It’s time for me to talk to you about meditation. In case you don’t know, you should be doing it every day. What – you don’t? That’s OK – neither do I.
If you are aware of the fact that you should be meditating – this is a good start. It’s not that hard – but like most simple things, it is harder than it seems. During my life, I have had the benefit of being introduced to a few different types of mediation. If you have ever had a meditation lesson, take this as a blessing. If it didn’t ‘gel’ with you – don’t worry – this is normal – there is still hope for you yet.
I thought I would share a technique with you that I was taught by a former mentor of mine. I will not take credit for the practice but I will share it with you as a free spiritual exercise.
If you have been having some trouble sitting down to meditation – I think there is a way to make it more enjoyable for you. Meditation should not be (always) enjoyable, it is like going to the gym – there are benefits to practising, and often the benefits will not be immediately apparent.
For this exercise, it is imperative that you choose a spiritual place that you would like to visit. This could be a real place, or even an imagined place, like Atlantis, or a place that used to exist that is no longer whole, like the Roman Forum in Rome. You might even want to check out a different planet or find out what it’s like in the ocean, or in space.
Find photographs and drawings
Next, compile a visual collage of the place you wish to visit. Print out some photos from the web that symbolise your spiritual place. If there are no real photos, then pull up photos of what you imagine the place to look like. Arrange these pictures in a collage in your meditation space.
Set up your space
You will be using this space a few times. Try to find a place indoors. Meditating outdoors is only recommended if you are disciplined in your practice – otherwise you can become distracted. Find a spot in your home that is away from the kitchen, the bathroom and where people congregate to talk. Clear a space for yourself. You may find that the universe supports you in this, and your space may be left alone, even surprisingly!
Incense, candles, quiet
These things can enhance your practice, even just for the fact that they make you feel ritualistic and they affect the environment with introducing alterations for your other senses. Never leave candles and incense unattended when meditating. Place them in a safe space (like a holder, sink or metal tub) or extinguish before you begin.
Begin to relax
Sit on a cushion or on the floor if you can. Sit in front of your visual collage. Begin your practice by closing your eyes. Breathe in and out 5 times. Tense your body from head to toe and then release.
Begin by staring with eyes open at your collage for 2 minutes, then close your eyes for two minutes and recreate what you saw. Open again and repeat. When your eyes are closed, imagine the place you are visualising. What can you see, feel, hear? What temperature is it? Is there a sun, a moon? Are there people there? Are you alone? When you start to lose the image, open your eyes and go back to your spiritual place.
Do this meditation each day for about 20 minutes. Don’t sit down to a “heavy” practice, just take it easy and try to focus your mind as much as you can. You may discover that after a week of meditating on your spiritual place, you may have gained some insight towards it. You may even go there in your dreams.
Have you tried meditation? What spiritual places (real or imagined) would you like to visit?