Updated: Dec 13, 2021
Meditation and mindfulness are gaining more and more momentum. Where previously it was just that crazy hippie or weird aunt (let's say the 'too early adopters'), now it seems to be all around and it is becoming more and more socially accepted. Backed by a growing body of scientific research the techniques are increasing momentum as the go-to solution for relaxation and regeneration. Something we much need in these times where many of us are mainly operating from the sympathetic nervous system – or a (low-grade) fight / flight / freeze mode.
The benefits of meditation are vast. It can help you to:
/ quiet the mind / relax and unwind / increase creativity / enable the highest levels of mental contribution / improve your emotional well-being
/ set healthy boundaries
/ stay connected with your intuition and personal needs
/ nourish your health
/ create sustainability
/ calm your body
/ reach altered, deep states of consciousness
/ tap into your potential
/ help you to be less reactive
/ stay centred
/ and so much more
Distraction v/s Connection
So what is this meditation magic? In what way does it contributes to our wellbeing – and how does it actually work?
In my experience there are truly many forms of meditation. When you choose to, everything can be meditative and you can bring awareness into every action. You move into a state what is known as 'the observer', a less invested and peaceful viewpoint of experiencing, as opposed to being more reactive and invested.
Everything nowadays is designed to take us away from ourselves, out of our body. If you stop and are still, you start to feel. Distraction is a way of suppressing and sustaining your disconnection. This is only satisfying and sustainable for so long, and at some point, maybe when life forces you, you decide to take a step back and towards taking responsibility. You learn to simply be present, to fully be here. You align your mind, spirit and body.
So what techniques are there? There are techniques for quieting the mind, and many are focusing on this at the moment – by becoming aware of your thoughts and concentrating them on a single thing for instance, or by sitting in silence and calming your system by removing external stimuli. This way you learn to be the master of your mind, not its slave.
You can also work with meditative movement, depending on your needs. You can go into a light trance state or meditative state by bringing your full awareness into a movement that cultivates and stimulates the energetic body, such as qigong, yoga or tai chi. This way you also quiet the mind, nourish the energetic body and come into a wonderful flow. You start to feel in balance with yourself. The trick is to then bring this state into your daily life, which you learn with intention and practice.
When you sit in meditation you can also repeat mantras to purify the mind, listening to them or repeating them yourself. Or hold your hands in mudras, which are gestures that you could see as 'mini-asanas' for the hands, directing energy into a certain form to cultivate corresponding states of awareness such as surrender, alignment, grounding, inner strength and acceptance.
Another way is to use your breath: for yogis and yoginis this is known as pranayama. The term has Sanskrit roots: prana means 'vital life force', and yama means 'to gain control'. Your breath is the most wonderful tool to access your autonomous nervous system and cultivate the parasympathetic state where you feel relaxed and calm (you are out of the fight / flight / freeze mode and into the state of rest & digest or feed & breed). By using your breath with gentle breath work techniques, you can expand your body, direct energy and calm your system (to clarify: I'm not talking about more intense breath work or the 'Wim Hof method' here).
You can also use meditation as a way to connect to your body and your feelings. By directing your awareness to your body and scanning it, you start to ground again and feel where you're holding tension. This way you cultivate relaxation and expansion, and your awareness / your life force is starting to occupy the body fully again.
Lastly, meditation can also be to use the power of your mind to direct energy, and even direct your consciousness to access certain spiritual states and realms. You turn inwards and connect to inner yourself. By visualisation you can guide energy – which is consciousness – and ground, open up or heal yourself and others. Mind over matter. You can also connect to the higher realms and send your awareness to the guides that dwell there, over even the Prime Creator Light or Paramatman Light. Simultaneously you connect deeply to yourself. You connect to the other dimensions. You turn the dial. Your brainwaves start to slow down and you can access the subconscious and even unconscious parts of your mind. Healing energy from the higher realms and guides is starting to surround you, while you are aligning with the Light. These transcendental states are beautiful and bring you into the place where you feel whole and complete, the place of your higher knowledge and your soul. You start to expand this state more and more and eventually bring it into your daily life, where the higher consciousness starts to be your main 'modus operandi'. This is what I do in my healing sessions. You cultivate your divine alignment with the cosmos. This way you start to reach deep transcendental states that can connect you with the cosmic consciousness, the guides of the Light, and the consciousness of your soul or 'higher self'.
To me, meditation is a moment of being, a moment with yourself, a moment of connecting to the peace that is always present to be found, of turning your attention inwards, of starting to see with your inner eyes, of connecting to the wonders of the Universe and the Soul Self. In meditation you find what you already know: That life is abundant, peaceful, kind and a wonderful gift to be enjoyed.
'Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes' – Carl Jung
What are you ways to reach meditative states? If you like share in the comments below, I'm curious for your sharings.
Love & starlight, Selianthe
Align and then surrender
Going from wanting to allowing
Surrender to the flow
Surrender to the infinite nature
Being instead of doing
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All postings by Selianthe Ka – Sweet Energy Yoga, may be used for personal, non-profit purposes only. Image credit: Selianthe Ka on Aegina, Greece