Meditation practices help keep the mind calm. It helps keep us at peace. Many people think it is about avoiding thoughts, but it is more about embracing them, and not allowing the thoughts to consume you. Meditation helps the thoughts flow, instead of linger.
There are many different practices you can try. It is always great to have a handful of different ones you can try, since some work better than others depending on the situation. We are all different, so some may suit you more than others.
I will list some that may be helpful to try, the first couple I found online, or in books. The last two I created myself, along my journey of practicing. I have tried all these practices of course, and they all have been helpful one way, or the other.
- Transcendental Meditation-This is a practice where you come to a state of no thoughts. You transcends your thoughts. It is the art of no thinking. If you do have thoughts, become aware, and allow the thoughts to flow out of you. Now people ask, how can you have no thoughts and just be? It is possible if you are persistent, and keep pushing through your thoughts. Eventually the thoughts will calm down, and fade. You will just be. It is quite peaceful when you are at that state, but pretty difficult to get there if you are a beginner, or don’t practice much. It can happen, but takes patience.
- Waking Meditation-I say this one is one of the easiest. This one you don’t have to sit still. This practice is more active. This includes, Mindful eating, mindful brushing, mindful walking, mindful showering etc… This is about being mindful of the things you do through out the day. Things you normally don’t pay attention. You give more attention to. It is about focusing on the moment. Focusing on the feelings, sensations, reactions you have to doing that particular activity. You become aware of the things you never noticed while eating, brushing, cleaning, showering or walking. It brings a whole new experience to a normally mundane activity.
- Mindfulness Meditation-Quite similar to the first one, but not as intense. You start by sitting. Focus on breaths. Breath in and out. The idea is to keep focusing on your breaths. If thoughts pop up. Focus your attention back on your breaths. This keeps you in the moment, and calms the mind. You can also focus on your senses around you(the sounds, the smells, the sensations of sitting, or on the body). I usually visualize myself on a beach, or in nature, while doing this as well. The point is to keep your mind in the present, and not have all your thoughts overwhelm you.
- Visualization-I have spoken about this one in another post. This practice is more of a motivational factor to reach your goals, and dreams. You just visualize what you want. Imagine what you want to happen. Imagine how it feels to reach that dream. Imagine what you are doing, where you are, what positive changes it made, how it made your life after it happened. Be specific. Add dialogue, feelings, sensations. This is a good practice to get you on the path to where you want to be in life.
- Negative to Positive Imagining– I really liked this practice when I tried it. First you sit, think of a worry, or problem. Then imagine the worst case scenario, which is always easiest for us. Then stop thinking, and notice the feelings, and sensation one has. Immerse yourself in those feelings, and what it does to the body. After that, you switch it up. You do the same thing, but think of a positive outcome(this is always harder). Then you dial that feeling up from 1 to 10. Doing this helps cultivate peace of mind. This practice should help you feel a bit more positive about the problem, or worry you have. It is quite an interesting practice to try.
- Sensory Meditation-In this practice, you use your senses to guide you. This practice is about focusing your attention on any of the senses. Light incense, use body lotions/oils, play music/nature sounds,take a bath. Focus on the particular sense you are using for this practice.
- Release Meditation-Bring forth the thing that is cultivating negative emotions, a worry, or problem. Inhale-immerse in it(the thoughts, emotions, sensations, reactions). This process help you understand, and accept the worry, or problem. Exhale-release the negative energy out of you. This process can be repeated as long as you need. Sometime the thoughts will keep lingering, until you are ready to move on.
- Flowing River/Wave Exercise-This is visualizing your thoughts as waves, or as a river. Whenever you have worries, or lots of overwhelming thoughts. Imagine a river, or wave of an ocean. Become aware of what is bothering you, then throw it into the river, and let it flow. If you have lots of thoughts, imagine all the thoughts flowing through the river. Go through each thought one by one as they flow through the river, like when you see an object flowing through a river. Become aware, and let it flow. You can also imagine your thoughts as waves rising(become aware of the thought), and crashing(letting it go).
Now meditation takes concentration and patience. It isn’t for everyone. I have difficulty sitting still as well, but these are good practices to give a try if you like to practice meditation. It definitely has its benefits. I hope these are helpful to you guys.