Ok so you know what meditation is now by definition, but HOW do you actually do it? I am happy to walk you through it!
First you want to make sure your environment is right, so let’s get you set up. Typically a room you are comfortable in is best to start and preferably one with a comfortable chair or couch or even bed. Some people often meditate in their bedrooms, either because it is considered their safe zone or maybe because they are meditating right when they wake up or just before going to bed. But really any room where you can isolate yourself from any distractions that may occur is best. You also want to be sure wherever you are sitting or laying down provides you a suitable position to allow your body to completely relax and not have to awkwardly use any muscles to hold yourself upright. Any position that offers you complete muscle relaxation will be best.
Once you’ve figured out where you are going to meditate and whether you’re sitting or laying down we can begin to get into it. Usually you want to start by gathering yourself mentally by taking a few deep breaths. It is during this that you also want to try to clear your mind as best you can. What works for me is imagining visualizing a whiteboard or chalkboard with all of the days thoughts on it and with each breath imagining some of it being erased until after so many breaths the board is blank. As I said, this works for me but I encourage you to try your own visualization technique. Now once you’ve cleared your mind you are ready for a journey into your consciousness.
Now from this point meditating can vary depending on the different people you ask. For some it is taking a visual journey with your imagination to a remote location or your fantasy happy place, and others it is simply being present and aware of your body and it’s sensations here and now in the moment. Really it’s all about centering yourself, sensing balance and harmony within yourself energetically and therefore physically. So whatever mental exercise works for you and makes you feel more collected, do that.
If you are a visual and imaginative person then try the visual journey route. Just for an example sake, if your happy place is a remote tropical island, visualize walking along it’s shore where the water meets the sand. Then begin to imagine the sensations your body would experience in that environment. Feel the grains of sand between your toes and the water lapping up to touch your feet or ankles. Feel the ocean breeze, maybe even try to smell that salty ocean air. Imagine hearing the waves gently crashing, the sea gulls cawing, and maybe even the palm tree leaves rustling in the wind. Once you have fully immersed yourself in that visualization, begin to imagine your body becoming fully restored physically, emotionally, spiritually, and imagine that energetic being of yours radiating and glowing bright and healthy and coming into alignment with yourself and who you are.
If you are not this visual then you can try noticing your physical presence and existence. Starting from the feet just become aware of your body and any sensations you may be feeling. Acknowledge every toe, notice how your feet feel, if the heel or a particular toe aches or feels sore. Notice your ankles, your calves, your knees. Once you’ve made it up to the hips thank your legs for being there and supporting you and enabling you with the freedom to move around and walk on this beautiful earth. Notice your abdomen and chest, becoming aware of any feelings good or bad that you may be sensing. Bring awareness to each organ, as many as you know of and their location in your body. Thank them for being there and working together in harmony. Or if something has been off and you have been ill, try to imagine a healthy and happy you with no illness or pain. Continue up the rest of your body and be sure to acknowledge every part of you and be present and thankful for your physical existence as it is in this moment.
After you have done either of these exercises you may begin to bring yourself back to noticing your breath and beginning to come out of the meditative state. Allow your mind to come “back online” and become aware of your body’s posture and the room you are in. Take it slow resuming movement by wiggling your toes and fingers, and then stretching out your body. Your meditation session is now complete and you are ready to get back to life refreshed and renewed!