As I mentioned in previous posts, I have a level three diploma in meditation. I know, a strange subject to have a diploma in, but here’s why. During lockdown, I found myself in a bit of a rut. I didn’t have anymore university work, and was struggling with business/blog ideas. So I was browsing online one afternoon, and came across paid courses. I thought to myself, why not? It’s not like you have anything else to do! So I was looking at the courses, and noticed a meditation course. I had tried a bit of meditating in the past, and always found it a relaxing form of self care, so decided to give it a go. It was a ninety hour course, so took up quite a bit of time (which is what I wanted/needed), and two weeks later I was qualified to instruct! Now the chances of me actually ever using this diploma is slim, I don’t have any plans to properly instruct in the future, so decided to share some techniques on my blog instead.
Meditation is a great self-care practice to become more stress-free and refocussed. There are many different types of meditation, a few we will cover in this workbook, however the effect will be slightly different depending on which exercise you choose. When meditating, the primary goal is to clear the mind and relax. Stress makes us anxious, intolerant and discouraged, which can have a negative impact on both our physical and mental health. Meditating helps rid us of these conditions by making our minds calmer and more focused. Based on one of the oldest religions practiced today, it urges you to purge your thoughts and focus only on the current. Instead of stressing about the past or future, we learn to feel at home in the present.
Below are a few beginner techniques to get you started!
For this exercise, we will be using a candle flame. To begin, be seated on a chair or on the floor with your back straight. Write a few sentences about how you feel. Look at the burning candle in front of you. Direct all of your attention and fix your eyes onto the burning flame.
Feel that your breath is coming from the candle when you breathe in, and is going back to the candle when you breathe out. Only you and the candle flame exist, nothing else. Do not change the image of the candle, and do not think of anything else. If you lose concentration, start again from the beginning.
Do this for about 10-15 minutes. Once done, write down your thoughts once again. Is there a difference?
To begin, be seated in a chair or on the floor with your back straight. Write down your current thoughts. Concentrate on taking breaths and let go of any thoughts. Concentrate on a negative thought (nothing triggering) from the past that is unresolved. Let all of the feeling connected develop. Notice the emotional state you are in while you let them linger.
When they seem to be taking over, halt them. Especially in the middle of a thought. Consider of how you feel only. Don’t judge the feelings, just watch them go by.
Stay in the no thought mode for a few minutes. If your mind starts to wander, push it back to no thinking. Write down your thoughts once finished. Have they changed?
This is a quick one! To begin be seated on a chair or on the floor with your back straight. Write down your current thoughts. Concentrate on your breathing. Don’t change it, just pay attention to it.
Concentrate on your breaths going in and going out. Keep the concentration on your breath, and do this for about fifteen minutes.
Very gradually take your concentration of your breathing and come back to normal. Write down your current thoughts. Have they changed?
Contrary to popular belief, meditation is more than not doing anything. Meditation is to focus on one simple point and quiet your mind, eventually reaching a higher level of deep peace and inner calm. Our thoughts help decide our attitudes and how we feel. They can both encourage hopefulness, and discourage it. Because of this, we must be careful which direction we take our thoughts and feelings, so they don’t create negativity. Meditation helps us guide our thoughts into a positive direction, and gain control over our busy minds. For beneficial results, practice one or all activities daily.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and please let me know if you would like some more beginner techniques or some advice on the ones I have already shared!