While there are many forms of meditation, a state of mind involving acceptance and awareness, there are a few main categories. One of them is concentrative meditation which has been practiced for hundreds of years. In concentrative meditation, the objective is to focus your attention on a particular object. It may be an image, a flame, your breath or perhaps a sound. It takes some training and dedication. You need to calm your mind and become grounded.
One of the favoured concentrative meditation in the West is the Transcendental Meditation. Often when we begin this type of meditation, we concentrate on our breath. We may deviate from concentrating but can always come back to it. It has been said that this meditation can invoke feelings of true bliss. Ways it can enhance our daily life include helping you focus better as it corrects your mental state.
Zazen or Breathing Concentration
Zazen has long been used in the Buddhist practice. It is good for beginners and involves focusing on your breathing. Breath is our vital life force and the main activity within our bodies. Mind and body work together so if your mind is not in peace, your breath isn’t. Therefore, deep cleansing breaths can assist in the clarity and peace within our minds. It is advised that you sit with a straight spine but if you feel more comfortable, you can also stand.
Find a Place for Stillness
1. Sit with the legs crossed
2. Sit with your palms on your lap or knees. If standing, let the arms fall at your sides.
1. Find your breath
2. Start breathing in through your nose slowly, pause at the top of the breath. Breathe out slowly and take a pause at the bottom of the breath.
3. Counting your breath can help you focus further. Count to three while breathing in, count to three in the pause, count to four in the outbreath and count to three in the pause before breathing in again.
Stay with the practice. If you lose focus, gently go back to your breath. It takes persistent, dedication and practice but the benefits are worth the work. Put yourself into the practice and soon enough, your thoughts, ego and opinion lose their power over you.
Guest Post by Loraine – Thank you 🙂
Having a space where you can reflect on your earthly desires and centre yourself is a powerful way to keep yourself balanced. Your peaceful spot nurtures the mind, body and soul and here you are free to do and think whatever you want. Whatever is missing in your life, you can find it in the space you create for yourself. We all need a safe place where we can allow ourselves to stop completely and be mindful of our lives.
Create A Peaceful Spot
You may find your spot in your home especially during cold months. There is likely a space you feel most comfortable in so it won’t be too difficult to choose your space. Feng Shui suggests you remove clutter from the space you choose and add things that bring you peace. Creating a space where all the senses are nurtured could include gentle music or incense sticks of your choice. The space should be darker without too much light filtering in. Add some gentle lighting with candles. Add a deity like a Buddha or Ganesh (the god of removing obstacles). You may want to periodically cleanse this space with white sage. Clear Quartz, Rose Quartz, Amethyst and Agate stones should be present whether as gemstone jewellery or raw gemstones. These can add power and grounding energy to your contemplative spot. Having a comfortable place to sit or lie back could include some floor pillows. If you find a peaceful spot in nature, wear some gemstone jewellery with the same gemstones you would place around your space at home. A clear quartz bracelet or necklace for example.
Focus On Your Breathing
Once your peaceful spot is created, you are free to contemplate anytime and in any manner you want to. You can meditate as you sit in the tranquil space you have created for yourself. The more time you spend in this spot, the more comfortable and nurturing it will become. When you enter the space, imagine that a circle of protection and tranquility surrounds you. Tune out the outer world and look within. Focus on your breathing, bring in the cool energy of the earth and breathe out the hot negative air. Look to find acceptance for yourself and for other people around you. Ponder such thoughts as what you’ve learnt today and what you’d choose to change. Commit to making your tomorrow better by what you’ve learnt in this space.
Retreat To Your Peaceful Spot
By finding your sacred spot, you build a deep and meaningful relationship with yourself. You make a spot where you can feel safe to be vulnerable. You can even think about your space when you’re in the middle of a stressful situation. See yourself sitting in the peaceful spot and how you feel when you’re there. This space is always waiting for you and will heal, protect and centre you.
Guest Post by Loraine – Thank you 🙂
Have you ever asked yourself the deep questions to gain insight into who you are? What do you want from life? Are you artistic or are you an analyzer? Through our childhood and adolescence, we develop in order to get comfortable with adulthood. We hit the ground running with responsibilities and the evolving of ourselves. We work on our careers and our financial advancements while our souls’ needs are put on the backburner. It is often thought by spiritual leaders that we walk around with masks on. We are programmed to be someone that is accepted in society and often we are rewarded in return. If you are one of the fortunate ones who lives life in truth then you know the meaning of life. This is the highest reward you can ever hope for.
Ask Questions & Reflect
It’s a journey to find out who you are and you may require guidance along the way. Once you begin to ask the questions though, a guide will appear for you. Doors begin to open and your path will be a seamless one. You may feel it in your gut if you’re in a relationship or a workplace that doesn’t suit your passions. All you really need to do in the beginning is listen to it. Ways you can help yourself on your path to discovery is through mediums like tarot cards. As you shuffle the cards, contemplate deeply on the questions you have. Meditation also serves as a powerful way to find the answers to who you really are. Use powerful crystal and gems that assist you such as clear quartz and amethyst. Their energy source can keep you grounded as you open up to the new possibilities that become available to you.
Listen to Your heart
Maybe you’re a boho child and you crave the sunshine and spreading your light to others. Maybe you’re a free spirit who needs to feel free to really flourish. You may even love to be an accountant, whatever it is that you love you should take that path. If you stand for nothing, you may potentially fall for things that don’t fulfill you. To know who you are and know what makes you happy will keep your spirit’s fire burning. Listen to your heart and manifest those desires to fruition. True happiness stems from being true to yourself. The first step is to ask the question to yourself, “what do I really want?” Your surroundings will begin to unfold and the answers will come.
Guest Post by Loraine – Thank you 🙂
This is so important that we should take some time today or tomorrow to really think about it. Are we living the life we want to live? Are we happy? I mean, are we truly happy? Are we living in the present? Or are we busy being worried about the future, regretting the past? Are we so busy planning our future that we just exist but not live today? Or have we turned into the “gonna” people? Yes, I am gonna take months off to travel the world, once the right time has come, once the kids are out, when I am retired… Likely this will never happen. Swap this travel dream for another one, everyone has dreams. Dreams are there to be chased after, not just to be there. You are the architect of your own life. You design your life. You ALWAYS have a choice.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it by living someone else’s life.
What are your dreams? Are you chasing after them? Are they slowly fading away and being replaced by the sole existence of a “conforming” version of yourself? You are a wonderful being of light. Be free. Shine. Enjoy. Live. Travel. Explore. Just be happy. But be truly happy ♥
Photo credit: Thank you, Brooke, for this beautiful reminder.
One of the biggest secrets to a happy life is to be in the moment you are in. What happened yesterday doesn’t exist in your present moment. If you’re thinking of yesterday’s moment and what you “could have” done, you’re not doing what you can do in this moment. The past moments whether good or bad can’t touch you unless you let them. The future doesn’t need be thought of because it’s unknown. It’s only now that you can be grateful, generous, happy and reactive.
This moment is your life and your destiny, so embrace it fully.