As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have made a series of lifestyle changes in the past year that have significantly impacted my happiness, health and given me daily fulfillment. Below you will find a breakdown of my personal meditation practice, which I hope will encourage you to create your own meditation exercise.
Purpose: To relax, de-stress, step away from the moment, to refresh, to put everything into perspective, to get to know myself better, to understand myself on a new level, to be completely present, to start the day/week off right, to get a good night’s sleep, to remind myself of the extraordinary people I have in my life and to be thankful for them
Qualities: Patience, understanding, listening, love, wisdom, compassion, gentleness, strength, courage, humility, empathy, fortitude, honesty, integrity, respect, dignity, honor, one-ness, equality, peacefulness, completeness
Place: Depending upon the weather, sitting on the carpet in my bedroom or sitting outside. Differing upon my mood, with someone I truly trust, or alone. If I chose to not do it alone, I will only choose one other person.
Timing: There are a few variables for timing, just as there are for place. I strive to begin every day and every night with the practice. Sometimes, if I feel particularly stressed I pause to practice more times throughout the day to bring myself “back to my core,” the essence of my being. The practice itself lasts about five to ten minutes. During the morning and at night, especially, when I can take time to unwind I let the practice go for as long as it feels right and as long as I need it.
Body: I like to lie on the ground/floor and feel my presence connected with the rest of the earth. It helps me realize that the stresses in my life cannot be nearly as great as the stresses of those who came before me. I let my body do as it pleases. Sometimes it wants to be still and quiet, other times it wants to move freely. I also like to bend my knees with my back on the floor because it takes the tension and stress off of my lower back. I have noticed my feet like to rub the surface of the ground and the floor in this practice. Occasionally, I will move my legs straight then into a bending position and back again as I breathe out of the whale hole at the top of my head. I alternate breathing in through the ground/my feet and my heart.
Mental Focus: My mental focus is on my feet touching the ground and my breathing, inhaling through my feet and heart and exhaling through the whale hole at the top of my head. After doing this many times, my mental focus overcomes my mind and thoughts.
Elements: I am drawn to being one with the earth. It puts me in check and helps me remember who I am. I feel grounded and strong. As I blow out the air from my mouth, I envision a whale spraying water out of its blowhole. Sometimes I imagine that I have a blowhole at the top of my head. Through this action, I see all of the negative energy and pain within me removing itself. I am letting go of the things that are weighing me down. I am accepting everything and every thought coming into my body through my feet and heart and accepting/loving that thought before I let it escape me.
Activity: I typically crave silence. There is so much noise surrounding my life that being silent brings me inner peace and joy. Occasionally, I will play light classical music in the background. Depending upon how I feel, I move slowly or am still. More often than not I move periodically. I do not pay attention to my surroundings, nor do I use my senses other than feeling the ground with my feet and my breath moving inward and outward.