Meditation 101

I have been asked by many people how to begin to meditate. There are experts in the field, and I am definitely not an expert. What I know, I have learned from my Qi gong and Taiji Masters and also from personal experience.

Our minds are fondly called monkey minds. We are constantly bombarded with our own thoughts. Our monkey minds try to contend with daily checklists while trying to remember something we need to get done in the future combined with what we forgot to do yesterday, and what in the world do I want for dinner? We are also surrounded by constant media, flashing lights and signs. It can be very difficult to sit quietly and give our monkey mind a break.

Remember to be patient, kind and gentle to yourself when beginning to learn how to just sit quietly and clear your thoughts.

Please give yourself at least five to ten minutes minimum to sit quietly.

Find a quiet place in your home, in nature, your car, anywhere you feel comfortable and will not be disrupted to either sit or lie down.

You can cup your hands around your lower abdomen, below the belly button. This is your called your Dan Tian.

Sit quietly for a moment and take in deep breaths from your abdomen. Relax your body starting from your feet and work your way up. Take a minute to notice if you are holding your body tight in certain areas. Breathe deeply to get these areas and your body to relax. Side note: this is an excellent exercise by itself to go to sleep at night.

Feel your body relaxing and then bring your focus to face. Relax your face and smile from the inside (outside is cool as well). This is called having an inner smile.

Sit with your relaxation and imagine the pure white heavenly lights coming down from the sky and entering through the top of your head. This is called your Bai Wai. Allow the light to run through your body and fill it with the brilliant white light of the heavens.

Remember to keep breathing through your abdomen, not your chest.

During this time you may be having thoughts of any kind. That’s ok. Tell yourself, that’s ok. Recognize your thought and allow your thought to become a cloud that moves through the sky.

When you’re done with this meditation, focus your attention on your feet and slowly open your eyes. Make sure that you are feeling grounded and centered before getting up and moving around. For those who are not familiar with those terms, it means that your body feels stable and together and you are not feeling “flighty” but composed. Making sure you are feeling grounded and centered before getting up and moving around is part of the meditation.