The practice of spiritual meditation has been around for thousands of years. There are many different ways to meditate. Initially focusing on spiritual meditation is a great fundamental place to begin from. Have you been interested in beginning your meditation practice but you are unsure of where to start? Perhaps you’ve been practicing for a few days or weeks and haven’t been noticing the results that you are looking for?
You may even be a seasoned meditator looking to return to the basics and perhaps uncover new insights and possibilities that you may have missed when you began the first time. I will cover the ins and outs of spiritual meditation to give you the ability to practically apply spiritual meditation into your life and understand why you are doing it.
Spiritual meditation at its very basic level is primarily focused on being present, or mindful, in the current moment. Also, perhaps more importantly, it is about focusing on your breath. You will begin by focusing on your breath which will initially feel rather boring. Remember, it is important to master the technique of mindfulness as well as your breathing techniques in order to properly progress to more advanced techniques in your meditation. We are not looking for visions or extraordinary events to be occurring with your practice at this moment. We are simply implementing techniques into your life that will improve your focus, concentration, discipline, and consistency.
The Origin of Meditation
The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditātum which stems from the Latin root meditor. Which means I think or reflect, contemplate, consider, ponder. The actual practice of meditation is believed to have originated somewhere in India several thousand years BCE. The Vedas were also carried into India around the same time.
The Vedas are a compilation of religious texts, songs and hymns, meditation practices, yoga poses, chakras and many other things that were used to shape religion and different ways of life.
To say where meditation originated from exactly would be to guess. Ultimately nobody knows exactly where it came from. I believe that a caveman finding himself sitting by the river on a summer day has perhaps come across the beauty of meditation. Meditation has been talked about, it’s been researched, improved upon or modified, and taught to students for thousands of years. But where and who did it come from? Your guess is as good as mine!
Why We Do It
The reason why people meditate and adopt the practice into their daily life will range in the reason given from person to person. The reason why someone wants to begin in meditation may very well be different from the reason why they continue meditation. To keep things simple we will start with the basic benefits that meditation will bring to you.
Mindfulness meditation has been known to have the biological effect of reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Science has named this effect Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR). It is said that with being mindful and present we are able to redirect our attention and focus away from negative thought patterns into healthy and rehabilitative thought processes.
Another benefit of practicing spiritual meditation consistently are more basic things like improving your focus, concentration, and discipline. You will be more apt to making quick decisions, and less apt to change your mind. You will be more sure of what you want to do and how you want to do it because you will be more sure of what you want.
Gods and Visions
It is relatively common within the world of meditation for a new student to become discouraged due to the lack of extravagant visions or communion with divine beings. Many students spend what little time they do attempt practicing by chasing after these alleged visions.
I would suggest to not worry so much about experiencing these things. These are certainly very real occurrences that you may experience but it is not something to seek out. There is a special way of holding on to what you are seeing and letting it go – but not too much! You can practice this by sitting to meditate and visualizing a string.
Now, take this string and tie it into a knot. Then untie it. You will find it is quite difficult to do consistently and if you focus too much on the string it will crumble away and turn into something else. But if you let go too much and do not focus on the string it will float away and disappear into the abyss of your mind.
Try this! It is the first meditation practice I began with before learning about mindfulness and basic breathing techniques. If you are still working on setting up your meditation space you can check out our Useful Gear for Meditation guide to help you personalize and energetically activate your space.
Beginning the Practice
In regards to starting your spiritual meditation today, we will be covering the meditation technique of mindfulness and basic breathing techniques to monitor your breath. This will be similar to techniques found in our Beginner’s Guide to Meditation that will give you a keener insight into the basics of meditation from how to sit and how to guide your mind.
Here you can watch to be guided through your mindfulness meditation practice:
Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious of something or a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness into the present moment. Mindfulness meditation will be at the core of other advanced meditation techniques, like Grounding Meditation. While your awareness is focused on the present moment you simply acknowledge and accept all of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations that occur.
This practice has also been defined as keeping your mind “empty” where you simply acknowledge a thought that comes along and then release it. You may have all sorts of thoughts come up while you are meditating like “Oh, I needed to do the laundry today.” and then suddenly feel the urge to go do laundry. But instead, you will just acknowledge the thought, that it exists, and then release it.
Practice this way and you will find you will be able to do this while moving throughout your daily life as well. It will help in social situations as you recognize you can simply let go of everything as opposed to sitting and worrying about deciding on how to behave socially.
This practice will allow you to be fully present in the moment of Now. Which, is really all you have. The more time we spend in the past or the future the more we miss out on the beauty that is Life happening right before us.
In the words of John Burroughs:
¨Happiness is his to he who opens his eyes to what lies before him.¨
You can follow along with this guided meditation to help create a positive meditation experience as you learn:
Practicing this meditative breathing technique will become the foundation of many other meditation techniques. As you advance you will find that the breath is at the core of all meditation techniques like White Light Meditation.
To practice, you will first want to sit in your preferred meditation posture. Ensure that you are in a quiet, safe space where you won´t be disturbed. You will then just breathe and focus your attention into your breath. You do not need to try and force the breath out faster or try and breath in deeper.
Just breathe, naturally. Experience your breath.
Allow the breath to come in and fill the expanses of your lungs and then release. Allow your lungs to completely empty before taking your next breath.
Paying attention to yourself in this way will help grow your focus and concentration. It is also a strong form of self-love that encourages and opens up deeper gateways into the realms of your consciousness and awareness.
Continue watching your breath and allow your mind to be free of all thoughts that arise. Don´t be frustrated if you find your mind constantly wandering away from the task at hand. This is normal!
Just acknowledge ¨Ah, my mind is again wandering.¨ and then simply return to your breath. You are the Observer.
Consistency is Key
The #1 problem a new student will run into is consistency. This problem will rear its troublesome head after you have broken through the initial obstacle of understanding and beginning in your meditation practice.
It is important to establish and maintain a daily routine in regards to your practice. You may think of it like working out in a gym – except you are working out your mind and spirit. It is important to consider that if you were to go to a gym for 1 day and say ¨Well, I´m not ripped! This obviously doesn´t work!¨ then you will find yourself missing out on all the benefits of living a physically fit and healthy lifestyle.
You need to redirect your mind into positive, consistent behaviors. Behavioral consistency is a scientific phenomenon that explains how the human mind operates and will default to the decision they have made in the past when presented with the same problem. It is easier and more efficient to do this for the mind as opposed to analyzing and making a new decision when the same problem manifests itself.
So, we are essentially destined to repeat and redo the same actions we´ve done in the past because we are comfortable and familiar with the results. Meditation is intended to allow you to reflect on yourself and open up and engage your awareness of Self. This, in turn, will allow you to re-evaluate and establish a new behavioral consistency for your life instead of repeating the same old negative and self-destructive habits of your past.
So – How Do I Stay Consistent?
A morning routine! To simply say ¨I am going to meditate every day¨ is generally not strong enough to bolster your passion. You must develop a process that integrates positivity, productivity, and of course, consistency into your daily life.
My Morning Routine:
- Wake up – Early! Earlier is better. There is a special time from 4 a.m onwards that you must experience for yourself to understand. As Rumi, the ancient poet, wrote:
“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don’t go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don’t go back to sleep!”
- Drink Water – Add lemon juice! You have just slept 4-8 hours which means you have had no water for 4-8 hours. Drink! The added lemon juice will help stimulate your digestive system for the food that will be coming.
- Scrape Your Tongue – You can get a low-cost toothbrush with the regular bristles on one side and a rough/ribbed side that you can use to scrape your tongue in the morning. Or you can just simply get a tongue scraper.
- Stretch – Next, do some basic stretches. This will naturally lead to exercising. I do all of my workouts with a Doorway Mounted Arm Bar like this one. And then, of course, jogging or some other cardio activity. It´s very basic but effective.
- Listen to Uplifting Music – Put on some music that makes your heart happy! Dance if you want to!
- Dry Brush Your Skin – Dry brushing your skin is an Ayurvedic technique that helps remove dead skin cells and even improves your circulation. You can use a simple shower brush like this one.
- Rebounds! – For this, you will need a miniature trampoline. The benefits of rebounding on the human body cover a wide array of things including muscle toning, blood circulation, a more efficient metabolism, and other things. You´ll feel the difference for sure! Something basic like this mini trampoline will work perfect for you.
- Drink a Green Smoothie – This one you can handle a couple of different ways. It is best to make it from scratch – anything you buy that is bottled will be processed and loaded with sugar.
What You Will Need For Your Smoothie Experience:
-You will need a blender. Ninja is a great brand and is a very budget-friendly option and this Ninja blender lets you easily make personal, single-serving smoothies on the daily.
– 2 cups of greens (I use spinach, but any leafy green is fine. You won´t taste it.)
– 1 banana (unpeel beforehand and freeze for a more ice cream like consistency)
– 2 cups of fruit (anything works here – find what you like!) Get the fruit frozen unless you prefer a more liquid consistency to your drink
– A pinch of seeds – Get yourself a bag of flax, chia, and hemp seeds. Put a pinch of each in for that extra protein kick! Also, hemp seeds alone give you a full amino acid tables for proteins to absorb into your body effectively, so that´s awesome.
– ¾ Cup of Milk You can use coconut, almond, oat, or even dairy milk if you wish. Use 1 whole cup if you want it to be more liquid consistency. ¾ cup of milk will give you more of an ice cream in a bowl experience
– A healthy protein powder Lastly you will want a healthy protein powder. I use Garden of Life Vegan protein powder. It´s packed full of proteins from greens and mixed with your hemp seeds you will have everything you need!
Throw it in the blender and blend!
Ok, now back to the morning routine…
- Meditate – Now that you have a wonderful, healthy green smoothie coursing through your body it is time to meditate. Sit in your preferred meditation position and begin and complete your practice.
- Positive Affirmations – Next we are going to say nice and pretty things to ourselves. It´s best to do it in front of a mirror. Look yourself in the eyes and tell yourself how awesome you are. How brilliant you are. How worth it you are. I love You, Me!
- 3 Things you Will do Today – Finally, write down 3 things that you are going to get done today. And then – get them done!
If you follow these steps and implement them into your daily life – You will be consistent. You will also notice a change in your life. Please – share your experience and results with us, especially if you ́ve found an alternative or even better way to work out being consistent in your own life!
Keep it Up!
Now that you have the knowledge of spiritual meditation the next step is to apply it! You can begin right now. It is easy to say ¨I will start tomorrow¨ but it is more effective to DO it today. Keep up the consistency and feel free to share in the comments below if you are experiencing any difficulty or obstacles that are arising or you simply want to share your experience! I look forward to hearing from you! Meditate well, my friends.