Have you ever driven home and wondered how you got there? Have you worked on something for 4 hours and felt like it was 10 minutes? How about spending time with a friend and realizing that the evening has flown by? Was there ever a time where you found yourself just staring at nothing and having to shake yourself back to the present?
You have slipped into meditative states my friend. Before I go any further, let me take a moment to present to you the five levels of brain wave activity that indicate what state of present awareness you are in.
- Gamma Wave – Great focus – Bursts of insight – High-level information processing
- Beta Waves – Waking Consciousness and Reasoning
- Alpha Waves – Deep Relaxation – Daydreaming, sliding into meditation
- Theta Wave – Light Meditation – Dreaming state
- Delta Wave – Deep Sleep – Awareness is detached
We are all using all of these. The point of “Meditation” is to consciously go into an Alpha or Theta state for the purpose of focus, clarity, relaxation, and healing.
Meditation is the art and science of letting go, starting with the body and then improving focus on your thoughts.
The key here is to realize that meditation does not need to be ritualistic. In fact, my morning meditation is simply allowing myself to let my mind drift in a relaxed state, without judgement of where it takes me.
In moments of stress or need for clarity you can simply stop, focus in your breath coming into your nose, out of your mouth. Notice your body as it expands and contracts with each breath; three or four breathes is all it takes to relax.
For those who don’t “have time” try relaxing during your mundane tasks like washing dishes, gardening, or taking a stroll in the park.
Conscious Meditation is perfect for improving concentration and helping you make different choices in your life.
Breath Awareness Meditation
This meditation focuses on your heart and breathing. This aides in helping you handle stress and develop an appreciative and joyous well-being.
Mindful meditation is done by sitting with your eyes close, crossed legs (or relaxed position), your back straight, and attention placed on breathing in and out. Throughout this meditation focus on your breathing. When you realize your mind is wandering (monkey brain) simply return your focus to your breathing.
Mindfulness meditation is when you let your mind wander, accept any thoughts that come up, and understand the present. You will experience reduced anxiety, less depression, and reduced distress.
Guided Meditation uses visualization as a way to access spiritual healing, stress relief, or personal development. The inspiration comes from Buddha, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
By imagining a positive outcome your body responds by releasing chemicals that generate feelings of positivity and success. Once your body chemically believes something to be true, your mind will direct your choices in alignment with this truth.
Kundalini focuses on your rising stream of energy. To access this energy, you must concentrate on your breathing as it flows through the energy centers in your body. Once that energy is felt, you are able to experience an altered state of consciousness.
Because this is a very powerful energy state it should be done via guided meditation so you are carefully taken out of this altered state and back into reality.
Qi Gong improves posture, respiration, and your ability to relax with greater ease. Qi Gong is one of the oldest forms of meditation and derives from ancient Chinese society. This art form of health and wellness uses breath to circulate energy through the body and energy centers. The focused combination on breathing techniques, movement, and meditation helps you control your reaction to stress.
Qi Gong is a physical meditation and you should be guided by a master.
Zazen literally translates to “seated meditation.” This method is initially the easiest to engage in because it relies on self-guidance. Mental benefits of Zazen are vast because you aim to forget all judgmental thoughts, ideas, and images.
After sitting in a comfortable position ensure that your back is completely straight and you are centered. Breathing is an essential element of Zazen and this position will allow the breath to deepen and enhance the experience.
Maharishi defines the purpose of Transcendental Meditation as, “…the state of enlightenment. This means we experience that inner calmness, that quiet state of least excitation, even when we are dynamically busy.”
The traditional process is that you sit in Lotus, internally chant a mantra, and focus on rising above the negativity.
Expert guidance is recommended.
These are just a few examples of the various forms of meditation available to us. Science has documented the benefits of this practice. I use guided visualization in my training and in my coaching. Bringing the ability to visualize into your core being will benefit you personally, benefit you professionally, and benefit you, yes, financially.
Go ahead and choose one. If not now, when?