I’ve lost count of the number of times a caller has said “meditation just doesn’t work for me!” I just laugh, and tell them they’ve come to the right place, because quieting my overactive mind has always been a big challenge.
And since the silence, space and peace which only meditation can bring are key to psychic ability, expanded awareness and inner peace, I’ve put a lot of effort into developing meditation forms which help me get my busy, busy mind to settle down and shut up!
The key for me is to wrestle the focus of my being out of my head and into some other part of my body or energy field. Focusing on the brow/Third Eye point, or trying to empty my thoughts just don’t get me far enough away from my brain. Instead, I use either moving meditations, or visualizations which use conscious, controlled breathing to redirect and then hold my energy, my focus… anywhere but my brain!
And in all of this, breath is the key. Breath is life force, and if you consciously breathe in that sacred essence, and then exhale with focused intent, you can send the life force energy anywhere.
The most effective moving meditations are ones which include directed breathing and tight focus on either chakras or body points. Yoga, t’ai chi and chi gung are excellent, but so are some forms of sacred dance, and, of course, running.
And then there’s my favorite, which is mindful walking. I prefer early morning, when the air is fresh and full of nature’s sweetness, birds are singing and the rest of the world is only just waking. As I walk in silence I cycle my attention again and again through each of my senses, observing what I hear, see, feel, smell and taste, all the while breathing deeply and steadily. I don’t analyze. Just experience. The observation and conscious breathing require all my attention and – presto! – my mind ceases its chatter and slides into a state of awe.
Of the visualizations I use, the one which is the most effective in times of stress is very simple. I sit or lie down, begin breathing steadily and deeply, and imagine with each in-breath that I am drawing my energy and focus out of my brain and into my heart chakra. With each out-breath I expand the activated heart chakra energy out into the rest of my being.
I use the heart chakra because it is the balance point of the chakra system, and the seat of unconditional love. From the heart chakra’s calm center you naturally, as you breathe in, draw on both physical and spiritual energies, and blend them into a healing brew which you can then exhale out into your whole being. And as you steadily and mindfully breathe, the mind’s monkey chatter is silenced and you slip effortlessly into peaceful centeredness and silence.
What are your favorite methods to calm the mind?