I've been working a lot with the practice of meditation lately. Notice the emphasis on the word practice. For some reason it's just been hard to sit and focus. For me, I can easily and comfortably jump into a form of meditation in motion. But to sit, even for 10 minutes, in unguided silent meditation can be challenging to the point of distraction! I find my mind wandering off and then I get frustrated with myself since I should be better than that. But there goes my active mind again wandering down some other road. Seems I am not the only one with this challenge. I was talking with one of my clients and they were expressing the same challenge. We talked about using a candle flame to aid their focus efforts. Then I read this article by Dr Joe Dispenza and these words jumped out to me “…focus your attention on the intention …. “
Ah, a deep sigh of relief. If my intention is to focus on gratitude (for example) and I am having challenges listing all of my gratitude's, then it is enough to focus on the intention itself. In fact, if all I can squeeze out is a mantra and chant “I am grateful” for 10 minutes well that is A Ok too! I think this is also a great business lesson in that we can easily get twisted up in the details and forget to sometimes focus on our intentions and flow with the execution of the tasks to get there.
For me, I have chosen to make meditation of gratitude one of my daily actions that I feel I must do and the earlier in the day, the better. I'm not new to the practice and I have done several forms of meditation for almost my entire life. It wasn't always labeled meditation when I was growing up, some folks called it silent prayer, but it's still a form of meditation. As an adult I experimented with several types of spiritual and non spiritual meditations. Some focused attention and others free flowing. I've done several guided ones and others un-guided. No matter what form or structure or philosophical approach they take, the universal unity for all meditations is that they are a centering of the connection between mind, body, & spirit.
Here is a short list of different types of meditation you may want to try. It's not all of them, just the ones I have done and still do (some more than others).
- Mantra Meditation (Chant)
- Mindfulness Meditation (Free flow – let thought guide you)
- Qigong (meditation in motion – clearing energy (chi) flow)
- Transcendental Meditation (introversion into nothingness)
- Vipassana Meditation (Focused attention)
- Zen Meditation (specific posture and pay attention to the breath while quieting the mind)
- Yoga (another meditation in motion practice with many forms)
- Prayer (Silent-wait and listen for a message) (Active – focused on a specific need or request or to intercede for others)
- Art -Yes, I may be alone in this, but I believe art is a perfect form of meditation in motion and it comes in many forms; painting, drawing, clay work, fiber art like knitting crochet rug hooking, etc…
In all my years and all the types of meditation I have practiced, I am far from being an expert. But I can attest to the profound difference it can make for the practitioner and the deficit one feels when they let their practice slip.I honestly believe it is what has kept me so healthy and happy through tremendous times of unfathomable stress.
P.S. See my article on where, when, and why to meditate too.