Which path shall I take?
Everyday, multiple times a day, we have a choice between two paths – the one that brings us closer to joy, health, and love or the one that takes us further away towards fear, anger, and resentment. It might not seem like it but if we pause a moment we can ask a simple question each time we have a choice that will aid in our journey of healing, of Self realisation – does this bring me closer to Love or does it push me further away?
Can it possibly be that simple?
The short answer is YES! Simple is not necessarily easy though. Like many great things, it takes effort to attain as it means overcoming the obstacles of ego or personality and our personality has been formed by every thought we think and every emotion we feel. How many times have you judged or held onto an emotion of resentment?
What is the path of meditation?
Meditation is coming into the seat of awareness, becoming aware of what thoughts and what emotions have been guiding our choices and decisions. This can be extremely uncomfortable and scary, especially if you have a habit of negative self-judgement. However, this is where we learn the first step of forgiveness and compassion. After All these thoughts and emotions are sly, and they make a good case for getting to stay. But in meditation we create a pause or gap that allows us to be aware and in that space choose again. It is NEVER too late to choose again!
How do we begin again?
There is no wrong way, all paths lead Home. But here are a few that I have found very helpful on my journey back to mySelf.
Breath meditation is where we close our eyes and bring all of our awareness to our breath. We can start by becoming intimate with it. What is its texture and temperature? How does it move in and out of the body? Where does it land? Does it have a colour, a taste, a smell? What does it sound like? Can you make the breath feel like it is floating in and out? Can you even both sides, lengthen them, slow them down?
This is the style I use to breathe into pain or massage tension from inside my body.
Meditation on sensations is much like the breath meditation, but you make the object of focus one of your senses without judgement of good or bad, right or wrong. The starting point of learning to control the senses with equanimity:
Sound – from left, right and both ears, where you experience sound in your body
Sight – light coming through the lids, shifting from the external sense to the internal sense
Taste – the experience of taste buds, bringing it inward to your breath and to nothing
Smell – the experience of our smell and bringing it inwards
Touch – sense the body as sensation, left and right, back and front, top and bottom, all as one, from out to in
Space – start by bringing all of your senses inward then start to sense the space around you, left and right, front and back, above and below, all at once, let the awareness expand inch by inch, dissolve into it
I love this style and use it to let go of myself, my judgement and expectations. It can be done in very little time so it is wonderful when feeling stressed or out of control.
Yoga Nidra is conscious sleep. A wonderful form of meditation that moves you through internalisation, intentions, body scan, breath awareness, opposite sensations, visualisation, intention, and back out again. An hour of yoga nidra has been equated, scientifically, to 4-hours of sleep because we move through all of the brain wave stages, only in a compressed amount of time.
I listened to this yoga nidra meditation every night for almost two years to help me with my sleep on Insight Timer, however there are lots to choose from.
Meditation on a passage is exactly what it sounds like, you read a passage, prayer, poem and then settle into your meditation going through it slowly giving great attention to each word and the meaning can’t help but sink in. I used this form unknowingly with the prayer of St. Francis of Assissi, which I had heard when listening to Wayne Dyer.
This is a beautiful style when we are wanting transformation into a higher image of our Self.
Mantra meditation is when we repeat a word, name, or phrase over and over. This can be done verbally or silently. If out loud, we are sending the vibration of the mantra out into the world, much like sending a blessing. If we are doing it silently, then we are taking a journey inward, back to the silence that always exists inward.
This is my favourite type of meditation and what I do daily in my personal and guided practice using Primordial Sound Meditation.
There are many more styles, the key is keeping a curious mind as you experiment for yourself. Just know that, like the breath, we are always expanding so what is resonating for you may change over time or day to day, and so will your experience. The key is to honour yourself with curiosity and compassion.
I look forward to our journey together.
Brightest of blessings,