MEDITATION & BREATHWORK
There are many different styles and techniques of observing and steadying the mind by using breath work, visualization and more to enhance your mental acuity and your overall sense of wellbeing.
Meditation & Breathwork styles include:
The chakras are important centers of energy that appear throughout your body. For thousands of years, keeping the chakras in balance has been linked to maintaining mental and physical wellbeing. Through chakra meditation, you can improve the balance of your key chakras and bring your health and mental attitude into a more peaceful state.
Introducing The 7 Chakras
While there are hundreds of different chakras in the body representing energy centers large and small, it’s most productive to focus on the seven core chakras. These are the major points that have been identified as critical by multiple spiritual traditions. Here they are in ascending order:
1. Root Chakra (Muladhara)
This chakra is found at the base of your spine. It governs your connection to the wider world, your fundamental needs for food, shelter, and stability. Issues with your root chakra can cause a number of emotional and physical disturbances, especially digestive ailments.
2. Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana)
The sacral chakra rests just below the navel. It’s intimately involved in the creative process; it governs both your reproductive organs and your imagination. A balanced sacral chakra is essential for coping with new experiences and exploring the world.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
Your solar plexus chakra sits above your navel, in your stomach. This chakra is fundamental to digestion, but it also has an important mental and spiritual role. You can only embrace the things you experience and understand your place in them when your solar plexus chakra is in balance.
4. Heart Chakra (Anahata)
On a physical level, the heart chakra, which is located at the center of the cardiovascular system, is intimately tied to the organs around it. Imbalances here can be responsible for respiratory problems and high blood pressure. Mentally, an open and balanced heart chakra allows you to form emotional connections with others.
5. Throat Chakra (Visshuddha)
Located in the throat (near the thyroid glands), this chakra governs communication and self-expression. A blockage in the throat chakra can cause feelings of isolation and a range of physical issues, from susceptibility to infection to hormonal imbalances.
6. Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
The third eye chakra lies just above the junction of your eyebrows. This chakra is in charge of insight and intuition on both a spiritual and a mundane level. Keeping the third eye chakra in balance allows you to see how the world around you is interconnected and makes it easier to understand your place in it.
7. Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
Color: Purple / White
In many ways, the crown chakra, which sits on the top of your head, is the “business end” of the primary chakras. When your chakras are in balance and your energy is healthy, the crown chakra serves as a power connection to the wider world. Maintaining a healthy crown chakra leads to a sense of peace, well-being, and confidence.
If you’ve never meditated before, or you’ve been meditating your whole life, you’ll find these tips helpful as you begin your mindfulness meditation practice.
1. Do It Today
It’s easy to read tons of articles on the internet and get really motivated and excited about something. It’s another thing altogether to actually take action. That’s why you should make the commitment right now that you’re going to practice mindfulness today. Your journey starts right here and now. Commit to it and try it out.
2. Set Aside The Time
Depending on the type of technique you want to try, and whether or not you want to follow along with a guided audio recording, you’ll need to set aside 10-30 minutes for your meditation.
If you’re thinking to yourself that you don’t have the time, consider the spaces in between things where you normally browse the internet, scroll through social media or watch TV. Somewhere in those spaces, you’ll find at least 10 minutes that you can devote to mindfulness.
3. Find A Quiet Space
Mindfulness is all about observation without judgement, so it’s important for beginners to eliminate the amount of sensory information they get when they first start out. If you’re surrounded by too much noise, your untrained brain will struggle to take in the moment. It’s best to begin your practice in a completely quiet, solitary environment.
4. Set A Timer
It’s easy to get lost in a mindfulness meditation. The respite from noise and stress is usually quite welcome. So, if you’re not following along with a pre-recorded guided meditation, you should set a timer for 10-30 minutes (your choice).
This will prevent you from wondering how long you’ve been meditating. Time will usually pass by very slowly during your mindfulness meditation, so your mind may begin to wander towards thoughts of time if you don’t set an alarm and forget about it.
5. Get Comfortable
Mindfulness meditation is not like some traditional meditations that require a bit of uncomfortableness. Many people insist on sitting in the traditional meditation pose, but that’s not possible or comfortable for everyone.
If your physical discomfort is distracting, change your position. It’s more important to be comfortable and focused, than to challenge yourself with discomfort. Be sure not to get too comfortable and fall asleep!
6. Find Your Breath
Before you begin your meditation, close your eyes and just listen and feel your breath. Many guided meditations will instruct you to do this, but it’s best practice to do this before starting any meditation.
Listening and feeling your breath gives your brain the signal that you’re ready to be calm, relaxed and focused. Don’t force your breath; just breathe normally and experience it.
7. Don’t Judge, Just Observe
During your meditation, you may find yourself distracted, uncomfortable, anxious, bored or experiencing any number of thoughts and feelings. These experiences are important for the practice of mindfulness.
By simply observing them like clouds passing in the sky, you are training your brain to detach and observe instead of judge and react. When an emotion or feeling comes up, simply say in your mind “I see that I am thinking _____.“
8. Don’t Judge Your Judging
When you first begin to practice mindfulness, you’re going to judge. It’s part of the challenge and the rewiring of your brain.
You may feel discouraged or upset by how much judgement you have for your own thoughts and feelings. For example, you may have a serious of thoughts and feelings, then, you may react by thinking, “Stop being distracted. You’re terrible at this!”
That’s judging your judging. Instead, try to just stay focused on observing everything, and don’t beat yourself up for distraction or judgement. It is going to happen! It’s completely ok. The practice in mindfulness is learning how to detach from all of that and simply be in the presence of it without judging it or trying to change it.
9. Return To Your Breath
When you feel yourself going down the judgment and reaction spiral (and trust us, you will), simply return back to the rhythm of your breath that you observed at the beginning of your meditation.
Even if you’re listening to a guided meditation and you lose focus on what they’re saying, always return to your breath. Each time you return to your breath, you send a signal to your brain that says, “I’m ready to be calm. I want to be calm. I am calm.”
10. Practice Everyday
Practice makes perfect. Your brain is literally reshaping itself when you practice mindfulness meditations, but it has a lot of work to do to re-work all those years of judgement and reaction.
Be patient with yourself and realize you are working with a lifetime of brain connections. It’s going to take some time to re-wire those connections, so be sure to practice it every single day.
Don’t worry, it won’t take an entire lifetime to undo what your brain has been trained to do. This is because conscious re-wiring is vastly more powerful than all that subconscious, mindless wiring you’ve been used to. Intention and focus are infinitely powerful.
11. Start And/Or End Your Day With Mindfulness
Starting your day off on the right foot is a great way to shape your reactions throughout the day. Beginning a day with a morning mindfulness meditation tells your brain how you’d like to process and handle the day ahead.
When you go to sleep at night, your brain often tries to sort out everything that’s happened, which can leave you feeling stressed and unable to get a good night’s rest. Practicing mindfulness meditation helps your brain detach from the day and stay in the present moment.
12. Practice Mindfulness Outside Of Meditation
Mindfulness meditation isn’t the only time you can practice mindfulness. To supercharge your experience, step back a few times a day and focus in on your breath. Instead of going into a full meditation, just sit quietly and observe and witness the moment without judgement.
The practice of Metta meditation is a beautiful support to other awareness practices. One recites specific words and phrases evoking a “boundless warm-hearted feeling.” The strength of this feeling is not limited to or by family, religion, or social class. We begin with our self and gradually extend the wish for well-being happiness to all beings.
There are different descriptions of the practice. The following is a basic set of instructions from the book “The Issue at Hand” by Gil Fronsdal written as a gift to the community. It is freely given.
Brief Instructions for Loving-Kindness Meditation
To practice loving-kindness meditation, sit in a comfortable and relaxed manner. Take two or three deep breaths with slow, long and complete exhalations. Let go of any concerns or preoccupations. For a few minutes, feel or imagine the breath moving through the center of your chest – in the area of your heart.
Metta is first practiced toward oneself, since we often have difficulty loving others without first loving ourselves. Sitting quietly, mentally repeat, slowly and steadily, the following or similar phrases:
May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease.
While you say these phrases, allow yourself to sink into the intentions they express. Loving-kindness meditation consists primarily of connecting to the intention of wishing ourselves or others happiness. However, if feelings of warmth, friendliness, or love arise in the body or mind, connect to them, allowing them to grow as you repeat the phrases. As an aid to the meditation, you might hold an image of yourself in your mind’s eye. This helps reinforce the intentions expressed in the phrases.
After a period of directing loving-kindness toward yourself, bring to mind a friend or someone in your life who has deeply cared for you. Then slowly repeat phrases of loving-kindness toward them:
May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.
As you say these phrases, again sink into their intention or heartfelt meaning. And, if any feelings of loving-kindness arise, connect the feelings with the phrases so that the feelings may become stronger as you repeat the words.
As you continue the meditation, you can bring to mind other friends, neighbors, acquaintances, strangers, animals, and finally people with whom you have difficulty. You can either use the same phrases, repeating them again and again, or make up phrases that better represent the loving-kindness you feel toward these beings. In addition to simple and perhaps personal and creative forms of metta practice, there is a classic and systematic approach to metta as an intensive meditation practice. Because the classic meditation is fairly elaborate, it is usually undertaken during periods of intensive metta practice on retreat.
Sometimes during loving-kindness meditation, seemingly opposite feelings such as anger, grief, or sadness may arise. Take these to be signs that your heart is softening, revealing what is held there. You can either shift to mindfulness practice or you can—with whatever patience, acceptance, and kindness you can muster for such feelings—direct loving-kindness toward them. Above all, remember that there is no need to judge yourself for having these feelings.
Excerpts gratefully reprinted from the book The Issue at Hand by Gil Fronsdal, guiding teacher of Insight Meditation Center.
You can use mantras to enter meditation, to silence the mind, or to achieve a goal.
Entering meditation by using a mantra helps silence the mental chatter and relaxes the brain into the alpha state. Simply sit comfortably with your eyes closed, and repeat the mantra you choose. Repetition and consistency are the keys. Think of the hypnotic effect of ancient tribal drumming, and you’ll get the idea.
Meditating to a mantra while IN meditation keeps the mind silent for the duration. If you are not at the point where you have complete mental mastery, you’ll struggle with this in the beginning as your mind keeps wandering to various topics. Keep at it, and you’ll succeed.
Meditation to a mantra with the purpose of achieving a goal is an amazingly effective manifesting technique. When you are relaxed, there is far less mental resistance to goals so freely visualize them and repeat your “I am” manifesting mantra. This imprints the idea in your mind and helps dissolve the internal resistance you might otherwise feel. Resistance such as “I’m not good enough to achieve this” will go away when you combine visualization with a manifesting mantra.
You can supercharge your efforts by combining Omharmonics and mantras. This is a powerful combination! Your brain will automatically enter the alpha state as you listen to your meditation audio track, and you will accelerate your personal growth as you develop the mental self-mastery of silencing your mind.
Here are some simple Meditation Mantras
Considered the most sacred mantra (and arguably the most commonly used), Om is a Sanskrit word that is meant to convey the “original vibration of manifestation” – in other words, when intention manifests in the physical realm.
This is one word that pretty much anyone can feel comfortable using, no matter your spiritual inclinations. It is an incredibly soothing sound, especially when you allow the vibration to linger in your throat. You can literally feel your body vibrate when you repeat this mantra for a little while!
It has been said that the true meaning of Om can only be understood by revelation. In other words, you have to say it to understand it. For starters, you can focus on the silence from which Om originates and into which it dissipates. That will quickly give your mind something to focus on and help you enter and stay in meditation!
Saying the word “love” while focusing on the feelings of love are a powerful way to create the atmosphere of love. Focus on the physical feeling you get when you say the word, Love. It’s such a great feeling! Even if you’re feeling depressed, angry or upset, you can literally feel Love washing over you when you repeat the word. Feel the love radiating outward from your heart…
This is the most powerful manifesting mantra. Think about it. Whenever you say, “I am sick,” how do you feel? Whenever you say, “I am happy,” how do you feel? In meditation, you can use “I am” alone to honor and acknowledge your existence. And you can take it a step further and honor and acknowledge your divinity and oneness with all that is.
You can also add positive affirmations while you meditate to help paint a mental picture of what you want out of life. For example, “I am a successful (what you want to be)” and so on.
Yoga nidra (Sanskrit: योग निद्रा) or yogic sleep) is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the “going-to-sleep” stage. It is a state in which the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions. This state of consciousness (yoga nidra) is different from meditation in which concentration on a single focus is required. In yoga nidra the practitioner remains in a state of light withdrawal of the 5 senses (pratyahara) with four of his or her senses internalised, that is, withdrawn, and only the hearing still connects to the instructions. The yogic goal of both paths, deep relaxation (yoga nidra) and meditation are the same, a state of meditative consciousness called samadhi.
Yoga nidra is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness. In lucid dreaming, one is only, or mainly, cognizant of the dream environment, and has little or no awareness of one’s actual environment.
The practice of yoga relaxation has been found to reduce tension and anxiety. The autonomic symptoms of high anxiety such as headache, giddiness, chest pain, palpitations, sweating and abdominal pain respond well. It has been used to help soldiers from war cope with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Gamma breathwork is a way to upgrade your consciousness by being connected through the breath. When we are in the Gamma state, we are activating our pineal operating system and in turn, a release of DMT is happening (also known as the spirit molecule). DMT along with other neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and gabba are set free during theses breaths which upgrades our mindset & informs our higher self to bring us back into harmony.
Gamma is a higher processing power brain state that makes it possible to access and evolve imprints from our past, including traumas, addictions, limiting beliefs and patterns, by upgrading chemistry and perspective. The gamma breaths free up the held energy and emotion and create a reorganization of this energy in order to manifest a fulfilling way of being, in any area of life desired. Gamma breath activations are useful for producing any kind of outcome- from health to creative passion, from relationships and family to business, expression of talent, and purpose. Gamma activating is a modern and very rapid method for consciousness expansion as well as trauma clearing quicker than most ways and an excellent way to access a meditation state. When In the gamma state you are always safe to feel anything and everything that comes up!