Once you have committed to making meditation a part of your life (congratulations!) you may just need to fine tune a few things before you start. For instance, the question of ‘How should I meditate?’ or ‘How long should I meditate for?’ may be some of the questions.
Let us take a look at these to start with.
The ‘How should I meditate’ question is a personal choice and it might be a case of trying out before you decide. For instance, if you are a visual or creative person, you might find that looking at a picture such as beautiful scenery or a peaceful image may be what you need to start off.
Closing your eyes and picturing a calm lake with a sun setting may evoke a sense of calmness, and as you close your eyes, you picture this image. As you proceed with your breathing, you may like to visualise actually being in this serene place and with each breath, allow yourself to immerse a little further. Feel the air, the sun, the coolness, the sounds that surround you.
However, perhaps closing your eyes is a challenge, and so you prefer to gaze at a candle flame. The peaceful colours and stillness of the flame may bring you into a sense of inner calmness, just like the flame.
With regards to the question, ‘How long should I meditate for’ some people prefer to set a time limit. This way, they are committed to using up all the time just for meditation. It may just be what you need to commit to a daily practice, when your own daily schedule is full.
If a timer is not your preference, then the answer to this question is simple – there is no right or wrong time to how long you should meditate for. To be beneficial however, the following can assist with incorporating a technique to suit you, in your own timeframe. Your technique can be loosely based on these elements.
The key elements of meditation:
Being present – be aware of how your body is now.
Grounding – feel yourself connected to earth, connected to your breath.
Technique – visualising, sound, mantra, gazing etc
End Grounding – bringing yourself back into the space, being present and alert.
There are many ways to meditate and you may just surprise yourself with what suits you. Give a different method a try, you will soon know which is right for you.
Here are a few:
Mantra – this is when you repeat a positive word or affirmation throughout your meditation or in intervals.
Breathing – this can be purely breathing slowly in and out until you begin to feel calm. Or bringing your awareness to your breath at intervals.
Journalling – this a fantastic way to let your thoughts run wild as you write them on a piece of paper. This can be particularly good to release recurrent thoughts or to just feel freedom to express yourself.
Just committing to meditation is a wonderful and positive step – so embrace every minute and let it unfold in whichever technique or time frame is right for you.
I have tried to keep this article brief for the purpose of ‘just getting to the point of it’ – so look out for future in-depth blogs and posts as I delve into these and other aspects of meditation!
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From the time I started meditation, which was 10 years ago, I've experienced such a positive tool that has been a wonderful support.