Self Awareness >
1. Sit comfortably, with your back erect. Or lie on the floor, sofa or bed. Close your eyes and give yourself a few seconds to feel comfortable. Take a few slow, deep breaths. In through your nose and then out through your mouth. You do not need to continue the nose/mouth technique but it can be useful for the first few breaths.
2. Allow your breathing to be natural. Try not to control it, nor force it. Just allow yourself to feel each breath as you breathe it.
3. If you find your mind is wandering, acknowledge the thought then return your conscious mind to your breathing. If you find that your thoughts are taking over, try to bring your awareness back to your body and the breathing. For now, in this moment, this is not about your thoughts, its about YOU, the very essence of who you are.
4. Random thoughts are normal, but this is your time where you are allowing your mind to clear itself, thus many thoughts and memories may arise. All these thoughts in your head, are just your mind settling itself, so allow it.
5. Stop when you feel ready to stop. Try not to give yourself a time limit. You may meditate for 1 minute or 1 hour. Do as you feel is right for you.
There are various techniques for assisting in clearing our minds from our daily thoughts and stresses.
Mantras are similar to affirmations, they help to keep our minds focused. When we constantly repeat a phrase, we start to feel it within us. (As a real life example, if someone persistently puts you down, you start believing it, Mantras and affirmations work in a similar, but more positive way).
Common mantras, are sounding words such as 'OM', 'Shanti, Shanti, Shanti', 'I am', 'Love', 'Peace' etc. Mantras and affirmations are generally short and easily repeated without having to try to remember the right words. If you choose to use a Mantra, use one which is going to be of the most benefit to YOU. That is, if 'OM' doesn't feel right (as in it may feel a little new-age), then try something like 'Peace Within' or 'All is well'
Affirmations are slightly different, as in you do not need to be meditating whilst stating them.
Visualisation techniques involve, usually, walking your mind through a situation or taking your mind to another place. Just in your thoughts, not physically.
This can be particularly useful if you are having real trouble getting random thoughts out of your head. For some it will be a walk through a meadow, an imaginary flight, revisiting a place you like. But it's much more than that in that you allow your mind to fully sense the colours, the details.
There are many tools and resources available to help with your meditation and relaxation.
Burning incense or oils during your meditation can help with relaxation. Specific aromas amplify the senses and help to promote qualities within us. Choosing the right aroma may prove to be daunting, it will come down to a combination of personal like and dislike. Oils are much less smoky than incense.
Frankincense is a good all round aroma. Please click here for a list of aromas and their qualities.
There are many music and audio CDs available to aid with relaxation and meditation. Again; you should pick something with which you feel comfortable with. If what you are listening to is distracting you or not aiding you, don't feel that just because it says 'Meditation' on the front that YOU are doing something wrong. It is a personal journey.
Do as you feel is right,
and if it feels wrong don't do it!.
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-2009 Inner Truth