I started to do some light research on meditation and came across a freaky warning! “You might get visions and some of them might be horrible. Stop when it happens.” WTF? I of course took a screen shot of the warning and group-texted it to my mom and sisters. One sister replied, “I was just watching Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and he talked about that. He said he quit his meditation early because of it.” Intrigued, I looked it up.
I’m Thinking Too Much About You
Sure enough, she was right. In the movie, the main character Mui Bai confesses that he prematurely broke off a regimen of deep meditation. He explains, “I didn’t feel the bliss of enlightenment. Instead, I was surrounded with an endless sorrow.. I felt something pulling me back.. something I couldn’t leave behind.” Well, okay. In his case, he is attached to someone emotionally. His aim in meditating is to be completely detached, hence the fail. So now the warning maybe has some context. But just in case, beware your inner demons!
What Do You Want Meditation to Help You Achieve?
Meditation is actually the best way to add peace to your hectic life. We all complain that we’re too busy, so we must need a break. Taking five minutes each day is a wonderful way to restore your mental health. Be sure you meditate with a purpose! Before you start meditation, think about what you would like to gain from a brain break. Are you looking to improve your creativity? Do you have a goal that you would like to manifest? Or are you seeking some spiritual connection? Just spending some time being fully present in your body is reason enough.
The Fun Part – Setting Up Your Space
If you are going to start meditating regularly, I highly recommend you set up a space to practice. Find an area in your home or office that is free of distractions. Then add pillows!! Zafus are cushions specifically made with meditation in mind. They keep you comfortable while sitting on the ground and aid with posture. Find one (or a couple!) and add some extra pillows to the spot so it is nice and inviting.
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Here is another great excuse to go shopping or wear pajamas. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and sit in a comfortable position. You don’t have to be Indian-style to get the effects of meditation. Your hands don’t even need to be in any specific position. Just do what comes naturally.
Remove All Distractions
First, turn any phone ringers off and use the restroom if needed. It may be hard to concentrate at first, so you will need as much help as you can get. Make your environment extra mellow by adding candles or incense. Crystal lamps add the right amount of glow and they’re so pretty! Set a timer for the amount of time you’d like to meditate and have it close by. This way you won’t feel tempted to check the clock mid-session. 3 – 5 minutes is perfect to start – you can go longer as you get more into the routine.
Focus On Breathing Out
Now that your sitting comfortably, close your eyes and bow your head. Tilting your chin downward helps open up your chest and eases your breathing. The main focus during your meditation should be your breath. Make sure your jaw is relaxed and breathe in and out through your nose. By concentrating on your inhalations and exhalations, your mind is more able to be free. If your mind starts to wander, think about how your breath feels as it leaves your body.
Mindfulness Takes Time
It’s easy for our minds to wander, which is the main difficulty of meditation. This is why it’s good to start for a short amount of time and then work your way up. Meditation won’t change your life overnight. Continued practice is required for the effects of inner peace to have influence. Keep meditating every day and you will be surprised at the added benefits it brings. Stressful situations will have less of an effect on you. Your creativity will start to flourish and little ideas will come to you when you least expect it.
You’re Worth It!
If you find meditation challenging like Mui Bai did, keep practicing! At the very least, taking some time to yourself each day is healthy. It’s simple and fun and you will look forward to your sessions every day. Send more peace out into the world and love yourself better. xox