We live in tense, turbulent and for many people, unrelaxing times – of that reality there is really no doubt. What we need today is more of us who have no intention to further add to the turbulence, who can stay calm in a crisis, cool in the midst of chaos and focused on positive when all around are inclined to reinforce the negative. I have put together these five tried and tested meditations that can be tried by anyone, even the newbies and non-meditative people amongst us. First things first – develop your meditation posture. In order to relax during meditation, it is important to sit comfortably. Lotus pose is the traditional posture for practicing meditation. Half-lotus or simply sitting upright on the floor or a cushion is an easier option.
- Be inspired by clouds. There’s a zen saying that goes “the sky does not impede the clouds in their flight”. Meditate on this principle. Allow your thoughts to be like clouds – let them drift across your mind’s surface without attempting to push them away or hold on to them.
- Meditate on a candle. Place a lit candle in front of you and focus your gaze on the flame until you can see nothing but light bordered by shadows. Lower your eyes slowly until your eyes are almost closed. You will see shafts of golden light shooting out from the flame.
- Meditate on the face of your watch. As you gaze at your watch, fill your consciousness with nothing but the circle of the face. As you do so, you will notice that the second hand seems to come to a stop. It is as if you have entered a realm that is free from the constraints of time and space – the ultimate relaxation.
- Use a Mantra in your meditation. A mantra is a word or sound which is repeated over and over again to provide a focus for the mind during meditation. “OM” is a widely used mantra – believed to be the primordial sound from which the entire universe was created. When chanting OM, sound the final consonant for about four seconds, so it becomes a hum.
- Dissolve your body in a visualization. Lie comfortably on your back. Starting at the toes and working towards your head, imagine your body turning to warm liquid as you tense and relax each part. Finish by relaxing the mind, concentrating deeply, then letting your thoughts dissolve and float away.
- Visualize little balls of light in a box. In your mind, open the box and take out the balls, placing each in turn on an area of your body that is tight or tense. Imagine the light dissolving into your body, relaxing and healing as it does so.