Meditation comes in a variety of forms in modern society. Everyone has one thing in common. They employ concentration techniques to calm the mind and stop thinking. Numerous practices exist, including chanting (Mantra), concentrating on the body's energy centres (Chakra Meditation), breathing, mindfulness (Mahamudra), loving kindness, formal sitting (Vipassana), expressive practices (Siddha Yoga), and walking, to name a few. I often look at my daughter in law and her insatiable appetite for reading, that is her meditation. My mother used to say gardening was her meditation. You can experiment with each technique to determine which one works best for you, or you can alternate between the styles on occasion. I will discuss Mahamudra and walking meditation for the purposes of this article.
Methods For Beginning Meditation
Find a location with few external distractions. The optimal location is one where you feel emotionally at ease, secure, and free from pressure and stress.
Wear loose clothing and sit or recline in a comfortable position.
Plan to meditate in a warm and comfortable environment. Some people experience a feeling of coldness when they are immobile for an extended period of time, so you may wish to bring a blanket or light covering.
Candles can be used to concentrate on a specific task. Remember to be cautious and extinguish them before leaving the room if you use them.
Meditation relies heavily on relaxation. Take a few moments to induce relaxation by inhaling deeply through your nose and expanding your lungs and diaphragm. Hold the breath for several seconds, then exhale slowly through the mouth. Repeat this process until you feel relaxed.
Calm, soothing music can aid in inducing a state of serenity and relaxation.
If you are hungry, eat a small snack before meditating, as a completely empty stomach is not required.
Put aside your expectations and don't worry about doing things correctly.
Mahamudra is the form of meditation that entails engaging in daily activities with a mindful attitude. It is the integration of meditation into every aspect of our lives. This exercise can be performed anywhere to promote a sense of inner peace. It is especially useful when you are stuck in traffic, waiting in line at the grocery store or bank, experiencing a hectic day at the office, or picking up your children from school or extracurricular activities. Hugh Mulligan wrote that what I do today is significant because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. Meditation reminds us to pause and smell the roses.
First, take a deep breath. As you take a deep breath, expand your lungs and diaphragm. Hold the breath for several seconds, then exhale slowly through the mouth. Concentrate on your breathing and quiet your mind. Repeat this several times until you feel your breathing slowing and a profound sense of peace filling your body. Feel the peace permeating your body consciously. Lower your shoulders and connect to Universal Energy through the crown of your head. Repeat. Send peace to those around you by connecting with their hearts through light and love, if you so choose.
A walking meditation is merely an awareness exercise. There are four factors:
Pay attention to your breathing
Consider your environment
Observe your body's movement carefully.
When you return home, spend some time reflecting on the experience.
To practice walking increases one's awareness of walking in all situations. Pay attention to your breathing. You may be taking short, shallow breaths without realizing it. If this is the case, take several deep breaths and focus on your body and the present moment. Appreciate your magnificent body and the privilege of being able to walk.
Observe your environment. What month is it? Spend some time listening to the sounds around you. Feel the breeze, sun, fog, precipitation, or snow on your face. Consider the surrounding people, animals, birds, sky, trees, and structures. Realize that you are an integral part of the environment as you breathe in and out.
Focus your attention on your body. Are your shoulders, neck, solar plexus, low back, and legs tense? Wherever you feel tension, breathe into it and allow it to drain into the Earth. Next, be mindful of your posture. Are you standing tall and upright, or are you slouching? Walk in a manner that is natural to you, with your body relaxed and lifted. Walk with poise and assurance, putting one foot in front of the other, and focus on the experience of movement.
You can walk mindfully anywhere, including on a sidewalk, while walking your dog, in a shopping mall, or through your office hallways. You simply remind yourself to be present in the present moment and to take each step as it comes. Some individuals find it beneficial to repeat a mantra (mantras are sacred words repeated in order to bring focus to your mind). You can also count your breaths as a variation on the walking mantra. Walk more slowly than usual and keep track of the number of steps it takes to inhale and exhale. In this type of meditation, your focus is on both your steps and your breathing, creating a wonderful balance of tranquility and consciousness.
When you return home, spend some time reflecting on the experience. Five or ten minutes concludes your walk and allows you to make the transition from this peaceful location to your normal daily activities.
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A'ho Namaste creates peace movement content and this information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding any type of mental or physical issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
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About The Author:
Catherine (Cat) Valliere
After a lifetime of exploration; 2020 Covid life, led me to a full time focus on the gifts of meditation, alternative health and spiritual well being.
Anything I share comes from a place of healing from within myself and in no way is meant to replace professional medical advice.
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