There you were, ready to start with that meditation that everyone raves about.
It was one of those weeks full of stress and you wanted to relax for a while, but just putting yourself in that position on the floor and you felt that there would 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 said mentally.
Well hey, it turned out that you couldn’t put your mind blank and feel that enlightenment that everyone talks about. What a fiasco!
And is that sometimes, we have the wrong idea of how things are (or should be).
Around meditation there are many myths and legends, dogmas and secrets.
That is why today, I want to share with you 5 different ways that may not correspond to the image of the Buddha that you have been sold to this day.
Meditation, like yoga asanas, should adapt to you and not you to them, and for this, nothing better than trying and listening to yourself 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 mindfulness
Mindfulness will help you to live more present, not only in a training practice within the mat, but also beyond it. And this is where I want to guide you today!
The definition of mindfulness says that it is the consciousness that emerges when we pay attention (intentionally) to the present moment and without judgment.
So, we could say that if you sit silently and just experience what happens, without getting caught up in thoughts, you would be practicing mindfulness.
This can happen outdoors, for example, observing the movement of the leaves of a tree in the park next to your house.
Next, 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 leaving your mind 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 highly developed your 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 the food, observe its colors, enjoy its aromas …
- Mindful shower: May your grooming time be sacred. Enjoy the touch of water on your skin, how good the soap smells, and the play of lights 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 is happening inside and outside of you. Feel each footfall and the weight of your body sway, listen carefully to the ambient sound or notice the sensation of the breeze caressing your face.
In addition, you can always create the habit with a more formal practice, even if it is brief, in which each morning you start the day comfortably seated (you can use a chair, for example) and pay attention only to your breathing.
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 movement of your body.
2. The movement
It is curious because our bodies are in constant motion, but rarely do we move consciously and involuntarily.
Because we live on automatic pilot, we move like automatons.
Even if you are one of those people who is used to playing sports, goes to the gym or goes for a run.
Most of the time, 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 performing our movements.
Some people find it easier to observe their body when it is active, so 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 dancing 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 in rhythm with your breathing.
Below is a music track I created that you are free to use for yoga or meditation:
Don’t think about anything, just move each 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 as a meditator, what better way than to reconnect with the essentials: the earth, air, water and fire.
In this blog they have already proposed some meditation exercises with the element of 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 be able to set the space.
Sit, 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 fireplace surround sound. Watch their movements curiously.
You can also help your imagination to make your breathing lead you to visualize how with each exhalation roots are created below you that anchor you to the earth, and with the 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 in order to enjoy meditation.
I hope you are 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 do this, not even sitting on a mat in the Indian position.
No bad Buddhists, no unpronounceable mantras, no 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 increasingly integrate it into your life.
Many few make a great many.
Thank you very much for reading me and… Happy present moment!