by Penny Weaver


The concept of meditation is learning to pay attention and live in the moment.  It’s taking time to smell the roses.  Paying attention to the nuances and details of your life is called “meditation while living” or mindfulness.  Living in the moment is easier said than done since our lives are generally consumed with so many activities we always think ahead and live in the future.   Or worse, we live in the past and think about what we should have said or done concerning a past activity we cannot change.

Mindful living means being aware of your body, feelings and thoughts, and mindstates.  It is also understanding that what you think influences the way you act and feel.

 Meditation helps you slow down, focus your attention and reduce stress.  This has several health benefits and helps your life become clearer, calmer and more focused.  Whatever you do, meditation can help you do it better.  The end result is you can live your hopes and dreams.

Several things are key to beginning a good practice of meditation. 

·        Space:  Find a quiet space where you will be free from interruptions. Use a comfortable chair that supports your spine straight and allows your feet to be flat on the floor. 

It maybe helpful to have a table in front of you with something from nature that you connect with such as a flower, plant, rock, crystal or feather on the table.  Candles or mandalas (pictures of circular, intricate designs) work particularly well. Use the object to focus your gaze.

·        Body and Emotion Scan: Imagine that you can scan your body.  Scan from the top of your head to your feet.  As you scan you are observing the condition of your body and looking for tension, stress and negativity.  If you find anything negative, imagine you release it and replace it with relaxation.  Scan your emotions and notice if you have negative emotions that you are ready to release and imagine that you let them go and replace them with peace and calmness.

·        Breath: Watch your breath come in and go out. Breath deep through your nose taking air through your chest and into your abdomen.   As you inhale, visualize taking in white healing light and exhale any tension or negative thoughts you pick up. ;Using your breath in meditation helps readjust your state of being to deep relaxation. 

·        Thoughts:  Observe your thoughts and notice if you have any negativity.  If you do, imagine that you can let these negative thoughts go and replace them with something that is more beneficial to you now.

Pay attention to any queues of bodily sensations you feel during meditation such as a feeling of heaviness, tingling or a slight pressure somewhere in your body.  Recognizing these queues will help you go into and stay in the state of meditation.

‘Here are some keys to success with meditation. For maximum benefit:

·        Meditate every day.

·        Meditate at the same time every day.

·        Meditate in the same space every day.

·        Keep a log of your thoughts, feelings and intuitive insights gained during meditation.

·        If you are ill, angry or upset, meditate only lightly or wait until you feel better.  Meditation will amplify feelings.

Next month we will discuss accessing the body’s energy centers during meditation.




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