Let's Talk about Meditation, Series 1
Meditation is the practice of having focus on a sound, breathing, movement, object, or visualization in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and to increase spiritual growth. Some would say meditation is actually not focusing, it's just clearing your mind and watching what comes to you in your mind and letting it go.
Depending on how you are meditating, I'd say they all are right.
Meditation dates to prehistoric religion. Prehistoric religion meaning from Paleolithic-Iron Age religions. Meditative practices are recorded in Genesis 24:63, showing evidence of practices among Judaism. Throughout the Hebrew Bible, Judaism always contained a central meditative practice. Early Christian meditation involved repetitive words or phrases, using a specific posture. This has been raced back to Byzantine period. Western Christian meditation contrasts with most other forms of meditation, because Western Christians do not use a specific posture or repetitive words or phrases. This form of meditation progressed from the 6th century practice of the Bible reading among the Benedictine monks.
What is the point of learning it? The benefits are many, but here are a few:
enhances immune system, reduces effects of stress, improves concentration, improves sleep, relaxes, stops the endless chatter of voices in your head. (some call this monkey chatter, I call it Magpie chatter). Helps to stop worry, instills general feeling of happiness, and faster information processing in your mind. Because mind, breath, and emotions are interconnected, we can control them with meditative breath. By controlling your breath, you can control how you react to thoughts and emotions. In the November 2012 issue of the medical journal called, "Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes," there was a study on 201 people with coronary heart disease. Half were educated on eating a better diet and exercise, while the other half were to meditate everyday. Five years after the onset of this study, researchers found out that the meditation group had a 48% reduction in overall risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. Wow, pretty amazing!
Here is a link to a Forbes article that talks about the benefits of meditation.
How do I meditate?
There are many ways to meditate. One can buy or watch Youtube for a Guided Meditation. One could perform QiGong everyday, which is really a moving type of meditation. Another type of moving meditation is by focusing, inside of yourself, your every movement. I could go on with the different types, but I will tell you how I meditate. In following articles I will write some more about other types of meditations.
I've meditated now for around 8-10 yrs.
I have made myself up a small area that I have designated as "My space". I am able to close a door for quietness and to be alone.
Sit in a comfortable position. (laying down promotes falling asleep. Meditation is not sleeping.)
both feet need to be flat on the floor if in a comfortable chair. Arms and hands laying to sides of your body. Although, when I sit, it's more comfortable for me to put my hands in my lap (uncrossed or on my knees. ) Close your eyes. Focus on your breathing in your stomach. With each breath, your stomach rises and falls, concentrate on this. If you have a thought about something from your day, just let it go and refocus on your stomach, going in and out. If you feel an emotion rise, don't judge it, just observe it, acknowledge it, and then let it go. It will flow right out the side of your head, like a steam flowing through your mind. Refocus on your breath/stomach again. Each time something comes in to your mind, let it flow past and you refocus on your breath/stomach. After about 5-10 minutes (you can go longer when you are more advanced at meditation.) with eyes still closed, slowly move your fingers, hands, and feet around. Now open your eyes slowly, refocusing on the room. Practicing everyday will give you the benefits you're looking for. When meditating, always have a quiet space just for you alone. No t.vs, no phones, and no spouses interrupting.
At times, I will also use soothing music while I meditate. (no words, just the soothing music, whether it's actual musical instrument music or nature sounds.) Try https://youtu.be/LrpZRHb3sgQ
This is just a simple, but an effective way to meditate.
A little extra; this kind of meditation is effective when you are having a hard time falling a sleep. Try this mediation laying in bed. (Only do this laying down when you are trying to go to sleep.) What this does is it helps you to stay out of your mind, thinking. You're concentrating on your stomach/breathing. Tell yourself it doesn't matter if you fall a sleep. As long as you are laying in bed, relaxing, you will still feel rested by morning. If you're like me, eventually you fall a sleep and you're not even aware of it until the next morning.
Meditation has helped me in numerous ways. I used to have that "Magpie chatter" going on all the time. I just wasn't quite aware of it happening. Meditation has helped me to be more relaxed. Meditation has helped me as an Empath watch and be aware of all the emotions that come to me, without reacting to them. This is vital for an Empath to do. Meditation has helped me connect to God. Yep, that is what I said. How? I'm more aware of how God communicates to me.
I have an experience I would like to share with you in regards to meditating. I've told maybe two people this experience up til now. But I feel it is pretty inspirational.
At the time of this experience, I was fairly seasoned at meditating. In the year of about 2016-2017, like every night, I walked in to my meditation space and sat down. I have a hard time sitting on the floor, so I use a comfy chair. I closed my eyes and started focusing on my gut moving. This particular night, I did not use music. I pretty quickly dropped off in to a deep meditative state.
One moment I was in blackness. The next, I watched this black veil rip open, allowing the brightest most brilliant light to shine in. One moment I was looking at the light and then the next I found myself laying down in pitch black. As I laid there, I was feeling the most beautiful, pure love I've ever felt. I have never ever felt so much love in my life. I had the feeling that I was laying down in front of God's feet. I laid there, just absorbing all the love and feeling so content and so loved. After a while, I have no idea how long, I was told, telepathically I had to go back. I said I didn't want to. The next moment I found myself opening my eyes in my meditation room. Wow, what happened? Many would think I fell a sleep and had a cool dream. But no, this was no dream. Meditation opens us up to connecting with God. I will never forget this experience. I will never forget the extreme "love" I felt. There are no words to adequately explain the intense "love" I felt.
At the time I wasn't sure how to take this experience. For a while, there had been a person following my jewelry site that was a middle aged psychic medium. For some reason I got the urge to tell him about this experience. And so I did . Well I never really heard anything back. I wasn't expecting to. But the weird thing is, about a few months later, he died.
Through my meditation, was I a messenger for God telling this person how much love awaited him? Did it help him when he was between worlds? I don't know, but I thought this was a pretty unique, and inspiring experience to share to other people.
So to end this note I want to say, meditate. Meditate for your health. Meditate for connecting to God. Meditate to feel more relaxed. Meditate because you love yourself.
Re-written by Cynthia Bergsbaken of Reiki in the Prairie LLC January 29, 2020.
Written originally by Cynthia Bergsbaken for Reiki in the Prairie LLC December 23, 2017.