Monday, 11 March 2013

Relaxing The Mind ~ Simple Meditations

So why would you want to meditate anyway ?......

Relaxing the mind and releasing stressful thoughts is the best 'medicine' you can give yourself.
It has many positive benefits on the physical body, the emotional states and mental thought processes as well as enhancing Spiritual connections.

People often say that they cannot meditate even though they have tried, they seem unable to make their minds 'Go Blank' and find their mind wandering and so they end up thinking of other things instead, or find that they've ended up falling asleep if they have tried to do it lying down.

Perception of meditation ranged from 'Sitting Cross Legged' in Yoga positions ~ that they found uncomfortable ~ to 'Chanting like a Tibetan Monk' which would make them feel self conscious and they didn't really understand the concept of at all.

So the idea that meditation is complex and difficult can often be because their first experience wasn't in a style that suited them, and so they gave up trying.

Discovering that meditation can be done in a variety of different ways and finding a method that suits you, is just like finding your favourite dessert, you simply pick up the spoon and try them all until you find the one or two you like more than the others. You may even find you quite like a few of them.

Here are a couple of simple and effective ways to relax the mind and meditate that can be done in a few minutes and like most things that we learn, regular practice makes us better at it.

Simple Square Breathing Meditation:

Probably the easiest way to get started is to focus on your breathing.....
You can sit, stand or lay down, with your eyes open or closed, which ever you find most comfortable.

Simply breathe in deeply ~ through your nose if possible ~ at the same time. count slowly in your mind to Four or Three if your breath is not too deep ~ whichever suits your natural breathing pattern best.

Keep the counting as regular and rhythmic as possible and continue to use the same number you have chosen.

Now hold the breath in and count to this number again.

Now release the out breath ~through the mouth ~ for the same count.

Once again hold the space between breathing out and taking your next breath in whilst still counting.

Now breathe in again and starting the process from the beginning.

By rhythmically counting, you are keeping the thought processes Focused and the act of Breathing keeps you focused on the physical.  
You may feel a little light headed at first if you are not used to breathing this deeply, so take a break and continue in a minute or two.
The instant effects of this meditation are to calm and relax the mind as you focus your attention entirely on what you are doing, exercising the lungs and increasing the bodies oxygen supply to the bloodstream and organs, so it's a win win situation.

If you find that your mind wanders, gently guide it back to what you are doing and imagine that each breath and pause are like the four sides of a square. Give your full attention and awareness to focus your mind on the process. Feel the air as it passes through the nostrils, feel your rib cage expand and lift on the in breath and then deflate on the out breath.....
This meditation can be done almost anywhere, even whilst waiting in a  supermarket queue.

And here's another one:

First Steps Walking Meditation : 

Start by standing with both feet slightly apart.

As you breathe in, move your foot forward one step at your normal walking pace distance, but keep your body weight back over the leg that hasn't moved.

Now breathe out as you transfer your weight over onto the leg that you have just moved forward.

As you breathe in once more, move forward with the other leg this time by just one step, whilst keeping your body weight over the other leg as you did in the beginning.

Breathe in with each forward step and with each out breath transfer your body weight forward.

By walking very slowly in rhythm with your breathing, you are improving your sense of balance and relaxing the mind as you focus your attention entirely on what you are doing, exercising the lungs and increasing the bodies oxygen supply to the bloodstream and organs, so it's another win win situation.

Take this one slowly, quite literally one step at a time like a toddler who is learning to walk for the very first time. The only thing that wants to rush is your mind, so slow it down, there is no race......
As you become more proficient with the walking meditation you may even find yourself becoming aware of things that you had never noticed before.
This is a great one to do outdoors..........  

Click on the link 'positive benefits' at the beginning of this post to find out about 100 ways that meditation can help you.

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