When I turned 40 (and that happened 7 years ago) I realized that the health I had been always taking for granted needs to be taken care of or else… Now out of a sudden there was a bouquet of blood pressure and digestive problems; surgeries, stress, panic… I started reading about yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. These changed my life. I lost weight, became capable of managing my stress easier. With so many wonderful people around and all over the world helping each other to stay fit and healthy, I believe that it is my turn now to share my own story of success, and allow those who are in need to learn from it and start believing in themselves. Enjoy!
With all the seemingly rising popularity of the topic of meditation in the West, there can still be found a lot of people for whom it is something new, and even a Tabu.
Why would somebody born and raised in the West meditate? Well, first of all meditation is the best and most effective way to calm down if you feel distressed. If you practice meditation, you can see the result immediately, and it will improve in weeks, months, and certainly in years. If you practice meditation regularly enough, I can almost guarantee you that you can fast get rid of many diseases: panic attacks, blood pressure, overweight…You can learn to manage your life situations with better clarity. So, are you in? Let us start here with some basics.
Sitting Down Meditation
The first and formats thing you will need to start is this: find the time for yourself. Unless you have a partner or a friend who is an experienced meditator or who is seriously willing to learn the art of meditation with you, here is my advice: meditate alone.
Find time and space.
This is of primary importance/ First thing first. It is very important to carefully find the place you will dedicate to daily meditation. You do not need a big spacious room, but it is important that both the space and the air is clean, and that it is quiet. Find time when nobody will bother you. If feel uncomfortable to dedicate the time for yourself, it’s O.K. Dedicate this tie to meditation, and treat the meditation with respect. You do not need to specifically decorate the room, but if you choose to do so, make sure you bring in some objects that will remind you of peaceful moments of your life. It can be some fresh flowers, some pictures of nature, some stones… If you have religious devotions and for that purpose use some icons or other objects of veneration, you are welcome to bring them in and incorporate into your meditation.
The Light and the Air
Of course I will recommend you to meditate outside every time you have this possibility, but I understand that in most cases this is not an option. For that reason it is important to make sure that the quality of air in your room is good. Of course there are a lot of air purifiers in the market. Some are more expensive than others. I believe that eventually it might be a good thing for some to look into them (allergy air purifiers, ionic purifiers, asthma purifiers), but unless your air is very bad and you suffer from allergies severely, I believe that simply opening your windows to let the fresh air in can be enough. What I do recommend though is a small ionic lamp. Another name of that lamp is Himalayan salt lamp. There are many benefits that I see in this lamp. It can help with allergies; its warm glow relaxes and improves your mood. So, in case of this lamp you will have a soothing light, the air purifier, as well as the salt inhalator.
Where and How to Sit?
I always highly recommend meditation cushions or any other cushions for that purpose. Why? When you can sit on the chair, if your medical condition requires this, most meditation traditions recommend a cross-legged pose with the spine straight. Beginning meditation is usually not very long: ten to fifteen minutes of sitting, but to expect good results it is important to follow the guidelines as well as it is possible. If you decide to sit on the chair, make sure you have a soft pillow under your feet. It is good in both cases to remain barefoot during the meditation.
The Bells or the Singing Bowls
Each meditation is traditionally started and finished with the sound of a bell. Bells that are used for meditation purposes differ from those we are acquainted with in the West. The bells that are used in meditation are called singing bowls. At times larger gongs can be used, but they are not necessary in the house environment, and are usually for public meditation only. The singing bowls should be kept in your meditation place and used for meditation purposes only. You can later look at the link on how to use the singing bowl.
Meditation Incense and Candles
I do not recommend meditation incense to everybody unless you have a practice of incense burning and are not allergic to the smells. In that case various soothing incense sticks can be purchased and many of them can be helpful. Candles are usually more tolerated by many people. If you are a candle lover, look for the candle with cool aroma and that of good quality. This is very important. Although candles are very helpful for meditation, it is better to use no candles at all than to use a candle that will spoil the quality of your air.
Of course I agree that essential oils is the topic of it, they can be well used during the meditation practices. Essential oils differ from regular fat oils. As the name suggests, essential oils consist of the essence or the life of the plant. There are many different plants on the Earth that are capable to heal humans. During meditation it is possible to use any of those that match your needs, but as a rule, those that calm the mind and the body are the most beneficial. Valerian Root, Lavender, and many similar plants are great for that purpose.
How to Meditate?
The first thing you will do is sit quietly. This sitting is the building block of your meditation practice.