3 Simple Meditation Exercises
by: Sharlene Licciardello
Swami Sivananda once said “Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal Awareness or Pure Consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity”. Yes, to a layperson, these words may seem to be no more than abstract jargon, but there is great truth in these words. You’ll perhaps understand their true meaning once you embark on the fulfilling spiritual journey of meditation.
Here are some simple meditation exercises you can start with.
This is usually the first step of any meditation session. This helps induce a sense of calm and focus in a person.
Close your eyes and relax your body. Slowly breathe in, and concentrate on the internal and external sensations that this physical movement induces. Breathe out and do the same. Take deep breaths for a while – at least five to ten times – but ensure that your mind is completely given to following the respiratory movements.
Compete Muscular Relaxation
To relax one’s muscles one must have a deep awareness of each. The process of complete muscular relaxation thus creates a consciousness of one’s physical being.
In whatever position you may be sitting, begin focusing on each bodily part, following a particular sequence. A good option would be to start with the toes and move upwards. Tighten each body part, and relax it in succession before moving on the next. Do not leave out anything – your toes, shins, knees, pelvis, abdomen, chest, upper-arms, lower-arms, knuckles, finger, neck and face. This exercise should be done in an unhurried manner with the brain being occupied in feeling and direction by these muscular contractions and expansions.
Pick any shape in any color. You could start with a simple geometrical shape – circle, triangle, square – and choose a color you like or one which has a special significance to you. Draw and color the same on a sheet of white paper; place it in front of you, wherever you’re meditating. Look at it carefully, and then close your eyes. Try to recreate the shape in your imagination such that you can see it in your mind’s eye.
Concentrate on keeping the visual image stable within your inner vision, but if it disappears or wavers, open your eyes and peek at the sheet again. Continue this process until you’re able to see the picture in constancy for at least 30 seconds; gradually try and increase the duration of your visualization over sessions.
The techniques mentioned here are basic, yet fundamental to anyone’s meditative journey. Start with these and they’ll pave your way into more advanced forms of meditation.
Sharlene Licciardello, is the head trainer at You Can Meditate Today in Sydney, Australia. She is a Master Practitioner in NLP and other modalities as well as a member of Toastmasters.