclaiming Your Energy

When you are feeling stressed and scattered, take several slow, deep breaths. With each in-breath, imagine you are pulling all of your scattered energy and attention back to your inner self... your calm centre.



Letting Go

This centering technique combines breath awareness with the phrase or mantra, "Let go." It is especially helpful when you are tense and/or fixating on a stressful situation or a negative thought or emotion.

As you inhale, (silently or aloud) say, "Let"

As you exhale, say "go"... while letting go of all that is stressing you.



Inner Sun

Imagine a bright sun filling your heart chakra... the calm, subtle energy field that permeates your chest area. Imagine that sun gently emanating peace and joy throughout your entire being.
 
 


Guided meditation mp3 downloads

Mindfulness

Mindful Breathing

Example of MP3 downloads on this page


 

MOUNTAIN MEDITATION  mp3
Female voice, with music.

12 mins 20s

£2.50  Add to Cart


SELF HELP BOOKS using Mindfulness

Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression

The Mindful Way through Anxiety: Break Free from Chronic Worry and Reclaim Your Life

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free From Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry  

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness meditation for everyday life

Full Catastrophe Living, Revised Edition: How to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life