How to Meditate Deeply
For many of us, meditation is a way to re-center, relax, and connect to our spiritual realm. It is a sacred time that we are giving to ourselves and it should be treated as a private and protected practice. I have read a lot of articles and books about meditation and I feel like it can be quite intimidating to get started if you are new to it. Many people have their opinions of how to meditate, where you should meditate, should you sit, should you lay down, can you listen to music, or does it have to be silent. I’m no Yogi (yet, working on that training), but I have been meditating for many years, off and on, and in a progressive manner. My experience with meditation, in my opinion, affords me the opportunity to let you know it’s not as hard as you are making it out to be.
What is Meditation?
According to Wikipedia, Meditation is a practice in which an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Think of it as a way to be an observer of you. During meditation, you are observing your thoughts, you are observing your breath, and you are observing the emotions and sensations that arise. Throughout our day, we aren’t really paying attention. Meditation, when regularly practiced, increases your awareness of your thoughts and emotions. This is super helpful when you are working on your sobriety because the more aware you are of your thoughts and emotions, the less likely you are to have knee-jerk reactions to triggers.
What does Meditation Look Like?
No, you don’t have to sit straight up with your hands in a lotus mudra on your knees. You don’t have to chant “om” over and over again. Meditation can look however you want it to look like. It can be lying on the floor of your bedroom with a blanket over your body to keep you warm (this is me). It can be standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes. You can meditate with music, or using someone’s voice to guide you. You can meditate in your back yard, sitting on a blanket soaking up the sun. There are so many possibilities to what meditation can look like to you, I highly encourage you to create your own practice.
I tell my clients that want to incorporate meditation into their journey to create a little meditation nook somewhere in their home. I have a client that has turned her screened in porch into a meditation zone. She has candles and insence and a pretty rug that she sits on. I have another client that has created a space next to her bed, so that when she rolls out of bed in the morning, she is immediately in the exact spot she needs to be to meditate.
How do you Meditate?
I’m a big fan of guided meditations and solfeggio frequency music. Depending upon the intention I have for my meditation, what I play in my earbuds will change. If you are wanting to meditate deeply, I have just a few brief rules of thumb that I consider before jumping in. Remember, there are no ‘rules’ per se, these are just my guidelines that work for me. The beautiful thing about meditating is that it is YOUR time to be with yourself and your spirit guides or God or Buddha, or whatever higher power you call on.
- Ensuring I won’t be disturbed is my #1 protocol. I can meditate with my pets, but only 1 is allowed at a time, and usually not the kitten, he’s way too playful. I shut my bedroom door, and sometimes I lock it. I also use noise-cancelling ear-buds so in case the dog barks or the doorbell rings, I won’t hear it. My kids also know that meditation is sacred to me, so when my door is closed, they usually do not disturb me.
- Relaxtion is Queen. Make sure you are absolutely comfortable. If you are wearing restrictive clothing, feel free to jump in to some sweats. If your room is cold, grab a blanket to wrap around you. Sometimes when I’m meditating for long periods of time, I will put a pillow underneath my knees for extra support.
- Music is an absolute must for me. I’m a huge music lover and get moved very easily by different sounds so I always have something playing in my ears. There are quite a bit of meditation apps out there, even YouTube has a ton of relaxation playlists you could check out. I use Insight Timer, but you use whatever you love. As I mentioned above, I make sure the sound is loud enough that a bomb exploding outside my bedroom window wouldn’t disturb me. But hey, you do you.
How Often do you Meditate?
The frequency of your meditation practice is also totally up to you. I meditate every single morning because I know if I don’t, I’m going to be a highly irritable bitch. There have been times I’ve meditated 3 or 4 times in a single day. Those are my struggle days. Meditation is like exercise, there are muscles you have to build up to get stronger, and you have to show up day after day if you want to see real results. Meditation is such a beautiful practice to incorporate into your sober journey. I know it isn’t for everyone, but I would recommend you at least try it for 14 days. If at the end of the 14 days, it still isn’t your thing, no big deal, there are a lof of other options.