I always had a feeling that meditation was not for me as I am not able to silence my thoughts, sit still for a long time and I didn’t know what I should think about when I am meditating.
A few years ago when I was still in the corporate world, I was feeling a lot of stress and my usual go-to for stress management was not working (namely, shopping, eating, drinking, to name a few) so I decided to do some research. This was also the time that I was focusing on more personal development stuff and this led me to try meditation. Being the old school that I am, I didn’t google about how to meditate nor find Youtube video’s on meditation. Because of this, I had the misconception that meditation was long (and I didn’t have time to do this given my workload) and I was so happy to have stumbled upon Zen12 – an hour’s worth of meditation in just 12minutes. I started with that but I lost it again, being caught up in the busy world of Supply Chain.
It is only when I met Pathways that I realized my concept of meditation was so far off. I didn’t realize that meditation can be done open-eyed. For some people who meditate, they fall asleep or feel sleepy. Meditation is not that long. Staring into space without thinking about anything is actually a form of meditation, hearing this blew me away.
In short, meditation, though there is a hardcore practice, is a stillness or mindfulness exercise that you have defined on your own.
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong, do what works for you. You will know if it doesn’t work because you get tired of it or you don’t feel like doing it that you have tons of excuses just to forego it.
During this unprecedented time of lockdown, I suggest you try it again, for those who have tried and stopped, and try it for those who have never tried it all.
Here are some tips to make meditation a part of your daily life:
1. Set an intention for your meditation. Some intentions you can focus on are: Forgiveness, Gratitude, Clarity, Guidance, healing or just being there in the moment
2. Try different types of meditation to find out which one works for you. For me, guided meditation is nice but sometimes I get ahead or my mind wanders off that I feel reprimanding myself to go back and focus to the voice but later on I have become gentler and I just tell myself “It’s okay” and I nudge myself to go back to listening to the voice.
3. Create your own sanctuary and ambiance for meditation.
- Use incense sticks. The smell of the incense sticks gives me a sense of calmness and peace so it helps me in preparing for meditation.
- Use sage or Palo Santo for clearing and cleansing. In Pathways, we have the Smudge Spray which is really useful especially when you have a fire alarm set up in your house. There is also the Soul Spray that will help bring an air of calmness and peace.
- Have a playlist of your songs for meditation – one of my favorites is the song “I Release Control” by Alexa Sunshine Rose (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HdIEfWC0xA). It will be better if the playlist will support your intention for meditation so the feelings you will have during meditation will be consistent but of course, if you feel that in the middle of your meditation there is something that is coming up that compels you to change the intention and the music then do so, follow your intuition.
- If you have crystals, use them during meditation. I usually use Amethyst to help me calm down and be more relaxed. I use Kyanite or Infinite Stone to help clear my chakras removing blocks that sometimes manifest as pain in the physical body.
4. Do a grounding exercise so that you are connected to the Earth and a shielding exercise so that you are protected.
5. Enjoy the process. No need to feel guilty. There is no right or wrong.
6. Write down in your journal the visions you had, the messages you received. Note everything down even if it’s just symbols, numbers, animals without trying to interpret them, there will be time for that later. After you have written as pure and unbiased as you can everything that happened, then in the next paragraph write down your own interpretation (if any) and make sure you label them as such so that you will know which one is the pure message versus your own interpretation. Why is this so? So that you can go back to it when you have a realization later on. Because at that moment, our mind can only comprehend that but with our spiritual journey of learning and conversing with others, our mind broadens with new knowledge.
Good luck with practicing meditation and finding what best suits you.