Spell for Today – Beginning mediation guide c. 2010

Beginning mediation guide

Beginning mediation guide: meditation helps your body and mind to obtain a deep state of relaxation. It is simple to learn and easy to practice. And it is useful to everyone.

Meditation is a wonderful way to relieve stress, clear your mind, and connect with your inner self. Many people have experienced meditation and don’t even know it. If you have ever drifted off into a day dream, got lost in the music you were listening to, or felt like you were floating on clouds then you have already experienced meditative awareness. However, when most people hear the word meditation they do not believe that they, personally, will be able to do it successfully. What they do not know, is that meditation is easy and useful for everyone.

Like any other skill, meditation needs to be practiced to be done correctly. It is very unusual that you will learn it by actually resting but remaining in an active state. The goal is to keep your mind free of distracting thoughts while remaining relaxed, but awake. Done correctly, meditation allows the body to rest more deeply than when you are sleeping. Meditation provides a higher awareness of the details of everyday life. Even a few minutes per day will help you move through the world with more relaxation and alertness.

You have challenged your outer body to explore its full range since you were a young child; with meditation your inner body is given a chance to explore its full range also. Your body works as a whole to make this possible.

People meditate for all types of reasons including curiosity, boredom, and despair. Others meditate to contact nature, to find the essence of life, to keep their senses sharp, or to heal. With so many reasons to meditate, a variety of techniques and traditions have emerged. No one way is correct. You need to use whatever works for you.

Meditation is there to help your fulfill you everyday needs, clear your mind of clutter, and get some perspective on your life, as you would if you were to go on a vacation. Some people even consider it a mini-vacation and look forward to the escape daily. Having more energy is also a key benefit.

The biggest arguments against meditation are not having time to learn how to do it or not having the time to keep doing it. That is simply untrue because meditation is easily learned and practice only can take one to three minutes per day. If you insist your life is too busy to take this time, that is all the more reason that you need meditation in your life.

Another misconception about meditation is that you have to sit in a cross-legged position for a long period of time. This is also false as meditation can be done sitting, standing, walking, or even lying down. Being comfortable is needed to help your relaxation efforts. And again, meditation can take very little time away from your busy schedule.A good start to learning meditation is deep breathing exercises. Choose a comfortable position. As you take a few deep breaths through your nose or mouth, your body automatically begins to relax. Concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing. Focus on whether your inhalation or exhalation is longer. The longer time between breaths also indicates relaxation. Your eyes may be either open or closed. If they are open, pick a spot to focus on and try not to let your eyes wander. If they are closed, look up slightly as if you were looking at the back of your forehead. Continue your breathing and when thoughts come to you, simply put them out of your mind. Relax and let go. This exercise is a good practice to learn meditation and a good foundation to explore further.Successful concentration sometimes comes with reciting a mantra. This is definitely not needed, but for beginners it is a trick to improve concentration. A mantra, in literal terms, means thought as sound. Your mantra might be just a sound, a word, or even a group of words. Whatever the case, it is repeated over and over allowing the mind to focus on it, instead of drifting away. Mantras do not have to be repeated out loud, they can be listened to internally without making any external sound.Other successful tips to meditation are making sure you will not be interrupted, not forcing concentration, and learning not to be frustrated if you cannot do everything perfectly from the beginning. Start with small meditation periods such as one-to-three minutes per day when possible. Then gradually work up to five, ten, and fifteen-minute meditations several times daily. After only a short time, you will realize the effects of meditation and look forward excitedly to those periods of the day.