Meditation can sometimes seem overwhelming, usually because we have unrealistic expectations about what meditation really is. Meditation is very simply a practice we can use to train our attention and awareness. Meditation doesn't require any special equipment, and can last from a few brief seconds to minutes or even hours. There is no right or wrong...a meditation practice is personal and unique to each individual, and our practice evolves over time.
In this article we will focus on object meditation. Choose an object that can easily be held in your hands. Begin your meditation by finding a calm, quiet space where you will be uninterrupted for at least a few minutes. You will want to feel safe and comfortable in the space. Gently bring your attention to your breath, and take three nice long deep breaths.....inhale, exhale...with each breath allow your body to begin to feel heavy and relaxed, and slow the thoughts in your mind. Inhale, exhale. Our minds are made to think, so don't be frustrated when you find thoughts continue to come and go. Simply bring your attention gently back to your meditation, and your goal is more to slow the chaos of thoughts coming and going too quickly. Inhale, exhale. Now bring your awareness to the object you are holding and ask a few simple questions:
What does the object look like? Notice the color, the size...
What does the object feel like? Notice the temperature, the texture....
What does the object smell like? Is the smell subtle or pungent? Does the smell bring any emotions or memories to mind?
Each time your mind wanders, gently bring your awareness back to the object without self-criticism or judgment. Continue to explore the object with curiosity, until you feel you are ready to bring your awareness back to your breath, back to your body, and gradually back to the space you are in. On ending your meditation, you want to feel more calm, relaxed, focused and ready to return to your day!
With a wide variety of meditation options available, I encourage you to take some time to explore which methods may work best for you. Working with a meditation teacher can often be very helpful, whether you are just beginning your practice or you are looking to expand your practice. Statera offers free Facebook Live guided meditations every Thursday 12:10-12:30 (join us here), along with other classes and workshops throughout the year. Learn more about what we are currently offering on our website. To schedule a one-on-one session with a meditation teacher, please call 563-207-8932 or visit Mindbody.
~Nicole Hutchison, Holistic Health and Integrative Nutrition Coach