In these techno-crazed times we live in, creating a sacred space and time for meditation is so important. Our brains and bodies need some time to refresh and recharge, and even a five-minute meditation can help achieve a calm state of mind and sense of equilibrium.
With cell phones, emails and friends and family competing for out attention – not to mention TV and the Internet – it’s more imperative than ever that we take a break and turn inward. Creating a sacred space is honoring the stillness inside of you that needs to be nourished, especially with all the sensory stimuli we are now absorbing on a daily basis. By taking some sacred time for yourself, you are giving yourself a gift in that not only will you feel better, but you will have more free and focused attention to give to your family and friends and to engage in whatever media/communication options you prefer.
Meditation is simply being conscious of your breathing; a mantra can be added as well. To create a sacred space, find a room or part of a room where you can lie down on your back. Turn off the lights and turn off all electronic devices! This is time for you. For parents with babies and toddlers, trade off with each other, so you both can have some quiet time to yourself. You can set a timer if you want, or you can just come out of your meditation when you’re ready, intuitively.
If you’re just starting to meditate, simply lie on your back and breathe. Thoughts will cross your mind. Watch them pass by – try not to react to them. Think of them as clouds floating by. Be aware of your breath, but don’t change it at first. As you practice meditation for longer periods of time, you can do more deep breathing from the lower abdominal area.
If you’d like, you can say a mantra to yourself either out loud or silently on the exhale. It can be just one word like “gratitude”, “patience”, or “healing” – whatever it is you want to focus on that day.
Start with around five minutes a day and work up to anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, or longer, if you have the time. You can also break meditation up and do 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. I find the best time is in the evening, to help unwind and quiet the mind after work.
As you end the meditation, open your eyes, and just breathe for a few minutes before you get up, turn on the lights and turn your cell phone back on. While you might not feel the therapeutic effects of meditation right away, you will definitely feel them within an hour or so, as your mind quiets down and you have a sense of stillness and peace.