Question and Answer Time
Question: "Carla any suggestions on meditating? .... It is not working for me....I can't get quiet enough to meditate...."
I can remember one of the first times I tried to meditate. I had a mentor that told me to sit quietly and breathe in and out. "Watch me" she said. I sat there and watched her. "Now you try it." So here I am sitting down in her basement (she had a small corner all fixed up to try and mimic a living room) - picture this - I take a deep breath in and mimic her actions. "Breathe the Divine in" and exhale "Breathe Bonnie out". She never says a thing. For two weeks at home I am trying to figure out why the heck I am breathing Bonnie out . Go ahead and laugh - she did.
I was under the misconception that meditation meant I was going to have to sit in some strange pose, perfectly still and silent for hours. The origin of the fear of meditating was far deeper. I was scared of what I might discover if I became really quiet. What would I find in my subconscious? What might I remember? What if I really did meet some weird spirit? Discovering the origin of the fear, I was able to truly relax and discover the blessings and health benefits of meditation. Meditation drastically reduces stress, relaxes and refreshes the body, and gives me a clear perspective of life.
Today, I begin each morning with deep meditation. I meditate as I garden, as I exercise, and even as I sit in a gymnasium full of screaming teenagers. I found there are a few tips to find your own path of meditation.
Determine what your focus or purpose of meditation is. Why is it that you want to meditate? Relaxation? Then try simply deep breathing. This will relax the body as the oxygen is is pushed into the flow of the energy. Connect with the Divine? Try using a simple mantra and focus on each word as you say it. Repeat it over and over. You will find that your mind will slip into the words and then the spaces in between the words after some practice.
Make sure that as you meditate that you are comfortable. You do not need to twist your body around in some pretzel shape, nor do you want to find yourself so comfortable you fall asleep. You do, however, want to be comfortable so that you are not distracted by tight clothing.
One of the major questions I hear is how do I stop the thoughts from popping into my meditation. I have found that doing measured breathing works wonders when first beginning. When I can't turn my mind off, I practice this. Inhale deeply for a count of three and exhale for a count of three. As you inhale take in as much oxygen as possible and expel as much as possible on the exhalation. Increase one inhale and exhale every five breathes until you reach a count of ten. Then return back down to three breathes. This simple measured breathing exercise will help to shut the 'monkey' mind down and relax your body at the same time.
I also want to share that meditation can also include body meditation. As an example, I meditate as I garden. Focusing solely on the dirt and the plants shuts off the rest of the world and all my thoughts. The purpose being relaxation of the brain. As you exercise, focus on the muscle you are working at the moment or use the counted breathing exercise.
There are no wrong nor right ways to meditate - only different ways.