Meditation – Some Simple Tips
Without a doubt, many of us are struggling with the stresses of 2020 and as the year inexorably slides into winter there is no letting up.
Some of us have managed to keep it together and some of us are rather ragged around the edges.
Everyone I speak to is tired and so many of us just cannot get the sleep and peace we crave.
Pembrokeshire.Online has been asking some of our contributors how they have been coping and not surprisingly, as most of them are artists, writers or photographers, their relationship with nature and their creativity have been nourishing them in these dark times.
So what if you don’t consider yourself creative? What if getting out into nature is just too difficult? Perhaps an inner journey might be the answer.
Have you tried meditation or visualisation? It might be something you have tried in the past. You might have thought it wasn’t working for you because your mind was so busy. You might have found it difficult to make the time to get into a regular routine.
Well, here are some suggestions. We would be interested to know how you get on.
First , a brief mention of visualisation. For those for whom silence is not a friend, people who feel that their minds are like a hamster in a wheel, visualisation offers moment-by-moment guidance. Even if your mind strays , you can bring it back to the voice that guides you. It’s not quite the same as meditation but as a relaxation technique it can be hard to beat
YouTube has thousands of guided visualisations on a number of themes. All you have to do is find a quiet place and choose a guiding voice that makes you feel calm , and get comfortable.
If you want to meditate properly, there are also guides and music and tips on techniques you can find on the internet. Choose to meditate to music, upon the intake and outtake of your breath, with a mantra (a sacred sound), a candle flame or an object such as a flower or a stone.
Think about what you want from your meditation. There is a lot of talk about how to meditate properly but, personally, if you are a beginner, I think that can be very off putting. Just find a time and a place where you are less likely to be disturbed and can be comfortable. Then decide how long you would like to sit. You are less likely to fall asleep if you are sitting rather than lying down. Falling asleep while meditating is not the recommended outcome but sometimes falling into a nap while meditating can be restorative too. You might want a blanket, as many people get chilly while meditating. The aim is to be present, even if this is for only a few moments at a time,. As you get more experience you will find that the time begins to pass very quickly.
Be kind to yourself. Whatever method you have chosen, wherever you have chosen to sit, decide how long you will meditate for and set a timer. There are free apps that allow you to have gentle sound that will bring you back, rather than the jarring sound of a standard alarm.
How long should you sit ?
I would say to start with 10 minutes and work up to 20 over time, if that works for you. You may be surprised at how quickly time can seem to pass.
Most important of all the guidelines for meditation, as far as I am concerned is to be kind to yourself. Most of us, even when we have been meditating for some time, will have days when our meditation is full of distracting thoughts. The key is, when you realise that your mind has wandered from whatever you were focusing on, to gently bring it back. Personally I prefer to focus on the breath. It is always there. I can meditate anywhere and can bring my attention back to it easily.
There are dozens of apps , articles and pieces of advice online if you are interested to know more. Let us know how you get on.