“I’ll read a book on meditation so I don’t actually have to meditate” says JP Sears in an amusing spiritual comedy video. This gave me a chuckle! Even though I regularly practice meditation I have to admit I’ve been guilty of a tendency to read a lot about a topic rather than actually taking action. But I’m pleased to say I now regularly meditate and all of my books about it are dusty! LOL
The powerful health benefits of meditation are now widely recognised and “mindfulness” is a term you hear everywhere from hospitals to workplaces! I was always curious about meditation but the process didn’t come easily for me. It took many attempts at trying a variety of different styles before I figured out what method worked for me.
I remember a naturopath/hypnotherapist first introducing me to meditation when I was nervous about giving a presentation to a large crowd. She guided me through an imaginary relaxed beach scene with crystal clear waters and palm trees but my brain kept rapidly changing the scene and and creating trippy variations. For example, as soon as she said “walking on soft sand” I imagined the sand moving and turning into a sculptures and when she said “water” a psunami came.
I remember feeling really angry that my brain kept creating all these images like a waking dream and it wouldn’t obey the suggestions given. It definitely didn’t help me feel relaxed back then. It probably made matters worse.
Later I worked out that if I put droney music on then I just relaxed with out trying. The commentary could be anything and I would just go into that meditation head space. Music was an important stepping stone to mindfulness for me.
I then discovered theta brain wave technology which claims to slow your brain waves down. I’m not 100% sure if this is legitimate science or not as I haven’t researched it thoroughly but I was convinced enough for it to have an effect. This theta metronome track for example deepened my meditation experience. It’s very simple but effective.
There are trillions of meditations free on YouTube and there are also many not-for-profit organisations, spiritual communities and churches who offer courses or downloads. I think I’ve tried literally every style known to man but what I benefit from the most now is actually a very simple self-guided process. I’ll describe it below in case you’d like to try it.. might save you some reading/ YouTubing if it resonates ha ha!
My meditation process for ultimate chill factor!
I usually put on a music like this himalayan singing bowls track above. Something simple, droney or mesmerizing. I get comfortable, usually lye down but it can be done sitting as well depending on what you feel like.
I scan my body and do an overall assessment to check in with how relaxed or tense I am. I take note of where there might be tension/ pain or discomfort. Then I proceed to relax each part of my body bit by bit usually starting with what is comfortable and leave any tense areas to last. For example, I might start with my feet and make them as relaxed as possible. I think “relaxing my feet” and if needed I imagine light, colour or fractal healing codes surrounding my feet. Whatever imagery helps to make them feel relaxed. I find that creating my own imagery helps me to stick with it (rather than it morphing to something else).
If I get to my heart area or somewhere that might feel a bit emotional I allow the emotions to be there and go into what they feel & look like embodied. For example, what shape is it, how big is the feeling, what does it look like (in my minds eye), is it changing, does it pulse. etc etc. After a while of doing this I find any emotional feelings fade. Then I can call in relaxation to that part like I have done with the more comfortable parts.
If I find my mind wondering I gently bring it back to what I’m intending to focus on and the directions to relax. Sometimes I might explore healing ideas as well like saying “relaxing my organs and surrounding them with golden light rays filled with healing energy and fractal healing codes.” (Don’t ask me what fractal healing codes are I make stuff up like that because I’m a tripper but it helps me)
Once I’m feeling as relaxed as possible throughout my whole body I can then think outwardly a bit more. I feel into where I’m sitting/ lying down and the relationship between myself and the planet. I expand my energy out in all directions and take my awareness out larger.. perhaps to my house, the surrounding streets and hills and then beyond that. This makes me feel present like I’m taking note of where I am in the landscape.
From there I usually find I just get moments of stillness and headspace where nothing really matters and I’m integrated with a sense that judgement is meaningless and that I’m just simply being rather than thinking/judging. Woah long sentence!.. It’s hard to articulate that bit. It seems to be the side effect of doing all those other things that proceed it. Also if the track comes to and end then I can just sit in silence but I still like to start with music first.
Well, I think it’s time I should actually do some meditation now and stop writing about it hey! Don’t you think? Om shanti deer ones!
The Truth about Mental Health blog is an affiliate of Dr Kelly Brogan, Holistic Woman’s Health Psychiatrist. Check out her 44 day online course that explores holistic interventions like diet, meditation, exercise and mindset.