In September 2015, things at my work began to change. I was not enjoying my work and was literally dragging myself to work everyday. the job that i loved until a few months ago seemed like a burden. I knew something had to change. That year, Christmas break was the worst I had in several years. Something was not right. Something needed to change and I could feel it in my gut. Then came the March break and that was my breaking point. I resigned after much deliberation and a war going on in my head. And something very interesting and unexpected happened. I felt very relieved, although extremely emotional since I had been working in this place for 7 ½ years and this place had been my favorite workplace through my career. It still is.
The point I am trying to make is sometimes, life takes you to a point when you have to take tough decisions. As tough as they maybe, once taken lots of good things happen. But of course, you need to work towards them. Anyways, going back to my story, I did resign, was relieved but was also feeling very restless internally, my appetite was low, could not sleep well. It was a mixed feeling stage. I needed to overcome this and that is when I started to meditate every morning for 10 minutes. Within 1 week I was feeling so much better and in control of myself. Today, I am doing the things that I enjoy and also have a new job as well. A job that I am now settling in gradually and am enjoying the work.
With this experience, I have to come to feel and understand the power of meditation.
Now you maybe thinking, i have tried meditation and it does not work for me, I get distracted, my mind wanders all over. And even the things that were even not on my mind start to come back. It is not for me. That is exactly what even I thought when I started. I am hoping that through this post I am able to motivate some of you to begin practicing meditation. I have also created a freebie on “The Do’s & Don’ts of meditation” Be sure to download it. It will really help you get started.
Types of meditation
There are several types of meditation. But the most common ones are
1. Concentration meditation
2. Mindful meditation
This type of meditation essentially focuses on your breathing or a focal point. You can chose what your focal point is. It could be a framed wall art that you love, a point on the wall or even a pretty door knob in your room.
Bottomline: It could be anything that you can focus on.
The trick is to return to focusing on the focal point even if you get distracted. Getting distracted and off track is totally normal when you begin to meditate. When I started meditating, I used to get distracted multiple times by thoughts, sounds, noises from the neighbours all the time. Now I am much better, but do get distracted. All I do is to return to my breathing. I am a human being!
We all are humans. So you will get random thoughts in your head. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Just keep at it and soon you will find yourself to be a master meditator.
Mindful meditation is all about being aware of your thought process and visualizing them drift away. The whole idea is not to get too attached or involved with them, rather just being aware of them and avoid giving any importance to negative thoughts or being judgemental. This practice will help you big time in keeping calm and in control of your emotions and some strong feelings or opinions you may have. Over time you will be able to quickly judge an experience as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant. With practice, an inner balance develops. And that is exactly what you want.
Types of music/sounds for meditation
- Guided meditation music
- Chants like Om
- Meditation music
All the above types of music and sounds are easily available on You Tube. I personally follow Jason Stephenson.
His Youtube channel is:
You can also take membership for his videos: http://www.meditationmasters.tv/?afmc=1i
How to meditate especially beginners
1. Identify a place where you will not be disturbed for the duration of your meditation.
2. Posture: You can choose to either sit upright with feet flat on the ground or lie comfortable. Some people chose to sit cross legged on mat on the floor – you do not have to do this, I don’t because I find it difficult to sit on the floor.
If you choose to lie down, it is possible you may drift off to sleep – in that case ensure that you are in a safe surrounding.
3. You can even create an ambience for meditation by a keeping a scented candle, a bouquet of flowers, lighting incense sticks or dim or turn out the lights to help you concentrate. These techniques can be great little touch to enhance your meditation experience.
4. Equipment: you can do meditation without any equipment. However, if you like you can invest in a meditation chair or a meditation pillow also called as “zafus”. A zafus is a circular cushion that allows you to sit on the ground while meditating. It does not have a back, like a chair does and doesn’t let you slump back and lose focus on your energy. You can also use any old pillow or sofa cushion. A cushioned bottom will do to keep you from getting sore during long stretches of cross-legged sitting.
If you find that sitting without a chair-back hurts your back, feel free to use a chair. Try to be present in your body and maintain a straight back for as long as it feels comfortable, then lean back until you feel you can do it again.
5. Sit or lie comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair.
6. Close your eyes if you like. For concentration meditation, you may choose to keep your eyes open to focus on an object of your choice.
7. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
8. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
9.Time yourself. You can have a timer set up or choose timed meditation music. Start small – as small as 5 minutes and gradually increase the time. I started with 10 minutes.
5 meditation apps you could try
- Smiling Mind
Now go ahead and try meditation. It is possible you may not succeed the first time. DO NOT give. Try again. Share your experiences right here in the comment box below.