Can you hear that?
That chatter bounding about your head?
It’s annoying sometimes, isn’t it?
What with all its doubts, worries, and fears.
Stopping you from becoming who you want to be.
You’d like to be more in control of how you think.
But you don’t know how.
If only there were ways to tame that loquacious beast…
Here’s what’s to come 👇
🧘 How to meditate on a mantra
🧘 How to meditate on the breath
🧘 How to meditate on distractions
🧘 How to meditate on love
🧘 How to meditate like anti-virus software
How To Meditate On A Mantra
Starter cues: First, sit with your back straight, either crossed legged or on a chair. Then, close your eyes and tilt your head up, so your eyes naturally fall between your brow—breath through your nose.
Take three deep breaths. Fill up your stomach, chest, and head with air. Then, relax and sink into it.
Anything that’s on your mind before you sit to meditate, put it to one side like taking off your coat when you enter a room. It’ll be there after you finish, but for now, keep it aside.
Thoughts will come, and that’s ok. We’re not trying to fight the thoughts. We’re not failing at meditation when we think. It’s part of the process, and it’s alright.
A mantra is a thought too. While we’re meditating, we look upon it as the king of thoughts. We use the mantra “I AM” or “AYAM” for its vibrational quality. The spelling isn’t important, nor is the meaning. We’re not saying the mantra aloud during meditation.
When a thought comes into our mind, we interrupt it with the mantra “I AM”. Then, we let our minds go into silence until another thought comes along, and we repeat the mantra “I AM” again. Like this, we repeat the process and condition our minds to stillness.
How To Meditate On The Breath (Vipassana Meditation)
Guatama the Buddha designed Vipassana as a one-size-fits-all meditation. He wanted to reach as many people as possible with his teachings, and he didn’t always have enough time to teach the complexities of the yogic system. Therefore, he needed a simple way to teach quickly and efficiently.
I learnt Vipassana at a 10-day silent retreat in Thailand. The retreat was in a temple called Wat Suan Mokkh in Surat Thani. I found that the main benefit of Vipassana meditation was in its simplicity as it uses the breath as the focus. Something that is perceptible wherever we go.
Here’s how to do it:
Follow the starter cues from above, clearing your mind of thoughts—breath out any emotional tension. Then, give yourself entirely to the time you’ve allotted to practice.
Breathe in. Follow the breath with your attention. Visualise the breath going all the way down to your navel and then up out of your nose. Let your breath stretch out. Long, deep breathes. As soon as you notice you’ve lost focus on the breath, effortlessly go back to following the breath down with the inhale and up with the exhale.
How To Meditate On Distractions
For those who don’t like being told what to do, this one is for you. In many ways, this is the most natural way to meditate. I use this meditation when I’m struggling to detach myself from a thought loop. It’s a valuable technique to have in your arsenal.
Here’s how you do it.
Follow the steps from the starter cues. If you wish, you can keep your eyes open, but consider it as a step up in difficulty. The key to this meditation is being the awareness. Here, we’re letting everything be as it is.
When thoughts come, we open the door and invite them in. But, we don’t let the thoughts sit down on our couch.
Do the same with the senses. Maintain an air of curiosity. Note how things come and go into your awareness. Listen to the gaps between sounds. Focus on how the breeze feels against your face. Allow your attention to analyse the senses.
Avoid getting distracted by thoughts when they come. Watch them. See where they go. Like a movie-goer leaning back on a chair staring up at a screen. What’s going to happen next?
How To Meditate On The Heart
This meditation is good for oiling the ol’ heartstrings. I use heart meditation if I’m feeling unmotivated to meet someone. It ensures I’m acting out of as much love as possible. It helps to remind me that in the end, all anybody wants is to be loved.
Here’s how you do it.
Follow the starter cues, then think of something that fills your heart with love. The kind of love that makes you want to throw your arms in the air and surrender to it. Maybe it’s your partner, your child, or a friend. Maybe it’s your dog. Or even an inanimate object like a kettle. Whatever it is. Think of it. Think of why you love it. Bathe in that love. Then crank it up even more.
Let the love explode inside your body. If you find visualising helpful, imagine the love as a golden light spreading through your body.
How To Meditate Like Anti-Virus Software
This one is a little outside of the box, but in a way, so is meditation, so I’m guessing you’ll be into it.
For this meditation, your mind is a computer, your thoughts are viruses, and your awareness is anti-virus software.
Here’s how you do it.
Follow the starter cues (as is tradition). Concentrate on clearing your mind. Then, turn on the anti-virus software. Keep hold of the silent mind and as the thoughts come. Imagine they’re bouncing off a wall. Your awareness is burning the thoughts away with its attention.
Keep your awareness centred on your clear, non-thinking mind. The moment you sense a thought trying to infiltrate your awareness. Banish the thought by intensifying your focus on your still mind.
So There You Have It
Five juicy meditations for you to try. Give them a go. See which work for you.
Meditation is like taking your mind to the gym, but instead of growing in size, it grows in consciousness. Making you more aware of everything that happens around you. Like this, meditation impacts your life in a myriad of ways.
Meditation is like any other skill; it takes time and persistence to develop. But the benefits are huge!
Read more about it here:
- How To Enjoy Life (And Stop Chasing Waterfalls)
- How To Overcome The Greatest Obstacle To A Spiritual Life
- How Spirituality Can Take On Climate Change
- 137 Quotes On Spiritual Awakening To Inspire Love And Joy
Meditation is the best way I know to quieten the mind and increase happiness and peace. I look back on how my mind used to operate with sympathy—so much unnecessary angst.
Sometimes the mind suffocates life. A consistent meditation habit cuts through the constraints of the mind. It’ll still be a nuisance from time to time, but meditation creates a distance, so your thoughts and emotions aren’t as absorbing. As a result, a gap begins to grow between your mental abstractions and who you really are – pure awareness – the one who watches thoughts, emotions, and senses come and go.
The real you.
All the love,
Which meditation will you try?
Let me know in the comments.
Further reading: Meditation – Awakening The Silent Seed