I’m sure that if you’re reading this then you’ve probably asked a fair amount of people how to meditate/how they do it. Did you ever receive a straight answer? The truth is, the reason why people usually come up with “umm…I breathe and hmm…focus on my pineal gland” is because…there are just SO many different kinds of meditations out there that its hard to say what you “should” be doing.
When I first came across someone who meditated and got curious, it was a big secret – he was part of a spiritual group that didn’t really say much to other people about how to do stuff (which I never understood until I saw how certain meditation techniques could be destructive if done incorrectly). After him, all other responses were just “breathe” – that wasn’t satisfying, I’m sure you would agree!
So to answer the question “how do I begin meditating” I would first ask you: “what do you want to achieve?”
For example, do you want to:
- unwind after a stressful day at work
- connect to your Higher Self
- go into the sacred space of your heart
- lift your vibrations
- find out who you truly are
- connect with Mother Earth and/or Father Sky
- heal yourself and/or others
- set up protection from pollution/other people’s negativity etc
- set up a Mer Ka Ba or other electromagnetic field around yourself
- find your Akashic Records and have a peek at your life’s purpose
- create whatever you want without the “duality” problem
- “clean” your body through powerful visualisations
- stop an addictive habit, such as smoking or overeating
- learn how to astral project and have lucid dreams
- or perhaps something else?
People often also ask the following questions:
When are you supposed to meditate?
Most people say either sunset or sunrise (preferably sunrise), this has to do with the sun’s energy and the fact that you’re usually calmer first thing in the morning, your mind is not full of thoughts yet.
People like doing it in the morning to get a fresh loving start to the day, you can set the intention to have a perfect day (and ask the Ascended Masters, angels and other light beings for help if you wish) and go to work all smiley.
Alternatively, you can do it in the evening to release the stresses that you have accumulated during that day – kind of like showering before bed, your mind is clear and it does wonders for your sleep!
But really, you can do it absolutely whenever you want!! Sometimes if I’m having a crappy day at work I will go and meditate at lunchtime. When I was at uni I would sometimes take a break from the library and go into the “quiet contemplation room” as it was called on campus to rearrange my brain a bit.
How long does a meditation need to last for?
Same answer as above – as long or as little as you want. You could do 10 mins everyday, even that would be incredibly beneficial to you (and other’s around you – they will feel your positive vibes), but also please note, that with some practices the “magic” doesn’t happen so fast, you may need to be in that state for 20 mins, 45 mins or even 3 hours, it just depends on the practice.
Where should I meditate?
The most important thing is that you are comfortable, in my opinion, especially if you’re planning a long one. A lot of people also prefer it to be very quiet and dark, especially at the beginning stages, it can be very hard to concentrate inside yourself if there are distractions from outside. Usually its nice at the side of the bed (then you can use the bed as a backrest if you get tired) or even on the bed – just watch out, you can accidentally fall asleep… *guilty*.
It also depends on the kind of meditation, if you’re doing a meditation to connect to the Earth, it is best done outside where you’re actually touching the Earth (like the photo to right – this was a very short but wonderful meditation on a half-deserted beach dune in Tarifa, Spain), not that its not possible to do it sitting up on the 19th floor of a concrete building, but you’ll find it much easier in nature. Just be careful not to get burnt if you’re out in the sun!!
Do I need to do the funny hand gestures?
The hand gestures are called “mudra’s” – there are several different ones and they have different functions (also depends on the meditation). For example the most “typical” one is the gyan mudra (see pic) where you connect the forefinger and thumb together. The thumb is meant to represent higher consciousness/God/universe and the forefinger is used to represent our ego/self. By connecting the fingers, you symbolically connect to the whole universe and beyond.
I wont go too much into this (you can search for it specifically online if you feel so inclined) because personally I don’t do this much, I usually just relax my hands like in my photo on the dunes above, unless I’m doing the Mer Ka Ba meditation, which is impossible to do without very specific hand gestures (but most meditations won’t be so technical)
Do I need to sit up during meditation?
It’s not a requirement (but then again, nothing is) though I find it helps to concentrate and not fall asleep.
Also, when you have your back straight, you allow more prana to go through your prana tube, which will aid your meditation.
I do know some people who meditate lying down, so I’d say try all ways and see what works for you. Personally I’ve done it lying down but it doesn’t work as well for me. It could be because you’re in your “sleeping zone” – it’s a good idea to separate the two.
Actually, you can even do active meditations!! Yes it’s certainly not a “must” to keep still and try to get thoughts out of your head, you can do it through dancing, shaking, twirling and even screaming and biting if you wish (there’s once again many kinds of active meditations – check out Osho if you’re interested). Active meditations are a great fun way to meditate and you don’t have to do it alone.
Should I keep my legs crossed?
You don’t have to, but it helps keep your back straight.
If you’re physically unable to sit up and cross your legs, don’t even spend a moment worrying about it – its the intention that counts so you can do it however you’re comfortable.
What if I want to sneeze, cough, fart, scratch, answer the phone?
Then please go ahead and sneeze, cough, fart or scratch – otherwise you’ll just sit there thinking about it! Just get back into the space once you’re done.
However I will definitely recommend turning off your phone, or putting it on silent without the vibration.