Meditation is da bomb.
In my thirty-some years of seeking ommmm for my over-active brain, few things have quieted it like the effects of meditation. And now I am hooked. Whether I’m looking for some time out, insight or even a hippy dippy trip (sans hallucinogens, of course), I’ve discovered the joy of zenning out a la meditation.
I was a skeptic at first, though, not gonna lie. To begin, the time commitment, alone, was daunting. Never in a million years could I see myself meditating for days on end at a weekend retreat, let alone for an hour. Also, the prospect of what might be uncovered during a session was frightening. Spirts? Future self? No thanks. Finally, there was the logistical concerns about how to even get started. How do I sit? How do I breath? All of my apprehension quickly melted, of course, when I made the decision to just go for it.
So here’s how I actually got started.
I went to my iPhone podcast app and typed in “Meditation.” You can do this too, by the way, from any device you own with access to an app store. I listened to a couple of meditations without any intent on actually finding my ommmm. Why? You will quickly discover as I did that not every zen master is a good fit for you. Their voice, both pitch and pace, might irritate the shit out of you or you might find the background noise of them slurping on a refreshment or a lawn mower running in the backyard to be a turn off. Everyone has their own kind of meditation, too. Some take you through a good 10 minutes of guided breathing before starting in on the actual meditation and some begin right away with vigorous drumming and chants. Taking a bit of time to sample what’s out there to suss out what you like will save you the stress of being disappointed midway through a session when you’re all quiet and relaxed.
Next, I found a space that is quiet and relaxing to me. Truth: I meditate in my washroom where there is one door in and out that I can lock to keep people out. Sounds anti-zen, I know, but I further my blockade by plugging in a pair of headphones so that it is just me and my meditation. Airplane mode for the device is good for this too so you don’t get interruptions of beeps ‘n’ whistles ‘n’ hey-respond-to-my-text texts. Anywhere you know you can be uninterrupted will work. Outside can be nice for this too, especially if you really want to feel grounded.
I bought myself a $7 journal from Winners so that I could record any and all thoughts that I had post-meditation, but you can find cheaper varieties of this at dollar stores, too. This meditation journal helps immensely because one of the tricks to meditating is to simply observe: take in what you get, be it images, words or scenarios, acknowledge them and move along to the next thing. I don’t work on discernment during a meditation, which has been a huge practice for me and another blog post altogether, but simply allowing thoughts and ideas to emerge and move on, is how to get the most out of a meditation. When I’m done, I record all the juicy bits that I can recall in my journal.
Finally, I made time. And it’s hard, I know, but once you start to value something it’s funny how you find ways to build it into your day. For me, I still can’t spare more than thirty minutes to this practice, though I endeavour to do so some day. Instead, I’ve discovered some quick ‘n’ dirty ways to get my zen in when I’ve only got 15 minutes to spare. It is possible and there are lot’s of meditations like the ones led by Chel Hamilton that are meditation minis: less than 20 minutes for your daily dose of enlightenment! There are some apps out there like Calm.com which allows you to decide how much time you’ve got to breathe ‘n’ relax. And I’ve become so practiced at meditating for short moments that I can do as Meggan Watterson indicates, and drop into my center/chi/ommm when I’m in line at the grocery store.
If you want to get hooked on the zing of daily enlightenment, here are 5 Reasons Why You should Meditate:
- It doesn’t cost anything. Sure you can purchase a singing bowl kit with some sage to burn and a nice pillow for your rump to zen out on because they could enhance the overall experience, but they certainly aren’t necessary. Free is free.
- Deep breathing relaxes you and your nervous system and who doesn’t want to look a little less stressed in their day?!
- Tapping into your intuition can give you the answers you need to make the next step in your journey, whatever that may be. If you can’t decide on what colour to paint your kitchen, a lil meditation might settle the debate for you. And if you’re contemplating leaving a relationship, your intuition could guide you towards the best solution for that too.
- It clears your mind. We have too many things to remember, to do, to participate in, to organize, and the list could go on. Meditating, like Mastin Kipp says, is like a shower for your mind. And who doesn’t like feeling a little squeaky clean?!
- Me time. And you deserve some. Enough said.
xo, Unleighshed Potential