What does meditation mean to you? I asked a few people that don't do it, and aside from a one or two that thought it was nothing more than a waste of time, I got similar answers:
You sit in a motionless position with your legs crossed and do something with your hands - either put them on your knees or touch your fingers. You relax your body and close your eyes. Hopefully you think about Nothing, but if you do think about Something it should be either positive or about things that are bothering you, not about paying the bills or problems with the kids. Sometimes you can use candles and incense, but it's not necessary, and sometimes you can chant to put yourself into a trance. Try not to fall asleep.
Then I asked a few people that do meditate, Why do you meditate? What do you get out of it? Again I got similar answers, and this time their faces lit up just in thinking about it:
Deep calmness, relaxation, personal insight, answers to issues, spiritual bliss. Realizing the connection of mind-body-soul, shutting off the external world and realizing what is really important and what isn't, a minivacation each day. Becoming aware of my body and what it tells me of how I'm living, eating, dealing with everyday stresses and situations. To experience true peace, find serenity. My own favorite, to explore the sensations and manipulation of energy flow. And not to forget becoming centered.
What is this "being centered" all about? Imagine that you walk into work one morning. People are rushing about in an obvious hurry to get something done, your boss is yelling, and your computer system is down. Imagine that you breath slowly, deeply into yourself. You are calm as you look around and assess the situation. You quietly walk to your office and put your things down. You sit in your chair, take a slow, deep, full breath, and it suddenly becomes very clear what you need to do to handle the situation. You don't feel anxious, your stress level doesn't rise, and you proceed to do one thing at a time. The madness is happening around you but you aren't consumed by it. You are acting in it but without letting it affect your calmness. The external circumstances don't upset your internal sense of Being. Now imagine doing this with other situations in your daily life. It's a very powerful way to live.
Each person I spoke to that meditated had their own unique way of doing it, yet they all had one thing in common: Ritual. Most had a special time, a favorite place, and a significant style of music softly playing in the background. All had a pattern of some sort that they followed. For some the ritual was personal, sacred, and they didn't want to share it. Others had created their own approach by using various methods of posture, breathing, and internal imagery.
It's not so much the details of following a meditation method exactly to a tee, as much as it is the feeling you get when you're doing it and the sense you carry with you when you're finished. We use a specific routine in the beginning to learn. Then once we experience and understand, we no longer need that routine anymore to bring us into that space. Of course it's still there if we want to use it, if we're comfortable with it and it works for us, but now we can personalize our own way of getting there.
I have a meditation method to share called Three Centered Meditation. The purpose of this meditation is to Center Yourself. By practicing a daily ritual of centering oneself, it becomes a natural response to your external environment of everyday life, regardless of what that is like.
The Three Centers in this meditation are fairly universal within spiritual traditions which call them by various names. Chakra is a familiar term that is similar to one of these Centers. The Three Centers are both a physical and imagined space within the body. Basically they represent the body, spirit, and mind. First we bring energy to each Center individually, filling them, allowing them to become open and flowing. Then we connect the Three Centers to realize the oneness, the non-separateness of our body-spirit-mind, our Being. We end by harmonizing the Centers, letting the energy we've accumulated in them flow through every inch of our body, even into the energetic field surrounding us.
And so I give you Three Centered Meditation, a beautiful way to spend 15 to 20 minutes in a spiritual bliss that you deserve each day:
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