I know, the word meditation usually gets an eye roll and then people want to change the subject. Or, did you want to give me an excuse? Perhaps you have tried and just got frustrated.
Think back to when you were a child. Did you trust anything that you didn't feel in your body? I am sure you did not. We need to have a full-bodily-felt experience to trust that it is happening!
It is likely that you have reached the meditative state and didn't realize it. People often confuse the gateways and triggers to help get into meditation as the act of meditating. Allow me to demystify this for you.
The state of meditation, trance and sleep are closely related. Your brain has the potential to naturally enter a trance state every 90 seconds. This is how a skilled hypnotherapist can draw you into this realm. Have you ever tried to get someone's attention when they are deeply involved in watching something on TV? Perhaps you have walked in front of them and stood there trying? Did they see you? They were hypnotized by the TV and enjoying chemical releases of dopamine. Here is more on this by one of my favorite authors John Gray.
When the body finds the state of meditation and is in need of sleep—it usually sleeps. Let it! This is very rejuvenative! Go with it. When people first begin to practice guided meditation they often fall asleep. This is a good thing as the body was likely really exhausted!
Visualization is just that. It is creative and lovely and I encourage it however it is a gateway to meditation and not the true state. Imagining is part of this.
Truly there are only three entry points into meditation.
1. Physical movement such a sport, dance, walking running or cleaning. This can easily trip the brain into a trance.
2. Creative visualization, guided meditation, or hypnotic suggestion. You are invited to try this out in my podcast Meditate with Ambika.
These first two are ways to settle into meditation. I am a true advocate of both of these methods and use them often myself! It is important to realize that creative visualization is not the deep-trance-state of meditation—it is a gateway to the meditative state.
3. The third is the true state of Meditation. It is the deep-trance-state and is accomplished by these three things:
1. Sit up straight. I know this sounds easy but it is really important to give space to the lungs so that you are able to breathe comfortably and fully. In addition the elongated spine gives space to the body and takes pressure of the central nervous system.
2. Close the eyes. This is easy, just relax the lids down and shut out the light. If you can find a darkened space or shroud your head and eyes with a shawl.
3. Focus on the breath coming in and out of the nostrils paying close attention to the quality of the air across the inside front edges of the nostrils. Many of the ancient texts are translated to say, "Focus on the tip of the nose." This is only going to make you cross-eyed! The secret is that you are going to notice a change in sensation of air as you breathe it in as compared to the exhalations through the nose. On the way in during an inhale the air is going to feel cool and fresh. On the way out during and exhalation the air seems to disappear. This becomes the point of focus.
That is it. Just these three things!
If the mind is engaged in following something you are not meditating yet. You are still trying to relax. This is why when you are listening to a guided meditation you might drift into sleep or you could come to a realization later that you somehow missed a large chunk of the words being spoken. I do not recommend using video for meditation as it puts too much blue light into your body and this prevents you from really letting go into the meditative state. When you are trying to focus on something—you are closer to centering then the true state of meditation.
All meditation gateways potentially lead to the full-bodily-felt sensation of the deep-trance-state. This is our true state of being. This is where the boundaries of the seeming edges of the physical body disappear and we merge into the state of oneness where we are pure energy.
Indeed meditation is a stress reliever. In the meditative state we have the ability to tap into the unified mind. We become one with the greater where—just as the statement by the great statesman Cicero suggests, "Everything is alive and everything is interconnected."
Here is the secret sauce: It is best to stay focused on relaxing. Forcing the mind and engaging it with a topic is exhausting. Just drift and float in the relaxed state of meditation once you feel it.
We find brilliant insights and gain information from the practice of meditation—and it is an on-going practice—is after we have been in the deep-trance-state and begin to realize that we are once again in a body. It is a good idea to keep the eyes closed at this point. This is where the brilliance happens so be sure to have a journal near by to write everything down!
I am happy to coach you and to create customized guided meditations for you to use. Contact me here.
What is the best solution for stress? Rest! Next, clean diet and health habits like bathing more. Sleep more when you are able.
Guided meditation is entertainment for the mind. It is like giving a monkey a banana. It is a pacifier. It is indeed valid and useful as a stress reliever but please do not mistaken it for meditation.
It is possible and even probable that one could focus on specifics like the ideas of emotions and a particular chakra and drift into the meditative state. *Remember, these are gateways and that we do not find information in meditation.
In meditation we find stillness and supreme quiet.
Any ideas or brilliance come to us as we are exiting the state of meditation—not while in it. If we are conscious of thought we have exited the state of meditation.
Shifting brain wave influence can indeed bring inspiration and ideas. This is not meditating. Meditation is quiet stillness. Here is information about brainwaves you may find interesting.
I realize I am blowing up some preconceived ideas here and am happy to address further questions.
Meditation is an art. Therefor it is best to learn techniques from an expert.
Ambika Devi has a Masters degree in Yoga from the Hindu University of America and is passionate about proving to everyone that they are meditators! She is delighted to come and speak to your organization and lead you through an experience.
To book her as a speaker please visit: https://speechesbyambika.com/
For coaching please visit: https://ambikascoaching.com/