“He who looks outside dreams. He who looks inside awakens.” –Carl Jung
Meditating allows for you to turn your attention inward and see yourself from the inside out, rather than always looking as we do, from the outside in. Are you aware of your everyday thoughts? Are you aware that you often have more than one at once? Your mind works like an orchestra. This orchestra is made up of many instruments, each representing your different thoughts. Is it a harmonious symphony or do the instruments play out of tune? What if you could isolate just one instrument? Or what if you could silence them altogether. Start over. Compose a new sheet of music, of which you are now the maestro. That is control. Wouldn’t you like to have more of a conscious say in your unconscious?
Outlined below are some easy steps on how to start your own meditation practice:
*As an option before you begin, you may want to start with some asanas, or different moving positions, such as half sun salutations. This will bring movement and breath to your body; so you can further relax when you eventually do sit down to meditate. Rid yourself of any possible agitations beforehand this way
*I also suggest that you find one time a day or maybe two, at around the same time of day everyday to meditate. (Personally, I prefer to meditate just before sunrise and just after sunset.)
1. Find a quiet sitting place in your house or room, even if this place is on your bed. It is also very important to make sure you put all electronic devices away. This isn’t like an airliner jet announcement, where sometimes you listen…like actually…put it away. Life can wait, that’s the whole point ;)
2. Make yourself comfortable. Use props like a bolster, some pillows or a blanket to find a comfortable seated position where you can keep your spine long and supported. (You may also like to try this laying down, just don’t fall asleep). The point is to be comfortable; your intention is to take attention away from the way your body is feeling as you meditate, and finding a comfortable position allows for you to accomplish this.
3. Close your eyes and initially make the observation that you feel supported with your body rooted to the ground. Then bring your attention more inward, to your breath.
4. Notice the way you are breathing. Is it shallow? Are your exhales longer than your inhales? Just observe and relax.
5. In this relaxed state, thoughts will come and go. You may have the urge, but try not to latch to one thought and chase it with another and then another. Instead, only observe your thoughts without judgment. It may be hard at first, but think of watching your thoughts come and go in a similar way you might watch the clouds go by in the sky. If you find yourself getting distracted, bring the focus back to your breath.
Try to stay here for 10 to 20 minutes. Leave a watch or clock (not a phone) nearby and peak over from time to time if needed.
What you’ll notice:
When you wake* from this state, you will notice an immediate sense of calm. You may feel a little bit tired, but mostly just relaxed.
After a few days you may notice that you are remembering things you might usually forget, are able to focus better and feel less ‘foggy.’
After a few weeks you may feel more ‘in-tune’ with yourself, your intuition and others. You may notice yourself picking up on more subtle things that you might have overlooked before. Kind of like, if someone has ever had a crush on you and you just knew it. They didn’t necessarily say or do anything too obvious and then when it was confirmed, you weren’t really surprised because you already knew. Meditating can sharpen the accuracy of your own intuition, or awareness from the inside out. To be more aware, you must listen. To listen, you must clear the noise. If you can get rid of some mind clutter (noise) by using meditation as a tool, you can be more present, less distracted and therefore more observant. Meditate to reset, enabling yourself to approach the world with a renewed sense of peace and being.