“Yesterday I was so clever, I wanted to change the world, today I am wise so I am changing myself.” -Rumi
Meditation means quieting the mind to achieve a different state of conscienceness. The word meditation, is derived from two Latin words : meditari which means to think, to dwell upon, to exercise; and mederi which literally means to heal. “Medha” is sanscript for wisdom. Up untill recently, I didnt understand meditation. Sure, I tried to, I sat with eyes closed, legs crossed not knowing what to do and a voice inside my head saying, “Is it working? No its not working… I’m hungry, and my leg itches…” I had no idea how to quiet these thoughts and simply thought, this isn’t for me. But life brought me to a Yoga Teacher Training in beautiful and spiritual Bali, and I had some amazing teachers light the way for me.
There are many different ways to meditate, but here I have included steps for a simple Japa Meditation:
1. Set aside a little time for yourself, it can be anytime but morning and night are best for creating balance.
2. Create a nice cozy space to meditate in. Remove (OR turn off) distractions. Set a timer if you are in a time crunch. You may also do any of these extra options but they are not necessary: Light a candle, burn incense, cover your eyes with a mask or pillow, listen to soft instrumental music, or use a few drops of essential oils.
3. Find your meditation posture, here are two options:
Cross-legged comfortable seated position, ensuring your spine is straight, and chin is drawn a little bit down from the chest. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head and the ceiling. Rest your hands gently on your lap. (sit on a pillow so your knees are lower than your hipbones, that way you won’t have your legs fall asleep.)
Or lie down, toes falling naturally to the side, hands away from the body, palms up, and spine straight. Just find what makes you comfortable. (if you fall asleep that’s okay, but next time try it sitting)
4. Close your eyes, or keep them barely opened and focused looking slightly down. Start focusing on your breathing. Breathe naturally and just observe your breath.
5. Invite a mantra into your meditation. A mantra is a sound or phrase that is repeated for a specific purpose. I find the most simple and sweet to be, “I am breathing in, I am breathing out” but you can also explore other mantras, even make them up yourself such as, “I love my body, My body loves me.” or try the classic “Om.” Don’t get overwhelmed! Just start simple, and then explore the endless possibilities out there.
6. Continue internally repeating this mantra with every inhale and exhale. When your thoughts wander, observe them as they arise, then simply set them free and return to your mantra.
7. When you are ready gently release the mantra, come back to your breathing. Breathe naturally and freely.
8. Open your eyes
9. You did it! You meditated!
10. Try to repeat this practice everyday, even if you have just three minutes to spare.
Spread the love that is inside of you with the rest of the world!