People are often asking me how they can meditate more easily. Something so simple can be very difficult to do. Our minds become distracted, our bodies fidgeting and restless. Often people think meditation means they take some time to think about something, to ponder an idea or plan. Generally though, meditation means we are letting go of thinking so a deeper connection can be made.
Here are some meditation suggestions.
One way to meditate is to breathe simply and allow the mind to be blank. If there are thoughts just gently notice them but return to the breath. When you are really present with the breath the thoughts don't become too strong. But if you fight the thoughts then you become engaged with them and lo and behold you find yourself thinking about your thoughts. Thinking about thoughts is the bottom line of anxiety and emotional turmoil. Noticing how easily we do this can be part of the healing. Through meditation we are learning to be the observer, to relax into our true spiritual nature.
If you are a physical person you might like to breathe in alignment with physical movement, like walking, jogging or even running on a treadmill. This is often very beneficial for people who find their minds wander while trying to sit. A chant or simple spiritual song will also focus the mind in concert with activity.
Another way is to let yourself explore a thought as if you are examining it. Allow the thought to be defined as one word or a short phrase. You might find that thought because it is a persistent thought or you find it coming up when you begin to attempt a simple breathing meditation. This time stay focused with a steady breath as usual, but notice a persistent thought as if it is a stray person that wandered into your field of vision. Ask it where it comes from, what else it thinks, what will happen if the next thing happens. Observe neutrally and naturally, breathing in a regular rhythm. This is an inquiry into thought without allowing thinking to take over.
Feelings can also be explored through meditation. Notice an area of your body that feels constricted. Breathe into it. Imagine what color and density it would be if you could see it. Allow yourself to feel the richness and complexity of the feeling. Breathe into it more, just watching it, listening to it, observing it. Stay with it neutrally with the breath. Normally it will change a bit as you watch it, sometimes releasing, sometimes turning into something else, yet there is no need to try to change it into anything. You are the observer of the feeling, and as you observe you might find that it changes.
Neptune has been in the sign of Pisces since April and stays until August. This is our little appetizer of very deep spiritual energy infused throughout the planet and available for and within each of us. Finding (or deepening) a spiritual practice of some kind will help us be ready when it comes back in next year to stay in the sign of Pisces until 2026. As we strengthen our spiritual vibration, our minds will not fall into confusion, dissipation, or numbing and addictive behaviors that are often the result of the unevolved energies of Pisces.
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Meditation if the medicine we need now.
Sherene Schostak is a Jungian psychotherapist, author and metaphysician who specializes in helping creative artists transform their addictions and blocks. She has been in private practice in New York City for the past 13 years consulting, writing and... read more