How To Guide, Preparation and Relaxation
There are basically, two forms of meditation. Passive meditation and active meditation.
Passive meditation is just that. In fact, if you use the term, meditate – people conjure up pictures of people sitting in lotus positions emptying their minds. (I don’t know about you…but telling me to empty my mind will automatically make millions of thoughts spring into my head!)
Seriously, passive meditation is very useful. It reduces stress and can give us that sorely needed quiet time. There have been many studies that have shown that passive meditation can lower blood pressure, reduce fatigue, and give an all over general feeling of well-being.
Okay…so how do you DO it?
First, a good way to start is to pick a time and a place where you aren’t going to be disturbed. (you deserve some time to yourself!) Sit comfortably. Yes…you CAN lie down…just be aware that it’s easier to fall asleep when lying down. Wearing comfortable clothing helps. If you’re squeezing yourself into those tight jeans, it’s going to be difficult to breathe and relax.
If it helps you, put on some soothing music low in the background. You don’t have to dim the lights, but it might be less distracting to have a lower light level. It’s a great idea to unplug the phone. (never fails to ring in MY house when I meditate if I don’t).
From this point, there are many different ways to “get” to alpha. Remember, the point is to pay less attention to things going on around you and be more focused on inner thoughts/things. So, pick something you’d like to concentrate on. Images are good to focus points. Even if you don’t visualize exceptionally clearly. Some good images might be:
- A puffy white cloud
- A candle flame (this works especially well if you light an actual candle, look at it, and then close your eyes while picturing how the flame looked)
- A scenic vista (the beach, a mountaintop, a lake or stream, etc.)
- A flower
The only rule here is to pick something you’d like. Change it each time you meditate if you want or keep it the same. If you’d prefer, don’t use images. You could use sound. It’s what works for you, right?
As you picture that image, you’ll naturally slip into an alpha state. Voila…you are meditating.
Active meditation is nothing more than staying mentally alert while being in an alpha state. When we first start working with meditation, we usually are kind of slow-thinking. However, with a bit of practice, you can learn to be more and more mentally active while producing alpha brainwaves.
What good does this do you? A lot! You can learn to visualize goals and work on manifestation techniques. You can learn to improve memory, work on improving sports performance, and many other things.
With active meditation, instead of picturing a static image, you picture a series of scenes. You would mentally run a “motion picture.” You may also incorporate a dialog in your head to go along with the scene. The more of the senses you are able to place the scene (visual, auditory, emotional, kinesthetic, smell) the stronger the impression. With practice, you will be able to “hold” the theme of the meditation, actively participating in its direction and production…all while producing alpha brainwaves.
You are, in effect, doing this already when you daydream. Most of us are having movie-type scenery being played out while tuning out what is going on around us. In the active meditation, it’s the same principle…except YOU are directing the action and writing the script.
As with passive meditation, it’s common and natural for you to get sidetracked. You might start meditating working on a goal to quit smoking, then all of a sudden you find yourself deep into a daydream about cleaning out your car. Simply, and gently, guide yourself back to the images of the goal you were working on. After working with active meditation for a while, you’ll soon be able to hold your theme or goal for longer periods of time.