In today’s modern world where everyone needs to be at their destination yesterday and they must have what they want immediately, stress is at an all-time high. There are many ways of combating stress and learning to relax but the simplest method is to be still and meditate.
Meditation – a whole new world
If you ever speak to people who meditate, you’ll know that there are many different techniques including:
- emptying the mind
- focusing on a word or sound
- focusing on the breath
- manipulating internal energy for improved health
As this article is aimed at beginners, I will focus on one which I think is very easy for someone who has never tried meditation before and will enable them to experience the benefits immediately.
In my experience, visualisation is the easiest form of meditation for beginners as it’s akin to story telling. In visualisation meditation, the aim is to create an image in your mind and focus on this for a set time. For the period you’re actively visualising, you will experience a sense of calm because you are distracting your mind from your worries.
Visualisation in practice
When you meditate, you want to make sure you are not disturbed so find somewhere quiet away from the distraction of others. If necessary, put on a relaxing new age CD which can help to drown out any background noises. (It is, of course, possible to meditate in public areas with enough practice!)
This meditation should take 10-15 minutes to complete.
Ideally, you want to wear loose, comfortable clothing.
For this beginner’s meditation, you can sit or lie down.
Either read the following and try to remember it or read it out whilst recording your voice so that you can play it back. If you do record your voice, read the words softly, clearly and slowly.
- Close your eyes
- Take three slow deep breaths and then while continuing to breath slowly go to (3)
- Imagine you’re alone, sitting on a golden, sandy beach
- Imagine the heat of the sand warming your body
- Imagine scrunching your toes in the warm sand, feel the texture as the sand is squeezed between each toe
- Now imagine pushing your fingers into the sand, focus on the warmth of the sand heated by the sun surrounding each finger
- Now focus on the sun, you can feel the sun warming your entire body, imagine it heating your face, gently warming the skin
- Focus on the heat of the sun gently warming your head, your arms, your chest, your abdomen, your legs
- Now look at the sea, watch the waves slowly washing up and down the beach in time with your breath
- Imagine what the waves sound like as they lap the shore
- Watch the waves wash up and down ten times, slowly breathing in and out as the waves lap the shore
- Now, gaze out to sea and notice a sailing ship on the horizon to your left
- Watch it crawl lazily towards the right and then slowly fade out of view
- Now bring your attention back to the waves and once more focus on them slowly washing in and out 10 times, listen to them, and follow them with your breath
- The visualisation has ended so you can open your eyes.
The above visualisation should have taken about 10-15 minutes to complete and you should now feel more relaxed than before you started.