Meditation is a personal thing. Once you have the basics it’s fun to be creative. My intention is to let my thoughts calm and open my awareness. So when I sit in this new routine of mine, I allow myself to take the necessary steps to get to that place.
I do the obvious things of sitting quietly in an upright position, often with palms up and a straight spine. Eyes closed and my intention focused on a point behind my forehead. I then start breathing calmly and deliberately. I have learned that on a good day it takes about five minutes for me to hit the place of calm where my active thoughts start to fade, or at least get more quiet.
During the beginning when my thoughts are very active and vying for my brain-space I do a few things to get past it … all of them gentle and not bossy towards myself. One thing is to practice focusing on an imaginary point behind my forehead. If I notice my eyes clenching and actually trying to look at it, I try to relax them. Some people see colors, or a point of light, I often see the image of eyes. No surprise there. Sometimes I repeat a phrase (mantra or intention) in my mind. Sometimes I’ll hum a ethereal tune repeatedly.
Lately I’ve been a little obsessed with the pineal gland, the place you’re really trying to focus on which is about six inches back from your forehead, and associated with the third eye. So, sometimes I’ll have a little chat with mine. I’ll welcome him to the day, ask him what we’d like to see today, maybe give him a little virtual massage and envision him going out and seeing things. Sometimes I’ll visualize myself at the end point of a goal that I’m trying to reach and put out to the universe to help me get there without focusing on the steps in between. I believe in the power of my fantasy world and talking to parts of my body when they’re in a state of tension or discomfort. It can help alleviate it just by acknowledging it’s there rather than battling against it or denying it.
But anyway, after I have my little chat and greeting I’ll also talk a little bit to the thoughts that are coming. I encourage them to come, and then go, come and then go. Not trying to fight them off or ignore them but giving them their space because they are the natural function of the brain, and allowing them to pass without dwelling on them or going deeper into more thoughts. As a friend said, watching the river flow by.
That’s about the first five minutes. The I go back to my focusing on a point and letting my mind quiet. I might notice aches in my muscles or a tight joint, which can be distracting. I breathe and imagine the breath going to that place, again, acknowledging that it is there without cursing it most times that allows it to subside. Same with itches. I do move slightly if my foot starts to fall asleep which happens to me sometimes. And sometimes I’ll scratch an itch. The idea though is to not judge yourself. Some say you have to sit perfectly still and that is preferred but if you do move, don’t get distracted by it. Just do it and move back into letting it come and go.
Sometimes I only sit for about 10 minutes but try to aim for 20. I used to set a timer but I’ve stopped that and go as long as I can. Again, no judgment on myself if it’s a short sitting day. It’s all good.