Beginner’s guide to meditation

Posted on Mar 17, 2010 in Healing, Spiritual living

Learning to meditate is probably the single most precious gift you can give yourself. If you’re anything like me, the average working mum, you’re rushing around, living life at a hectic pace and playing several very different roles simultaneously. It’s easy to become confused, out of balance and lost, to miss the still, small voice of your inner wise self whispering words of wisdom. Meditation is a practice that helps you to tune out all the background noise and daily concerns, and to return to the calm centre of your true self. When you visit this place regularly, you learn to recognise your own beauty, power and potential and to understand how to apply those gifts to your everyday life. So let’s get started!

Preparing your meditation space

Find a place and time where you know you can be quiet and undisturbed – it doesn’t matter where you are but it’s good if you can use the same space regularly as, over time, just being in that place will help you to relax. Choose your time carefully too – five minutes before the kids are due home from school is not a good idea!

Make sure you’re wearing warm clothes and have a comfortable chair in which you can sit upright with your feet flat on the floor. Light an incense stick or scented candle, or drop some of your favourite oils on a burner – lavender is always good as it’s so calming. Put on some relaxing music, not too loud but not so quiet that you strain to hear it, and you’re ready to go. After a while, this preparation ritual becomes an important part of the whole experience and, in itself, helps you to focus. (Rather like washing and cleaning your teeth before bedtime prepares you for sleep!)

Meditating

Sit comfortably in the chair, with your back as straight as possible, and close your eyes. You can lie down if you want to but I find I tend to fall asleep! Ground yourself (see my Grounding post.)

Take three deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, focusing on the passage of air in and out of your lungs. Then relax into whatever pattern of breathing feels right for you, trying to keep your breathing light and easy.

Take your attention to the top of your head and slowly scan down your whole body. Stop wherever you feel tension and consciously relax that area – shoulders are a common problem zone that you’re often not even aware you’re tensing. Pay attention to the way your body feels at this moment – the chair supporting you, the ground solid beneath your feet, any movement of air around you. Be aware of the many thoughts and concerns flying in and out of your mind. Don’t judge them, just acknowledge them and let them go – it’s very important to be easy on yourself and to just keep bringing your attention back to the present moment.

Now, imagine you’re standing at the top of a flight of steps at the bottom of which you can see a door. Slowly walk down the steps, counting yourself down as you go……ten….nine….eight…..seven……six……..five…..four…..three….two…..one. You now find yourself at the door – open it and walk through.

You find yourself in the most beautiful place you can dream of. This is your own special place which can be real or imagined – it might be a sun-drenched beach, a flower-filled garden, a shady forest glade or anywhere that you feel happy and peaceful. Find a spot to sit down and simply stay here for as long as you want to, drinking in the sights, sounds and feelings that come to you.

When you’re ready, get up and walk back towards the door. Recognise that at any point during the day when you’re stressed or anxious, you can return to this place and find peace and focus. Don’t worry if you’ve only stayed a couple of minutes – the more you practice the longer you’ll be able to stay until an hour will fly by without you noticing!

Begin to walk up the stairs, counting yourself back up as you go…….one…..two…..feeling safe and secure…….three……four, coming back into the room…….five…..six, aware of the chair beneath you, seven…..eight, feeling warm and relaxed……nine, fully aware of your body…….ten, wide awake and feeling great. Wiggle your fingers and toes and, in your own time, open your eyes. Welcome back!

Before you forget, write down any images, thoughts or feelings from the meditation, even if you don’t understand them. Keep a special book for this purpose as a record of your personal development – the results can be surprising and exciting, even after a few years!

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Semele Xerri

© Semele Xerri is a psychic intuitive healer, animal communicator, and Reiki Master Teacher. To find out more about her and her services, go to her Work with me page.

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