My whole life, it has been hard for me to sit still. I simply get bored easily and am always looking for something to entertain my brain. When talking to me, people have about a 10 second window where they have my attention, and then my mind wanders off. Luckily for me, I have mastered the skill of looking like I am still paying attention, and somehow I always manage to chime back in to the conversations at all the right spots, so no one seems to get too offended. But you know, everyone’s got their thing and I don’t mean anything by it when I zone out.
Anyway, as you could imagine, meditation was very difficult for me to master when I first started out. I needed a way to mix things up a bit so that it was still interesting enough for me to keep at it. The following are different meditation techniques which I enjoy, and which you could also use if you find it hard to meditate yourself:
1. Focus on your natural breath. Feel the sensation as the air flows in and out of your nostrils. You can even think the words ‘in’ as you breathe in and ‘out’ as the air flows out. Focusing on something simple like this quiets the chatter in the mind, whilst still giving your mind something to do.
2. Meditating by practicing different breathing techniques such as alternate nostril breathing. Alternate nostril breathing is where you sit up straight, place your index and middle finger finger on your third eye, place your thumb over one nostril, breathe in and count to five. Then hold your breath for five counts while you release your thumb, place your ring finger on the other nostril and breathe out for five counts. Then hold for five, then breathe in for five on the same side. Hold for five again and then swap sides and breathe out. If it is too hard initially to hold your breath in between breathing in and out, you can leave it out and then as you become more comfortable, you can add it back in. You can also increase the count number as you get more familiar to this practice.
There are many different breathing techniques you could use in your meditation practice. A quick search online should help you to find them.
3. Meditate in nature. Being in nature naturally grounds you and increases your vibration. Sitting on natural ground is best and being barefoot is also of benefit.
4. Meditate with crystals. You can either lie down and place them on your chakras/energy centres while you relax, or you can hold one and try and tune into its energy.
5. Chanting. Chanting physically relaxes your nervous system with vibration, clears your throat chakra and takes you into single minded focus meditation. There are many different things you can chant, including songs, phrases and words (again, check online for something that feels right for you) but I tend to stick to the simple ‘Om’. Chanting works wonders for me and I find myself in deep meditation in no time.
6. Simply be still. Forget about all of your worries for the day, breathe deeply and let your mind be still. If thoughts enter your mind, that’s ok. Let them go as freely as they entered and come back to being still.
7. Muscle tense and relax. Lie down, get comfortable and relax. Become aware of all the different parts of your body. How are they feeling? Are there any pains? Is there tension somewhere? Just take notice without judging whether it's good or bad. Relax. Starting with your toes and moving up your body,tense and relax each of your major muscles for five seconds each (5 seconds tension, 5 seconds relaxation). Then relax completely. This can be repeated as many times as you like.
8. Trataka or candle gazing meditation. Sit with a straight spine and stare at a lit candle for approximately three minutes. Then close your eyes and stare at the light in your third eye. Try and keep it in the centre of the third eye. If you can, focus on the light in your third eye for three minutes also but it’s ok if you can’t go that long when you first start out. Repeat as many times as you can.
9. Be your essence. Think of something that really feels like you. It could be a colour or a place you like to go, or a crystal that really resonates with you. Feel how great it feels and grow that feeling. Grow your power.
There are many different ways to meditate and some will suit you more than others. Do you have any handy meditation tips?