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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Meditation Basics

Meditation is an amazing tool for healing. I always recommend it because it makes such a huge difference in the brain. And this is not just kooky weirdness. There are tons of studies that back up the effects of daily meditation. Here's a link to Wikipedia because I was lazy. Here's a link to an article 3HO, a meditation organization, about the medical benefits of meditation. Actually, go read that article right now. It talks about the effects of meditation on sleep, productivity, memory, stress management, and more. Basically, the benefits of meditation seem just about endless.

Why Kundalini Meditation?
Image here.

I love kundalini meditation (as opposed to other forms of meditation) because it isn't boring. That's the only way to say it, for me! I've tried other forms of meditation in the past--the kind where you sit quietly and try to still your mind, but I always feel like a failure in that because I clear my mind of some stuff, only to have other stuff rush in and fill the same space. Sitting still gets old after not a long time.

Kundalini meditation utilizes "mantras" (chants) and "mudras" (motions) while you meditate. This gives your mind and body something to latch onto while you're clearing your mind. In other words--it's meditation, but not boring!

Basic How-Tos of Kundalini Meditation

Here is the blog that introduced me to kundalini meditation. I started by watching the youtube videos below, and then I took the basic meditation class through Tree of Life Kundalini Yoga. This teacher and blogger is LDS and she comes at everything from a Christian perspective generally, but also a Mormon perspective in particular. She has a great video on kundalini meditation explained for Mormons here.

When you do kundalini meditation, it's important to kind of tune your mind into the frequency of the meditation. So every meditation session starts with a tune-in to that frequency and a tune-out. This is how to tune in:


Then you can do your meditation(s). Most of them are only a few minutes long. I do the kirtan kriya every day. To me, this is a Christ-centered meditation and I always think of Him while I do it. The words, Sa Ta Na Ma, mean Birth, Life, Death, and Rebirth (or, to me, rebirth through Resurrection). This one has has a lot of studies done on it for its power to change the brain. Check out this article from the Huffington Post on the many benefits of kirtan kriya. I do it for 7 mins/day, or occasionally 11 minutes if I'm feeling extra meditative.



I do the prosperity meditation daily as well, for around 3 minutes, and let me tell you: it works. Money, stuff (clothes, food, books--material goods) and job opportunities flow into your life when you do this daily! Try it! I saw my first results within 3 days and within a week, I was really feeling the change. Love it.



This is a meditation for clearing anger:



This is a meditation for healing addictions. Almost everyone is addicted to something... if you don't have a high profile addiction like one to drugs, alcohol, sex or pornography or nicotine, you likely have a lower profile addiction like one to working, using the Internet, texting, or sugar. Here's the meditation:




This is how to tune out and end your session:




Surprising Side-Effects of Meditation

 Two things stood out to me when I began my daily meditation practice. The first was that about three days in, I got acne again for the first time in years. To me, this was a visible proof that my meditation was actively clearing toxins from my body. I also got some canker sores in my mouth for the first time in a very long time.

Image here.
The other thing that stood out to me as I began a daily practice of meditation was how my meditations seemed to affect the people around me as well--not just myself. For example, when I started the prosperity meditation (har, har), three days into my meditation, my husband was contacted about a new job opportunity, seemingly out of the blue.

Basically, when you start a meditation practice, you don't just bless yourself. You bless your whole family.

Your anger meditation can release anger from yourself, but also your children.

Your addiction meditation can break your own sugar addiction, while also helping your loved one's pornography or drug addiction.

Your kirtan kriya meditation can bring you greater peace, while also increasing the overall peace in your home.

And so on. 


Resistance

One thing worth mentioning briefly is the concept of resistance. Sometimes the subconscious mind resists meditation--it doesn't want to process the gunk it's been storing. This resistance can take many forms but basically it comes down to the subconscious mind really fighting you from meditating. One example would be, you start falling asleep every time you try meditating. Or in the middle of your meditation, you get really jumpy or something. Resistance can take many forms. But it is actually a really, really good sign. It means that you are on the brink of processing something big that will really bless your life to get out of your system. So keep going!

Meditate, meditate, meditate!


Conclusion

Me after my morning meditation.
 The greater peace you can receive from meditation may not come right away--since meditation helps you process subconscious junk, it can actually be kind of uncomfortable. Your life may get a little uncomfortable as your body and mind begin this processing. You may find yourself dealing with issues you thought you'd overcome, but really didn't. For me, I was blown away by the magnitude of some things that came up in my first 40 days of consecutive meditation. Did I spend some time in tears? Okay, yeah. I did. I had things to mourn and grieve and things to sort out from my past, and getting those out involved some crying and general spiritual discomfort. But it was important to get those feelings and those issues out of my body and my spirit so I could move on.

I've compared this before to giving birth. In order to get that baby out, heal up, and move on and be happy, you have to actually push the baby out. And sometimes that process can be kind of difficult and painful (obligatory link to how I gave birth in my living room, which was incidentally, not that painful or difficult! Still intense, though). But after the baby is born, things are good.

In my observation, it seems that many people would rather spend their whole lives being the spiritual equivalent of 41 weeks pregnant, about to pop thanks to the sheer volume of spiritual and emotional trauma that they would rather keep inside than suffer the pain it would take to let it all go. I must assume that some of this holding onto trauma is due to ignorance about how to let go of it, and some of the white-knuckled grip on the past is insufficient faith that God will take care of everything. But there are answers! And the pain of processing complex emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual trauma is basically nothing compared to the pain and inconvenience of carrying around that baggage on your back for your whole life.

Anyway, I can't recommend meditation highly enough. I believe it is a tool that should be in everyone's toolbox. Is it better than prayer and scripture study? Uh, NO. Always prioritize those first. Although I will mention that meditation has helped me learn how to study the scriptures better. To me, my scripture study and meditation are linked now.

But if you're already on top of growing your faith in God through daily prayer and diligent scripture study, meditation is a great add-on that will truly bless your life and the lives of your loved ones.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog post! I just subscribed to 'Tree of Life Kundalini Yoga' on YouTube. I appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete