Why Meditation Is Important And Different Ways To Do It
Welcome to Skara’s intro to practical meditation! You do not need to be a ‘new ager’ or subscribe to any particular spiritual concept to get something out of this blog. Meditation is a tool that many people use as a completely secular, healthy coping mechanism. Therapists and medical sources recommend it as an effective relaxation technique. In fact, the most successful people you know are probably doing it regularly.
Interestingly, meditation doesn’t just hold the power to boost success and productivity. It can help us reframe our thinking during our darkest times. It reminds us that so many things about life are temporary and just how powerful that concept truly is. Meditation helps us step back from our beliefs and emotions allowing us to practice flexible thinking.
These are just some of the reasons we love talking about meditation with people. We truly believe that everyone can gain something from trying it out no matter what position they’re in right now.
We wrote an in-depth eBook all about mindfulness and meditation and we encourage you to check that out! You’ll find a lot more background and actionable tips in that comprehensive guide.
Why Meditation: What Is Meditation?
Meditation is an ancient practice rooted in spiritual practices of Eastern religions. However, it gained widespread popularity in the 1960s and 1970s as unconventional seekers discovered alternative practices. Today, many mental health practitioners recognize the secular benefits of meditation.
These benefits include improved sleep, ability to better manage anxiety and depression, and improving the quality of life for people living with chronic pain. Meditation even appears to have a beneficial effect on brain function.
Meditation is often mentioned in conjunction with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy treatments. Even Harvard based scientists are studying meditation.
How To Practice Meditation
There are so many ways to meditate that it’s difficult to cover them all here. However, stay tuned for a series of eBooks we’re developing that uncover meditation styles in depth.
For now, we want to increase your awareness of some common techniques so you can pull on the threads that speak the loudest to you.
The most basic form of meditation you can experience involves sitting quietly and clearing your mind. Most people engage in rhythmic breathing at the same time. You can focus your thoughts on your breath or even the physical sensations in your body. However, you’ll gain even more from your practice if you can recognize the separation between your physical body, your active mind, and your essence or higher self. Some people call this higher self their ‘observer.’
Meditating on the concept of this observer helps you reframe your thinking in regards to others, your beliefs, your experiences and who you think you are.
The practice of meditation itself calms the body and can quiet an anxious mind.
There is much more to come on this topic in our eBook series!
Metta meditation is a practice that specifically helps the practitioner become more loving. It’s both incredibly deep and deceptively simple. It works by expanding a group of statements and experiencing the warmth and thoughts associated with these statements.
This practice is something called ‘active’ meditation which makes it a bit like using mantras and affirmations in that you’re focusing on something. This is different from some other types of meditation where the goal is to keep the mind clear.
The word “Metta” is an Indian Pali word that means loving kindness and embodies acts of deliberate goodwill toward others. Its history traces back to the Buddha himself.
Metta meditations begin like ‘basic’ meditations. However, once you’re calm and open, you’ll start working with the concept phrases.
May X be safe
May X be happy
May X be healthy
May X’s mind be at ease.
First, you apply these concepts to yourself. Repeat them like, “May I be happy,” and so on. With each phrase, let your heart and mind connect with the true depth of the statement. Feel the sensations and emotions each statement inspires in you.
Next, you will repeat these phrases but extend the target to someone you like, then someone you feel neutral about and finally to someone you have conflict with.
The goal is to be loving with yourself and then begin to see others as extensions of yourself. All are worthy of love, kindness, and understanding. People who engage in metta meditation report that they feel more peaceful and loving toward others but also their own mood improves.
Why Meditation: How To Add Mantras And Affirmations
Mantra meditations and affirmations are similar and have some similarities to metta practices as well. The similarity is that you’ll be focusing on a phrase or series of phrases. With affirmations and mantras, the meditative space becomes an open workspace. The goal is to focus your energy on a goal or change the way you think and feel about something.
Just as with metta, you’ll begin with regular meditation. Once you’re relaxed and open you’ll repeat a phrase or set of phrases. These phrases can literally be anything you choose. However, be careful how you word them and keep your language direct, active, and positive.
Try to keep your phrases open-ended. In other words, rather than repeating “I want more money,” you can say “I am actively receiving abundance and resources in all forms.” It isn’t wrong to mantra for more money, but it’s more limiting than calling abundance toward you. That could mean a wide variety of beneficial things.
Many people work on gratitude or their self-image with mantras as well. “I love myself / I am worthy of love,” or “I can’t wait to make today great!”
You can write your own or search for mantras and affirmations online. Don’t be afraid to repeat the phrases to yourself throughout the day even when you aren’t meditating. That’s helpful too!
Speaking of getting stuck on what to mantra, if you’re at a total loss try guided meditations! These are usually audio recordings where a speaker provides the phrases to you. Sometimes, they lead you through an exercise helping you visualize things in order to reveal something about yourself.
There are probably workshops or groups near you that feature guided meditations in a live, in-person setting. These are great ways to meet other mindful people and learn new techniques.
Some yoga classes are focused on physical activity, but many incorporate meditative practices as well. You can multitask your spirituality a bit and do both at once.
In fact, MAP training is a concept that combines physical activity with awareness. It encompasses activity outside of yoga, and it might be a great avenue for you to explore.
Why Meditation: Adding CBD Supplements
Obviously, we think that CBD is a great addition to any of the meditation practices we’ve mentioned here. We like to use it because it gives us mental clarity while relaxing us at the same time. When we’re combining our physical and meditation practices together, something like our Harmonize oil even helps our body feel great during recovery.
Many people feel that taking CBD regularly helps them maintain a more aware and mindful perspective on life, even after meditation is long over.
If you’re curious about adding CBD to your mindfulness routine, head over to our shop and learn more about our multi-tasking oils!