I’ll be honest, for many years before I started my practice, I didn’t realize what meditation was or what the point was of meditation. I was under the impression that meditation was something that old monks in the temple did all day. Certainly that had no use in my life, but oh boy could I have not been more wrong.
After I started my practice, I found meditation as relaxing, so much so that I would fall asleep during my meditation session. Though I find this now as a useful way of falling asleep, I know now that meditation can be weaved through as an integral part of my practice.
The physical benefits to meditation will be covered in the upcoming series on Wellness Wednesday (beginning in June) so I don’t want to spend much time discussing it in this post, but rather the spiritual and mental aspects of what is meditation. Meditation can decrease anxiety, aide in gaining clarity, and peace of mind. Spiritually speaking, meditation in my practice can range from listening to messages to contemplating my own thoughts to being in complete silence and rest.
There are as many ways of meditating as there are people who meditate. Some of the ones that I use are guided meditation, walking meditation, conversational meditation, grounding and centering meditation, active meditation, and contemplative meditation.
Guided meditation takes you on a journey of exploration. It can me relaxed or contemplative in nature. It can be done in a group or alone and also with or without someone else guiding you in person or by a recording.
Walking meditations are something that has become a huge part of my practice. This is where I walk (with or without a destination in mind), and really hash out what different ideas mean to me. For me, sometimes this is done while listening to music, podcasts, or in silence.
The conversational meditation is linked to prayer. I view praying as me talking to the divine or to spirits, and meditation is me listening for their response.
The grounding and centering meditations will be talked about in over the next two weeks.
Active meditation can be done with a stones, malas, rosaries, or the rhythmic acts of your body being in motion. There are many other ways of course but these are a few that I use. Holding objects such as the mala beads and focusing on them while saying a mantra or prayer can put your mind in a meditative state. Holding stones can connect you with the vibrational energies that the stone holds, thus raising or lowering your vibrations as you connect with it.
The contemplative meditation is one that weaves itself into my walking meditations, but sometimes this can even be done in the shower or by simply sitting and thinking.
So in essence the way you meditate and how you meditate simply depends on what the “why” is behind your meditation. Knowing what you want to achieve during your meditation session will lead you to the way in which you perform it. For instance, if you are looking to simply relax and clear your mind, sitting with your eyes closed in silence is a wonderful way in which to meditate.
Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong ways to meditate as long as if you are comfortable in doing so. If sitting cross legged isn’t comfortable for you, don’t do it. If you can’t sit still to clear your mind then go for a walk and clear your mind. It is as it fits you and your practice that truly matters for you.
If you haven’t tried any of these forms of meditation or if you have never meditated before then I encourage you to give it a shot. If you have a favorite form of meditation that you perform, go ahead and share it, as I’d love to hear how others meditate.