Awaking to awareness within yourself
The word “meditation” is commonly used when the topic of presence is discussed.
There are some people that say, “I can’t meditate because I can’t turn my brain off.”
Some misconceptions about meditation
- Mediation is not about turning the brain off.
It is about being present with your mind through a deeper state of awareness.
It is about training your mind to allow thoughts to come and go without directly attaching self to them. This helps to increase awareness of yourself and surroundings.
Furthermore, it enables someone to manage their thoughts while enhancing creativity, emotional balance and overall calmness.
- Meditation doesn’t always feel relaxing. At the beginning it may be an uncomfortable process to be present with yourself. Someone might think there are so many other things to be done on the to-do list and meditation takes away from time that can be used for other tasks. The process of connecting to oneself actually improves the efficiency at which steps are taken with clarity and effectiveness.
- The method of meditation does need need to be self evaluated as right or wrong. There is no wrong way to meditate. Gradually it becomes efficient in the way you become present with yourself. That is all part of the process.
If you start by meditating for 2 minutes, that is good enough. If your mind is wandering for those 2 minutes and you find it hard to sit still, that is good enough. Repetition and discipline of the routine will gradually enhance the experience over time. That is where shifts in awareness are visible.
Meditation can take various forms.
9 common types of meditation practices
- Mindful meditation is a practice that helps you become aware of what your sensing and feeling in the moment without judgement.
- Spiritual meditation is a practice that connects you to something greater than self, to develop a deep relationship with the human spirit without the need to hold identities and labels.
- Focused meditation involves focusing attention on an object or physical sensation using any of the five senses to help increase awareness of the present moment.
- Movement meditation involves being mindful of the sensations that occur during movements.
- Mantra meditation is the repetition of a word or phrase that is whispered, chanted, spoken while being repeated during the meditation.
- Transcendental meditation is a practice where you mentally repeat a Sanskrit word or phrase with your eyes closed until a state of inner peace is reached.
- Progressive meditation is a technique that involves two steps of intentionally tensing each muscle group in the body and then focusing on relaxing them.
- Loving-Kindness meditation is the practice of generating loving-kindness towards self, others, all living beings through goodwill, compassion and kindness.
- Visualization meditation focuses on using guided positive imagery, ideas, symbols, thoughts, feelings or sensations.
Through the various types of meditation, the sole purpose is to center yourself. The various forms of meditation offer ways to do that.
Meditation offers the opportunity to develop emotional intelligence by connecting with emotions, the body or enhancing overall awareness.
This is accomplished through expanding states of consciousness and self realization.
You get to have present moment awareness by shifting from thinking to sensing.
Here is a simple meditation to help connect to your inner awareness;
Now is the time to be aware of the present moment. Say to yourself, “I let go of the past and future.”
Turn your attention to your senses.
Focus on the sounds right now that take minimal effort to hear. As you concentrate more, begin to notice other sounds. Just continue to be present with all the sounds that come and go.
Turn your attention to your body.
Take a moment to feel your arms wherever they might be. Your legs wherever they are. Bring awareness to any pains or tightness in your body. Any feelings that are present. Be aware of the shifts in these body sensations while being present to them as they come and go.
Turn your attention to your thoughts.
Watch your thoughts as they appear and float away. Allow them to arrive and pass without grasping them. There is no need to act on them or respond to them. You are just observing them. Each thought is just a message. There is no judgement behind the message. See the messages and let it pass by without attaching a meaning to it.
Turn your attention to your breathing.
Feel your breath as you inhale and exhale. Notice the sound, the air entering and exiting your lungs. Notice the speed of your breath. Slow the pace down as slow as you can.
Allow your breath to become deeper.
Sit and be with all the senses you were just conscious to without concept of time.
Allow yourself to exit from the meditation when you are ready.
What did you notice about the present moment?
What did you notice about your awareness for your inner self?
How has your perspective of the present moment changed?