If you are interested in meditation and need to learn the basics, first, relax – meditation is easier than you think! This transformational skill is a gateway to self-awareness, self-discipline and a stress-free life. These skills will help you reach your greatest potential!
The Basics of Meditation
The basics of meditation and relaxation are simple – and the Silva Method will guide you in the process of self-reprogramming and mind control which will make positive changes in your life.
First, begin by choosing a distraction-free space where you feel at peace and comfortable. 15 minutes of meditation is plenty – go longer if you like, but start with 15 minutes to start developing mental and physical self-discipline.
The sitting position is not as important as you might imagine. Some people prefer the lotus position but that can be extremely uncomfortable for someone who is not used to it. You can sit on a chair, couch, the ground, a bench or wherever you like – just maintain a comfortable but upright and open posture. Be sure the room or outdoor space is a comfortable temperature, and your stomach is neither empty nor full so you aren’t focused on physical needs.
Close your eyes and gently roll them upwards toward your “third eye”, the point just between and above your eyebrows. This helps calm the mind very quickly.
Breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth. Don’t force your breath into any length of inhale/exhale; rather, become aware of it natural rhythm and be aware of the process of relaxation as your breath becomes deeper and slower. Bring all of your attention to your breath. Feel and hear your breath as it goes in and out; be mindful of the pause in between breaths.
You’ll notice that as you focus on your breath, your mental chatter starts to slow down. If your attention wanders from your breath, gently bring it back. Don’t get discouraged if your mind is particularly busy. Some days you’ll have great success, others will be more challenging – but stick with it. You will develop the ability to focus for longer periods so don’t worry if your first mind-focusing successes are short-lived. Also try to incorporate meditation and visualization exercises from programs such as the Silva Method to increase focus and relaxation.
Now that you know the basics, here are some frequently asked questions:
1. Can I listen to music or should I meditate in silence?
Some people prefer meditation music, other silence. This is strictly personal preference. If you focus on your breath, you don’t need anything else to focus on although music may help set the mood. Meditation music should not distract you or energize you. Some people find that the Silva Alpha sound helps them achieve a deeper state of concentration quicker, which is a big help in training your mind to be present. By mimicking the rhythm of the mind in the alpha state, the Silva Alpha sound helps us relax and fall into a tranquil meditation immediately. Experiment with different meditation audios and sounds and find what feels right for you!
2. How often should I meditate?
Once a day is perfect; more if you want, but commit to once a day and make it a consistent practice. You will have better results if you do short meditation sessions every day than if you were to spend an hour or two here and there.
3. What time of day is best?
Many prefer early morning or just at bedtime; mornings to start the day off fresh and positive, and evenings to calm down and relax before bed. But the right time is up to you – whatever works best!
4. What if I don’t feel like meditating? Can I skip a day or two?
It’s best to be consistent. Think of it as a time of relaxation, not self-development or discipline. The more you meditate, the more pleasurable it becomes and you’ll look forward to your daily practice. Try to meditate when you are calm – avoid meditating right after a stressful event (a tough day at work, a fight with your partner, etc.). The Silva Method provides instruction in how to calm yourself instantly and relax your mind into the tranquil alpha level when you are tense. This is a very useful skill that will keep you from spiraling into heated emotions! Also, because many find it hard to focus their mind, The Silva Method has several specific tricks such as The Three Finger technique and the Glass of Water technique; which are simple yet very effective ways to train your mind.
5. What if I can’t concentrate?
That’s okay! You will develop this skill. As you breathe, make your exhales audible – a long “shhhhhh” (the sound of gentle ocean waves washing onto the shore). That will help you quiet the mental chatter. Don’t worry if your mind is quiet for only a moment here and there – eventually you’ll have blissful silence for as long as you desire! Be patient and compassionate with yourself. Don’t be frustrated if your mind refuses to cooperate at first.
St. Francis de Sales, French saint and Bishop of Geneva, said: “If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently…And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back, though it went away every time you bought it back, your hour would be very well employed.”
If you cannot silence your mind, take the opportunity to become aware of what your mind is going on about.. Self-awareness is an important skill! Every bit of effort you put into meditation and mastering your mind is time well-spent, even though the process may sometimes seem slow.
6. Is meditation a religious practice?
It can be, if that’s how you choose to use it. Meditation and prayer are very closely related in that they are periods of intense focus, however meditation can be a purely secular practice of relaxation, mind control, and self-mastery.
7. I sometimes fall asleep when I meditate.
Try meditating in the morning when your energy levels are higher. Many people will doze off if they meditate after a meal or at bedtime.
8. How do I know I’m meditating?
When you are aware of your thoughts and you are not distracted by them or become involved in them; or, when your mind is completely silent – then you are meditating.
As you can see, there is no great mystery to meditation. It’s a practice – which is why we do it daily – that gradually develops physical, mental and emotional self-mastery. It takes a while for many to actually fall into deep meditation, but daily practice will bring a multitude of positive benefits to your life.
Daily Affirmations: Meditating Stress Away
Have you ever thought about meditating as a way to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, fear, and other dis-ease in your body? Stress and mood changes play a significant role in the types of illness that your body encounters. One of the most beneficial ways to ease stress is meditation. There are many ways that meditation can aid in your passage toward health and wellness. Meditation can be as simple as quietly sitting in front of a fire, staring at a lit candle, walking on a beach at sunrise or creating a tranquil place to listen to meditation tapes. Try different techniques until you find the ones that are right for you. Meditation is good for the body, mind and spirit, and affects the quality of your life in a positive way. Nothing is better than a feeling of inner peace from meditating. With a sense of peace of mind, life will be more pleasurable and fruitful.
Daily meditations – how can they help to reduce stress
It is a known fact that daily, positive affirmations are one of the types of meditation techniques that you can use in order to reduce unwanted feelings of illness throughout your body. According to Wikipedia, “Affirmations in New Age and New Thought terminology refers primarily to the practice of positive thinking —fostering a belief that ‘a positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will achieve success in anything.’ More specifically an affirmation is a carefully formatted statement that should be repeated to one’s self and written down frequently. For an affirmation to be effective, it needs to be present tense, positive, personal and specific” (Wikipedia).
What are the most powerful affirmations
The more positive, personal, and specific the affirmation is, the more effective it will be for the person reciting the affirmation. Another thing that is important is that the affirmation be recited daily and preferably at the same time every day. By reciting the daily affirmation at the same time every day, it will become engrained in your subconscious, which will then become automatically recited as a habit. It takes 21 days for an affirmation to become habitual to the point that your subconscious will remember it and become second nature. It becomes part of your being, i.e. body, mind, and spirit. So, let’s take a look at some of the daily affirmations that can help your body, mind, and spirit. These are taken from “…books full of super-powerful affirmations is Open Your Mind To Prosperity by Catherine Ponder (DeVorss & Company, Publishers). Here are a few selected affirmations taken from her book:
Clearing out the old
- I NOW LET GO OF WORN-OUT THINGS, WORN-OUT CONDITIONS, AND WORN-OUT RELATIONSHIPS. DIVINE ORDER IS NOW ESTABLISHED AND MAINTAINED IN ME AND MY WORLD
- I LET GO AND TRUST
- I FORGIVE EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY WHO CAN POSSIBLY NEED FORGIVENESS IN MY PAST AND PRESENT. I POSITIVELY FORGIVE EVERYONE. I AM FREE, AND ALL OTHERS ARE FREE TOO. ALL THINGS ARE CLEARED UP BETWEEN US, NOW AND FOREVER.
- I AM A DIVINE IDEA IN THE MIND OF GOD, AND I AM NOW GUIDED INTO MY TRUE PLACE WITH THE TRUE PEOPLE AND WITH THE TRUE PROSPERITY
- I AM SURROUNDED BY DIVINE SUBSTANCE AND THIS DIVINE SUBSTANCE NOW MANIFESTS FOR ME IN RICH APPROPRIATE FORM
- I TRUST THE UNIVERSAL SPIRIT OF PROSPERITY TO PROVIDE RICHLY FOR ME NOW “(Ponder).
A few tips for preparing yourself to recite and receive the daily affirmations are as follows:
- do your affirmations daily, at the same time – morning is good
- relax and meditate for just a couple minutes before the affirmations to connect with your higher self and spirit guides
- speak the affirmations clearly and slowly
- affirm with meaning and feeling
- feel the power behind your words, proclamations and declarations
- relax for a minute afterwards to complete the integration of the affirmations
If you have no doubt in your mind that your affirmations will come to manifest in the physical realm, then you shall receive that which you intended from reciting and focusing on the affirmation. If you put your will and intent behind the energy used to manifest the desired outcome, then it will come to pass; just believe! The only word of caution is to be patient with the universe while waiting for your intent to manifest, and have an open mind. The universe works on its own terms, and the manifestation may come in an unexpected form.