I wanted to focus on the ancient tradition of meditation for this week’s self-reflection Sunday. Meditation can help you to alter your consciousness, find awareness and achieve peace. I first started meditating in 2006, around the time I gave up smoking and red meat. It was a time in my life when I was reflecting on some of the choices I was making and its impact on my physical health.
Smoking was a big thing for me; I had my first cigarette at the age of 12 years old – I know, absolutely mental! As time went on, smoking had become less of a ‘hobby’ and took its position as a stress reliever. When things got tough, whether it was for a day, or a month, smoking calmed my nerves.
When I decided to give up this unhealthy habit, I knew that I would need to find a replacement outlet for my emotions, otherwise relapsing was a certainty. As a young adult, I thought meditating was a mythical practice; I didn’t see the benefit, nor understand why people would bother ’talking to themselves’. One of my older siblings was a meditation guru and taught me about what meditation actually was, and how I could use meditation as a form of manifestation.
At the same time, she also introduced me to Queen Afua’s book ‘Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit’. This book became a staple part of my transformation to consciousness. For those seeking more knowledge on how to nurture your inner core, I highly recommend this book.
Before delving into meditation, it’s useful to know the different types to help you identify where to start:
- Mindfulness meditation. This form of meditation pushes you to pay attention to our thoughts without judgement or involvement. If like me, you have a lot going on, taking time out to process your memorandum of thoughts will help you to better understand what is important to focus on in the present.
- Spiritual meditation. If you are seeking a deeper connection to your God or the Universe, then spiritual meditation is what you can practice. This form of meditation is silent, highly emotive and can be defined as an experience as you just can’t predict what will be revealed to you on the other side. Using essential oils, candles and incense will help to heighten your senses.
- Focused meditation. This can involve instruments such as singing bowls and mala beads. This form of meditation is all about aiding you to pinpoint where your focus needs to be.
- Movement meditation. I would say that most of us do this without realising. When you go to your yoga class, or take a walk to clear your mind – this is all an active form of meditation. We can all agree that there is a real benefit of taking time out to let your mind wander.
- Mantra meditation. I would say that this is more of an advanced form of meditation and is more in line with the origins of the tradition. This type of meditation uses a repetitive sound or word to clear your mind and enter into deeper levels of self-awareness.
- Transcendental Meditation. This technique is a form of silent mantra meditation and involves the use of a mantra and is practiced for 20 minutes twice per day while sitting with one’s eyes closed. This form of meditation is for those who prefer structure and would like to commit to meditation practice.
There are so many benefits of meditation, most of which you can easily look up. If you are interested in meditation, I would encourage you to do further research into the practice and work out what you want to achieve from this and more importantly why. This will help guide your journey and improve your chances of reaching your consciousness goals.
Sending love and light always.