I believe that finding the practice that reconnects us with our inner voice or Authentic Self is a personal process. Some people find that running brings them back to their core. Others discover knitting does the trick. I believe what is happening in both of these scenarios is that we are in a meditative-like state. Sure running or knitting may not be what you think of when you picture meditation, but I consider any activity that holds your focus here in the present moment a sort of moving meditation. Other examples are yoga, painting, writing, and Tai Chi. This week let's play with a still meditation and a moving meditation.
Still Meditation Options:
To practice these options, find a comfortable seated position on the floor, a cushion, or in a chair. Close your eyes and begin by drawing your attention inward.
- Candle-gazing meditation (here is a description of this technique). I find this practice very relaxing.
- Counting breaths meditation: simply count your breaths. I usually decide ahead of time how many breaths I will sit for, 20, 50, or 100. You can also set a timer for 3 or 5 minutes. This is one of my favorite ways to meditate. It is simple and there is something to focus on (counting) which I find helps me quiet my mind.
- Mantra meditation: a mantra is any phrase or word you repeat to yourself. One of my favorites is "be here now" which I shorten to "here" on the inhale and "now" on the exhale. Other ideas are "let go" or "be present." You can use anything that is meaningful for you. There are many Sanskrit mantras to choose from as well, such as Om or Sat Nam.
- Lovingkindess meditation: this is the meditation I practice most frequently. It involves sending feelings of pure love and kindness to yourself and others while repeating a mantra. Here is a more thorough description.
Moving Meditation Options:
- Walking or Running
- Any activity where you feel totally absorbed in the task at hand!