Here metaphysical healer and counsellor, Dina Cramer takes us through a step-by-step meditation for beginners:
Step One: Creating the space for meditation
The first thing you need to do is set aside between 10 to 20 minutes during which you will not be disturbed. This is YOUR TIME - a time set aside to be solely and completely focused on and committed to your own health and happiness. So, do what you need to do to allow yourself to be free from distractions. It's always a good idea to disconnect the phone or meditate in a room where the phone will not disturb you.
It also helps if you have a special place set aside in your home where you can meditate. You can create a personal sanctuary for yourself, a place of peace and beauty that serves as a reminder of your commitment to yourself. Light a candle or an aromatherapy burner, have an arrangement of flowers and/or crystals or photographs of your loved ones in the room with you.
Step Two: Using a CD
There are a number of different ways of meditating. A form of meditation that beginners find very effective is called guided visualisation. In this form of meditation, you have someone guiding you through a process that has a focused intention, such as connecting to your guides and receiving higher guidance.
Select the meditation technique that you want to use. Read up on that form of meditation before starting.
Put the CD into your CD player. Press Play and allow yourself to be guided on a wonderful journey through consciousness and healing.
Step Three: Meditation posture
Meditation can be done while sitting or lying down. The main thing is to find a posture that is comfortable for you, in which you can relax fully. In general, I find it best to be in a sitting position, because you need to be in a balanced state between waking and sleeping consciousness. Sitting allows you to relax and still stay conscious.
Sometimes I find that meditating lying down is so relaxing that I drift into a state of unconsciousness or sleep. This too is okay, as the effects of the meditation will still filter into your energy system. However, it is best to remain conscious.
The sitting posture I use is one in which I sit on a chair with my eyes closed, feet flat on the floor and my spine straight and supported. If you are comfortable and able to, you can sit in the lotus position.
It is important that your spine is straight to facilitate the free flow of energy through the charkas and energy body. It is also important to make sure that your arms and legs are not crossed. This will block the flow of energy.
You can rest your hands on your thighs with your palms facing upward in order to draw universal energy into your system via the palms of your hands. When you sit like this, you are receptive to Divine Energy.
Step Four: Breathing
The act of meditation is one in which you transcend the logical, rational mind and enter into deeper states of relaxation and awareness. In meditation we move from everyday conscious awareness, called beta rhythm, to an altered state of awareness similar to sleep, known as delta rhythm, or a state between waking and sleeping known as the alpha state.
Therefore, the key to meditation is the breath: Breathe in and out as deeply as possible. This oxygenates the brain, allowing you to access these deeper states of consciousness and it also helps you to relax and release toxins from your system.
Our breath is our life force. We need to breathe fully, filling the whole of the lung area, and breathe out fully, making sure that we have released all of the air out of our lungs.
You will be surprised at how shallow most people breathe. This allows only a small amount of life force into your system. You may have also noticed how you don't empty your lungs when breathing out. This allows us to hold onto toxins and negative emotional and mental patterns. That is why we find it so hard to let go of our issues.
Breathing is deeply connected to our emotional and mental state. Have you noticed that you breathe differently when you are relaxed to when you are scared or excited. Your breathing rhythm changes when you are angry or in love. So, by this token, if we change our breathing pattern, we can literally change our mind and our emotions.
Step Five: Allow yourself to be guided
Sit, relax and allow yourself to just be in the moment. If a thought comes up that is unconnected to the meditation, acknowledge it and let it go. People often find it difficult to clear their minds and find that state of inner peace. This is because our lives are so busy and stressful. We are continually worrying, calculating, thinking, planning etc. Guided meditations are therefore useful, especially for the beginner meditator, as your mind is kept focused on the process at hand. This keeps your conscious mind out of the way and allows you to access a deeper consciousness.
Like with everything else in our lives, meditation should be approached with love. It is meant to be effortless, so do not try too hard and be gentle with yourself. In the beginning it may be difficult to transcend your conscious thoughts. You may also feel irritated and anxious. This is not necessarily a bad sign as it means that the stress, anxiety and irritability of everyday life are being brought to the surface in order to be released.
Just bear with it and you will not be sorry. I experienced anxiety and irritability for a whole year when I started meditating. However, it did pass and I am now able to get into a beautifully tranquil state of inner peace quite easily.
Step Six: Enjoy your day
Allow yourself to come out of the meditation slowly, so that you do not shock your system. Take the wonderful feeling of relaxation, bliss and healing that you have gained from the meditation and radiate it throughout the day.
Step Seven: Create a meditation discipline
If you are serious about developing your spirituality and empowering yourself, it is a good idea to create a meditation discipline where you are able to meditate every day, preferably at the same time. This becomes your sanctuary and the inner peace you gain in meditation will be reflected in your life.
You may want to experiment with the time that you choose to meditate. With our busy lives, it is often difficult to fit a daily meditation into our hectic schedule. However, if you do, you will very quickly notice the benefits this daily meditation will have on your day. You will feel less stressed, things won’t irritate you as much as usual, your day will seem to flow easily and effortlessly and you will find that you quickly become hooked to a daily meditation discipline. On the days that you do not manage to meditate, you will feel a noted difference in yourself - an uneasiness.
Some people prefer to meditate at night. I, however, prefer meditating early in the morning. You may even want to take your CD in to work with you and meditate during your lunch break.
I prefer to meditate first thing in the morning. I get up early before my husband and children wake up and go to my healing room where I light a candle and some incense before I meditate. I am more of a morning person.
If you are a nighttime person, or if you find it difficult to sleep, I suggest meditating at night before bed. I find that if I meditate at night, I usually fall asleep because I am too tired. You may also find that you fall asleep during your meditation. This is not necessarily a bad thing as long as it does not happen every time you meditate.
What happens sometimes is that we go into such a deep state of relaxation that we enter a level of consciousness that we experience as sleep because we have no other word to describe it. However, it is not sleep. You will find that if this happens to you, you will wake up exactly at the end of the meditation but will not remember any of the meditation itself. You will most probably feel very refreshed, like you have had a long nap.
It is often during these states that our guides take the opportunity to do some healing or work on a particular issue with you that they feel is a priority.
Please Note: Each meditation can be done a number of times. The more you do a particular meditation, the more familiar you will become with it. You will also find that every time you do a particular meditation there will be some element that is different than before. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will get bored with the meditations very easily.
- (Ingrid Bosch, Health24, updated July 2008)
[For more information on meditation, contact Dina Cramer on (011) 465 4737 or e-mail her: email@example.com]