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How To Meditate Part 9 — Making the Most of Meditation

Here Are A Few Tips To Make The Most Of Your Meditation

Most of us are living in such a hectic world that if we don’t take care to wind down once and a while, it might take a toll on our body, mind, and spirit. There are many ways to wind down, taking a holiday is one of them, but the practice of meditation is one you can do anywhere, anytime.

Meditation will not only help you to relax and let go of stress, but it will increase your clarity of mind, mental focus and help you stay centered. There are many purposes and techniques to meditation, but in general it can be considered as a practice of learning to train your mind.

What all of the techniques have in common is that they work for some benefit in your life. Meditation can help you reduce the effects of stress on your body and mind. It can stimulate the natural healing processes in your physical apparatus. It can help you find solutions to your problems, worries, and challenges in life. It can help you find your purpose in life and help you develop a clear mission for your life. It can help you connect to a higher power, develop your physical and metaphysical faculties, reduce or increase your brainwave frequencies, and so much more.

With the wide range of meditation techniques currently available, and especially if you’ve never meditated before, it can be hard to imagine how to get started.

Some meditation techniques are simple, while others require a great deal of discipline and training. In the end, though, there’s really no wrong way to do it.

However, what we find is that many people come to meditation because they hear about the benefits meditation has on reducing stress. If that’s you, and you’re just starting with meditation, we suggest you make it easy on yourself, and leave the more advanced meditation techniques for when you feel more in control over your mind, your thoughts and your emotions.

As you consider beginning the practice of meditation, there are also other factors to consider. The first is determining in what position you’ll meditate. You have several options, choose the one that makes the most sense for you.

Meditation – Getting Started

A person new to meditation needs to be patient; it takes time to train the mind to focus and settle into a meditation practice. The first step is to decide which from of meditation you wish to practice, and then learn how to do it. If possible, obtain the services of an expert, and there are also many books, DVD’s and free information available online that can teach the exact steps of the particular method preferred.

When beginning, ideally you’ll try to meditate at the same time every day. If this is not possible, you can still meditate at a different time.

Building a meditation practice is more important than the time you do it. The benefits of a consistent meditation practice can develop in a few weeks with continued practice preserving your brain’s youthful dynamics for years to come.

Getting Into Your Meditation Position

There is a lot of hype around a “meditation position” because meditation is a mind exercise, and has nothing to do with a position. You can meditate in any position, sitting on chair, wondering on a bench in the park, standing against a wall, or even standing on your head…;) OK, the last one is probably not so efficient LOL! But you get the point.

Nevertheless, determining an appropriate position for meditation can set the stage properly. Not so much so because it is required on a physical level (unless for specific healing practices like those used in Qi Gong and Yoga), but rather because your mind reacts so well to a specific position — and even a place — that you have determined will be your position and place for meditation.

After only a few times your mind will recognize this, and will already start slowing down your brainwave frequency before you close your eyes. So, just know that you really don’t have to choose one specific way to do it, but getting your body into a different position from the norm can help you to focus your mind more easily and in a more effective way.

While many people choose to use specific yoga or Qi Gong positions for meditation, trying to get your body to hold a position that’s uncomfortable can actually take away from your meditation practice. Especially if you have a physical condition, like pain in your neck, shoulders, or lower back — often physical conditions that go hand in hand with stress — you’ll be best if you can start out with a position you can hold for the duration of your meditation. Ideally you choose a position that separates you from outside activities, but is comfortable.

Here Are a Few Meditation Positions to Explore

Meditating In The Lotus Position

The lotus position is the one that most people associate with meditation. This position is a seated position on the floor. For this position, you’ll bend your right leg and place your right ankle on your left thigh.

Then you’ll place your left ankle on your right thigh. This takes a bit of flexibility. Extend your arms and place your hands on your knees palms up. You’ll also want to touch your thumb and index finger.

For this position it’s important to maintain proper posture so that your spine is properly aligned. You may also want to lower your head so that your chin is coming a little closer to your chest. It may take some time to be able to achieve this position comfortably.

The Lotus position is actually a Yoga position, and since yoga and meditation go hand in hand, the image of Indian yogi’s meditating in the Lotus position has popularized this position. So, unless you are very flexible and feel comfortable in this position, there is absolutely no need to use this position to get the benefits of meditation.

If you’re not able to achieve it comfortably, there are positions that are close, but don’t require as much flexibility. These can allow you to work up to the lotus position that you want to achieve and allow you to meditate.

Meditating In The Half-Lotus Position

This position is similar to the lotus, but not as difficult. You start in the same way by touching your right ankle to your left thigh. However, when you bend your left leg, you keep it on the floor and rest your left ankle in front of your right knee.

For this position your arm placement will be the same. This will help you to begin experiencing meditation even if you’re not quite flexible enough to achieve a full lotus. Many people who want to practice meditation in the lotus position begin with this pose.

Meditation With Crossed Legs

If you’re not ready to perform the lotus, you can also sit with your legs crossed on the floor. Make sure to sit straight up and have proper posture. This position is more comfortable if you’re not flexible and will still allow you to meditate.

Tip: For those with weak core muscles, or physical conditions in the area of the neck, shoulders, and back, you can sit close to a wall or something that can support your back while you are practicing your meditation. That way you are less likely to drift away with your thoughts towards discomfort and pain, and can keep a longer period of time in the lower brainwave frequencies that are the secret to the many benefits of meditation. Also note, that none of the above positions should be used for meditation if you have physical problems in your legs or knees. If you have those conditions, try the following positions.

Meditating Sitting in a chair

Sitting in a chair is actually one of the most comfortable positions to meditate, and excellent for healing meditations where you want your energy flow as fluent as possible. Just make sure to sit with your spine and neck aligned in a straight posture. Your feet flat on the floor, and your hands resting in your lap or on your upper legs.

Meditating Lying Down

There are also positions for meditating where you lie on the floor. Lying down can help you to relax your body and separate yourself from your regular daily life. It’s very comfortable, doesn’t require flexibility, and keeps your body supported.

When it comes to meditation positions, the most important consideration is your comfort. While meditation positions can help you to focus your mind, the wrong position can actually take away from your experience. If you’re new to meditation, you don’t need to spend all your time focusing on your body position and trying to contort your body into an uncomfortable pose. Instead, focus on finding a pose where you can relax and focus on what’s important.

If you want to learn to meditate, take a look at the Stillness Project. You can find it here:

The Stillness Project

 

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