Yeap deep meditation… are you picturing a monk on a mountaintop? A guru chanting “Om” for hours on end?
Do you know what; you can enjoy deep meditation in the comfort of your own home. Deep meditation is a wonderful state of being where you feel you simply ‘are’ – where you lose the sense that you are a physical being, and you gain the sense that you are an energetic being. This is an extraordinarily peaceful and uplifting experience!
Maybe you have been practicing meditation regularly but have you noticed that at times when you sit to meditate, your mind seems to take a holiday to a world of thoughts? Learning how to meditate is the first step but do you want to move up the ladder and learn more ways of getting a deeper experience?
Let talk about how to get into a deep meditation.
TIPS TO EXPERIENCE DEEP MEDITATION
These tips will assume that you already have a meditation practice. If you don’t yet have a meditation practice, I recommend reading my earlier posts titled What is Meditation? and How do you start a meditation habit?
Slowing the Breath
Slow breathing is a direct message to the oldest parts of your brain but why it is so important?
The brain stem is the oldest and smallest region in the evolving human brain. It evolved hundreds of millions of years ago and is more like the entire brain of present-day reptiles. For this reason, it is often called the ‘reptilian brain’. Various clumps of cells in the brain stem determine the brain’s general level of alertness and regulate the vegetative processes of the body such as breathing, heartbeat and aspects of the fight, flight, freeze response.
The term “fight or flight” is also known as the stress response. It’s what the body does as it prepares to confront or avoid danger. When appropriately invoked, the stress response helps us rise to many challenges But when you consciously breathe more and more slowly, it serves as proof in the moment that you are safe. And when the oldest parts of your brain feel safe… they open the doors to being centered, peaceful, and present.
Affirm Your Intention
The importance of intention is beautifully expressed in the ancient Hindu holy book the Rig Veda, which states: “Resolutely follow and affirm your intentions, for they line the path that enables you to overcome all trials, tribulations, and suffering. Following and affirming your intentions is the true path that leads to genuine happiness.”
As you sit down to begin your meditation, spend just a few moments on what your intention is for this meditation. Even a daily meditation can become autopilot if you’re not deliberate about how you use it. Remind yourself – why are you doing this meditation in the first place?
Is it to improve your focus? Reduce stress? Build emotional awareness? Having that in mind as you begin your meditation can help you guide your mind as you meditate.
Don’t Suffer The Distractions
During your meditation practice, it is important never to criticize yourself, or feel bad about getting distracted with thoughts. These types of thoughts are harmful and not in line with the spirit of good meditation.
Learn to be gentle with yourself during your practice. For decades you have trained your mind to be distracted; so it will take some time to train it to be focused. Be patient and kind with yourself.
Congratulations, You’re meditating! The important thing is now to maintain momentum of that journey by continuing to practice everyday.
A big part of having a deep and rewarding meditation practice is consistency. Meditation builds on itself over time. Each sit increases your ability to focus, to be present and to explore your mind.
Yet, sometimes life gets in the way and missing meditations can interrupt your momentum and prevent your meditation practice from deepening.
How can you avoid this? One way to do it is to commit to a daily meditation – even if it’s just for one minute. If you’re truly in a rush, spend just one minute meditating. That way, you can keep your “momentum” until you’re able to sit for a longer period of time.
Be Mindful of Your Interest Level
One of the most common ways the mind resists meditation is by losing interest. After a time, you might find yourself getting bored, lethargic or disinterested in meditating. It’s important to notice this when it happens. The best way to treat this kind of resistance is to treat it like any other kind of resistance that surfaces during meditation.
First, notice it and be aware of it. Let it be and don’t resist the resistance. Acknowledge it compassionately, and simply let it pass. Observe the emotion, but don’t let it dictate your actions. As you put your attention on it, without resistance, it’ll slowly fade away, allowing you to explore the next layer of your mind.
Mix Things Up
Remember to experiment with different kinds of meditation. Different kinds of meditations can have different kinds of effects on the mind.
Once you’ve been meditating for a while, consider going back to meditations that you’ve already tried in the past. Doing the body scan meditation after you’ve spent a year doing breathing meditation will yield a very different experience than when you tried it for the first time with no meditation experience.
Keep a Journal
Finally, Mindfulness is about knowing where we are (being in the moment) and also about maintaining an awareness of where we have been (reflection) and where we are going (having goals). A meditation journal can help us with all of those areas of awareness, helping us to have a more unified awareness of ourselves.
Also keeping a meditation journal helps us have a more definite sense of what is actually going on.
A simple entry could answer these three questions:
- How long did I sit?
- How do I feel now?
- How was my mind during meditation?
If you made it this far, I want to thank you for reading my words. You clearly have an interest in meditation and I honestly believe it is one of most beautiful gifts we can give ourselves and others. Here some tools to help you on this journey: