*Article by Rachel at Intuitive Harmony Medicine
There are many ways to meditate and many different views on meditation. In this post, I will be sharing what I personally believe it is important for a beginner to know as well as an overview of how I meditate on a daily basis.
First, I think it is important for us to go over what meditation is not.
What it is not:
- A way to get away from the responsibilities of the physical realm
- A way for you to space out and ignore your needs
- Something that makes you better and wiser than other people
- A practice that gives you wild and crazy experiences each time
What it is:
- Meditation helps to decrease stress
- Meditation helps you prevent overwhelming stress by helping you to retrain your mind. Woo-hoo for brain plasticity!
- Meditation is an amazing way to deal with persistent negative thoughts. Not in a distant, conceptual way, but you can really notice the effects concretely. I and many others I know have reported the wonderful effects that meditation has on persistent negative thoughts that contribute to negative emotional states
- It helps you roll with the punches. Meditation does not turn you into a doormat. However, it does help you learn to respond wisely instead of reacting habitually or negatively in situations.
Now most likely when you think of meditation you think of someone sitting down with perhaps some soft music in the background. This is just one kind of meditation. In fact, just about every activity can be turned into a meditation depending on your mindset. The important mindset that we are trying to cultivate during meditation is that of an aware observer. Who is the aware observer? You of course!
Your soul has come down here into physical form but the truth is that your physical form is not all that you are. In fact, it is possible for you to separate your current focus from that of your physical self into a different perspective – the observer self. This observational perspective is useful for so many reasons. Being in an observer mindset helps you to view your life situation more objectively and also helps you to come up with creative solutions to your problems. It is sort of like getting a bird’s eye view of what is going on in your life and in your mind.
So though my meditation practice often is me sitting down with soft music, this is not the only type of meditation. There are many types of people whose minds all work differently and some people may find it uncomfortable or difficult to sit down and focus for long periods of time. There are also:
- Walking meditations ( taking a walk in the park while noticing the breath and taking in your surroundings)
- Drawing meditations (like coloring mandalas or drawing sigils)
- Writing meditations (affirmations and automatic writing)
- Spoken meditations (affirmations as well)
I am going to share a basic overview of how I usually meditate when I am just going to meditate for 10-20 minutes. This is something I try to do daily to take care of myself – it’s like maintenance of your spiritual and mental health. I have broken my practice into 5 steps. It is not necessary to do the steps in order so feel free to mix things up after step one! Perhaps you have an easier time grounding yourself before you clear your mind, or maybe grounding is something you want to do at the end of your meditation. Experiment and find what works for you. So here are my five steps:
- Getting comfortable
- Quieting the mind
- Checking in with your own auric field
- Running energy
Now I’ll give you more info on each of these steps in detail!
- Getting comfortable
I have a confession to make. I am slightly obsessed with decorating. I love creating comfortable spaces for myself and others. Partly because I understand how important it is for people to be in healthy environments and how certain colors can benefit people. The other reason is that I just love DIY projects a little too much. Whether or not you are like me in this way, I still suggest you pay a little attention to your surroundings. Try to create a meditation space that will boost your meditation efforts. Of course, none of this is necessary but here are a few suggestions:
- Choose a place where you will be undisturbed
- Be mindful of the colors you use to decorate your meditation space! Try blue for calm energy, purple for intuition and psychic ability, pink for compassion and healing and gold for spiritual connection and healing.
- Experiment with different meditation positions. Find a position that allows you to relax deeply and not fall asleep – this will be different for everyone. I personally benefit from sitting on the floor with my back against something but when I astral travel I lie down.
- Crystals of course! Great crystals to work with during meditation are blue calcite, fluorite, amethyst, and rose quartz.
- Keep water and living plants in your meditation space because they have high vibrational energies and will help your own energy as well.
- Experiment with different types of music or even no music at all to see what helps you to relax more.
Do you feel like you have a hard time relaxing? Book a crystal healing session here to get the most out of your meditation sessions!
- Quieting the mind
The amount of time it takes to quiet the mind will be different for every person, and some people will never quiet their minds and that is okay too. Like I mentioned above, there are many types of meditations for different types of people. For those of us who want to quiet our minds and start doing it on a regular basis, we will find that even this simple practice is very rewarding.
Benefits of quieting the mind
When you meditate regularly and do so in a similar fashion each time (sitting in the same chair to meditate for example) your mind becomes wired to automatically chill out. You will switch over from being in your sympathetic nervous system to relax in your parasympathetic simply because it is a routine. It’s like your brain will say “Oh they are sitting in the meditation chair again! That must mean it’s time to stop the mind chatter.”
Quieting the mind at least a little can be one of the first steps to accessing your creativity and intuition. When you are no longer thinking about the laundry, the loud neighbors, or the stack of paperwork you have to fill out, your divine energy is able to flow through you unrestricted and you are able to come up with creative solutions. This helps to sort of shine a light on confusing situations and help you see the best solution – like telling you exactly where a needle is inside of a haystack!
How do you quiet the mind?
I want to be clear here. It is perfectly normal to think! You do not have to wrestle with yourself and feel guilty about every “negative” thought that you have. It is totally normal and human to have thoughts. The point here is that some of your thoughts about yourself and your life simply are not true and some of them even make you feel bad about yourself. That is why we want to bring awareness to the thoughts – that is what quiets them!
Quieting the mind is not an active process. What I mean by that is that you cannot force your mind to be quiet. To quiet your mind you actually have to commit to listening to your thoughts. Often your thoughts have been running and running for long periods of time trying to tell you something. This can go on for years without you even noticing. So when you first start meditation one of the first things that you may notice is that when you are not meditating you will notice your thoughts more. While you are folding laundry you will notice yourself thinking “Wow, I am so stupid!” While you are driving you will hear the thought “I can’t believe I am still driving this shitty car, I am such a loser.” At first it may seem unsettling or strange that you have these thoughts but the truth is that they are there as evidence of deeply held beliefs about yourself. Noticing the thoughts is a good sign and a good practice because the awareness of them alone brings healing. Becoming aware of a thought is sort of like getting a notification on a smartphone and clicking an “X” to close it. Someone who never listeners and pays attention to what is going on in their mind may have hundreds and hundreds of notifications that are screaming for their attention.
So to quiet your mind during meditation, simply relax and let the thoughts come up as they need to. If you are having trouble letting go of mundane chores and errands you need to do what can be helpful is shifting the attention back to the breath. The important part is to not beat yourself up for being distracted – just gently guide your attention back to your breath whenever you feel yourself being pulled away by a thought.
After quieting my mind I begin grounding. I have written a more in-depth article about grounding over here but the essence of grounding is making sure you are connected to the earth and to your physical body. So many of us – especially those of us interested in meditation – live with our head in the clouds and little connection to physical reality. We don’t pay attention to our bodies and sometimes may even believe that the physical realm doesn’t matter because “its an illusion”.
The health of your physical body is of utmost importance! Grounding your energy will not only help your physical health but you will be able to better translate what happens in higher dimensions and states of being. This means that when you meditate or astral travel or do anything similar, as a grounded person you will find it easy to come back fo your physical life and explain what happened to other people. If you are grounded you will find it easier to integrate and understand what you have learned during meditation so that it is actually useful in your waking life.
There are many ways of grounding during meditation. One popular way is to visualize that you are a tree and you have roots growing into the ground. Some other visualizations for grounding:
- You have a red cord growing from your coccyx region. It grows longer and longer until it hooks itself into the earth.
- See yourself sinking deep into the core of the earth
Some people despise doing visualization work and so here are a few grounding exercises that are primarily about a sense of touch:
- Feel yourself becoming heavier and heavier until you become almost like a rock. Feel yourself connect with the earth now that you are a part of it and feel what it is like to be a very heavy slab of rock deep within the soil
- Stick your hands into the earth (even into a pot of soil if that is all you have)
These are just a few suggestions, experiment and find what works for you! There are also a few grounding guided meditations on YouTube and I am working on some myself.
- Checking in with your own auric field
I am writing a whole separate article going in-depth of how to heal your energy fields and auric field during daily meditation and I will link it here when it is finished. This is a great way to clear out your field even if you decide to meditate for 10 minutes, this is still something you can add in that feels amazing and has great results.
Your energy field is a reflection of your spiritual, mental, and physical health. Working with your energy field can help you increase health and alignment in these life areas. Checking in with your energy field can help you gain valuable insight with how you are doing. To do this it can be helpful to know how you best receive psychic information. Are you a visual person? Do you like receiving messages with words? This will be how you will receive information about your aura. Or perhaps you are clairsentient and you will simply feel what is going on when you tune into it.
To tune into your own auric field, I would suggest starting at one particular place – perhaps a place where you suspect something abnormal is going on. Or you can scan your entire field from top to bottom. You can start by stating internally “I would like to tune into my auric field.” You can then place your attention about a foot above your head. Again, remember how you best receive information. It is a common misconception that psychic information must be seen to be real. Also, remember that it is totally okay if you don’t feel that you are getting any information when you do this – it’s a learning process! If you place your attention on a spot you may feel an emotion, see a color, remember something that happened a long time ago, or even hear a word. It can also be useful to check in with particular points in your energy field such as your heart energy center. When I meditate I usually tune into areas that I know I have trouble with and ask them what I can do to help them be healthy. I also use this process to tune into specific body parts and ask them what they need from me.
- Running Energy
Running energy is my term for filling yourself with energy. For example, you can help yourself to feel calm by filling yourself up with blue energy, or you can ground yourself by bringing earth energy up into your body. Running energy is a good way to end a meditation in my opinion because it is a way to bring more of what you want into your reality. If you want healing in your life, you can visualize a green energy coming in through your feet and gathering at the spot in your body where you need healing.
For most meditations, I choose the color I feel I need the most (more on colors here) and use that to create a sort of bubble around myself. I usually bring in energy through my head and feel it flow down through my body and seep into every cell. Once my physical body feels full of this energy I then push it out so that it is surrounding me as well.
Those are my five daily meditation steps and I hope they inspire and help you with your own practice.
What to expect with a daily meditation practice:
- You most likely will not see noticeable results each time. You will feel healthier emotionally and mentally after meditation but there are many long term effects that cannot be rushed.
- Some immediate effects of meditation can be a shift from being in a stressed state of mind to being in a calm parasympathetic state, a decrease in overwhelming negative emotions, and a change in perspective that can help you see things in a clearer way.
- Some long-term effects of meditation practice can be heightened intuition, emotional health, ease with connecting to your spiritual guides, and a clear connection to who you came here to be.
- A definite growth of psychic abilities! Meditation alone can help increase all forms of psychic sensing such as clairvoyance and clairaudience.
You may be wondering “What if something strange happens?” My answer to that is that sooner or later something you may find strange is bound to happen during meditation! You are interacting with both your subconscious mind and the non-physical dimensions around you. Both are full of many things you have not interacted with, but a lot of the time you will experience things that you subconsciously know but have forgotten about. These things can definitely be weird or uncomfortable to experience at first but I believe that knowing what you are dealing with will help to eliminate the fear and help you to feel confident about meditating on a regular basis. I will try to answer a lot of the questions that I had when I first started as well as the questions that I am often asked.
- What if I start moving?
Energy is moving all around us. We are essentially in a sea of energy. The energy is constantly interacting with you and pushing against your body like an ocean wave pushes a boat. The reason most of us are not constantly rocking or swaying in circles is that we have learned to resist the energetic tides and stand straight. What happens in meditation is that you shift into a relaxed state and you may begin to stop resisting the energetic currents around you. This is one reason why some people may start moving during meditation.
2. Something scary happened, how do I know what this is?
I highly encourage you to take a peek at this other article of mine over here. I believe that regular energetic cleansing is important so that way you can be sure that you are in control of your space at all times. I want to make it clear that if you start meditating that you will not all of a sudden have hundreds of spirits come flocking into your house. Spirits are all around us and are a part of everyday life whether we meditate or not. All that meditation does is increase our awareness of them. With that said, a lot of the scary or strange things you experience during meditation will not even be related to some external being, but it will be coming from your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious is full of so many things – your fears, your secret desires, and things you have suppressed. When you start meditating, you start integrating these things into your conscious mind so that you can become a whole person. The problem with this is that things from the subconscious mind are often scary – that is why they have been suppressed in the first place! If you see something like a scary face, or you start to feel afraid, or you hear something in your mind that you do not like, keep in mind that this very well might be your subconscious mind. Stay calm and stay with the fear and the symbol that the fear is coming through. If you see a very scary frog in your mind – does this frog remind you of anything? Have you seen this frog in your waking life, or in your dreams? Feel the emotion that the frog is evoking within you – when do you feel this same emotion in your waking life?
When you meditate and have images from your subconscious mind coming through you are often doing shadow work. It is important that you connect the dots between the symbols your mind is showing you that may seem nonsensical and irrelevant to things that are actually going on in your real life. It depends on the person and situation but perhaps 7 times out of 10, a scary image or feeling will be something that is coming from within, and thus is not something that you will have to worry about or deal with. It takes a lot of discernment to know whether something is coming from your own mind or if it is something external. The key to easy discernment is knowing yourself and the symbols your mind frequently uses to communicate with you. This is one way to know whether the scary person you are seeing is something from your shadow mind or a passing spirit who you would want to get rid of.
- What if I hear voices?
Hearing voices is definitely something that can happen during meditation. It is a common belief that voices heard inside of your own head are your guides, your higher self, deceased loved ones, and the like. And that voices heard with your physical ears are beings that basically have no relation to you and cannot be trusted. While I do not completely agree with this, I think that it is a good rule to go by when you are a beginner. Again, discernment is key.
- What if I see things?
If you are meditating with your eyes closed, seeing things can be normal and even a sign of progression of psychic abilities (assuming there is not a medical reason). You may have visions, see different colors, or see scenes of things that have happened to you before. My advice is to stay calm and instead of trying to logically explain every vision, let the visions explain themselves to you. It could be days or even months before you understand a particular vision
- What if a being tries to interact with me?
Again, I highly recommend checking this out. I have another article coming soon about how to know whether a being is safe or not but it really just requires some discernment and some common sense. I advise that people treat spirits the same way as humans. This may sound strange but think about it – you know not to follow someone you don’t know down a dark alley and this also applies to following a spirit into a place you don’t know. You don’t share extremely personal information that could put you in danger with strangers, so you should not do that with spirits. The important thing to remember with spirit work is that there are all kinds of spirits just like there are many kinds of people. Some people are who they say they are and some are just masquerading. If you are not sure or if you do not trust your perception of the being, err on the side of caution.
Some people believe that all spirits have a negative hidden agenda and others believe that spirit work is all sunshine and rainbows because every spirit wants to give you candy and free college tuition. I fall somewhere in the middle. I have run into a few different kinds of beings during meditation but it is very rare that I am met with a negative being who does not have my well-being in mind. More often than not you will be interacting with a nonphysical guide, deceased loved one, local spirit that just lives there, or a random passing spirit. What you decide to do with these spirits is up to you.
That is all for this 101 article, happy meditating!
*None of these statements or products have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and/or statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This is for educational purposes only and it is not meant to replace the care or advice of a medical professional in any way.
About the Author:
Rachael Simone of Intuitive Harmony Medicine offers holistic but practical tools to help women get in balance. She is an herbalist, crystal healer, and intuitive reader whose goal is to offer support to people who are mentally and physically depleted so they can go on to accomplish amazing things.
Her intuitive readings bring clarity, hope, and comfort to people who are looking to grow spiritually and people who are stuck in life. The readings help shed light on unclear areas of life to help you gain a deeper understanding of the Soul. She loves sharing information about Soul gifts, life lessons, shadow work, and divine purpose.
She offers online herbal consultations via phone and specializes in helping women who struggle with feelings of anxiety, depression, and hormonal imbalances.
Intuitive Harmony Medicine.com is full of free resources such as downloadable classes, guided meditations, and informative videos for people who are both healers and people who want to be healed.