I was talking with someone recently about meditation and he indicated that he simply can’t slow down or sit still long enough to get into it. Got me to thinking….. what really is meditation and how can you do it if you’re not a meditator?
First let’s define meditation:
I define meditation as disengaging your mind from the outside world so you can tune in to your inner and non-physical selves.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, follow certain steps or protocols, or be all “spiritual.” In fact the only requirement is that you disengage from the outside world, and you can do that in whatever way that works for you.
So if you can’t sit still you don’t have to. If sitting in the lotus position does nothing but make you stiff and sore then don’t do it. If chanting mantras seems silly and distracting then they’re out. If you hate “meditation” music then don’t listen to it. And if incense makes your nose twitch and your eyes water then by all means don’t light it.
As I said before, all you really have to do in order to meditate is disengage from the outside world for a few minutes. You don’t need an agenda or guide and you don’t need any special process. Whatever works for you is fine.
To help get you started, here are some ideas on how to meditate:
- Zone into your favorite music. Any kind of music works as long as you can totally lose yourself in it. For me this is sometimes soft music that you’d typically associate with meditation and sometimes it’s classical music. But depending on my mood, I may prefer rock, pop, country, or even heavy or death metal. The key is to find what really calls you in the moment and allow yourself to get totally lost in it.
- Movement, dance, exercise and all that stuff. Have you ever heard of a walking meditation? That’s when you walk slowly and purposely in a labyrinth, garden or defined pattern, clearing your mind and focusing on the movement. While this works for some, it doesn’t for others. So let me tell you this. ANY movement can turn into a meditation. A walk down the street, run in the country, dance, exercise or whatever. A great way to do this is to turn the ipod off during your next walk or trip to the gym and focus fully on what you’re doing, allowing yourself to fall completely into the movement.
- Physical work. Like movement, physical work can become a meditation. It works best when what you’re doing is somewhat repetitive and rhythmic, and your mind doesn’t have to be engaged. Things like washing dishes by hand, cleaning windows, dusting, weeding, mowing the lawn and such are all great times to meditate. If you have a boring, repetitive job you can use some of that time to go on auto pilot and allow your brain to shut down and go into meditation mode.
- Gazing and zoning out. People do this in front of the TV all the time, but it’s not the best medium as whatever’s on the screen gets drilled into your subconscious. Instead try gazing at something hypnotic and mesmerizing, like a candle or fire, abstract graphic from Media player, flowing water in a fountain or creek, or even one of those 1970’s style lava lamps. Again get lost in the motion and allow it to carry you away to another place.
- Car riding. Not driving, but riding as a passenger 🙂 Turn the radio off, close your eyes and focus on the motion of the car and sounds of the road. Or alternatively gaze out the window at the passing power lines or paint on the pavement. Soon you’ll be in a perfect meditative state.
Are you getting some idea of the many different ways of meditating?
You don’t have to do it for extended periods of time. Even a few minutes of meditating has wonderful benefits.
Speaking of benefits, here are some:
Stress relief • Gaining focus & clarity • Problem solving • Cutting out drama
Coming up with new ideas • Programming your body and mind • And more
Try some of these ideas today and soon you’ll find that you’re an expert meditator. And if you need extra help then contact me and together we’ll work out a personalized meditation routine that works for you.