Meditation: Different Ways to Meditate
My first attempt at intentional meditation was no less than a total flop, at least in the way I was trying to learn to meditate. Just the word "meditation" means different things to different people. Consequently, I do not believe there is just one way to meditate. The purpose of meditation is to evoke a physiological change that relaxes the body and reduces the heart rate. Some people meditate to relax and rejuvenate the body, some meditate for spiritual enlightenment, and some meditate for both reasons.
As I mentioned, my first experience with intentional meditation didn't go very well. I was living at a yoga Ashram for a month several years ago to learn yoga and increase my spiritual abilities. As I sat on the floor in a room filled with others, the energy I felt emanating in the room was actually too overwhelming to me. So I often skipped out and spent the hour quietly walking down a rural dirt road. I would now call that a walking meditation or contemplation. At that time, I just thought I was failing at all attempts to meditate.
Over the years, I have had various experiences, some more enlightening than others. There are tons of materials and books on the market to teach about meditation, so my words will not be extensive on the subjective. Mostly, I will describe what I consider my more successful experiences.
My second real attempt to meditate brought an amazing experience. Since I didn't seem very capable of just "emptying" my mind of thoughts, I sat and focused on the palms of my hands and just felt. Before I realized it, I could feel the energy pulsating through my hands in the most amazing and calming way. I could tell it was not simply my pulse, because I could feel that too. I had two different energies moving throughout my body. I just sat, experiencing something completely new to me, and let the energy flow. I sat like this for about 45 minutes; then the sensation simply stopped. I wanted to grab it and say, "please come back." I sat there in total amazement and deep relaxation, feeling totally rejuvenated.
Another time, I was actually sitting in a group guided meditation session. This doesn't usually work very well for me, but something was different this time. Right off the bat, I could tell I had tuned out the woman guiding the session. I really have no idea what she was saying. I was off somewhere else. Eventually, I could hear her calling us back into reality, but before my body or mind was willing to join everyone else, I had an amazing spiritual experience that I will not even attempt to describe here.
If this type of meditation does not work for you, at least practice simple deep breathing practices while relaxing each part of your body. Many people enjoy moving meditations with and without music, walks in nature, and other activities that produce an enjoyable relaxed meditative state, allowing for meaningful contemplation.
Deep breathing and relaxation help with stress reduction, pain management, and even improved problem-solving skills. To sum it up, time devoted to prayer and meditation always pays off - in one way or another.
When working with Karen as a health educator and wellness coach, you will be encouraged to discover ways that promote relaxation and peace of mind, opening up a new way of thinking, living, and changing your lifestyle habits.