by Verena Kacinskis
In my last post, I talked about my first experience with meditation and how surprised I was when I realized that that was a path I could actually take. So when I left that Reiki class where I had my first experience I was determined to start my own meditation practice. I went online and browsed lots and lots of websites looking for tips on how to begin the journey. I also downloaded a few guided meditation CDs which helped me for a while until I had enough confidence to continue by myself. I know each person should choose their own path, but today I’m going to share four little things that helped me a lot and that I hope can help you too:
1. Look for a meditation group in your city and try some group meditations. On Saturday afternoons I used to go to the Vipassana Meditation Center in Brasília where a large group of people meditated in silence for about 45 minutes. I found that the group energy helped me stay focused and grounded. It’s a great way to build your confidence while you’re getting ready to practice alone.
2. Take some time to try out a few different techniques. There are A LOT of different types of meditation. You can meditate in the classic sitting position or in motion, you can meditate in silence or while repeating a mantra, you can be focusing on your breathing or on some image or visual pattern. You can even meditate while listening to a song or a sound, like the rain falling.
3. Respect your rhythm. Like I said in my post The Art of Living the Four Seasons, there will be times when you will feel the desire to meditate early in the morning and there will be other times when you will feel like meditating at night or in the middle of the afternoon. Just listen to your body and respect your rhythm. I know it’s much easier to meditate when we are on vacation or in a retreat where we leave all our problems and mundane thoughts behind, and we can dedicate ourselves 100% to just being present. There is this beautiful sanctuary in the middle of the woods where I go twice a year to spend some time, take some classes and meditate. I find it so much easier to meditate there because the place’s energy is built upon a calm, relaxing routine and it feels natural to shut down my mind as well. For me the real challenge is to meditate in my apartment on the 14th floor of a large building surrounded by other buildings and cars and construction sites. Sometimes I just can’t find “the” moment to empty my mind. It feels out-of-place and I have to make an enormous effort to do so. Some time ago I decided it was time to abandon my goal of meditating every night before going to bed and, respecting my own rhythm and routine, I started to meditate in my office after the last appointment of the day. It has been working great!
4. I saved for last what is actually one of the most helpful things I’ve found in my search. I don’t practice any kind of yoga and I’m sure that my virtual hostess Kim would have a lot more to tell you about Swami Vishnu-Devananda so I’ll just invite you to read these 12 steps for meditation that this incredible yogi compiled.
We would love to hear about the experiences and difficulties in your practice so feel free to share your story with us in the comments below!
I’m a Jungian Psychologist and BodyTalk practitioner. I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, but spent most of my life moving around with my parents and sisters due to my father’s work. So at the age of 23 I had accumulated the exciting figure of 2 countries, 5 cities, 21 houses, 11 schools, 2 universities and a lot of friends from a variety of cultures and languages. Then I thought it was time to begin my own story and stayed in Brasília, where I still live with my husband and Dexter, our cat. This awesome life experience shaped my worldview and taught me two important things: (1) to travel is to live and (2) the outside world is a small place; what is big is the world each person carries inside. To dive into our own inner world is, for me, the biggest of all adventures!
The photo at the top of this post was taken by Kristine Brown and is shared through Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial – No Derivatives 2.0 Generic.