I’ve been asked a few times recently about meditation so I wanted to share my one of my favorites with you. Just sitting and trying to dismiss your thoughts can be a daunting task so I personally prefer meditations where you have something to do or focus on. If you don’t find this one to be the right fit for you, keep experimenting. You’ll find that there’s a perfect fit out there for you.
We all come to meditation for different reasons. Meditation is a great way to take a “time out” from your everyday busyness. My number one reason for coming to meditation is usually when something is on my mind. It may sound funny, but actively not thinking about a problem is sometimes the best approach. Meditation lets us take a step back and see what is truly behind our feelings. Many people have also been prescribed meditation to change bad habits. Maybe in this new year you want to buckle down and start making healthier choices, but despite your best intentions, you find yourself mindlessly eating a whole bag of chips while watching TV. In this case, meditation lets us get behind those behaviors and take a compassionate approach to changing them rather than taking the self-destructive approach to mentally beating yourself up about it.
By connecting to your authentic Self in meditation, you can identify your highest goals and develop a greater awareness of how your everyday actions can best support those goals. Through the flower meditation that follows, you can also create a more positive state of mind.
You’ll notice that while you concentrate on and identify with the beauty of the flower, it is impossible to feel uptight or bound up in a mental narrative about your shortcomings. Instead, you may find that you emerge from meditation with a sense of contentment and ease. Try it for 10 minutes daily for a month and observe how it helps you see yourself – and the behaviors you’re trying to change – in a new way.
- Place a single flower in a vase on your altar or on a table – anywhere you can spend a little undisturbed time with it. Gaze at the flower, noticing the color and texture of the petals and moving your awareness from the edges of the petals toward the center as your focus deepens.
- Now broaden your vision and take in the flower as a whole. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the flower. In the parlance of yoga, this is called dharana, or one-pointed concentration, which slows down the thinking process and paves the way to a meditative state of mind.
- When you’ve memorized every detail, gently close your eyes and direct your attention to your heart. Visualize the flower there, living inside you – a symbol of your inner beauty, which is always radiating from within. This is dhyana, or meditation – an exquisite state of stillness in which the mind produces few thoughts or none at all.
- After several minutes, drop the image and simply rest your awareness at the heart center. — Yoga teaches that when you’re connected to your heart center – your true Self – you have clearer perception, you make better choices, and you suffer less. If you practice this meditation regularly, you may find that unhealthy behaviors become less appealing, because they do not resonate with the wisdom of your true Self. — This new found relationship with yourself can be a refuge when you need to turn inward and take stock of your actions. When you need guidance, simply ask yourself: What would serve the interests of my true Self? Then gravitate toward the thoughts and actions that best support your goals.
Reference: Yoga Journal