What exactly is meditation you ask? Meditation is a method to help cope with medical problems, stress and anxiety using thought, contemplation and reflection. And yes anyone and everyone can use meditation. In my research for this article, I was actually surprised to learn that there is even scientific research that has shown meditation has health benefits beyond relaxation. Some of these benefits include decreased insomnia, increased personal development, reduced stress and anxiety, decreased blood pressure, easier focus and concentration, and reduced risk for diseases and illnesses!
So the first thing you need to do before starting mantra meditation is to find a mantra. The one I use is Om Namah Shivaya (Om Naa-Mah She Vai-Ya), which means “I bow to Shiva”. Shiva being your inner self or your true self. There are tons of mantras out there to use, or you can even make your own, the trick is to find one that you like the meaning of or means something to you.
Now you need to create a peaceful atmosphere to meditate in. Make sure it is quiet, clean, warm, lower the lights and put on some music that calms you (there are meditation cd’s available). Next get into some comfortable and easy clothes, no belts or shoes required. And find a comfortable, relaxing place to sit. You can use a yoga mat and cushions, your favorite recliner or even try meditating in a nice warm bath. The only other tool that can be helpful to meditation is a mala or string of 108 meditation beads, these help you to count off your mantra repetitions (I use my bracelet’s).
Finally it is time to begin . . . close your eyes, take 3 deep slow breaths in and out. I like to let my mantra guide my breathing after I am ready to start. On your next breath inhale to “Om Naa Mah” then exhale to “Shi Va Ya”, and repeat. Once you have finished the mantra once, move to the next bead if you are using beads to count. In the beginning aim to repeat your mantra 21 or 28 times and slowly increase that number as you grow more comfortable with meditation, traditionally a mantra is repeated 108 times (although I have never gotten that high). You will start to notice that you mind becomes clear of everything other than your mantra. Once this happens you can start to focus your energy on concentration and reflection.
At the end of each meditation session, take a minute to observe how and what you are feeling. You will notice the effects of meditation last longer and longer the more regularly you practice. As well, once you are comfortable with your mantra and meditation, you will be able to use it as a tool to quickly distress or take the edge off your stress anywhere anytime. I have used it standing in my kitchen when I was about to lose it at my kids. 1-2 min, breathing and my mantra helped to take the edge off my anger so I could deal out punishments calmly and fairly.
“If you haven’t given the idea of meditation your deliberation you should soon, while you can still save your sanity.” I challenge you all to give meditation an honest try for 30 days before you decide if it works for you or not. You may be as surprised as I was in the end.
Make sure to let me know how meditation goes for you, and what you think of it.
Have a fantastic week. Namaste.
For more information on meditation visit project meditation. If you have found other good resources please post them in the comments. :)