There you were, ready to start with that meditation that everyone tells wonders about.
It was one of those weeks full of stress and you wanted to relax for a while, but just by placing yourself in that position on the floor you already felt that there was going to be little relaxation.
Your intention to practice was good, but you felt uncomfortable, you felt discomfort in the groin area and your head was in centrifuge mode.
“This is not for you” or “What an absurd waste of time” – You told yourself mentally.
Well, hey, it turned out that you couldn’t put your mind blank and feel that illumination that everyone talks about. What a fiasco!
And it is that sometimes, we have a wrong idea of how things are (or should be).
Around meditation there are many myths and legends, dogmas and secrecy.
That is why today, I want to share with you 5 different forms that may not correspond to the image of the Buddha that you have been sold until today.
Meditation, like yoga asanas, must adapt to you and not you to them, and for this, nothing better than trying and listening to you to find out what resonates with you the most.
Let’s discover together some methods of meditation beyond what meditation is supposed to be. I hope they help you!
1. Mindfulness or full attention
Mindfulness will help you to live more present, not only in a training practice on the mat, but also beyond it. And this is where I want to lead you today!
The definition of mindfulness says that it is the awareness that emerges when we pay attention (intentionally) to the present moment and without judgment.
So, we could say that if you sit in silence to just experience what is happening, without getting caught up in thoughts, you would be practicing mindfulness.
This can be done outdoors, for example by watching the movement of leaves on a tree in the park next to your house.
Here, let me give you some examples where you could practice this state of presence on a daily basis, without sitting in the lotus position or going blank.
- Color or paint: When we are focused on creative work, the rest of things dissolve in that experience. You can start by coloring a book of mandalas and if you have a highly developed artistic technique, you can directly encourage yourself to draw or paint pictures.
- Kitchen: If you are one of those people who enjoy cooking, you can direct your attention to everything you do. Cut food, observe its colors, enjoy its aromas…
- Conscious shower: May your toilet time be sacred. Enjoy the touch of the water on your skin, how good the soap smells, the play of light that makes its foam or the temperature of the water.
- Mindfulness walks: Walk alone for a while a day trying to pay your attention to what happens inside and outside of you. Feel each step and the weight of your body sway, listen attentively to the ambient sound or notice the sensation of the breeze caressing your face.
Also, you can always build the habit with a more formal practice, however brief, where each morning you start your day sitting comfortably (you can use a chair, for example) and pay attention only to your breath.
You can make a count of each complete breath you take (inhalation + exhalation), observe the flow of air through your nostrils or attend to the swaying of your body’s movement.
You will realize little by little, how you begin to manage situations better, how you feel calmer during the day to day and you will find the mental radio at much lower volume than before. Test it!
2. The movement
It is curious because our bodies are in constant movement, but rarely do we move consciously and involuntarily.
Since we live on autopilot, we move like robots.
Even if you are one of those people who is used to playing sports, going to the gym or going for a run.
On most occasions I’m sure you don’t feel your body moving.
For this reason, as a method of meditation, I recommend using that full awareness that we talked about in the previous point when making our movements.
There are those who find it easier to observe their body when it is active, that is why I have thought it advisable to share this technique with you.
You can attend a yoga class in your city or prepare a space to practice yoga at home .
Or you can, for example, meditate while dancing. This is something that is rarely talked about, but since ancient times dance has been used as a form of meditation.
The 5 rhythms of Gabrielle Roth or Biodanza are disciplines that arise from this current need to find ways to connect spiritually through movement.
If it catches your attention, look for a center where you can dance in a group, but if you prefer, you can always find evocative music in your home and move your body to the rhythm of your breath.
Don’t think about anything, just move every part of you intentionally, connect with the music and pay attention to how you breathe. Enjoy.
3. Meditation with the elements
It is easier for us to meditate when we are in an environment conducive to it. Nature has always made us feel inspired and that is why working with the elements can be of great help.
If you are starting out as a meditator, what better way to reconnect with the essentials: earth, air, water and fire.
Your body will be the channel that connects the element with you. Nature allows us to feel at home wherever we are.
Look for a song on YouTube that is relaxing and has natural sounds to set the scene.
Sit down or lie down comfortably and practice concentrating on the element of your choice.
If you are sitting, you can watch a candle for a few minutes. For this you can help yourself with a typical ambient sound of a fireplace. Watch his movements curiously.
You can also help yourself with your imagination to make your breathing lead you to visualize how with each exhalation roots are created under you that anchor you to the earth, and with inhalation, small luminous fibers that come out of your crown to connect you to the sky. .
How about imagining yourself as a container that fills and empties with water with each inhalation? And visualize the coming and going of the waves of the sea?
Of course, it will be like traveling without leaving home and I am sure that it will calm your mind, relieving all kinds of accumulated tensions.
As you can see, it is not necessary to retire to live in Tibet or leave your mind blank to be able to enjoy meditation.
I hope that you will be encouraged to try these simple meditation techniques and that little by little you will be able to ride the outbursts of your mind.
Remember, you don’t need anything to be able to do this, not even sitting on a mat in the Indian position.
Neither Buddhist malas, nor unpronounceable mantras, nor colored quartz… Only you can reach that state of connection and inner peace!
So, little by little, start with small steps and be constant, that way you will integrate it more and more into your life.
Many few make a great many.
Thank you very much for reading me and… Happy present moment!