meditate

“They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.”  – Hermann HesseSiddhartha

let’s be honest with ourselves. it’s hard as crap to meditate. just the word conjures up images of gurus and yogis sitting no the floor in an ashram, eyes closed, legs crossed, tiny smiles on their faces, hands on their knees. of course, they are all in deep trances. all of them somewhere far off in their minds, reaching enlightenment. it’s just a lot of pressure – meditating. i mean, who can maintain (or even reach!) that kind of inner silence? better yet, who can commit to doing that every day?

but, oh, how i want to.

so, what do i do, you wonder? well, in the mornings, preferably with a cup of coffee, a few candles lit, and sitting on my balcony, i simply spend time with myself. and I do it in different ways. so, here are my top five ways to put a little meditation in your life. it’s not as complicated or scary as you would think. try some of these, and let me know how it goes!

Guided Meditations:

I have participated in a Deepak Chopra/Oprah meditation series many times. But, in the beginning, when they were over – and I panicked – I found some other websites that have some good meditations as well. All I do is plug my headphones in, put my phone on silent (so it doesn’t ring or alert me), and sink deep into a place of inspiration, peace, + calm.

Check out these websites for some good mediations: Chopra Center | Quiet Lotus |  Fragrant Heart | Audio Dharma

And soon, I will post my own guided meditations right here on this page! It is a goal I have!

Yoga:

Once, maybe twice, a week I attend a Kundalini yoga class. Kundalini yoga is very meditative + active. There is a lot of focus on the breath + moving the energy in the body. I absolutely love it.

Pray:

I don’t think I pray in the “traditional” way of praying. I don’t talk to a being. I breathe and visualize that being, Love, Light, Truth as part of me. I connect to it through my breath and by slowing down. I let my thoughts flow, I let them come as they come. And I listen – that is what my praying mostly is. It’s listening.

Sip on some wine. Outside:

I love to do this at night, on my balcony. Just sitting all alone, in the darkness. Breathing it all in. Pondering the day that has been and preparing myself for rest. I suppose it is a way to stop for a minutes before bed to give thanks.

Read something inspirational:

I have so many books. Daily reading books, novels, memoirs, educational. When I read, I meditate. I write and underline and dog-ear pages. This is an active way of meditating, I believe. But, it is one where I focus on myself and my thoughts, letting the words soak into me and inspire me to feel or think.

Listen to music:

For the past two months, I have also created two playlists, one for September and one for October. Each morning, I also hit shuffle on my playlist and let whatever song begins to play be the song for the closing act of my mediation that morning. I feel the music and listen to the lyrics. More times than not, the song speaks directly to me in a most amazingly, timely fashion. And my soul always sings.

balcony meditation

ABOUT MEDITATION

first things first. do you meditate? is it not for you, you think? or does it intimidate you – as it has me? well, i am here to tell you that how i meditate is just that… how i meditate. i do not follow any strict rules, but i have taken on some suggestions by others. mostly, though, i have created my own way of meditating. you know, what works best for me + my soul. i encourage you to do the same. meditation should not be resereved for only those who seem to be “holy”, but it should be something that we all apply in our daily lives – if we believe that it will add something to our lives. regardless of who we are, finding ways to get in touch with our souls, in whatever way works for us individually, is something that can make life much more rich + an bring us a deep sense of peace.

so, what is my mediation definition? for me, meditation is simply time that i set aside for myself. it is a dedicated, committed time of being alone + silent with the purpose of connecting with my soul, with the source of all being, the energy of the universe. it is my time with the divine mystery and inner light that i believe is within us all.

now, how do i meditate? well, i can guarantee that it is not what you are thinking. i am no guru – sitting cross-legged on the floor for hours in totally silence with my mind calm + quiet as i reach an enlightened state. uhhh… nope. it goes more like this: sit cross-legged on the floor, if it’s a good day, on a pillow, leaning against something. some days i sit in a chair. i plug in my headphones, find a guided mediation, + let it lead me in anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes of meditation – most of it with someone talking to me the whole time. sometimes i simply listen to music. and sometimes i read a book and make notes. what i am saying is that, for me, meditation involves anything that inspires me. see… not so scary, huh?

i promise that you can do this. and, i am here to help you along, if you join in + need a little guidance. that’s the joy of meditating “together”. and the way we are going to do that for the next 3 weeks, is by using a simple little outline for out meditation time. one of the powerful things about meditation is the ritual of it – the intentional slowing down and returning to a simple place. i believe that that is easiest done when we follow a few rituals, to remind us of what we are doing, to set the stage, so to speak. so, here’s the meditation pattern we are going to follow:

  • create a special place just for you – a place you can return to every time you meditate (more on that later!)
  • light a candle to center yourself  – a symbol that this is the beginning of your sacred time with yourself
  • breathe in. breathe out. breathe deeply + slowly. land. settle. relax.
  • read or listen to the meditation. just let it soak into you without thinking or analyzing. feel the words or music – and notice if anything really sticks out + speaks to your soul.
  • reflect on what you have seen, read, heard. what did you notice? what was new or important to you? what inspired you? what questions or challenges or insights it raises for your life right now. write and take notes, or just think for a minute.
  • sit. just be. don’t do anything. don’t write. try to calm your mind. let inspiration soak into you. this is a good time to close your eyes.
  • breathe in. breathe out. let your awareness return to your everyday life. prepare to reenter your everyday life. but, before you do, bow your head, or clasp your eyes, or look up to the sky, or put your hand on your heart. whatever feels good. give thanks for this time that you have given yourself. and whisper a little namaste, if you wish.

So, why meditate?

Well, I could give you some dictionary, textbook reasons, but I’m going to share with you how meditation has changed my life. Most recently, during these last 2 months of meditation, I feel empowered. Of course I feel calm and centered, but even more than that, I feel motivated + energized. Meditation reminds me that I already have all that I need. The universe with within me. All I need to do is tap into that power and let it flow into my life. Meditation is how I tap into that power.

If meditation sounds like something you are interested in, then give it a try. And stick with it. Just so you know, I don’t have great revelations every day. But, the beauty of committing to something is seeing how you have been transformed over time. It’s often the little bitty steps that we don’t see that move us from where we are to where we want to be.

Namaste.

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liz

liz

slow living. photography. craft beer. spirituality. moon + stars. bare feet. road trips. mexican food. blankets. the ocean. journals. coffee. airplanes. forests. meditation. eating out. cacti. playlists. family time. zola the cat. lina, my love.

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