Mindfulness and meditation are commonly heard these days. Something I hear often is, “I meditate, but I don’t really have it down.” or “I meditate but I’m not sure I’m doing it right.” For today’s blog, I thought I would answer some common questions.
Common questions people have on meditation
- How long should I meditate?
- You wil see benefits of as little as 2 minutes of meditation. The more you meditate, the more you will want to meditate. 15-20 minutes a day is a great goal but you might need to work up to that. That’s ok! Start with 2 minutes.
- When I try to meditate, I keep thinking about things. Am I doing it wrong?
- It is very normal and common for thoughts to float in and out during meditation, particularly if you are new to meditating. Observe as your thoughts float in and let them float right back out. Let your thoughts go. Just observe them without value or judgement. Notice. Adding a mantra can help. We’ll talk more about that next!
- I hear a mantra might be helpful. What’s a mantra?
- A mantra is simply a repeated word(s) or sound that you focus upon to help you clear your mind of all those floating thoughts while you meditate.
- I’m a little scared of mantras. I am religious and don’t want to do something that would be in conflict with my religion. Is there anything to worry about?
- No worries! Mediations appear in every major religious and spiritual tradition around the globe. For example, in the Catholic faith, one of the prayers is called “Centering Prayer”. This is a meditation! Use what ever mantra makes you feel comfortable. I’ll include some below.
- I don’t know what mantras to even choose from! How would I get started?
- One of my very favorite mantras is “Om”. Om is a sacred seed sound. A seed sound is a sound that balances the chakras and clears the mind. “Om” is considered the creation seed sound. This means you can create new experiences. You can use Om as a silent mantra or you can chant it. You’ll find it to be an immediately calming sensation. It re-centers you, grounds you and can stop negative thinking in its tracks. Every time you say or think “Om”, you are connecting with ancient and universal energy. I literally have the Om symbol tattooed on my arm as a reminder that I am in control of my own experiences with my thoughts, and it reminds me to slow down and breathe.
- Another mantra many people feel comfortable with is “Let go, let God”. “Let go” is on the in breath. “Let God” is on the out breath.
- You can also choose to breathe in what you want and release what you don’t want. For example, breath in peace and love. Breath out fear.
- Is deep breathing the same as meditation?
- It can be! If you are focused on your breathing “I breathe in. I breath out” you have turned your breathing into a meditation.
- Is breathing essential to meditation?
- Well, breathing is essential to living. So yes, breathing is a good idea when you meditate! Ok, I know that’s not what you meant. But yes, breathing really helps. There are so many types of meditative breaths that will need to come in a different post. But just focusing on your breath is a good place to start.
Some help for your meditation
Set a time for how long you’d like to meditate. This way, you won’t worry about missing something later today. Pick a beautiful sounding timer so you don’t get jarred and lose your peaceful feeling.
Sit up straight in your meditation space. This allows the energy in your body to freely flow.
You can either sit cross legged in easy pose or sit up straight in a chair. You can even lay down but if you are tired, you might go to sleep.
Focus on your breathing. Breathe in for a count of 5 or 7. Breath out for a count of 5 or 7.
Choose a mantra if you feel called. Otherwise, just focus on your breathing.
A free self-love meditation for you!
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