Meditation helps me everyday.
I’m not good at being analytical or scientific (know your weaknesses and all that) so I’m not going to delve into the research or proven health benefits here but write from my own experience.
My (almost) daily meditation routine has enabled me to become calmer, focussed and more self aware. I am less reactive and more at peace with myself.
That said, routine of any kind is helpful for me. There is something to be said for doing the same thing every day.
Meditation isn’t all sitting on cushions in absolute silence, there are plenty of ways to explore stillness and find some quiet. Some days my mind is going so quickly that no matter how much I try, I can’t settle into silence. Piling noise on top of the resistance or deprivation or fear in my mind feels like too much.
Here are 3 techniques to try:
These were my way into meditation. I found trying to meditate on my own really tricky and would find my mind wandering all over the place & it very difficult to sit still. Guided meditations walk you through a meditation and help you to find a calm and peaceful place.
There are plenty of meditations to choose from online. My go-to’s are those provided as resources with The Inner Fix (a book by Addictive Daughter), any by Elena Brower – this is one of my favourites – and these on the Chopra website.
I also sometimes go to led guided meditations, my favourite in London is at Frame Shoreditch on a Sunday afternoon with Dimuthu Foneska. If you’re struggling to find quiet time in your own home, going to a class can be really lovely and Dimuthu’s guided meditations are a dream.
Light Sourcing is fairly new to me but I have just finished a 21 day practice and it has been pretty transformational (big word I know) in the way I see the world around me. I came to Sourcing through Rebecca Cambell’s books, I wrote about them here, and can’t describe it better than the lady herself:
“Sourcing is a form of meditation where you put yourself into ultimate receiving mode. It’s an ultimate prayer of surrender, where you connect back with the universal Source energy of all things and allow yourself to rest, be filled up and receive all of the gifts that The Universe has for you …It helps us connect to the amazing energy that is on offer to us at all times (but often we look outside of ourselves to find it).
All you need to do Source is open your heart, breathe and receive.”
You can download Rebecca’s Light Sourcing meditation for free on her website here. Try it & see if it works for you, it’s only 7 minutes long.
I find myself turning to Tonglen more and more. As I seek to improve myself, deprivation, resentment or anger can come from all angles. Whether you are quitting drinking, or embarking on a new wellness regime, it can be hard to come to terms with the lifestyle changes you have embarked on and this is when Tonglen can come in.
Tonglen, as defined and taught by Pema Chodron, is a Buddhist meditation practice that “reverses the usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure.” Tonglen is a method for connecting with our pain, our fear, our feelings of deprivation and/or our suffering. Itis often applied by taking on the suffering of a person whom we know to be hurting or wish to help.
However, it can also be used for our own feelings of deprivation, resistance or anger as I’ve outlined below:
- Start by recognising what you are feeling clearly, is it deprivation, resistance, anger, fear or something else?
- Take a deep breath in, visualise yourself breathing in for all the people who are caught with that same emotion.
- Breathe out and send out relief, or whatever opens up the space, for yourself and the countless others who are feeling the same.
- Maybe you can’t name what you’re feeling but you can feel it as clenching in your heart or a tightness in the stomach. Here, simply connect with what you are feeling and breathe the feeling in as you breathe in, take it in, for everyone around you and then breathe out sending relief to all those experiencing the same feeling.
Though meditation can seem ‘daunting’ to start with or ‘not for you’, exploring different techniques to find one (or more) that fits is a great way in. I’d love to know if you try any of these and how you get on. Stay with it, it’s worth it.
All my love, L xx