5 Meditation Techniques for Effective Meditation

Begin this meditation with the aspiration: “May I..Instead of repeating the words, try to pause after each aspiration and reflect deeply on your body, feelings, perceptions, and mental formations. After consistent practice, these words will penetrate love into your thoughts, your words, and your actions. You may experience ease, peace, a lighter body, and stillness. Good things will come your way

Come to a comfortable sitting position. Close your eyes. Become aware of your breathing. Start slowing your breaths and allow yourself to fall into stillness and quietness. Repeat the following aspiration:

May I be safe and loved,

May I be kind and caring,

May I be peaceful and happy,

May I know that all is well.

Second, focus your heart and mind on a special loved one or someone with whom you may have unresolved relationship issues. Pause and take a few moments for feelings of the heart to arise. Repeat the following aspiration silently:

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May you be safe and loved,

May you be kind and caring,

May you be peaceful and happy,

May you know that all is well.

Finally, visualize yourself surrounded by all your supportive relationships. Feel connected to all beings who search for happiness, harmony, and loving kindness. Repeat the following aspirations and extend these positive vibes in all directions:

May we all be safe and loved,

May we all be happy and healthy,

May we all be peaceful and happy,

May we all know that all is well.

Now bring your awareness slowly back to your body and become aware of your harmonic breaths. When you’re ready, take a long, slow, deep breath in. Then breathe out and gently open your eyes.

“Forgive yourself, then forgive others. But most importantly, forgive yourself.” My guru used to tell me. It’s easier said than done. At least I always thought that I forgive my parents, my sister, and other people. But feelings of anger and resentment still easily arise from time to time in connection with people whom I thought I forgave. There is a big difference between telling someone “I forgive you” and the true feeling of forgiving someone. Truly forgiving ourselves and other people comes about by practicing compassion, which is meditation. Anytime we feel anger and frustration surface; we can practice the following meditation. The more we meet our frustration with meditation, the less often these feelings will surface, and the easier true forgiveness can occur.

Come into a comfortable sitting position. If you have yoga props such as a bolster and blanket, feel free to prop yourself up. Close your eyes now. Take five deep breaths. Feel your whole being falling into a deeper relaxation with each exhalation. Now that your mind feels calm and quiet dwell for a few moments on something that you judge yourself for. Maybe you haven’t been able to forgive yourself for something regarding family, relationships, or career choices. It may even be something rooted all the way back to childhood. You may start experiencing guilt, sadness, or irritation. Notice any sensations and feelings arising and be able to observe them Sit still and breathe deeply. Now set your intention on true forgiveness and repeat the following affirmations silently.

I forgive myself for not understanding.

I forgive myself for making mistakes.

I forgive myself for causing pain and suffering to myself and others.

Allow any part of the affirmations to circulate. If a word or sentence is sticking out to you, repeat those as a form of affirmation. If at any time you feel the emotions overtaking you, ground yourself by taking deep belly breaths until you feel soothed. Now I would like for you to dwell on any instances when you felt misstated by others. These life events may have affected us very deeply and forgiveness, perhaps, has not come easily. Notice any feelings or emotions which may surface. Repeat the following affirmations, keeping your awareness on the instance. Remember, anytime you feel the emotions are overpowering you, take deep breaths until you are able to soothe yourself.

I forgive you for not understanding.

I forgive you for making mistakes.

I forgive you for causing pain and suffering to me and to others.

Allow any part of the affirmations to circulate. If a word or sentence is sticking out to you, repeat those as a form of affirmation. Notice how you’re able to distance yourself from the instance. Notice how the affirmations lighten up negative emotions. Now, I would like for you to bring your attention back to each breath. For each inhalation, notice any heavy sensation left in your heart. With each breath out, offer yourself gratitude, freedom, and strength. Be grateful for the pure fact that you’re able to face these heavy emotions. Be free and don’t let the sole power of your feelings limit your freedom Lastly, have the strength to do what needs to be done. The next time you find yourself amid anger, you know where to turn to feel grateful, free, and strong.

Progressive muscle relaxation is a mind-body relaxation technique that involves slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group in the body. You’ll increase your awareness of the sensations associated with tension and with relaxation. Hence, you’ll teach your body the difference between relaxation and tension. Several studies have shown that regular practice of progressive muscle relaxation may help treat stress-related health problems like insomnia and anxiety.

Begin by lying on the ground. Extend your legs in front of you and relax your arms down by your sides. Allow your feet to relax to the sides and allow your palms to face up to the sky. Feel your body at rest and ease. Allow gravity to pull your shoulders, lower back, hips, and legs into the ground, into the Earth. Feel how freeing and liberating the ground is, holding you, supporting you. Bring your awareness onto each breath. Allow the inhalations and exhalations to become slower and longer. Take a deep, full breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Again, slow, deep, full breath in and slow, deep, full breath out. Finally, take a deep, full breath in, pause momentarily, then exhale, making a HAAAAAAAAA sound. Continue with easy and effortless breaths throughout your relaxation.

Bring your awareness to your legs. Tighten all the muscles of your legs for five seconds. Tense the muscles a little more. Hold onto this tension. Feel how tight and tensed the muscles are right now in your lower and upper legs. Continue to hold this tension. Feel the muscles wanting to give up this tension. Hold it for three more seconds … and now relax. Let all the tension go. Feel the muscles in your legs going loose and becoming completely relaxed. Notice how relaxed the muscles feel now. Feel the difference between tension and relaxation. Enjoy the pleasant feeling of relaxation in your legs. Now focus on the muscles in your arms. Tighten your shoulders, upper arms, lower arms, and hands. Squeeze your hands into tight fists. Tense the muscles in your arms and hands as tightly as you can for five seconds. Squeeze harder, then hold the tension in your arms, shoulders, and hands. Feel the tension in these muscles. Hold it for three more seconds and release. Let the muscles of your shoulders, arms, and hands completely relax. Feel the relaxation as your shoulders drop closer to the Earth, the way your arms drop closer to the ground, and your hands completely relax at your sides. Allow the muscles in your arms to completely relax.

Now bring your awareness to the muscles of your buttocks. Tighten these muscles as much as you can. Hold this tension for five seconds, tense it harder for three more seconds . and then release. Feel your hips sink deeper into the ground. Tighten the muscles of your back now. Feel your back tightening, pulling your shoulders down and together, tensing the muscles along your spine. Arch your back slightly as you press the chest toward the ceiling. Hold for five seconds, then tense harder for three more seconds. and let go. Let any tension go. Feel your back melting into Mother Earth. Bring your awareness to the front of your body. Tighten your stomach and your chest. Tighten and tense all these muscles for five seconds. Tighten them for three more seconds and release any tension that can live there. Feel the upper part of your body completely relax. Finally, tighten the muscles of your face. Scrunch your eyes shut tightly, wrinkle your nose, and tighten your cheeks and chin. Hold this tension in your face for five seconds. Tense them for three more seconds… and finally, release all the tension. Feel how relaxed your face is. Scan your body for any last tension. If you find any tight area left in your body, do another set of the tension-relaxation technique. Feel your body completely relaxed. Notice how easily your lower legs roll to the sides, and the flesh of the legs melts into the ground. Notice how easily your arms rotate outward. Feel your chest very open. Feel how easy it is to channel the air deeply into the lower abs and how easy it is to breathe out without tensing any muscles. Notice how relaxed the jaw is and how smooth your forehead is. Allow any last bits of tension to disappear. Enjoy the relaxation you created. Notice your calm breathing. your relaxed muscles. Enjoy the relaxation for a few moments.. .When you’re ready, slowly start deepening your breaths. Start awakening your fingers and your toes. Stretch your arms up and overhead. Pull your knees to your chest and gently roll to one side. After a few breaths, when you’re ready, guide yourself up and into a seated position.

The purpose of this peaceful place relaxation script is to relax your mind and guide you to imagine your own peaceful, safe place. This place will be an imaginary area you can visualize to calm and relax your mind when you feel stressed. Take in a long, deep breath through your nose and breathe out through your mouth, fully and completely. Feel the air come into and leave your lungs. Breathe like this a few more times. Let yourself completely relax in the here and now. There is nowhere to rush right now, so drop any responsibilities, fears, or worries. Enjoy this guided imagery as best you can. Form a picture in your mind of a place where you feel completely relaxed. Imagine what this place looks like. Give yourself some time to create this visual image. Start by imagining the physical layout of this place. You may visualize yourself somewhere outdoors or indoors. You may be somewhere on the beach in a tiny cabana or lying on a gigantic field filled with bluebonnets. Perhaps you’re in your bedroom, lying in your cozy bed. Imagine this place as best you can. Now bring your attention to any details. You may visualize the sun shining and feel the warm sand against your feet. Or you may see flowers of different colors in the field, feel a gentle breeze, or take in the beautiful scent of the bluebonnets. Perhaps you feel your cozy pillow against your head or the scent of a favorite candle burning in your bedroom Now picture yourself doing something you really enjoy. You may be taking relaxing walks on the beach or simply gazing at beautiful clouds and the ever-stretching, vast ocean. You may be alone or sharing your special place with someone with whom you feel very safe and very relaxed. Maybe other people are present. Perhaps animals.or your favorite pet? Imagine who is at your place, whether it is just you or whether you have company. What a peaceful place. Imagine a feeling of calm. of peace. a place where you have no worries, cares, or concerns. a place where you can simply rejuvenate, relax, and enjoy just being. Enjoy your peaceful place for a few moments more. Memorize the sights, sounds, and sensations around you. Know that you can return to this place whenever you want. You can take a mental vacation to let yourself relax and regroup before returning to your regular roles. Slowly deepen your breath and bring your attention back to the present moment. Gently move your fingers and toes. Once you’re fully awake, give yourself a nice, good stretch. Keep with you the feeling of calm from your peaceful place as you return to your everyday life.

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