Written by Jasmine
Webmistress The Majickal Garden
When my daughter was young she had difficulties settling down to sleep. There was a routine we followed nightly that needed to be followed in order, for her to settle down. After teeth brushing and landing in her pajamas, the right “buddy” stuffed animal needed to be chosen as well as the story book she wanted read. Certain things in her room needed to be in their place. The door needed to be open just so to allow the proper amount of light in her room from the hall light. I know there were a few more items on her comfort list but time has removed them from my memory! If an interruption caused enough time delay or enough time passed where she could not sleep, sometimes we had to start all over again. As a busy mother of 2 sometimes this seemed to take “forever” in light of the chores I still had in front of me before I could sleep myself but I realized how important this routine was to her comfort and peace of mind.
At the time I was learning meditation for myself and the thought occurred to me that perhaps it could help her. I found a guided meditation book for children. She was around 4 or 5 years old at the time and I explained to her how this would help her relax and feel secure on her inside. After the usual routine I had her lie on her back with the covers all tucked in around her with the buddy of her choice. With her eyes closed I talked soothingly to her in explaining to focus on her breathing slowly and to “listen” to it. Then I would read the guided meditation from the book.
At first it was funny to her and we had some giggle time to get thru but after a few times she began to settle into it. We did this nightly for quite a while then the time came where we were able to let it go until it became an option for the occasion when she would feel the need to ask for it. The need for her security list began to lessen to a few basics.
After some months of the meditation time with her I had to be away for a whole week. I knew that she would have a problem with my absence for that length of time so I made a tape of some of the meditations from the book and gave her a cassette player so she could use it at night while I was away. Her dad was there for her while she played it. It was a success and made a difference for her.
There are many meditation age appropriate books for children available with different flavors depending on where your own beliefs lie as well as websites that offer free online streaming of recorded meditations. Choosing to purchase your own tapes is an option as well. Whatever you choose make sure they are intended for young children and that you are accompanying them while they use it.
The world can be a scary place for our precious children who are influenced by the media in its many forms along with their need for feeling loved and safe. Teaching them at an early age that they have control over their own level of comfort and feeling of security in knowing they are loved and supported is a valuable gift to offer them.
Beginning Breathing Meditation
Written by Jasmine
Webmistress The Majickal Garden
When I talk to most people about meditation the first thing they say is “My mind is so busy I can’t stop thinking!” This is very normal for all of us starting out. Thinking is a natural state. It is by no means a reason to not try meditation. All it takes is 5 minutes and a desire to try it. If you find all you can handle when you start out is a few minutes; it is a beginning not a failure! It is a practice that the more you do it the easier it gets to understand how to control your thoughts and discover a place where you can visit when you choose to relax your body, rest your mind and feed your soul. Understand there is no right or wrong and you can’t fail. Your desire to do this will carry you through the early stages along with some suggestions to help you find what works the best for you. For as long as I have been practicing there are times when a few minutes is all I can manage however I always feel better for the time I spent doing it! I will share with you what worked for me when I started.
Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for the 5 minutes. Anywhere really. I found my car a great option when I had a busy house full of active children when I first began. I also popped into our camping trailer sometimes to find moments of peace before I was discovered. Then I got smart and let them know that if mom was in this place, I was to be left alone unless someone was bleeding. ; )
Sit comfortably, either in a chair or cross legged on the floor, back against an easy chair on the floor or lie down…whatever feels the most comfortable. If you can’t sit cross legged then find a position comfortable for you. If sitting, sit up with spine straight, shoulders back and lowered naturally. If you are sitting rest your hands with palms upright comfortably in your lap. Close your eyes and begin by taking a few slow breaths inhaling/exhaling about 7 counts. Focus your mind on your breathing and be aware how your body feels as you do so. Become aware of the gentle rise and fall of your belly without altering your breathing. Notice the coolness on your nostrils as you inhale and warm as you exhale. Feel your body begin to relax. After about 3 breaths in and out, allow you’re breathing to settle naturally. Don’t alter it – just observe it in awareness.
Thoughts will come to your mind. This is normal. Try not to respond to them as they do; as in engaging in a dialog in your head. Acknowledge the thought and try to let it pass. When I started out and a thought seemed important enough to distract me with concern I might forget it, I would keep a paper and pen beside me to jot it down briefly and let it go – returning to my meditative posture. A suggestion for me that helped was when a nagging thought popped in my mind I would picture it as a curtain that I visualized being drawn gently to the right and let it go. Observe without commenting with dialog in your mind and let it go. If you hear a noise as in a car passing, an airplane, or dog barking…do the same. Categorize your nagging thoughts. Can you do anything about it at that moment? No? Let them go.
Another thing that worked in the beginning, when my mind continued to wander, was as I observed my breathing I thought the words “in” and “out” with each breath. This helps focus as the mind cannot think two things at once. I noticed the more I practiced this, the calmer my mind got and as time passed I used this method less and less. Depending on my state of mind I revert back to my beginning methods to help me center myself in meditation state.
The goal here is to try for 5 minutes. If after a short time of willful intent and your mind continues to be active…give yourself a break and try another time. Know that this is your time to give your body and mind a much needed rest and refueling. There is no loss in your effort and continuing on a regular basis will only reward you with your own progress. At the very least you might notice your body has become more relaxed during these practices and this is the beginning!
Try meditating for a few minutes when you leave your job, sitting in your vehicle. Focus on leaving your workday behind, relaxing your mind. Breathe in and out slowly. Be fully aware in that moment that for those few minutes they are all yours. Allow it for yourself. You can take a few minutes as you have settled in your bed at night to practice this. Try it as soon as you awaken in the morning. This might sound odd but if you are seated on the toilet, take a few minutes for yourself to close your eyes and breathe in and out relaxation in clearing your mind! My point with that one is there is really no excuse to not find this time for you on a daily basis! With any practice where you find benefits, the continuation of practicing will become a healthy pleasant refueling need for your mind, body and spirit!
Written By Jasmine
Webmistress The Majickal Garden
At the mention of meditation some people might bring to mind a vision of monks spending the day in austere meditation in a trance like state. For most this is not the case to be able to reap the benefits of a regular practice. A few minutes a day is all that is required however the key is to try for a consistent routine and preferably at the same time of day.
Manage Your Time
Most people’s lives are a checkerboard of schedules, appointments and commitments. What can be helpful is to view it as a commitment to you for the health of your mind, body and soul. Your time spent in meditation is entirely for you alone and everyone deserves to look forward to at least a few minutes spent on you each day.
Making an effort to organize your time a bit more efficiently can benefit in other ways. By reducing pressures more time can be found towards leisure time. The result is finding yourself a bit more relaxed; this will help for concentration on meditation and a calmer you at the end of your time spent with it.
It does not have to be as difficult as it might sound. Begin with a list of all the things you do on a regular basis, including work and travel time, kids to school or scheduled activities, or you’re shopping day. Include your average bedtime and block time out for that.
Next, make a list of things you normally do but might miss out on sometimes. This could include gardening, filing paperwork, etc. Apportion enough time for these tasks. You may want to allow 2 to 3 hours at a certain time each week as they may vary as to what you might do in this time and not allow them to get out of hand. Take a look at both lists. You might be pleased to find you have more time than you might have thought.
Now, to see where the rest of your time is being spent. Perhaps more time is spent watching TV than you might have realized or doing things for others that they might do for themselves with little problem. If you find there is a blank spaces that you can’t justify it might help to keep a diary of your activities for a week. It could take longer for some things than was projected in your lists. This could help locate those openings and allow them to be closed up. In the process you will be allocating enough time for a particular chore ahead of time and will allow you to be more relaxed in your activity.
Make Priorities and Delegate
Now make a list of all the things you mean to get to but just have not found the time for like a phone call to a friend/relative, fixing a loose or squeaky hinge or the like. Include everything no matter how small. Next, prioritize by numbering each one in order of importance. Go back to your timetable and assign a period of time to deal with these tasks. Remember to check them off as you do them and add new things. (Renumber when necessary.)
Now it’s time to see where your meditation will fit in. If work is bogging you down then perhaps you could make a list for that as well and prioritize it.
If after this you find you’re still overloaded then it might be a good time to take pressure off of yourself and delegate to others! Ask for help and motivate others into action. Sometimes it is required to be firm, especially at first. Children can learn to feel pride in a job they have done well and contributed to the family in the process.
By changing old habits with refreshed ones you can stay on top of things easier and see how much time can be saved.
*Dealing with mail on a daily basis by disposing of junk at the time. If possible, answer letters on that day.
*Control the amount of time spent on the phone where a shorter conversation would work just as well.
*Limit TV watching by choosing your programs and turning the box off when it is over.
*Be aware of others unloading jobs on you that they could just as easily do themselves.
This is a great start for finding meditation time for you and fine tuning your days in general for a less stressful life. There are other things you could try but for now…it’s a good start for your plans to begin meditating and enjoying the benefits that a regular practice will bring.
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Meditation should be incorporated in our life. Our busy schedule and life does not give us time to relax our mind and body. We get rid of the body strain or exertion but it does not relax your body and soul completely. Thus, meditation is necessary for inner relaxation of your body and mind and rejuvenating it for a new tomorrow. This rejuvenation is essential because your mind and body not only needs to relax but also rejuvenate so that it continues functioning effectively even at a later stage in your life. If you too wish to keep your mind and body healthy ‘Energy Meditation’ is the best thing for you. You do not need a meditation retreat for this; you can practice it at your home, office or park.
Yoga is a blend of meditation, postures, therapies, etc. the postures are also varied. In hot yoga and power yoga the poses require you to stretch your body to the limit so that you lose weight, maintain your body, etc. However, when your cross a certain age the type of exercise you choose is very important. This exercise has to be such that your body is relaxed and energized as well. Simple asanas like pranayam, butterfly, etc. are very simple but help your body muscles relax. The muscles at a senior age tend to get brittle. Any careless behaviour might lead to serious muscle injuries, also the flexibility of the muscles decreases. A simple exercise that can help you get back the flexibility as well as relive you of bone and muscle pain is yoga.
If you are a beginner, this meditation is excellent for you as it strengthens the aura when practiced regularly.
· Firstly relax your entire body.
The deeper the trance, the more effective. You can meditate at any time and no specific trance is necessary for you.
· For beginners, you should visualize while at the same time, draw in energy from all sides of your body, front, back, top of your head and bottom of brilliant light, like the sun. Working with colors is more advanced and most effective when you are a bit more experienced.
· While exhaling visualizing the aura that is expanding besides you
· Breathe in again and visualize the energy getting brighter and more powerful, radiating from your entire being.
· Exhale again and visualize the energy and expansion of your aura, and feel the center of your body shining brilliantly like the sun.
· Repeat this several times, each time visualizing the energy becoming brighter and brighter as it increases in intensity.
· When working with colors, visualize the color becoming more and more powerful and vibrant. You will notice each color has a different feel to it. Colors can be used to attract according to their nature
Practice this meditation at a meditation retreat or your home and feel the difference in your life.
Eric mayars is profetional expart of Yoga Retreats.he is providing information about Yoga Teacher Training like Seva and Meditation Retreats.