Guest Author - Susan Helene Kramer
There are several elements that go toward making a successful meditation. First, pick a location where you will not be disturbed or observed for half an hour. This gives you time to prepare and meditate in peace. Some ideas are: next to your bed, in a walk-in closet, an attic space, if outdoors a porch or secluded garden space.
Dress comfortably for sitting by wearing loose pants that will not bind your waist or knees. I recommend cotton or light wool clothing. If you have a tendency to cool down when sitting still, have a warm shawl on hand to drape around your shoulders. For example, if you need a throw over you while sitting watching television you will probably need a cover while meditating.
Gather together your supplies such as a rosary or mala, small book of inspirations to read at the beginning of your session, incense and a candle if not near flammable materials such as curtains or bedding, fresh flowers, holy objects special to you. A dresser top, end table or wall shelf can hold your choices.
If you wish to sit on the floor with knees bent, legs crossed in sit on a cushion or heavy folded blanket. Either sitting on the floor on a cushion or on a chair with soles of feet firmly on the floor, hold your spine erect.
Mentally read from your book and then say an opening prayer. This is the time to ask any special requests.
Close your eyes and begin even and regular breathing such as 2 counts to inhale and 2 counts to exhale. Continue this pattern throughout your meditation. Keep up the rhythm without actually saying the numbers. Do not hold your breath at any time.
Coordinate thinking your mantra with the pattern of your breathing. A basic mantra is Om Shanti, or Om Peace. Or, use a short phrase from your religious background. I like to use Om Shanti. I inhale on Om and exhale on Shanti.
When you begin feeling peaceful let go of the mantra and listen to the internal sound under the crown of your head for as long as you can.
Conclude your meditation with a long inhalation and exhalation. Open your eyes. Stretch out and go on with your day, feeling relaxed and peaceful.
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Article by Susan Helene Kramer