As with any new adventure, the feeling of starting off with tons of excitement and exhilaration and then falling to the other end of the spectrum is common. When you begin your endeavor of meditation, it is important to remember that there will be times of frustration.
Meditation is not a magic pill that, once swallowed, will come easily and effortlessly. It takes practice and it takes patience.
There are some common problems with mediation in the early stages.
It is hard to focus – In the beginning, you may have high expectations that some secret or special meditation techniques will magically transform your life and it will do so immediately. This is not the case. Meditation takes focus. When you find your mind constantly shifting gears and you are unable to sit quietly and focus on breathing, you need to regain control of that focus.
Sometimes picking a focal point in the center of the room or even a focal point that you have created will alleviate the problem of focus. Concentrating on your breathing will also help you gain control of your meditation experience.
Thinking too much – If you are thinking too much about trying not to think too much, you will sabotage yourself. Try not to focus too much on getting clear and quiet. If you find you are straining the muscles in your forehead, trying to clear your mind, then you are trying too hard. Start with a slow progression of deep breaths and by tensing and releasing various parts of your body and your muscles. When it comes to meditation, too much effort can strain your results.
Too many distractions – If you have not designated a quiet space for your mediation, chances are that you will not have a successful beginning. It is very important to have a set-aside room or space for your meditation practice. If you have chosen a place with too many distractions and too much traffic, you have set yourself up for failure. In addition, it is imperative to tell your family members that you have a schedule and you intend to stick to it.
Disregarding your commitment – In the beginning, when you are not quite seeing the immediate results you may have anticipated, it is easy to disregard your commitment. However, make it a point to stick to your commitment even if that means being accountable to a friend or family member. If you give up too soon, you will never reap the amazing benefits of mind, health, and body.
Difficulty with the breathing rhythm – Sometimes individuals may breathe in too deeply and out too rapidly. The point is not to hyperventilate yourself, but to find that rhythm that works for you. Long, slow, deep inhalations with long, slow exhalations will work better than short breaths in and short breaths out. Once you get the feel for the rhythm, you will have mediation down in no time flat.
Why Meditation Is Good for You
Keeping your mind in a constant state of flux is like keeping the motor on your car running all night long. You and the car will eventually run out of gas. Quieting your mind needs a top-five placement on your “to-do” list.
Since we are so well aware of the needs of others, from our employers to our families, it is easy to overlook ourselves. Therefore, keep the notion that it is necessary to quiet your mind in the forefront of your mind. In this way, you will be able to go forth and do more.
Block aside a time and place for yourself that enables you to think of nothing, do nothing, and clear your mind. If you have to leave the house, then do so. Let everyone know that you are unreachable.
Sit quietly in your car if you have to, take some cleansing breaths, and think of absolutely nothing. You will see how even recharging for a few minutes during lunch each day will make a difference. Imagine then how productive the art and practice of meditation can be, in many ways.
Studies are beginning to show through trials how meditation is having a positive impact on an individual’s health. It seems as though training your mind could have a direct impact on improving the health of your body.
A Healthy heart – Studies are beginning to show that meditation could possibly be one of many contributing ways to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Of course, any way to lower cholesterol and blood pressure is a way to a healthier and happier heart.
Arthritis and other joint diseases – Meditation seems to have a direct impact on the ability to cope better with pain and stiffness associated with disorders involving chronic pain.
Fatigue and sleep disorders – Individuals who practice meditation may get a bonus that transcends further into every category of health. Without a good night’s sleep, fatigue sets the stage for disease and stress. Getting a good night’s sleep will aid in the fighting off and recovery of illness. Those who meditate may find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Warding off stress – It not only gives physical health benefits; meditation is also a wonderful way to ward off stress. Anyone who has ever practiced meditation may very well say that it has helped him or her in dealing with stress. Of course, meditation does not eliminate stress; however, it helps an individual cope better with it. This has a dual benefit – one of a healthy body and the other of a healthy mind.
These are just a few of the reasons why meditation is good for you.
Learning to Relax With Meditation
Have you ever encountered a friend or family member who tells you to just relax? Don’t you just love that? Telling someone to just relax is like telling someone who is allergic to just stop being allergic.
Some of us are more nervous than others and it is just a part of our genetic makeup. However, we certainly do not have to be stuck in that way of being; we can change our focus and perception and truly learn how to relax.
For some of us, being relaxed is easy, and for others, it is a learned behavior. That is the beauty of relaxing – if you do not know how you can learn. It may take some trial and effort, but it certainly is a learnable characteristic.
With time and practice you, too, can just relax.
Incorporate the Tools You Need to Learn to Relax
Once you have decided to incorporate relaxation into your life, the next step is to take action. A great way to learn how to relax is to practice meditation. There are several forms of meditation and any library can get you started.
Books, DVDs, and CDs are available for you to begin your learning journey.
If yoga is your choice of relaxation, then purchase the mat and DVD, or buy the DVD for your gaming system. Even go all out and buy yourself a yoga outfit.
One of the most important tools to gather, however, is the tool of time. Schedule your relaxation session and let everyone know that you are not to be disturbed. If your family wants a happy you, then they need to respect that space. If staying home and trying to relax proves to be fruitless, join a yoga or meditation class.
Grab a Friend and Go
One of the most successful tips for learning to relax is applicable to any situation. When you grab a friend and incorporate them into the equation, you give yourself a partner to whom you must answer.
Having someone to answer to is a golden nugget. When you only have yourself to answer to, it is too easy to make excuses. A good friend, however, will not let you get away with that.
Pick a Time, Space, and a Place
It is very important to create a time, a space, and a place for your relaxation technique. Choose a designated spot, perhaps in your bedroom where you can close the rest of the world out.
Make a small corner of that room available for your yoga mat, something serene to look at on the wall, and maybe even some candles. This action will speak volumes to you, as it will allow you to commit to the art and act of relaxation.
Learning to relax is something that is very doable if you just put in a little time and effort.
Creating a Meditation Room
Once you have made a conscious choice to meditate, then the next step is to take action. If you have chosen to meditate at home, then you will need a space where the magic will happen.
We all try to sabotage ourselves and talk ourselves out of things by making excuses as to why we should not do something. However, once you commit to making meditation part of your life, there will be no more excuses.
Pick a room in the house and declare that space to be your new meditation space. Speak with your family members if you have family living with you. Explain to them that by sacrificing this space once or twice a week, they are helping you to achieve the goal of calmness and peace.
If your family knows that you will benefit and that they will benefit from the transformation in you as well, they should be more than happy to accommodate you.
Creating a Meditation Space
If the option of having a room all to yourself does not work, do not let that deter you. Choose a space in a room that is designated for your meditation work. Your own bedroom would work wonders.
Things You Will Need
Regardless of whether or not your space is an entire room or a small space in the corner of your bedroom, you can create the space you need for perfect meditation. For this, you will need:
* A space that is void of distraction
* A space that defines you
* A place where you can be comfortable
* A comfortable floor mat or cushion
* Amenities that are conducive to relaxation
Choose a space that has minimal distractions, preferably where no phone exists. Decorate your space so that it defines you in a positive light. If your favorite color is blue, then a blue yoga mat or comfy blue pillow will be great additions. If you love to travel for leisure, put up some pictures of favorite places that you have been.
Make sure you are at your most comfortable in your space. A thick, cushy floor cushion and a fluffy pillow behind your back are ideal ways to start your meditation practice. If your floor mat is not comfortable, you will not be either.
If you wish to meditate to some serene music, buy a CD that wafts this type of music into the background just low enough to get the impact. Burn some incense or some candles, and you will be all set to go.
Once you have designed the space or room based on the theory of relaxation, you will notice how you run there to practice the art of meditation. It will be so inviting, you will not be able to wait.
How A Grain Of Sand Created The Feeling Of Intense Bliss…
There are no special tricks to meditating; no special posture or breathing rhythm is required. Once you have gotten the knack of it you can meditate anywhere during any activity.
Some readers have succeeded in reaching this altered state of consciousness while reading about my sand meditation, perhaps you too may realize this transformational state of consciousness as you read on…
Sometimes meditation opens a door into the mysteries of creation. If we allow ourselves to pass through this door there is no telling what we may encounter on the other side. Do not become discouraged if you have tried to meditate in the past and not gotten any remarkable results. Meditation is a mystical process and it may take a while to learn how to quiet your mind and open yourself to all the present moment has to offer you.
My meditation began while sitting on a beach. My hands were sandy. I rubbed my thumb and forefinger together feeling the grains of sand between them slipping away until only a single grain of sand remained.
I could feel the shape of the grain of sand distinctly as I rolled it back and forth between my thumb and forefinger.
The longer I rolled the grain of sand about the more defined my awareness of the grain of sand became. The more detailed my experience of the grain of sand became the larger it appeared to be.
While I could clearly feel the tiny grain of sand trapped between my thumb and finger roll about across the grooves and ridges of my fingerprints the grain of sand appeared to be growing larger and larger as I contemplated it.
The grain of sand continued to grow, encompassing the beach and then the world. Before long the grain of sand had grown to infinite size and it now encompassed all of creation; yet I still held the tiny grain of sand between my thumb and forefinger, rolling it about across the grooves and ridges of my fingerprints.
The tiny grain of sand was intimately connected to every part of creation and all of creation existed within it, even as it existed within my grasp. I communed with the grain of sand, aware of its infinite connectedness to everything else; through the medium of the grain of sand, I became aware of my own infinite connectedness with all of creation.
The sand spoke to me of eternity. It told me tales about creation and the infinite nature of our existence in creation. From the grain of sand, I learned that every tiniest part of creation is a living being experiencing creation and sharing in the process whereby creation makes everything manifest.
My meditation with a grain of sand always produced a feeling of intense bliss. It was an eternal meditation that transcended the time and place where it began to continue throughout all of creation. From time to time I would return to this meditation, engrossed by the wisdom and experience of a single tiny grain of sand.