Meditation or Conscious Relaxation exercises are excellent for reducing stress and building self-confidence and self-esteem, and maintaining good health. If you are having trouble relaxing and getting into a meditative state, drop by our special page for beginners Relax and Let Go.
THE WALKING MEDITATION. Monks in monasteries used to do this, and still do--walk the quadrangle. You can do it too. Find yourself a set path, a circular track or a square, perhaps on a sports field, or in a large garden. Walk the path to get to know the route. Then, when you are ready, take in a slow deep breath, then let it out slowly. Be conscious of your body. Feel or sense your entire body. Then start walking slowly. While you walk mentally notice how your body is functioning. Do not judge or criticize it, just be aware of your body. Do not rush this or any other meditation. If a thought comes into your head which says: “This is silly,” or “I have to get the dog to the vet,” push them gently away, and resume your walking. After 10 or 15 minutes, stop, and get on with your life.
THE EATING MEDITATION This is good for losing weight, and other things. It’s also best to do it alone, for obvious reasons. When you are ready to eat your meal, sit at the table. Take a slow deep breath and then let it out slowly. Then start eating your meal. As you take a mouthful, be conscious of the way you are chewing your food. Be conscious of how the food tastes. As you eat, allow your mind to explore the origin of your food. Do not rush this or any other meditation. As you eat and conduct this meditation, you will find your eating process slowing down, and you may feel full before the end of your meal. Know that it is all right to leave food on your plate. Do this meditation once a day, and after 14 days, you will find yourself adopting a different approach to eating and relaxing.
SANDCASTLES IN TIME. Here’s a relaxing exercise you can do either in meditation at home or in real time particularly if you have a sandy beach close by.
For meditating at home: In your meditative Sanctuary of the Mind see yourself sitting on the sand. Imagine you can feel the presence of the water, the blue sky with a few fluffy white clouds. Breathe in slowly and allow the aroma of the beach to fill your lungs. After several breaths, allow your fingers to feel the texture of the sand. Know that this sand has been on the Planet since time immemorial in various shapes.
When you feel comfortable start to build a sandcastle. Imagine you have a child’s small bucket and spade, and work with these. Create a building in whatever shape feels best for you. As you meditate you may well hear voices from your past and memories from another age. Allow yourself to progress with the building. It can be any shape that you desire. Once you have completed it, sit back and survey your project and review the memories that have come up.
Visiting a sandy beach: If you can visit a real sandy beach in real time do exactly the same thing. Spend some time breathing and relaxing. Then become conscious of the place, the beach, the water, the sun and the sky and the air. Next observe your feelings, how you are sitting or kneeling. Note any thoughts that may come up. When you feel comfortable, start building your sandcastle. Feel your fingers touching the sand. Work on the castle and allow it to develop. You may well feel foolish. Observe such feelings without judgment and they will fade away. You may well have someone come by and ask what you are doing. If you feel so inclined, ask them to join you. You may well find your activity triggers the creation of a sandcastle-building club. Discuss with each other how you feel. It can be quite a learning experience.
MEDITATION ON THE ORIGIN OF THINGS. Everything was created. Think about that. Sit in a place where you will not be disturbed. Close your eyes. Focus on your breathing. Mentally watch your body breathing in and breathing out. Don’t try to change anything. After a minute or so, you’ll notice that your body will start to slow down. It is relaxing. Now, focus on a particular object in the room. It may be a china cup, a table cloth, an ornament, a picture, a piece of furniture. As you regard the object, allow your mind to wander back to the origin of the object., wander right back. Take a china cup, for example. Think of the time it was clay in the ground. Who were the people who dug the clay? Where and how was it processed ? Who designed the cup? One person or a team. Was the cup made in a factory? Who worked on it? Allow these thoughts to flow. Who or what painted the cup? How was it baked? Packed? How was it transported to the warehouse...the store. Who priced it? Why did you buy it? You do not have to be accurate in your answers. Simply allow the thoughts to flow. If you find yourself getting off track, bring your attention back again. If you wish to close your eyes at any time, do so. When you are finished, take in a slow deep breath, and as you breathe out tell yourself: “Wide awake.” And be wide awake.
STEP INSIDE A PAINTING MEDITATION. Find a painting or picture that you enjoy, and place it a few feet away from you. Sit in a place where you will not be disturbed. Close your eyes. Focus on your breathing. Mentally watch your body breathing in and breathing out. Don’t try to change anything. After a minute or so, you’ll notice that your body will start to slow down. Open your eyes and regard the picture. Simply watch the picture. Note the scenery, the lines, the colors. et the picture in your mind. When you feel comfortable with that, close your eyes, and mentally “see” the picture and imagine you can walk into the picture, through the frame. You are now standing inside the picture. Take a look back and look through the frame to where you are sitting. Then, turn around and allow your mind to take you into the picture. Explore. If at any time, you wish to terminate this meditation, all you have to do is take in a slow deep breath, and as you breathe out say: “Wide awake,” and be wide awake.
WALKING YOUR OWN LABYRINTH – Labyrinths are always great inducers to relaxation and meditation, and if your community hasn’t got one, write to the Mayor or School Board. We found over three dozen labyrinths in Santa Fe, New Mexico and most of them are in school grounds. Doesn’t that say something?
If you haven’t got a labyrinth close by, you can imagine one as you meditate at home. If you want to see a layout, drop by the University of Alberta’s website at The Labyrinth Society and take a good, hard look.
Then in your meditation, envisage a labyrinth that belongs solely to you. If you have a garden or a meadow in your meditation, create it there. If you like imagery, see it being constructed either by yourself or spirit helpers.
When you are ready, see yourself standing at the entrance: Imagine you are taking off your shoes and walking barefooted. At this point you may wish to say a mantra such as “OM” or “Every day in every way I feel better and better.” You may wish to say a prayer. Whatever feels good for you. The whole idea of the labyrinth is to relax and meditate. Unlike a maze where one can get lost, there is only one path in and out so there is no chance of getting lost. Allow your body to find its own pace. You might even tell yourself at the beginning: “I have nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to think about, but simply relax and walk the labyrinth.”
If you walk the labyrinth in meditation, there is a good chance that you may get distracted or even go to sleep. When you realize what has happened, bring yourself back to the labyrinth and keep walking.
When you have finished, thank whoever you pray to, and make up your mind to find a real physical labyrinth in your area. If there isn’t one, start a movement…you’ll be glad you did.
HOW TO SEE YOURSELF IN A PAST LIFE. You may have been intrigued by the thought of how you appeared in a past life. Here’s an interesting technique you can perform if you are on an upscale vibration.
Find yourself a small room that can be completely blacked out. You will need a full length mirror, an open candle in a safe holder, a small table, an upright chair with arms for comfort. Position the mirror by a wall. Next, place the chair about six to eight feet away directly facing the mirror. Now place the candle on the table and place about two or three feet away from you at a 45 degree angle. Light the candle. When you sit in the chair, you should not be able to see the candle flame in the mirror but the light from the candle will illuminate your face. When you are ready turn off the regular room lights and sit in the chair.
Spend a couple of minutes sitting quietly, mentally watching your breathing. Keep your eyes closed. Don’t try to change anything, simply observe your breathing. Then say softly to yourself: “With every breath that I take I go deeper and deeper into relaxation.” When you feel totally relaxed, open your eyes and look at yourself in the mirror – without comment, opinion – simply observe yourself impartially. Then tell yourself, “I would like to see myself as I appeared in a past life.”
Then, simply do nothing. After a short while, perhaps a few seconds or a minute or two, you will witness your face changing. Observe whatever happens impartially. Make some mental notes on whatever you see or feel. If you do not get excited, and simply observe quietly, the scene may well change into another appearance, and another. When you feel you have had enough, say “Thank you” to the Universe. Take in a deep breath and as you breath out say out loud: “Wide awake! I am wide awake.”
Sit quietly for a few minutes, then turn on the main lights, make some notes of your experience – and blow out the candle. Please note: Perform this exercise when you feel positive about yourself.
A PRAYER FOR MEDITATION. Make yourself quiet, close your eyes, and breathe in slowly, then exhale. Focus your mind on whoever you believe in -- God, the Creator, the Source of Your Being, Infinite Intelligence, or simply believe in a Universal Intelligence, a Universal Spirit. Then say, either aloud or mentally:
My body is part of Universal Consciousness, and is a manifestation of the Living Spirit. I am part of the great Universal Spirit, and my body is a reflection of that Spirit. Universal Power, Universal Healing is flowing in and through me now, revitalizing every bone, every muscle, every organ, every gland, every cell in my body. I ask that any negativity be cleared from my body, and be replaced by the warm, loving energy of Universal Spirit. I am one with the Infinite Intelligence. I allow the healing energy, the loving Light of the Universal Consciousness to flow through me, healing me, revitalizing me. I now live in love, harmony and peace.
When you are finished, continue to feel relaxed, with your eyes closed. After a few minutes, get up and continue with the business of living. If you are having trouble relaxing and getting into a meditative state, drop by our special page for beginners Relax and Let Go.
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