Meditation

Meditation is the most valuable thing you can do for yourself in your entire life. It has been said that prayer is when you talk to God/Benevolent Force and meditation is when you listen. You cannot do meditation “wrong”. We have about 60,000–80,000 thoughts per day. Anything you do, that slows the frequency of your thoughts down for any length of time, even as little as five minutes a day, is meditative and good for you. Modern scientific research shows that it enhances the mind, body and soul as described in the table below. 

Mind

Body

Soul

  • Flow - Better creativity, adaptability, intuition and perception and achieve flow/being "in the zone"

  • Positivity - Positive mindset, will-power, self-discipline, motivation, optimism, grit/mental toughness, control anger, emotional stability, overcome shyness

  • Mental Health – Better mental health overall and overcome OCD, eating disorders, bipolar disorders, ADD, ADHD, addictions, habits, PTSD, anxiety, depression and phobias

  • Overall - More success, greater happiness, better relationships

  • Brain – Improves integration, balance, learning ability, IQ, power level, concentration, memory

  • Connection - Better listening, tolerance, compassion, improves EQ

  • Other - Neurogenesis, better than hypnosis, reduce fear

  • Mind-body connection - Improves ability to heal the body through thought. Helps mitigate thinking that lead to disease.

  • Mind Function Quiet mind chatter, develop Einstein-like brain, reduce monkey mind, reduce fight or flight response, greater clarity

  • Seniors - Stop or slow Alzheimers and dementia

  • Aging -Slows aging, increases longevity, younger skin

  • Body functions – Improves circulation, breathing/respiratory, endocrine system, nervous system, digestion, cardiovascular, the gut-brain axis, reduces muscle tension

  • Other – Better pain management, reduces inflammation, increases libido, and energy, helps lose weight, lowers cholesterol, improves gene expression (helps good genes be more effective and less favorable genes, like cancer, stay dormant), reduces telemeres damage (aging factor), cure headaches

  • Chemicals - Boosts chemicals for mood, health or longevity – melatonin, serotonin, DHEA and telomerase (longevity), GABA (feel calm), growth hormone, nitric oxide (Zen Molecule)

  • Brain - fortifies it, better synchronization and balance, bigger brain

  • Feminine health - Helps with feminine health – PMS, pregnancy/birth, infertility

  • Stress - Reduces stress/cortisol, calms neurotransmitters, increases relaxation

  • Sleep - Improves sleep, helps sleep be more rejuvenating, will need less of it

  • Health maintenance and healing – Super-antioxidant, increases T Cells & antibodies, strengthens immunity

  • Energy State - Positive energy, law of attraction, balance your chakras

  • Spiritual Level and Development Spiritual awakening and growth and higher consciousness 

  • Remote Viewing - The ability to witness with your mind’s eye: places, events, objects, and people, at any location, no matter the distance or time.

  • Access the Quantum - An all powerful, ever-present, omniscient force that is already within you.

  • Kundalini Rising - Access an extremely powerful, dormant, force of potential energy along the base of your spine.

  • Help Lightworkers -  Go here for a test to see if you might be a lightworker https://eocinstitute.org/meditation/nourishing-lightworker-consciousness

  • Lucid Dreaming - Helps you better experience dreams that are helpful and provide insight

  • Peace - The power of “now”, inner silence, peace of mind

  • Awareness, Purpose and Meaning – deepen awareness, open third eye, discover life purpose(s)

  • Connectedness and belonging – to the self, the universe and with others

  • Synchronicity - when events in your life seem to fall into place

Data Source: You can get more detailed information about any of these areas at EOC Institute. URL is

https://eocinstitute.org/meditation/141-benefits-of-meditation

You will have enough time to do this once you start doing it. The most common reason people give for not meditating is that they don't have enough time. However, if you talk to long term meditators, you will find that this is not true. This is because meditation will save you time. If you think about all the things you do and people you engage with that needlessly waste your valuable time, if even a one or two of those events stop occurring, it will more than make up the time it takes to meditate. You will end up having more time to spend on activities you want to do and people you enjoy being with.

Meditation Methods

Special Notes

For many of these methods, we may give you a name or website where you can get products - books or CDs, etc. - that are helpful with that method. However, there are many resources available today. The resources mentioned are not all there is. Feel free to do your own research on the web and at workshops, etc. to find what works for you. If you are new to meditation, this page could look overwhelming. However, let it give you confidence in this activity. The fact that there are so many methods indicate how powerful this activity will be for you. If you are new to this process you may want to start with Guided Imagery or Chanting. If you have practiced meditation for a while, then you can just joyously romp through these and try new ones.

Clearing Your Mind Method

With this method you simply close your eyes and clear your mind of thoughts and feelings and then remain that way. People tend to do this by focusing on their breath, take slow deep breaths and noticing the rhythm. They also may do a body scan where they start from the feet or the head and move up or down the body, noticing any tension in their muscles and mindfully relaxing those muscles. People who are new to meditation may find this method challenging at first, because their minds are not "practiced" at slowing down. So if you do try this and feel that you aren't able to keep your mind empty for any length of time, don't worry about that.  You can just keep trying and the time you can do this will get longer or you can try other methods too.   

Focal Point Method

This method utilizes a physical or mental object that you focus on either in the real world or in your mind. You stare at the object for a while until your mind clears of everyday thoughts and as that happens, you close your eyes, if you haven't already, and drift off into that empty mental space. The most common object people tend to use is a lighted candle, either real or imagined. Other people frequently use a mandala. You can create a mandala, buy one or have one made for you. www.mandalaproject.org is site is a good place to learn more about mandalas. To make one of your own, you can get books and even coloring books on amazon.com. You can have a personalized one created by Wildphi from this site at https://www.glrivers.com/mandalas.   

Visualizing or Guided Imagery Methods

With visualizing or guided imagery, you are taken on a visualization in your mind. Sometimes the visualization involves making a journey like walking through the woods. Sometime times you are visualizing yourself being a certain way or having a certain physicality. You can probably create visualizations for yourself. But initially, it's probably better to try some that are created for you. Belleruth Naparstek creates very good visualization sessions and you can even choose different areas you want to focus on such as PTSD, anxiety, self-confidence, menopause, health, happiness, etc. You can get her recordings at amazon.com or healthjourneys.com. You can go to one of those sites and search on her name.

"Getting in the Gap" Method

This method allows you to create gaps between your thoughts. The gap between your thoughts is the meditative state. Wayne Dyer has CDs that teach you this method and you can get them on Amazon or Hay House.

Activity Based Method

Many activities can be meditative like walking, swimming, painting, journalling, singing, playing music, drawing, dancing or even sex. Anything that makes you calm, allows you a higher sense of awareness, slows your thoughts down and/or puts you "in the zone" or "in the flow" can be meditative. However, many of these activities could do the opposite as well, increasing insulin, stress and excitation. Such a state, periodically, is fine to be in, but if these activities do not put you in a meditative state, then choose another method for your meditation. If you are new to meditation, you should probably try other methods first, so you can get a feel for what it feels like to be meditative and then compare how you feel during your activity to determine if it is meditative for you or not. 

Chanting Method

This method is just what it says it is - chanting. You typically chant a word or a phrase that connects you to a higher consciousness. The chanting also helps slow down your thoughts to reach a meditative state. The following passages provide you several chanting options.

Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey

Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey have partnered to create numerous recordings, that you get on CDs or through an app, on all sorts of topics - relationships, being in the flow, stress reduction, happiness, health, success, gratitude, hope, creating peace, weight loss, making every moment matter, energy of attraction, etc. The programs also provide a centering thought (an affirmation), journaling ideas and other ways for you to be reflective, for you each day during a series. A recording series on a particular topic typically runs $50-$70, but they often run specials where those costs are discounted or you can buy combo packs for less. Every few months, they've been offering a free 21-day program. You can register https://chopracentermeditation.com/login where you can buy their products and also be notified when they offering the free programs.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

This is a great one for a person who wants something simple, but powerful. It comes from ancient wisdom and millions of people all over the world do this one and it's free. When the singer, Tina Turner, began to change her life, she was taught this practice which became part of her everyday life. You simply chant the phrase - Nam Myoho Renge Kyo - during your meditation time, when you want to slow down your thoughts and get in more of a trance state. But you can also chant it throughout your day whenever you have a free moment. People also light candles and/or create a sacred space with objects, like Buddha statues or the Bible, that have meaning for them. You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you want. You can learn more about it and see someone chanting it at https://www.sgi.org/about-us/nam-myoho-renge-kyo.html and you can read up on how to pronounce it and what it means at https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-say-%E2%80%9CNam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo%E2%80%9D

Ho'Oponopono Method

With this method you chant the following phrases.

I'm Sorry. (in breath)

Please Forgive Me. (out breath)

Thank You. (in breath)

I Love You. (out breath)

You can find out more about this method at these two websites: http://www.livehooponopono.com/

https://harmonyhealthmassage.com/practicing-hooponopono-in-four-simple-steps/

Other Common Chants (In Sanskrit Language)

The list below has the most commonly chanted phrases in an ancient language called Sanskrit. You can pick a different phrase each day and chant it in a quiet place with perhaps some soothing music. The English translation is provided for you as well.

Aham Brahmasmi - I am the wholeness of all creation.

Aham Prema - I am love.

So Hum - I am.

Sat Chit Ananda - Existence, consciousness, bliss

Ananda Hum - I am bliss.

Karuna Hum - I am compassion.

Om Hreem - I see unity behind diversity. 

Om Ram Ramaya - I bring balance and strength into my life.

Siddho Hum - I am perfect and complete as I am.

Lam - Opens the root chakra

Vam - I am love.

Ram - Everything I desire is within me.

Yam - I am happiness.

Ham - I am creativity.

Om - Perfection. I am.

Kshaam - Opens the sixth chakra

Yum - I activate peace, harmony, and love. 

Om Bhavam Namah - I am a field of all possibilities.

Om Hreem Namah - I open my consciousness to reality.

Sharavana Bhava - My awareness is aligned with the creative power of the universe.

Yoga Nidra Method (for getting to and having peaceful sleep)

Yoga Nidra, also known as “yogic sleep,” is a form of guided meditation that aims to create a state of consciousness somewhere between waking and sleeping. Unlike other forms of yoga, it does not involve physical movement or poses, but rather, relies on deep breathing to calm the mind and relax the body. You can just search the web and find many videos that take through this activity. The key is to find one that works for you - in terms of music, voice of person, etc. You can find out more about this technique at https://www.sleep.org/articles/can-yoga-help-sleep-better

The source and description for the rest of these methods is Medical News Today, although you will be able to find many websites with more information about them.

Metta (Loving Kindness) Method

Its goal is to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness toward everything, even a person's enemies and sources of stress. While breathing deeply, practitioners open their minds to receiving loving kindness. They then send messages of loving kindness to the world, to specific people, or to their loved ones.

In most forms of this meditation, the key is to repeat the message many times, until the practitioner feels an attitude of loving kindness. It can help those affected by anger, frustration, resentment or interpersonal conflict. This type of meditation may increase positive emotions and has been linked to reduced depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress or PTSD. You can get more details at https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/loving_kindness_meditation#data-tab-why_you_should_try_it

Body scan or progressive relaxation

Progressive relaxation, sometimes called body scan meditation, is meditation that encourages people to scan their bodies for areas of tension. The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to release.During a progressive relaxation session, practitioners start at one end of their body, usually their feet, and work through the whole. Some forms of progressive relaxation require people to tense and then relax muscles. Others encourage a person to visualize a wave, drifting over their body to release tension.

Progressive relaxation can help to promote generalized feelings of calmness and relaxation. It may also help with chronic pain. Because it slowly and steadily relaxes the body, some people use this form of meditation to help them sleep.

Mindfulness Method

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that urges practitioners to remain aware and present in the moment.

Rather than dwelling on the past or dreading the future, mindfulness encourages awareness of a person's existing surroundings. Crucial to this is a lack of judgment. So, rather than reflecting on the annoyance of a long wait, a practitioner will simply note the wait without judgment. Mindfulness meditation is something people can do almost anywhere. While waiting in line at the grocery store, for example, a person might calmly notice their surroundings, including the sights, sounds, and smells they experience.

A form of mindfulness is involved in most kinds of meditation. Breath awareness encourages practitioners to be aware of their breathing, while progressive relaxation draws attention to areas of tension in the body.

Breath Awareness Method

Breath awareness is a type of mindful meditation that encourages mindful breathing. Practitioners breathe slowly and deeply, counting their breaths or otherwise focusing on their breaths. The goal is to focus only on breathing and to ignore other thoughts that enter the mind.

Kundalini Yoga Method

Kundalini yoga is a physically active form of meditation that blends movements with deep breathing and mantras. People usually learn from a teacher or do a class. However, someone can learn the poses and mantras at home. You can find out more at https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/types-of-yoga/kundalini.

 

Zen Method

Zen meditation, sometimes called Zazen is a form of meditation that can be part of Buddhist practice. Many Zen practitioners study under a teacher because this kind of meditation involves specific steps and postures.The goal is to find a comfortable position, focus on breathing, and mindfully observe one's thoughts without judgment. Again, this form of meditation is similar to mindfulness meditation but requires more discipline and practice. People may prefer it if they are seeking both relaxation and a new spiritual path. You can find out more at https://www.zenlightenment.net/practice/zen-meditation.html

Transcendental Method

Transcendental Meditation is a spiritual form of meditation where practitioners remain seated and breathe slowly. The goal is to transcend or rise above the person's current state of being. During a meditation session, practitioners focus on a mantra or a repeated word or series of words. A teacher determines the mantra based on a complex set of factors, sometimes including the year the practitioner was born, and the year the teacher was trained. An alternative allows people to choose their mantra. This more contemporary version is not technically Transcendental Meditation, though it may look substantially similar. A practitioner might decide to repeat "I am not afraid of public speaking" while meditating.

People who practice Transcendental Meditation report both spiritual experiences and heightened mindfulness.

Note on Body Positioning

I usually lay down on my back on  a comfortable surface with my hands either at my sides or resting on my stomach. But you've probably seen pictures of people sitting up with their legs crossed and their hands resting, palm up, on each knee. One general guideline though, if you are lying down or sitting in a chair, it's probably best to uncross your legs; and if in chair, put your feet flat on the ground. I've noticed a lot of meditations mention this. However, I've seen some meditations where they mention crossing your feel. They also mention keeping your spine straight. Generally, you should do whatever feels natural for you, where you feel the most relaxed, fits your physical setting and the needs of your body. Just like meditation in general, you really can't do it wrong.

What you Might Experience During Meditation

Depending on the type of meditation you do, you could experience any of the following:

  • Calmness and deeper levels of calmness as you continue to meditate over time.

  • Cloud-like formations of color

  • An inner light

  • Pictures of various phenomena, flat or multi-dimensional

  • Images from the subconscious memory bank of the mind

  • Images from what mystics call the Astral World, or after-death dimensions

  • An energy surge or change in your body

  • Religious symbols such as a cross or the Star of David

  • Images of religious leaders like Christ or the Buddha

  • Your sense of yourself, time, space and/or your body may be minimized or vanish.

Many people find these experiences very pleasurable and have a strong intuitive sense that they are beneficial to them.Some people fear meditation for various reasons, mainly due to their pre-conceived notions or how they've been conditioned during their upbringing. What some people do to offset this is mentally imagine themselves surrounded by a pure white, protective light or aura that nothing can penetrate. They may also call upon God/The Universe or intermediaries like angels, etc. to protect them during their meditations.

Meditation Websites/Apps

Below is a list of websites or apps where you can get all types of meditations and meditation information in addition to those provided in the previous section. Some of these provide general meditations while others are more religious/spiritual based. Just find what works for you.

Insight Timer - insighttimer.com

Headspace - headspace.com

Calm - calm.com

Don Reed Simmons - Don is a well-known holistic practitioner, shaman and meditation guru. You can find out more about him and get his meditation recordings at https://www.donreedsimmons.com. You can also get some of them at Insight Timer by searching for his name on that app.

Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey - https://chopracentermeditation.com/login

Unity Church - They offer a Upray app that includes meditations - https://www.unity.org/prayer/apps

Youtube - You can get thousands of meditations, affirmations, meditation music and more at Youtube. Just go to your web browser and type in Youtube and meditation.

University of Metaphysics - https://universityofmetaphysics.com/category/mystical-insightsUn

Christ Church Unity (CCU) of Orlando - You can download recordings as podcasts or listen online. These are from CCU of Orlando and an LGBT minister. Her podcasts include "moments of meditations" which could be a quick and easy way to make sure you carve out some time for meditation each day. https://www.experienceofthesoul.com/asj

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