A Place of Stillness Blog
I learned to meditate as a child and my parents are lifelong meditators. I began to take my own practice more seriously when I was 20, but it wasn’t until nine years later that I was really meditating every day.
It was an uphill battle, but I can say without hesitation that it has changed my life for the better. Daily meditation is a “pearl of great price” that I don’t take for granted. It’s the most important thing I do each day. Meditation makes me a more intuitive, loving, calm, and joyful person. It allows me to cut through habitual thought patterns and create new ones that result in an ever-more fulfilling life.
From a scientific standpoint, meditation creates stronger neural pathways in my frontal lobe, the seat of “executive function” and problem solving. Esoterically, it draws my consciousness toward my spiritual eye, the seat of wisdom.
Here are a few hard-won lessons that I found on my journey to a daily meditation practice:
1. Create a sacred space. Somewhere in your home, find a way to carve out a little place to call your own and dedicate it to your practice. Keep your space beautiful and be sure you have what you need: a chair or pillow, layers for warmth, a candle or soft light, pictures that inspire you (nature, saints, sacred places, etc), objects that you consider sacred, and uplifting smells like incense or essential oils. Make your sacred space appeal to all five senses in an uplifting way.
2. Choose a time of day (or two). Stick with a schedule. Even if it’s not a specific time, try to select an order for meditation in your daily flow. For me, it is when I first wake and before sleep. Of course, with my two small kids, it’s not always that simple, but my husband and I work as a team to make meditation happen for both of us.
3. Never miss your meditation. Even if all you have energy for is to sit on your cushion and take a few long breaths or say a prayer, just do it. Like your daily ritual of brushing teeth, habit is your friend, but it is only going to work if you make it real. I haven’t missed a day brushing my teeth in my entire adult life; so this can be the same! I have two children under five years old; I know tired, I’m with you. But don’t let your ego get you down in the dumps with the “I’m so tired, I deserve to go to bed,” argument. Just sit up straight, even in bed, take a few yogic breaths (filling the belly and then the lungs with air), fix your gaze toward the horizon behind closed eyes, and rest there for a few minutes. It will send you into the day, or into sleep, with a higher state of consciousness.
By Gita Matlock
The ability to relax the body is the vital first step for meditation.There is a feedback loop between the body and the mind. If the body is tense or restless, the mind will follow, and vice versa. Do you struggle to find a position where your body can be comfortable and relaxed?Watch this video!that offers [...]
I was riding home from town one day on my motorcycle back to Ananda Village in the Sierra Foothills. Winding my way along the curvy canyon road, I found a tension slowly growing in my heart. I started wondering why sometimes motorcycle rides are thrilling and freeing. During these rides, I feel a wondrous connection [...]
The chakra system consists of seven energy centers running along our spine. Each chakra, or energy center, has qualities that are contractive and expansive. We can awaken our chakras and the expansive qualities within them by meditating on them. Chakras are made of energy, and when we meditate on them we give them more energy [...]
We’d like to share a technique and prayer for practicing third eye meditation as our Part 2 to our recent blog. To review, the third eye is our sixth of seven chakras or energy centers in our body where we can tap into higher consciousness. It is located at the point between our eyebrows.Before we [...]
In this first of two installments on third eye meditation, we’d like share with you what happens when you concentrate on the third eye during meditation. In the next installment, we’ll share specific techniques to help guide you through your third eye meditation.Our third eye is the point between our eyebrows and is a place [...]
A mantra is a sacred sound or expression, often in the form of a word or phrase believed to have spiritual power. Mantras can bring about profound benefits when repeated, particularly in meditation. Repeating mantras cultivates a sort of affirmation, allowing the mind to concentrate on the meaning behind the mantra or perhaps the steady effect that [...]
Guided meditation is a form of meditation where someone else, whether in person or through an audio recording, is taking you through your meditation. The purpose of guided meditation is generally to connect the meditator with calmness and clarity that can be found within themselves. Some guides do this by asking you to imagine you [...]
There are many types of meditation and we are here to help you deepen your practice with whichever tradition speaks to you. In previous blog posts, we have explained the basics of meditation, what meditation is and how to get started. Virtually every religion has a mystical side that uses some sort of meditation. Here, we’ll explore the [...]
New to meditation? At MeditationBench.com we want to encourage and inspire everyone to meditate, so we came up with some helpful beginner points to guide you on your journey inward with meditation. Even if you’re a longtime meditator, it’s always helpful to go back to basics!First, let’s talk about the breath. No matter what type [...]