Spiritual Sundays: How to Meditate (5 Easy Steps)

Greetings & Happy Sunday, Spiiirits!

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Meditation is a vital component for self-awareness and spiritual growth. The practice of meditation brings with it not only spiritual benefits, but mental and physical benefits as well. After educating myself on meditation and its many benefits, as well as beginning to experience some of the benefits myself, I believe meditation should be practiced by every human being on the planet, daily, in some shape or form. This would be beneficial, not only for each individual, but for all mankind collectively.

Many stray away from meditating because they don’t have a complete idea of what it is or how to do it. And we can all agree that Mother Culture has taught us to fear what we do not know/understand. But meditation should not be something we remain in the dark about any longer. And it should be something everyone knows how to do.

Feeling as such, I have decided to compile a basic how-to guide to meditation. Nothing too stressful, a couple of quick steps…so easy a caveman could do it! 😀

 

Step 1 – Find Your Meditation Location. Find a private spot where you feel safe and comfortable. The spot should be quiet and free from external distractions. This can range from a bedroom, a bathroom, a closet, a spot in your backyard, etc. just anywhere where you can create a comfortable, quiet, uninterrupted moment for yourself.

Step 2 – Get Comfortable. Once you have secured your meditation location, find a spot and get comfy. You may sit in a chair or on the floor. You may also lie down, though it is easier to accidentally fall asleep this way. Just choose the position that is most comfortable for you. But be sure that, no matter how you choose to sit, you keep your posture upright as to properly facilitate the flow of energy. Make sure to clear the exact spot where you plan to meditate of any clutter. Many people use crystals to amplify their meditative sessions. If you have crystals or some other object pertaining to the meditation, it is fine to keep those near you. Also, if you become uncomfortable at any later point in the meditation you can mildly maneuver. However, for best results, movement should be kept to a minimum.

Step 3 – Decide the Time Frame. Once you begin the act of meditating, it is easy for time to pass without you being aware how much of it has gone by. While some may just let the meditation lead them and just get up whenever they feel “done”, this may not be the  best move for a beginner. You also don’t want to find yourself inclined to think about time at all during the act of meditation, as this may just make you figity, and bring stress that draws attention away from your meditation. The best way to avoid this is to predetermine a time limit. This can be done by setting a timer or alarm. 30 minutes is a good amount of time to meditate, though you should feel free to do more or less. Guided meditations are another good way to decide the time frame of your meditation, but more on that later.

Step 4- Breathe & Observe. Close your eyes.  Now its time to get into the groove of actual meditation. Take deep breaths, fully inhaling and fully exhaling. Now begin to clear your mind. You can do this by focusing on your breaths or by counting to 100 in your mind as you continue to breathe. Thoughts will come during this time, but it is your job not to engage with any of these thoughts. You are to separate yourself from the thoughts, simply becoming a passive observer of them. It is important in this moment not to classify the thoughts that come as good or bad, or really respond to the thought in anyway. Don’t delve into the thought, don’t analyze it. Simply observe the thought as it passes and then send it away.

Step 5 – |END| Return to the Physical Realm. The alarm (or whatever timer you have put in place) sounds, signaling that the time has come to draw your meditation to a close. DO NOT just bounce up hurriedly. Slowly ease into the physical state of being. Start off by mentally becoming aware, again, of where you are physically. Next become aware of your physical body. Wiggle your toes, yawn, stretch. Then slowly open your eyes and re-accustom to your surroundings. It is important to do this because shifting modes too rapidly can be discombobulating. However this whole process need not take longer than one minute. Now you can get up, move about, and carry on with your day! Some people, alternatively, choose to remain in their spot and reflect upon the meditation or send silent gratitude into the Universe. This is perfectly fine as well. Go with how you feel! (which after a meditation, is usually GRRREEEAAAATTTT! 😉 )

***Quick Tip***- I mentioned guided meditations in step 3. Guided meditations are a great tool for beginners! (and pros, alike, if you ask me). They are perfect for giving those who have trouble clearing their mind, on their own, something to focus on. There are also guided meditations that cater to specific areas (such as balance, prosperity, healing, etc.). And with guided meditations ranging from as short as 10 minutes to as long as 2 hours, they can be perfect for deciding the time frame for how long you want to meditate, as well as what aspects of your being you are primarily want to focus on in each session.

Hope these tips prove helpful to you guys. Happy Meditating, Spiiirits!

Namaste

☮XOXO A.T.☮

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Surviving a World of Frustration

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Today…I feel inspired to write because I desire to vent.
We live in a frustrated world. The reasons for this are many, but one of which is lack of emotional control. Another is ill communication. Those are the two issues I will focus on today.
The secret to contentment lies in control over the emotions. This does not mean to stifle ones emotions. It’s actually quite to the contrary. But it is to consciously acknowledge your emotions, fully understand the emotion (and it’s true source) and reflect before you react. This is how people who have attained true balance & peace handle situations.
However, living in such a world of imbalance, many of us are not trained to handle our emotions in this manner. Rather we have been trained to lean to two of either extremes; hide our emotions entirely or hyper-emotionally overreact.
The issue with these two methods of dealing with emotions is that they bring more problems than resolve. Many conceal their emotions (most times poorly, at that) but at the same time expect the party they have been affected by to know how they are feeling. And more so, expect the party to be sensitive to their emotional state. Well this is certainly absurd. Most people will not know exactly what you are feeling unless you tell them. Holding it in is unhealthy and counterproductive because this negative emotion, gone unchecked, will only manifest again either at a later time, or in other ways.
The hyper-emotional response is no better. It is acting immediately on a myriad of emotions before even giving yourself a chance to process what you are actually feeling. During the hyper-emotional response a person likely acts immediately to show they have been affected by an action, however this is highly deceptive. The reason for this is because this heightened, rapid emotional response generally does not give a true read. Usually, in such cases, the emotional response is over-dramatized and may be a masking emotion to hide the true root emotion that this situation triggered a response to. Sometimes, during this type of response, the person becomes angry or sad (and acts on said emotion) before even giving themselves a moment to analyze if this moment is really worth that response. Many times these responses are a cry for attention to a certain underlying issue. However this is of no help, because this person still wants the other party to know exactly how they are feeling and be sensitive to that…even though they have not expressed (or even analyzed for themselves, sometimes) their true emotional state or the true reason for it.
So we can see that, though these are two very different methods for dealing with situations that garner an emotional response, they both have the same fatal flaw. Ill Communication. WE DO NOT COMMUNICATE!!! We assume, we hide, we do anything to run from our genuine emotions. Never truly dealing with them or allowing for resolve from any other involved parties. But you can’t hide forever. Not happily, anyway. Rather than letting the shit hit the fan, we can open up the tunnels of communication. Analyze how you truly feel & why before you react (this may take a few seconds, minutes, hours…the timing is totally up to you & how good you become at quickly analyzing the root of your emotions). Once you have done this, you can determine if the situation is needing of a response at all. Are you really angry with this situation or just having a bad day? Now once you have determined the true root of the emotional disturbance you can communicate that to the other involved party. True communication is a two way street. Meaning that when you are communicating your feelings, reasoning, and desires to another party you must also be an effective listener. They will have reasoning, feelings, and desires of their own that they want to be heard. These things need to be communicated and received from both (or all) parties. You don’t have to ultimately agree with the persons perspective but you do have to open your eyes & ears to really, truly gain insight on the other persons perspective to make a genuine analysis of the situation. At this point, a middle ground of peace can be attained.
Peace & patience opens up the ability to have this sort of natural, effective, flowing communication. That is why meditation is such a powerful tool. When you are centered and at peace within yourself, occurrences outside of yourself will not even get the same negative emotional rise out of you! But even when they do, you will be able to quickly process and analyze your emotions and it’s true root and effectively communicate that. Also, with this self provided peace, you will have to patience to listen and really absorb the perspective of any other involved party. And that is when true progress can begin.
PEACE to ALL
XOXO A.T.