Understanding what meditation is and its numerous benefits may have led you to think, how do I actually begin meditating? Meditation comes in many forms and does not necessarily have to be the traditional method of sitting in silence and focusing on your breath – this can be extremely challenging if you are new to the practice! We are all different and therefore it’s only natural that we will each resonate with different types of meditative practices. Your preferred method of meditation may also change over time and depending on how you feel on any particular day. If you find it difficult to simply sit in silence and quiet your mind, not to worry! There are a variety of methods you can use to get to a place of stillness.
MINDFUL NATURE WALKS
If the idea of sitting quietly in stillness is intimidating to you, why not try to find a mindful headspace by engaging with Mother Nature. By simply going for a walk in nature, free from the distractions of the modern world, you can easily release stress and anxious energy. As you are walking, instill presence and relaxation by noticing the sensations you are experiencing. Ask yourself the following:
- What can I hear?
- What can I see?
- What can I smell?
- What can I feel?
- What can I taste?
Guided meditation is a form of meditation that is led by a teacher, in person or via audio or video. Guided meditation is perfect for beginner meditators or for those who have found unguided forms of meditation challenging. Having an expert lead you through the basic steps of your meditation practice makes starting out so much simpler and less daunting. Make technology work for you, by using guided meditation apps. Some of my favourites include:
- Smiling Minds
- Insight Timer
- Waking Up
Yogis have used mantras for thousands of years as a powerful meditation and therapy tool. A mantra is a word, phase or sound that can be chanted, whispered or silently recited, anchoring you to the present moment and freeing your mind of background chatter.Repetition is key. By reciting a mantra, you are continually bringing your focus back to the present moment each time you find your mind wandering.
When you are starting out using mantras to deepen your meditative state, be aware that you will have thoughts flowing into your mind, and that this is completely normal. Often we get frustrated by the fact that we are having thoughts which can take us out of the headspace completely. Instead of attaching to these thoughts, accept them as they come and gently allow them to pass by.
When selecting your mantra, you can choose from the list below or use one that you already resonate with. If you would like to make your own mantra, use the words, “I am” and think about a positive word you would like to embody. For example, “I am strong” for self-confidence and inner strength.
Try the following mantras or come up with your own to repeat on every out-breath:
- “Be here now.”
- “I am that I am.”
- “I am ____ . “
- “Om” (pronounced Ohm)
Crystals are a beautiful and tactile way to anchor your thoughts to a present and physical sensation. As each crystal vibrates at a specific frequency and has its own set of properties, they can help to enrich your meditation practice if you have a particular intention or outcome that you wish to manifest.
Select a crystal that relates to your chosen intention or chakra that you wish to work with. If you’re unsure which crystal will be right for your meditation, refer to our Chakra Chart or contact our Crystal Concierge – we’re always happy to assist!
As you sit in silence, focusing on your breath, you may like to gaze at your crystal, using it as your mindfulness anchor. Place your entire focus on the crystal. Notice all of its features and how it feels to you – both physically and energetically. Each time you notice your mind wandering or becoming distracted, find your way back to your heightened focus on the crystal by gazing into its depths.
These are just a few of our favourite meditation techniques, and there are SO MANY more! We invite you to explore many options to find which method is most suitable for you and helps you find that place of stillness, clarity and relaxation that we so often crave and most certainly need.
Happy Meditating, Stoners!