When you think about meditation, you probably picture yourself sitting on a deserted beach, in the lotus position, your eyes closed against the beauty that surrounds you because your mind has achieved a higher level of consciousness. Right?
Wrong! Who has time for that? While it makes a lovely poster, it’s just not practical.
I have good news: Meditation can make a tremendous difference in our lives by helping us to focus on what’s important. It can calm our fears by reducing anxiety and stress. It can even improve our brain functioning. And – here’s the best part – It takes only minutes a day and can be done anywhere!
Meditation is much more than thinking about nothing. You don’t need to leave your body. It doesn’t have to be a metaphysical experience. You don’t need to hang out with Buddhist monks.
There are many methods of meditation and none are the wrong way. Here are some of my favorites:
- Repeat your favorite mantra each morning, before you get out of bed. (More about that below)
- Close your eyes and visualize yourself doing a specific task. Imagine the parts that worry you because you are afraid of failing. In your meditation, feel the confidence as you calmly succeed and do it perfectly.
- Relax and focus by thinking only of your breathing for a minute. Inhale what you need – Peace, healing, energy. Visualize this as clean, pure air. Feel it enter your lungs, be picked up by your blood and flowing through you. Exhale the negative stuff – Hurt, illness, anger. Visualize the air you breathe out as dirty or filled with molecules of whatever negativity you are releasing.
What is a mantra?
A mantra, according to Hinduism, is a word or short phrase used as incantation for meditation or prayer. It is believed to have spiritual power and is usually repeated as a way to clear the mind in preparation for deeper meditation.
In our world, a mantra can be a simple statement of what we want to achieve. You can use Google or Pinterest to find something you like. Maybe you have a favorite prayer from Sunday worship that speaks for you or to you. You can even make up your own. Remember, there is no wrong way to do this.
It’s universal and you can tailor it to suit you. Speak to God. Send your message out into the inverse. Remember to keep your heart and mind open – listen.
Here are some nice, short mantras:
“Where I am right now is exactly where I need to be.”
“I attract joy, love, and abundance.”
“Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.”
“I am at peace with what is, what was, and what will be.
“I forgive you. I forgive myself.”
“I am open to the abundance of the universe.”
These are beautiful but a little longer:
“I am calm, peaceful, and centered. I am exactly where I need to be. I am serene, content, and in tune with my higher self. It is safe for my mind to rest and my spirit to soar. I am not my thoughts. My mind is my friend but I am it’s master. I can listen to my intuition.”
“I am open and I am loving. I forgive myself and others. It is safe to greet the world with love. My heart remains open to the world. I feel the air on my face and I can go lightly like air. I can be vulnerable, and it’s okay. I am worthy of love. I am balanced and loving. I will love myself and other unconditionally. It starts with me.”
“Like the wind, I am free and clear. It is safe to express myself and my needs. I am safe in my identity. I can speak and I can listen with love. I am a spiritual being and my spirit expresses itself here. It is safe to communicate. My voice is clear. I can speak my truth with love.”
If you are trying this out for the first time, I recommend a quiet, private place where you feel comfortable and will not be distracted. Some people like to use gentle music in the background. I used to have a CD of harp music that was perfect. Before long, you’ll find that it’s easy to shut out the rest of the world for a minute and focus, whether you are in a meeting or on a crowded train. A minute in your parked car, before you enter the office, can do wonders.