The third week of the 'meditation to relax' experiment is now over!
For those who are unfamiliar, this is what the meditation experiment is all about.
After so many days of meditating, I have now learnt quite some things about it. In this post, I’ll tell you about what I’ve learnt about meditation in the last week and a half.
Just yesterday, I was feeling quite sad. I had sixteen items in my “to-do” list and by evening, I hadn’t even finished one! I had wasted my day away. I had vented my anger out at someone, and I had done nothing, absolutely nothing during the entire day even though it was a holiday for me. By evening, I was feeling wretched.
That’s when I decided to meditate.
I lay down on my bed, closed my eyes…and tried to relax..
It took me a long time (about an hour) to get into the zone of “thoughtless” meditation, where I was at peace without thoughts bombarding my mind.
The fascinating fact, however is that after I had meditated for about 20 minutes, I realized that the sadness and the regret had vanished! I was feeling fresh, energetic and peaceful. I still knew I had wasted my day and done some things that I shouldn’t have done, but that did not make me feel wretched anymore. On the other hand I felt a background sensation of hope and positivity that said to me: “What has happened has happened. In this moment, I have the choice to rock the rest of my day!” And I genuinely felt this way. :) I jumped out of the bed to rock the rest of my day!
What you can see here is that meditation helped me move on from a state of wretchedness and sadness to a state of hope and positivity. And that is one lesson that I have learnt in this meditation experiment: meditation helps improve your emotional state. :)
What is the best way to meditate? I think the best way is one which makes it very easy for you to enter a peaceful, relaxing state without a lot of effort. In simple words - if you can be at peace whenever you want by using a certain meditation method - well that would be the best method of meditation. :)
|By the way have YOU tried meditation to relax? Share your inspiring techniques to meditate and 'beginner meditation tips' here!|
I’ve tried a lot of techniques to meditate in this experiment.
I started off with the simplest form - “breathing meditation”. I observed myself breathing air in, and breathing air out. I didn’t regulate my breathing - but I just observed air going in and coming out.
Though I felt quite peaceful after meditating this way - the effort required to keep meditating this way was huge. This means that I had to really, really exercise a LOT of self control to focus only on breathing for a long time before I actually started feeling peaceful and relaxed. It wasn’t easy at all.
Then in the second and third week - I tried the how am I? meditation method. In this method, I asked myself “how am I?” and waited for an answer. I didn’t tell myself - “I am fine” or “I am sad”. I just observed and became aware of how exactly I was feeling. And I tried to keep doing that - watching my emotional state. That’s all. That’s ‘how am I?’ meditation.
During this meditation experiment, I managed to meditate using this technique twice - but what I found was that though the level of peace and relaxation I felt after completing this meditation was amazing, it was actually quite difficult to observe what I was feeling and not get irritated in the process. :) Every time, I really to tried to observe my emotions, I felt an irritating sensation that was overwhelming. I had to again, make a superhuman effort to persist and keep observing my emotional state. So, this method definitely wasn’t the easiest method around!
I had talked about ‘listening meditation’ in my last post. :) I tried that too! Well, that didn’t work either. Even after 4-5 attempts, I just wasn’t able to focus only on listening to the sounds around me. And when I did focus only on the sounds around me, I did not feel peaceful. I could not pause and be aware only of the sound. It just didn’t work.
Finally, however, I did stumble on a meditation technique that seemed to be the best of the lot. This method involved first letting go of the body and then observing the breath.
In this method, you first let your body sink into the bed. You feel the peaceful sensation that comes from releasing your body and letting it fall and then you gently observe your breathing while feeling your body relax and sink into the bed or chair.
I know all this sounds weird - but then this method has been the easiest and best way to meditate so far for me. :)
Since I absolutely loved this method, here is the complete process for the relax-your-boy-and-breathe method of meditation:
1) Set an alarm to ring after 20 minutes. Lie down on the bed with lights off and eyes closed, or sit down in a comfortable position with eyes closed.
2) Let go of your body. By this, I mean: feel your body sinking on to the chair or the bed. Drop your body, don’t hold on to it. Let it fall on to whatever is beneath you. Release it.
3) As you release your body, and let it sink into your bed or chair, feel the sensation of your legs and thighs and back touching the bed or chair. Feel the sense of ease as you let go of your legs sink…If you were falling freely in air, would your body not be falling freely without any tension at all? Let your body fall like that on your bed or chair - and feel the sense of relaxation and freeness you feel as you let go of your body.
4) Keep feeling the peace as you sense your body relaxing. In this peaceful ambience, notice yourself breathing air in. Notice your belly rising as air fills it. Notice your belly becoming flatter and sinking down as you exhale.
5) Enjoy the sense of peace and thoughtlessness as you feel your body relaxing and sinking lower and lower and the air filling and leaving your lungs….Perceive that in this moment - there is peace - in this moment - this is all that exists.
6) Feel that all your problems, all your sorrows and grudges exist in the past and future - but right now - you are at peace. You can keep the peace with you as long as you want. Enjoy this peace as you feel your body relaxing and sinking into the bed or chair..and as you notice the air filling your tummy, making it rise - and leaving it…
7)Be like this - in this moment - at peace - until the alarm rings.
Why not try this today itself? I tried this method of meditating yesterday and it helped me feel happier, more peaceful and definitely much less stressed out.
There is still a week of meditation left for me. :)
I hope I am able to discover something more interesting about using meditation to relax and relay it straight over to you in the days to come!
Are you participating in the meditation experiment? If not, you can join in too - there’s nothing to lose and a lot of peace to gain.
See you next week. :)
Using Meditation to Relax - the start of the meditation experiment
The simplest 'how to meditate for beginners' article on this site talks about how to use meditation to relax
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