How do you meditate?
A question that comes up rather frequently working at the shop is folks asking us how to meditate and connect with spirits. Usually it is followed up with “I’ve been sitting around trying all these different meditations; putting myself in weird positions and trying to be conscious of my breath.” For some folks, this method doesn’t work. Meditation is defined as putting one’s self in a trance like state to become relaxed or for various religious or spiritual reasons. So many books and instructors firmly teach this singular method of meditation in which you contort your body and clear your mind of all idle thoughts and achieve a mental state of emptiness or clarity as they call it. While this method works for some, it’s not always the case for the masses. Because of this, a lot of people become discouraged and feel they are unable to meditate and therefore will never be able to connect with spirits or their higher selves.
Meditation can be done in a multitude of ways and it’s just a matter of finding the method that works for you and sticking to it. The purpose of meditation is to get out of your own way, to allow your rational mind to take a backseat and allow for your inner conscious to come through more clearly. One example of meditation that is actually super easy and most everyone has done it many times in their life is day dreaming. That’s right, day dreaming is a form of meditation. You are allowing your mind to relax and wonder while you focus on nothing in particular. Those are the moments where inspiration strikes, you feel more at peace, and relaxed.
Another way to meditate is to do simple repetitive action. For this, I suggest doing something you are particularly skilled at that’s kind of second nature to you. Something that you don’t have think too hard about. For me, being a skilled chef, I will often go into the kitchen grab a cutting board and my chef’s knife and make the simple rocking motion of chopping. Knitting is another example, you follow a simple pattern of over and under and through. If you aren’t skilled in anything you feel comfortable in, you can even just doodle simple shapes like circles on a piece of paper or trace a spiral shape on a flat surface with your finger. I also know many tarot readers grab their tarot deck and shuffle them over and over again. All these are examples of meditation that are a little more active, but a lot easier for most instead of sitting cross legged on a floor chanting strange words or thinking about nothing.
Some people find that calming music, incense or even carrying certain stones will aid them. These are all great options to add to the experience if you chose. My suggestion is try keep things simple so you find what works for you. All too often, people gather a whole room full of things to help them meditate and I hear them say how it takes them several hours to get ready with lighting incense, playing the right song, and making sure the stones are in the best place. Find what works for you and try them out one at a time before making combos.
Guided meditations are also helpful I have found with folks who are just starting out. This method I feel works because you don’t have to think as hard. All you need to do is follow simple directions. I suggest these to people because again, there are many tried and true methods and sometimes the soft voice of another person guiding you along a journey is a lot easier. It takes away the stress of having to be mindful and making sure all your aids are working perfectly. The person leading it has got that to worry about, all you need to do is relax and journey away.
If you wish to try and master meditation the way I described in the beginning where you sit in silence and clear your mind here are some tips to help you. First off, if sitting cross legged is uncomfortable, or you aren’t able to like me; then find another position you are comfortable in. Some people like to sit on a chair or leaning against a wall. You can also lay down, but be warned as sometimes people tend to do what we affectionately refer to as “sacred snoring”. If you are prone to falling asleep in that manner, try sitting instead. Second, remember that when you are trying to clear your mind, you must allow for idle thoughts to pass. The more you try and actively push it away, the more the thoughts will linger and get in the way. If someone tells you to not think about something, chances are that’s the first thing you are going to think about. Allow the thoughts to come into your mind and then let them gently pass; don’t force them out. This will help quiet your mind by letting the fullness of your mind drain away. Third, I suggest sitting in a dark or dimly lit room is best. The reason for this is you want to try and remove as much external stimulus as possible. This makes it so your mind won’t accidentally start focusing on something around you. Fourth, remember that there is no set amount of time you have to meditate. Meditation can be anywhere between a few minutes to several hours. Start small and work your way up comfortably.
*Please note each Blog is the unique expression of the Blogger and does not speak for The Green Man as an entity, but rather is one of the many diverse colours that make up our Green Man Tribe.