The human mind has a natural tendency to constantly generate thoughts, most often long-dated patterns such as anxieties about the past, or fragmented assumptions about the future. There’s a constant chatter in our mind taking us away from the essential experience of
present-moment awareness, and limiting us from opening our selves to a more fulfilling, abundant, and expanded way of living. By clinging onto the contents of our own minds, we miss out on present opportunities that could potentially improve our lives and entire existence.
Meditation is the practice of taking an objective stand from the constant mental chatter, and centering the awareness back to the present-moment, to the here and now. It can be described as the boundless experience of Being, and feeling part of a unified whole with the Universe. The health benefits of meditation are numerous: it reduces anxiety, treats insomnia, regulates organs, clears the skin, and much more. The mental benefits are even greater; meditation rewires the neurons in your brain, giving you a subtler sense of clarity and insight over your life. In a meditative state, your intuition will naturally come forth into consciousness guiding you towards the highest and most valuable choices, in order to manifest your ideal life and becoming the ideal you.
The keys to an effective meditation practice are the following: posture, breathing, and awareness. For beginners, a meditation session can last about five minutes, and for more advanced practitioners, it can sometimes extend up to a few hours. It is recommended to meditate in the morning, or before sleeping, when the mind is less active, in a calm and alpha state. With time, you will naturally adopt a mindful attitude in your day-to-day actions, and gain expanded awareness over your life and environment.
Start by sitting in a comfortable position, with your shoulders relaxed and your legs crossed. Your spine must be straight to allow the energy in your body to flow naturally and release blockages. If you are new to this practice, and need extra support for your body, feel free to use a small cushion underneath you or behind your back. The key to posture is to stay balanced and relaxed during the full meditation session. The muscles in the back shouldn’t be forced or strained, and keeping ourself straight should be effortless. To help you with this, visualize roots coming down your spine, all the way to the center of the Earth, keeping you grounded and providing you with firm and strong support. As for your arms, it is recommended to place your hands on your knees, with your palms facing the sky, to be receptive to the incoming cosmic energy into your Being.
Now let’s place your focus on your breathing. Because our brain contains an intrinsic, automated breathing function, that allows oxygen to flow at all times into the body, we tend to disengage from our breathing process. This leads to a shallow and unaware way of breathing from the mouth, and limited down to the chest. Your breathing should have those three qualities: depth, consistency, and flow. Start by taking a few deep breaths from your noise, and feel your belly rising and expanding. Oxygen, or let’s call it energized air, is flowing into your nostrils, all the way down to your navel, and spreading to your organs. The old, saturated, energy is then released upwards, all the way up from your navel and out of your nostrils. Practice this a few times, until this breathing method becomes natural to you. Picture the breaths as ocean waves, that drift in and out of the shore in a consistent and gentle flow. With every inhalation you feel energized, and with every exhalation you are melting back into a state of expanded awareness.
During meditation, thoughts, feelings, and emotions will naturally arise, and try to pull your awareness away from your in-depth breathing and present-moment. This is normal, as it is in the mind’s nature to think and feel. The goal isn’t to repress or ignore these mental objects, but to rather observe them without attachment or judgment. They are simply there, without a conceptual existence of their own, like any other object in the Universe. Let’s take a look at a simple analogy:
Imagine yourself sitting on a bench outside, and perceiving a flock of birds passing in the sky. There are hundreds of birds, and each of them have different qualities, shapes, wings, and so on. What you usually do is that you become aware of this experience of perceiving, and once these birds are gone from your field of perception, you pass onto the next experience. Now, imagine how much mental energy it would take to start analyzing and questioning each and every one of these birds. It would be mentally exhausting! But that’s what we usually do with our thoughts; we cling to them and spend enormous time over-analyzing them, preventing ourselves from fully experiencing the next moment.
While meditating, if you notice yourself drifting into certain thought patterns, gently bring your awareness back to your breathing. And if feelings become too overwhelming, simply be with them. Don’t feel discouraged if you initially have to do it over again. You are now simply
learning to center your awareness, and soon, over time, you will master the practice of mindful meditation. Eventually, the mind will start quieting down, and you will enjoy the feeling of pure, unmediated awareness.
The secret to a successful meditation practice is to sit comfortably straight, breathe deeply from the noise, and bringing focus back to the present-moment awareness. In short time, you will feel whole and fully energized again, and ready to take over the world in your most authentic, and highest way. Enjoy your journey towards a more realized, expanded life, and namaste!