Friday, February 10, 2012

Meditation 101

I've had a few people recently ask me about meditation. "How do I do it?" or "Can you show me how?" are the most common questions that I get.

While I in no way consider myself a meditation expert, I can pass on a few things I've learned in the six months or so that meditation has been a daily part of my life.

1. Meditation is not "one size fits all". You need to practice different styles to see what works for you. Do you have to be sitting crossed-legged in easy pose with your palms turned up and a straight spine? Not necessarily. For some people, sitting in a straight-backed chair with their feet on the ground works best. Some prefer silence, others prefer guided meditation CD's. There is no right or wrong. Something will appeal to you. Just make sure that you're not listening to a CD because you're not quite ready to listen to what is inside your head.

2. It doesn't have to be difficult. Keep it simple and don't kick yourself if it doesn't go as planned. I have crummy meditation sessions too. My mind wanders aimlessly sometimes. Other days, everything just "clicks" and it's a wonderful experience. Every day can't be a wonderful experience, though. That's okay. Just sitting in silence for a few minutes is good for you.

3. Don't "expect" anything. Just be still. I went into meditation expecting a enlightened moment. I was waiting for something similar to getting inside The Matrix- where all my problems would suddenly make sense and inner peace would envelop me like a robe of knowledge. Sure, Traci. My "actual" experience is that I have become more peaceful, more patient, more tuned-in to my feelings and guided from within. All of this was very, very gradual. It IS a practice.

4. Oprah told me (yes, Oprah speaks directly to me) that sitting in silence for 5 minutes a day would change my life. She was right, but I think you should commit to at least 15 minutes a day. If you are in a period of change or turmoil- try and do it longer- try for 15 minutes twice a day until you're feeling better. Your mind is like a muscle. The more you work on it, the quicker you will see results. Keep your mind open and your heart even more so.

Best of luck to the new meditation practitioners! The below link is a wonderful article that might help you even more with your new meditation journey. Namaste!

1 comment:

  1. Traci, this is great! I've recently come back to guided meditations and meditation with music as I started to get frustrated because I couldn't sit for 20 minutes and just concentrate on my breath without my mind wandering constantly.

    I've just signed up for the Chopra Center's 21-day meditation challenge, and wanted to let you and your readers know about it. It starts Feb 20, 2012. Sign up at: