Three Easy Ways to Meditate Today
Why I Began to Meditate
I first began my meditation practice about 10 years ago. I had recently graduated from college and was starting my first year of teaching. All these changes made me feel stressed, overwhelmed and at times, depressed. For the first time in my life I was no longer a student. I was working a full time job, something I had never done before. I felt like I didn’t know who I was and was thrown into this new world that I didn’t know my place in. In other words, I was officially an adult.
I found myself reading a lot of books on mindfulness and new ways of thinking. Everything I read kept discussing the importance of meditation. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try.
The way I first began to meditate was that I would set a timer for 15 minutes and then I would just play a CD of relaxation music. I would usually sit on the floor, crossed legged with my hands resting on my knees. Then I would close my eyes and visualize a beautiful enchanted forest. This forest became my sanctuary that I would escape to at the end of the day. It was so peaceful and I found myself looking forward to this time each day.
Now its ten years late and my meditation practice has evolved and continues to do so. I have learned so many different ways to meditate. Here are just a few to get you started.
What You Can Do
- Guided Meditation
For those of you who say they can’t meditate because their mind has a million things going on, I recommend you do a guided meditation. On the days that I’m stressed and find myself going over all the things I have to do, I do a guided meditation. A guided meditation involves listening to someone’s voice as they guide you through breathing and visualization. This has been very helpful for me because as soon as my mind starts to wander, the voice in the meditation always brings me back to the present moment. Here’s a great one to get you started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7iBnp8T6nY&index=2&list=PLR2oXBlYvTBEzSQyBbCuWQkadFhsXFJ_B
- Walking Meditation
A walking meditation is something that a friend of mine recently introduced to me. Step outside but before you begin your walk you must set your intention. For example, maybe you need a resolution to a problem. So you might say, “It is my desire to find a resolution to this problem that I’m facing at work.” Then begin your walk. Notice the colors around. Notice the people and animals that cross your path. Take note of any street signs around you. Any one of these things can guide you to a resolution.
- Watching a Burning Candle
One of the important keys to meditation is focus. Watching a burning candle is a great way to practice this. Sit in a comfortable chair and then light a candle and place it on a table or sturdy surface in front of you. Be sure to close the lights so you will not be easily distracted by anything else in the room. Watch the flame. Soften your gaze. Relax your body. If you find your thoughts start to drift, use the flame to bring your focus back.
So here you have it. Three ways to meditate. There are plenty more but these are some great ways to get your feet wet. I recommend doing any one of these at least once a day for fifteen minutes. Be mindful of your breath. Most importantly, enjoy the experience!