Meditation is training your mind in how to get to the Now, right now, where you are yourself and ok.
Breathing is the foundation of meditation. Your mind will continue to create thoughts; that is what minds do. Meditation is not about trying to empty your mind, you are noticing what is going on in your mind. Meditation gives you a seat in the theater of awareness. Meditation is about training your mind to remove negative thoughts about yourself and help to bring your body to natural balance.
Meditation improves heart function and immune response, lowers blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Meditation reduces pain, rejuvenates and, finally, rewires your brain. Then why doesn’t everyone do it? The most obvious reason is that the simple act defies the rules of our mainstream society. We believe in rushing and achieving. Meditation asks us to draw our attention inward and stay seated when a million impulses call us back to the fray and the dark cave of our mind where ancient memories, guilt, fears and losses can spring out at us.
There are plenty of ways to relieve stress–exercise, a long soak in a hot bath, or even a massage. But, believe it or not, something you’re doing right now, probably without even thinking about it, is a proven stress-reliever: breathing. As you may know, deep breathing is not only relaxing, it’s been proven scientifically to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system—and maybe even the expression of genes.
Practice the following meditation exercises for a few minutes everyday and in a few short weeks you should be able to develop 12 to 20 minutes of practice each day, doing this will bring you many benefits–best of all you enjoy every minute of your life more fully as habitual forms of negativity and self criticism slowly falls away. Find your own rhythm and pace that create deepest sense of relaxation for you.
1. Mindful Breathing – By focusing on your breath, you begin to train your mind to stay in the present moment, free of negative feelings and unpleasant thoughts.
2. Loving Kindness and Forgiveness Meditation – Is one of most powerful exercise you can do to generate SELF-love. Send love to yourself by repeating this affirmation: May I be happy… may I be well…may I be filled with kindness and peace.
3. Compassionate Communication Meditation – Mindfulness in Dialogue, If you speak 25% slower than you normally do, comprehension increases in the listener’s brain and your body automatically relaxes; defensive communication falls away, greater empathy and intimacy increases an average of 10%.
4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Some people have a very difficult time using their mind to relax their body. This meditation is particularly effective with a variety of psychological and physiological disorders. All you do is tighten and relax each group of muscles in your body followed by a few deep breaths and a couple of yawns.
5. Yawning Meditation – Assists one to relax, yawns quickly brings one into a heightened state of cognitive awareness. They rid the brain of sleepiness and helps you to stay focus on important concepts and ideals. Numerous neurochemicals are involved in the yawning experience, including dopamine, which activates oxytocin production. Acetylcholine, nitric oxide, glutamate, GABA, serotonin, ACTH, MSH, sexual hormones, and opium derivate peptides. In fact, it is hard to find any other activity that positively influences so many functions of the brain.
6. Laughter Meditation – Laughter is the most powerful, simple and safe tool to bring you to the present time inspire you to see the brighter sides of any situation. Laughter connects you with your true nature and your higher SELF. Laughter allows you to step back from stress and re-adjust your attitude.
7. Forgiveness Meditation – Bring into your heart the image of someone for whom you feel much resentment. Take a moment to feel that person right there in the center of your chest.
And in your heart, say to that person. “For anything you may have done that caused me pain, anything you did either intentionally or unintentionally, through your thoughts, words, or actions, I forgive you.”
Slowly allow that person to settle into your heart. No force, just opening to them at your own pace. Say to them, “I forgive you.” Gently, gently open to them. If it hurts, let it hurt. Begin to relax the iron grip of your resentment, to let go of that incredible anger. Say to them “I forgive you.” And allow them to be forgiven.
Now bring into your heart the image of someone you wish to ask for forgiveness. Say to t hem, “For anything I may have done that caused you pain, my thoughts, my actions, my words, I ask for your forgiveness. For all those words that were said out of forgetfulness or fear or confusion, I ask your forgiveness.”
Don’t allow any resentment you may hold for yourself to block your reception of that forgiveness. Let your heart soften to it. Allow yourself to be forgiven. Open to the possibility of forgiveness. Holding them in your heart, say to them, “For whatever I may have done that caused you pain, I ask your forgiveness.”
Now bring an image of yourself into your heart, floating at the center of your chest. Bring yourself into your heart, and using your own first name, say to yourself, “For all that you have done in forgetfulness and fear and confusion, for all the words and thoughts and actions that may have caused pain to anyone, I forgive you.”
Open to the possibility of self-forgiveness. Let go of all the bitterness, the hardness, the judgment of yourself.
Make room in your heart for yourself. Say “I forgive you” to you.