Meditation is not always peaches and cream, there are days were sitting in silence can feel suffocating and if we use guided meditations, we might not feel connected to it. Here’s something everyone should know:
The stereotype of a meditation, of sitting in lotus pose in silence for a couple of minutes, is not the only way you can do it. There are thousands of ways to meditate, you just need to find the one that goes along with your personality. I’m showing you five methods I have used on the days that I cannot “meditate” that have worked for me, but this is a chance for you to dip your toes into this magical world of meditation.
What is meditation, anyways?
There are over 20 types of meditations all over the world, but the one most people are used to seeing is the Zen Meditation (also known as Zazen) which is sitting in lotus pose, keeping the back straight with your mouth closed and your gaze is lowered and you focus all of your attention on your breath.
Meditation is a precise technique where one rests the mind to attain a state of consciousness that’s different from the normal, everyday life. This is often used to experience the center of consciousness within but it is not part of any religion. This technique is a science, which means that the process of meditating follows a specific order, has principles, and gives results that can be easily verified.
While meditating your mind is clear, relaxed and inwardly focused, you’re awake and alert but your mind isn’t paying attention to your surroundings. Once your mind is silence and is no longer distracting you with thoughts, the meditation deepens.
Most days, due to stress or current events, it can be hard to just sit in a mat and keep your mind silent and if you’re just starting to meditate, it can get pretty frustrating. Sometimes lighting incense can help, other times it’s easier to sit in a bench on the park for a couple of minutes and take long, deep breaths.
As long as you are turning inwards and easing your mind, you are meditating, so it’s a practice that you can do every single day. Meditation has hundreds of benefits, so I’d like to share some practices to incorporate on those days were you just “can’t meditate today”.
Mantras are a ritual that you can bring with you anywhere and do it at any moment. They are often sang or chanted and have the purpose of aligning yourself with the intention of the mantra or sacred word and invite that feeling into your energy field through the vibration of song.
I’ve practiced meditation with Sanskrit mantras, which is an amazing experience, but you can create your own mantras (more on that soon!).
Yantras are a diagram that helps during meditation as a focal point. It’s often used in Indian traditions as well as Tantric practices and is akin to a mandala. Each yantra has a different element and purposes.
When meditating with a yantra, turn your gaze to it softly, allowing the gaze to be the act of meditation and become so immerse in the image that your distractions simply float away.
Mudras are a shape that one makes with the hands in order to manifest a certain feeling or invoke a state of consciousness. A good example of a mudra is when one clasps their hands together in prayer position.
While meditation, one puts the mudra where you need more power. Do you want to feel grounded? Put your hands in your Root chakra. Looking for a spark of creativity? Opt for the Sacral chakra. Are you in need of more love or want to practice self-love? Put your hands on top of your Heart chakra. Do you feel like you’re not being honest with what you’re saying or want people to hear you? The Throat chakra is the perfect place to do the mudra. Do you want to connect with your intuition or your spirituality? Put your mudra on either your Third Eye or Crown chakras.
(4) Movement Meditation
Movement meditation is often used when we’re feeling energetic, it can be either a stroll in the park or the nearest beach so that we can release physical tension and stimulate blood circulation. Make sure to move in a rhythm that’s synchronized with your heartbeat and go with the flow.
Since 2015 there have been studies on how therapeutic coloring is because it eases the mind, unlocks creative potential as well as memories of one’s childhood. Doctor Carl Jung used to get his patients to color to help them focus and allow the subconscious let go, which is why it’s a wonderful alternative to meditation.