A meditation journal

The art of stilling the mind, or meditation, is a remarkably simple, straightforward technique. Many people find it easy to fit it into their daily lives. In recent years, an increasing number of scientific studies have recognized it as highly effective in treating a range of problems, both physical and psychological, that can result from stress or a low energy level.

  • Using meditation at home

    Meditation is a very simple technique to practice. Find a quiet, warm place where you will not be disturbed. It is usually best to meditate sitting down, adopting whatever position you find most comfortable. You may want to sit cross-legged, either directly on the floor or on a firm cushion, which should be about 10-15 centimeters thick. Or you may prefer to sit in a supportive, straight backed chair, with your hands resting gently on your knees and your feet flat on the floor. It is not usually a good idea to meditate lying down, because you may fall asleep.

  • Basic meditation exercise stage 1

    Sit comfortably upright, so that you are alert but not tense. Keep your back straight, aligned with your head and neck, and relax your body.

  • Basic meditation exercise stage 2

    Breathe steadily and deeply. Concentrate on your breath as it flows in and out, and be aware of your abdomen falling and rising. Give your full attention to your breathing.

  • Basic meditation exercise stage 3

    If your attention starts to wander, gently bring your thoughts back to your breathing and to the rising and falling of your stomach. It is usual to keep eyes gently closed, to help you concentrate.

  • Basic meditation exercise stage 4

    Many people find it helpful to repeat a special word or sound such as “OHM” (the Hindu sacred syllable ohm, often used by practitioners of Yoga and other Hindu-based meditations as a Mantra), or another sound or phrase that has special meaning. Continue for about 20 minutes.

  • Basic meditation exercise stage 5

    Bring yourself slowly back to normal consciousness. Do not jump up quickly. Become aware of your surroundings; stretch gently. Stand up and move around, slowly at first.

  • Counting meditation

    Sitting comfortably, slowly count from one to ten in your head, keeping your attention on each number. If you feel your attention wandering (as undoubtedly it will), simply go back to one and start again.

  • Candle meditation

    Sit in front of a lit candle. Focus your eyes on the flame of the candle and keep your attention there. Lightened candle is a symbol of truth, awareness and enlightenment. It also refers to the elimination of darkness and fear. It helps to disperse sufferings, frustration and anger.

  • Visualization

    A relaxation technique related to meditation, visualization (also known as guided imagery) can help focus your mind on positive images to overcome negative emotions and manage stress. Sit or lie in a relaxed position and start focusing on your breathing, as for the basic meditation exercise. Then conjure up a peaceful and happy scene in your mind, visualizing yourself as part of it.

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