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Basics of Meditation – Dogwood & Sage

Basics of Meditation


Meditation basics Meditation is hard. It is. Even those who are well ‘practiced’ have days where they struggle.

However, meditation is an incredibly important part of the human’s ability to fully connect with their guidance and with the Divine. It goes hand in hand with prayer. Prayer is speaking – asking for guidance, giving thanks. Meditation is listening – calming & quieting the mind, body, energy… being present… helping us to ‘hear’ the guidance.

In addition, science continues to find/ prove more and more benefits from meditation. So here are some basics for you to start a practice – or to use as reminders within your established practice.

* Figure out a place in your home where you are going to meditate. It should be a place where you can create a “Sacred Space”. Yet it does not have to be an area with an alter or shrine. Simply try to find a spot where you can feel comfortable and quiet. Try putting a few things there which have special meaning to you. It can be a picture, a religious artifact, a rock… It is for you. The idea is that when you look at these things, they resonate feelings like love, peace, joy, calm… in your heart. (more on sacred space another time)

*You do not have to sit in a contorted yoga position on the floor. You can sit on the floor, or in a chair or even lie down. What you want is to be comfortable yet present.

*Make an effort to do it at the same time, each day. First thing in the morning, last thing at night or ??? Part of doing it at the same time and in the same space is to create a ‘ritual’. You will also begin to create a sort of ‘muscle memory’. You will begin to notice how simply heading towards the space… the ‘intention’ of meditating… will shift your energy. In this way, once you have established a practice, you can shift your energy by thinking of your sacred space. This is especially useful when you are away from home and need to “calm” & “center”

*5 minutes. This is the goal. It is harder to say “I don’t have time” for 5 minutes. If you go longer – regularly or just on occasion, that is great. If it is a struggle, do not worry about it. Start over. After all, your intention is just 5 minutes.

In Buddhism they call it a “practice”. Every moment is an opportunity to start over. You practice each time you sit. You practice quieting the mind, calming the energy. When the mind wonders, you take note, let it go and begin again. There is no need to get frustrated. No need to be unkind to yourself. The practice is… “letting go”, “beginning again”… “being gentle with yourself” *Be gentle with yourself. This is not about perfection.

*You may choose to light a candle or some incense. This is not necessary. However, it can be helpful in creating the ritual around the practice. There is much symbolism in both. For instance, it is a way to say “I am ready to begin”. Like lighting the candles on your birthday cake… you focus your intentions and then blow the candles out, sending your intentions to the universe.

*Breathe ~ Beginning with several (traditionally 3) deep cleansing breathes – in through the nose, out through the mouth. Breathing in, visualize the Divine light filling you. Breathing out, saying to yourself “letting go of that which I no longer need”… feeling yourself relax. Then simply continue to breathe normally. It can be helpful to focus the mind on your breathe. Either following the breathe, through the nose, to the lungs, and back out again or by noting the rising and falling of the chest. Some people may make a slight mental note of “in”… “out”… with breathe. Whatever you choose is fine.

*Relax ~ if you like, focus on the top of your head. Feel and ‘see’ any tension, stress, discomfort… falling away as you slowly work your way down your body to the bottom of your feet. *You may choose to say a prayer. You may ask for guidance “Please help me to find clarity with….” “Please help me to see the guidance that is all around me, throughout my day.”

OR

You may choose to simply express your gratitude. “Thank you for my many blessings.” Feel free to be specific… “Thank you for this day. Thank you for my health. Thank you for the phone call from a friend. Thank you for …” *How long has that been? By focusing on these simple steps above, you will find that you have already done your five minutes. Probably more! You can gently bring your attention back ‘outside’ yourself. Try to maintain the ‘energy’ of meditation for as long as you can. Throughout the day, you may wish to take a few deep breathes and recall that ‘space’, in order to shift your energy.

OR

You may choose to go longer, perhaps adding “Grounding Meditation”…or “Chakra Clearing”, “Divine Connecting”, “Sitting for Guidance”, chanting…. to your practice. Whatever you choose, this “basic meditation” is the foundation to build your practice upon.

~ Jill ♥
{Dogwood & Sage}

 


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