Doctors and scientists agree that meditation is beneficial. Studies have shown that a regular meditation practice, for even just a few minutes a day, results in better mental focus, learning, and memory, increased creativity, improved quality of sleep, improved resilience and emotional intelligence, increased empathy and compassion, and an overall feeling of positivity and connection. It can slow down the aging process, boost your immune function, reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, and lower blood pressure.
All amazing benefits!!
So, why doesn’t everyone meditate??
There are so many meditation styles and traditions, from Vedantic ‘abstract’ meditation, to Taoist styles like Tai Chi or Qigong, to a variety of Buddhist and Yogic meditation techniques. In the Western world, the most commonly recognized style is Mindfulness Meditation, from the Zen/Buddhist tradition. Most of the books in the Meditation section at your local bookstore focus on Mindfulness, and many doctors, therapists or other practitioners suggest Mindfulness to their clients who they feel would benefit from a meditation practice.
In Mindfulness meditation, you’re supposed to simply witness your thoughts and let them pass. Often you will visualize your thoughts as leaves floating away on the surface of a river, or as clouds drifting through the sky.
For most people, and especially to people just beginning their meditation practice, this is frustrating and feels impossible!
“I can’t turn off my brain!” is the number one reason I hear from people about why they don’t have a consistent daily meditation practice.
The motivation for most people beginning a meditation practice is to calm their racing thoughts, which can be the source of anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc.
Rather than trying to combat thoughts with more thoughts, I would suggest a more active meditation practice like the techniques used in Kundalini.
Kundalini meditation uses the breath, sound, and body poses to override the habits of the brain and bring the body, mind and spirit into harmony. Rather than passively allowing thoughts to pass as in Mindfulness meditation, Kundalini meditation engages the mind to transcend its habits and train it to serve the soul’s higher consciousness. Old patterns and ways of thinking are released and new neural pathways are created that strengthen the mind, create mental clarity, release fears and anxiety, develop intuition, and better understand ourselves and our connection to the larger tapestry of Life.
Try it for yourself! Here’s one of my favorite meditations for anytime I’m feeling scattered, stressed or anxious –
Tattva Balance Beyond Stress & Duality
Posture: Sit in a comfortable, cross-legged position (in Kundalini Yoga this is called Easy Pose), with a straight spine and the chin slightly tucked. Bend the elbows and bring the hands together in front of the chest, at the level of the Heart. The forearms should both be straight and parallel to the ground.
Mudra: Spread all ten fingers and bring the fingertips and thumbtips of opposite hands to touch. Press the fingers together to create just enough pressure that the first segments of each finger press firmly together. The thumbs stretch back pointing toward the torso, and the palms are separated.
Eyes: Allow the eyelids to be heavy and close slightly, and look down at the tip of the nose.
Breath: Inhale long and deep through the nose. Then, round the lips as if to say “ooh” and exhale through the rounded lips in eight equal strokes. With each exhale, contract the navel point, pulling it in toward the spine.
Time: Continue for 3 minutes. Practice building the time gradually up to 11 minutes.
To End: Inhale deeply, hold the breath for 10-30 seconds, and exhale completely. Inhale again, then raise the arms up overhead and shake the hands vigorously to distribute the energy. If you’re able to, lie down and fully relax in Savasana (“corpse pose”) for at least 5 minutes, to allow the effects of the meditation to be fully integrated.
Have you tried Kundalini meditation? Share your experience! Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @AquarianIntuitive – I’d love to know how you felt after this meditation!