Meditation Techniques for Beginners

meditation techniquesBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP

There are a variety of wonderful meditation techniques available that have the power to transform the day-to-day life of those who faithfully undertake the practice. Many people practice meditation for specific reasons and benefits. The following three simple meditation techniques may be added to any existing meditation practice or may be practiced independent of meditation, altogether, with excellent results.

 

Silencing Anger and Frustration

Even the most mindful individual will deal with some negative emotions, especially in close relationships. When arguments arise, a quick meditation method that really calms the mind is taking some of the attention from the argument and pulling in a deep, cleansing breath.

Focusing on the internal feeling of the chest expanding, and the sensation of the air being pulled through the nostrils, really centers an individual, which silences the ego. Since the ego is usually the main cause of problems within many relationships, the deep cleansing breath can literally breathe new life into relationships.

 

Hushing the Mind with Practice and Preparing for Restful Sleep

Meditation techniques can enhance sleep patterns in many ways. Sleep lays the foundation for the next day – like nothing else. Therefore, when our quality of sleep suffers, so do we. The mind is the main culprit in causing lack of sleep because it likes to take advantage of the stillness of the night.

If we allow it, the ego will create mind chatter, all night long, about events in the past that cannot be changed. Mind chatter may also revolve around events that may, or may not happen, in the future. All this cannot be solved at bedtime, whether these events actually come to pass or not.

The ego must be silenced in order for one to have good sleep. A great way to achieve silence, while lying in bed, is by performing Shavasana (Corpse Pose). Lying on the back in bed, with palms turned up; begin focusing only on the rise and fall of the chest with each breath.

Then, mentally focus on your toes and move up the body; draw your attention to specific parts of the body, bringing your presence up from the toes, and gradually, to the crown of the head. Although, this is a body scanning technique, one’s attention can be focused on the breath and body – in a mindful way. If you fall asleep, have no worries, it only means you needed the rest.

 

Make the Mundane Divine with Daily Practice

Meditation techniques can be practiced during any task. Taking a routine activity, such as tying your shoes, or brushing your teeth, and turning it into a daily meditation practice can lead to incredible results. Somerset Maugham once said, “In each shave lies a philosophy,” and this is true. Select an activity that you do every day, without fail, and put the utmost care and attention into the act. Do not become attached to the fruit of your action; just focus on the action for the action’s sake. The mundane action then becomes a beautiful expression of life.

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