If you read the article “Quick recipe for meditation” https://goo.gl/hsEUCC and you want to go further exploring this world; If you are already meditating and interested in more practice, and if you want to try a deeper recipe for meditation, read ahead.
Before we dive in, perhaps you tried meditation and every time you tried it – you fell asleep. For that, there are some things you can do and check. First check your sleeping pattern.
If you lack hours of sleep, most chances your body and mind will slip into sleep while meditating because of the relaxation effect.
There are some researches that say 6, some that say 8 hours per night are essential – whatever the number is it has very high influence over our health. You should check which number of hours are enough for you to be a function active and healthy human being during the day. It changes with the individual.
Our body need the following like a car need its fuel; good diet, enough sleeping hours and movement.
Second thing you can do while meditating is chanting, or counting, or repeating a mantra. This will sharp your focus away from sleep. There are active meditations as I mentioned in the first article, you can use one of those. I will elaborate further.
Third thing to do is to meditate while sitting upright (without leaning on anything), or do a walking meditation. https://goo.gl/MjaQzs
Another thing is – to choose time of the day when you are less tired – not before sleep or after a big meal.
So now that you are comfortable in your meditation routine :) let’s go deeper.
For start, to combine relaxation of the body with relaxation of the mind- take 3-5 deep breaths. These deep breaths are sending immediate signal of relaxation to the brain and bring it to the Alpha state. Alpha waves in the brain start to slow down out of thinking mind. We feel more calm, peaceful and grounded.
Deep breathing does not only helps the brain – it also helps our lymph system.
This system doesn’t have a pump in our body and rely on transfer of fluids, it works together with the cardiovascular system. Respiratory effect it too, the movement of lymph into the general circulation is greatest at the peak of an inhalation.
Take a breath and count 4 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds, then blow it out for 4 seconds again.
You can also try longer exhalations than inhalations.
You can play with the timing, the important thing is to really feel your lungs and belly expanding and participating. Breath out through your nose or mouth, and with every breath relax your jaw more.
After that you can go back to natural breathing. Your breathing will be slower than usual anyway but you don’t need to force it.
You can now scan every part of your body and relax it with an instruction from your brain. You will immediately feel the body adhere. Send a message going over with your mind to every part of your body – relaxing it to the ground, releasing it, letting go.
To add more relaxation I recommend imagining. Imagine a scene, peaceful one. It can be in space without gravity, it can be on a small boat floating on calm water, it can be on the ground lying underneath a huge tree. Imagine you at this scene, and relax more into this visualization.
Depend on what you want to achieve – clarity, answer to a question that is bothering you, visualizing a future goal, stress relieve, or just viewing thoughts without judgment. There is a technique for each.
If you want to achieve clarity – you can organize your thoughts. Watch and observe them as they come and go. Observe the space between them. Organize them into memories or things you want to forget and put aside. Like you are cleaning a room, which is in your brain.
You can add to that a visualization of you watching your thoughts on a big screen, out in the open sky, or on a notebook (journal).
If you have a question to ask, ask it. And then let your mind bring the answers to you.
Be open and receptive. Sometimes the answer comes later, from few days to months.
Be attentive to see where you can connect messages that comes to your life.
During the meditation you can ponder on it but do not go into a loop of thoughts, that is not the purpose. Be more in an asking mode, wondering, learning, exploring. Attune to hear and receive answers from any source. Give time to only receive. Sink into nothingness if it arise.
Recharging the brain by giving it stillness from time to time helps with solving problems.
If you want to practice self-control, will power, focus, you can meditate by counting.
Count from 1 to 10; if a thought arise in the middle of counting, you start counting from the beginning. Or, focus on an object, every time a thought is coming, bring your awareness back to the object. It can also be your breath, by bringing your awareness to your breath or your general body feeling.
This will make you sharper with time, with a bigger gap between thoughts and the ability to shut a chatter in the brain. It contributes to having calm response to situations.
Stress relieve is an ultimate goal for meditators, you can achieve it in any session :)
The best is (of course for all techniques), to start your meditation when you know for the next 20 minutes or hour you won’t be disturbed. Shut all machines that beep- down.
Immerse yourself in the silence and nothingness as much as you can. You can view the thoughts without judgment, you can invite them to a party in your head, you are the host, you decide.
Practice at least 20 minutes, this is your deeper practice.
I love listening to sounds in the background, of water, nature or peaceful music. It helps to set the intention and brain waves toward relaxation.
Go ahead and try, let me know how it went :)