Habit: Day 11 (And My How-to On Meditating)

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Yesterday someone asked me, “What exactly, and how are you doing this?” in reference to meditating. I’m not an expert, by any means, but I do have my experience to share. Here’s my experience with meditating: The more I practice, the better I feel.

As for the question, here’s the what and how of my meditations:

  1. Download a free 20-minute meditation here (I’m not affiliated with the folks at MeditationDNA, I just like that meditation track). The focus of this particular meditation track is Inner Balance, but I find that I can focus on just about anything while I’m in meditation with it.
  2. I sit on a blanket in the middle of my living room. I sit cross legged. I place my hands on my knees, palm up and touch my middle finger with my thumb. This is a standard meditation pose, although I’m not sure the why of it. I learned it from a Yoga DVD years ago, and simply followed directions without asking why. Sometimes my fingers fall away and my hands lay limp, but I only notice once I’m out of meditation.
  3. I focus on my breathing. I breathe in slowly and out slowly. At first, this was my only focus. It was difficult to breathe slowly in and out and take more than a couple deep breaths at a time, and I let my thoughts wander to judging myself for not being able to do it “right.” I’ve since learned that, for me, the breathing is just what gets my focus going. If I notice my breathing becomes short or quick, I take a deep breath and refocus myself–without judgment (that “without judgment” can be tricky until you get the hang of it).
  4. I imagine a ball of light at the center of my being. When I can’t visualize the ball of light, I go back to focusing on my breathing. When I can focus on the ball of light, I name it. Sometimes it’s love, sometimes it’s the Universe, sometimes it’s healing or strength or peace or courage or wellness or bliss or forgiveness or release or silence. Whatever it is, I allow the ball of light to spread throughout my body, encompassing my entire being. Once my body is full with the ball of light and [insert focus here], I visualize that ball expanding into the outer world. It touches my animals and my home. It then flows out into the streets and touches passers by, neighbors’ homes, and surrounding businesses. Once the ball of light has expanded that far, I visualize it reaching out to the entire city, the state, the country, the oceans, the mountains, the world, the Universe. Sometimes I’m able to hold this focus until the end of the music for my meditation. Sometimes the ball of light retracts, and returns to the center of my being. Whatever happens, I allow it.
  5. If I focus on releasing or healing, I make sure I focus on actually releasing any toxins I’ve stirred up during my meditation. I thank the toxins for serving me and then I visualize the energy moving slowly down through my body, out my pores, and down through the floor. I focus on the toxins moving through the foundation of the house and into the earth. I focus on the earth accepting the toxic energy and recycling it into constructive energy, as I imagine the earth has the power to do. With this release, I focus my awareness on the space I’ve created for new and positive or healing energy. I welcome whatever is to come from the release of these toxins and the arrival of the new energy.
  6. I am consistent with the duration of my meditation during my 21-day focus on creating a habit, but that’s just because I’ve been at it for a while. When I first started, I could only go for a few minutes at a time. I gradually moved from 2 minutes to 5 to 10 and even on to 30. I notice that in my 20-minute session of late, the time seems to go by quickly, and before I know it, the music is winding down. Once my habit is formed, I plan to move on to 30-45 minute meditations and see what happens there.
  7. In closing my meditation, I simply take a final deep breath and release it firmly into the air around me. I’m not exactly sure why I do this, but it makes me feel good. Maybe it’s just my way of completing my meditation.

The benefits of meditation have been both small and great for me. I feel a sense of peace in my soul that I haven’t been able to achieve by simply being positive in the outer world. Maybe this peace comes only from focusing on the positives in my inner world. I believe meditation to be very personal and there is not a wrong way to do it. I also believe that the right way of meditating can only be achieved by practicing.

Since I began regular meditation, I’ve noticed that I’m calmer in the real world. I’m more balanced. My moods tend to not swing wildly, and even in trying situations I’m able to keep my cool. This doesn’t mean I’ve ceased to become angry or upset, I still have emotions; I’m just more aware of what they are and look deeper into where they’re coming from. And I feel more “myself” than I ever have in my life.

Part of this growth is from the work I’ve been doing on myself and my soul over the past few years. And part of it is from the meditation.

I believe the work and the growth has led me to the meditating. And now, I get to see where the meditating leads me.

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