Meditation: How to Begin | School of Happiness Online | École du Bonheur
Laura Warf meditation

Meditation: How to Begin

​Meditation is a practice I have grown to befriend. What I love the most is the feeling of stillness once I get past the mental chatter. Each time I sit to get quiet, the experience is different. Here are some tips to get started.

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I admit some days the mental agitation is loud, so I just watch my thoughts come and go. I have learned to abstain from following a train of thought, and only notice them just like clouds that pass in the sky. Regardless of the type or duration of practice there is always a sense of calm and loving expansiveness present after each session.

The practice of meditation and self awareness is not about getting better at these practices on their own, we practice and embody these principles to navigate our life with greater flow and grace. We are different in our daily life when we take the time to Be Still and practice inner listening.

Tension halts our vitality
We all have the ability to conserve our vital energy. Energy flows better when we release resentments and make a conscious choice to no longer live the ups and downs of emotional turbulence each day.

​In modern life, human beings are continuously solicited which results in greater demands on our mental health and our energy levels. The more agitation takes hold, the body resists and gets tense, where there is tension, there is obstruction of the flow of energy. When there is lack of flow, there is stagnation, fatigue and mood disturbances.
 
Recall a time in your life when emotions and stress levels ran high, how did you feel at the end of the day?

Various forms of meditation teach us to be the witness and see things as they are without creating a story ​about whatever we are looking at. Imagine how it would be if you could just take a deep breath, smile inwardly and express yourself with powerful poise in even the most provoking situations.

Invigorate every dimension of your life with meditation
The practice of meditation is about observing, taming and clearing the mind. Have you ever thought about becoming a better version of yourself to live more harmoniously in all areas of your life?

Clearing the mind can help regulate your nervous system thereby improving energy, quality of sleep and maintaining more harmonious relationships – in part because you will feel better. What I especially enjoy about getting quiet and tuning into my inner Self is the clarity that naturally occurs. Solutions to problems arise and ideas, insight and intuition become more prevalent leading to greater creativity in my work.

We benefit in numerous ways when we take time to meditate. Meditation assists in reducing emotional responses and promotes inner joy and peace, improves concentration, and gets you more in touch with yourself to make better daily decisions.

When we feel better, we act differently. Regardless of the obstacles that show up in life, we have a greater ability to confront them with a serene mind instead of losing our temper for minor irritants or inconsequential things.  

It is possible to live more happily and not allow external events to get under our skin and disrupt our peace. Yes it takes practice! And life will always offer opportunities to practice...

It can take years to deprogram old patterns so be patient with yourself. I will share various techniques below to tap into your own vital energy and a step by step approach to skillfully integrate meditation into your own life, try them for yourself.

Benefits of meditation

  • Reduced stress, greater ability to concentrate, decrease in emotional responses such as reactivity, anxiety, depression, anger, sadness
  • ​Meditation promotes inner joy & peace, improves quality of sleep, increases mental clarity and gets you more in touch with yourself and your dharma (purpose)

How to begin

  1. 1
    ​Find a time and place where you won't be interrupted or distracted.
  2. 2
    ​Choose a technique that makes you feel most at ease. Find a comfortable position and sit with your back straight.
  3. 3
    ​Choose a focal point or keep eyes gently closed. It will be easier for you to maintain your concentration on your word or mantra, object, or sensation like your breathing.
  4. 4
    ​You can practice asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing techniques) or chant a mantra before you meditate, mantras are powerful sounds and will bring light into your mind and prepare you for meditation. Doing one or all three of these practices first will allow for a natural transition towards a deeper meditative state. The mind will be calmer and your body more relaxed. ​
  5. 5
    Keep an open mind towards all that happens during your session. Let inevitable distractions and loss of focus pass.
  6. 6
    ​Do not measure your progress in terms of what you can achieve by outside standards. This is something you do only for your own benefit and your personal growth.
  7. 7
    ​Do not judge or allow yourself to be discouraged in a meditation session. You may experience endless thoughts or feelings, but inwardly in other dimensions your higher self is experiencing ​a deeper connection. You may only feel the benefits filter down into your everyday being after the meditation.
  8. 8
    ​While meditating if you find yourself becoming tense or uneasy you may be focusing too hard or simply trying too hard. Ease off a bit, or switch to another meditation technique.
  9. 9
    ​If you are beginning a meditation practice, start with 10–15 minutes per session. After several months extend that to 20–30 minutes, and then after a year or two to 45–60 minutes. Be consistent, it's better to meditate for 15 minutes each day than an hour every few days 

Check List to Get Started

  • ​Notice how you feel before and after your meditation
  • Set the intention to sit still: create a sacred space in your home; dim lighting, light a candle if you wish, comfortable temperature, placement of any objects that have meaning to you or that help you relax or set up an altar with objects positioned as an offering like flowers, crystals, photos, essential oils, herbs, plants, stones etc.
  • ​I like to clear the space and my energy field with white sage (The Mystic Aroma from India) or liquid incense (smudge) Chiyaam by Blue Eagle (www.invocation.ca) or choose any other essential oil that you like (lavender promotes relaxation)
  • Choose a technique; initially the mind needs a focal point – there are endless options available to help you get started (mindfulness, affirmations, mantra, yantra, breathing, candle gazing, music, tapping/EFT, verbally guided meditations, yoga) – these are all just gateways to help move inward to connect with the stillness within and to access deeper consciousness.  
    Eventually the technique you choose will no longer matter.
  • Sit still, become quiet, be present and be the silent witness. Transcend the mind and the body to access pure space, stillness and consciousness.

The Essence of who we are is love, joy, peace and harmony. Each time we connect with our Self in meditation we learn how to carry that stillness into our daily life.  

I invite you to tune in to our guided meditations online at The School of Happiness.
Be well.
Laura


Laura Warf is the founder of the School of Happiness, which crafts methods integrating tools from ancient teachings to today’s cutting-edge research. The mission of the School of Happiness is to guide and inspire individuals to become conscious creators of their well-being in body, mind, ​heart and spirit, following their eight essential elements to health and happiness. Laura is a healthy living advocate, passionate wellness educator and mind-body specialist offering classes, retreats and services in corporate wellness live and online.  

Visit www.LauraWarf.com and www.SchoolofHappiness.ca/



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