Meditation Or Cultivating the Art of Listening

There have been hundreds of books, articles and manuals written about various Meditation Techniques. All I'm doing here is sharing a few Meditation Techniques that are of the most basic and I feel anyone can do. Cultivating a way to get beyond what your mind is telling you and reaching the deeper more peaceful realms of your heart and soul is where true Magic comes from.

I want to address something here right away; from my experience many people have a negative or religious connotation to the word meditation and I totally understand that. I think that it's easier to think of it as LISTENING instead of meditation. Meditation is used in a variety of ways by many people and cultures for thousands of years. At its core, basic meditation is about LISTENING and being completely present in the now. That's all, I swear!

I can't stress to you enough the importance of taking the time daily specifically designated for you to LISTEN. In many ways that's what meditation is, listening. When I say listen I am talking about quieting the minds endless chatter for just a little while. It doesn't need to be a long time, 5-10 minutes a day consistently will yield amazing results.

As I said before, much has been written about Meditation Techniques or ways to hear and LISTEN to our intuition or our internal guidance system. I want to share with you 3 very basic ways that I have found have worked for me and my clients, especially if this is new to you, but first here are the guidelines that I recommend:

* Start off with 3-5 mins. At least 4 days a week

* Be kind to yourself and don't worry about results. Just be.

* Think of these as going on a vacation (The last one is!) from the craziness of your mind. Who doesn't want and need a vacation? It is best to do these sitting up either in a chair or cross legged. Do not lie down because you will be tempted to fall asleep.

1. Breathe- This is the most simple of all methods, but do not be confused; this can also be one of the most effective ways to quite your mind and begin to LISTEN to what is beyond your thoughts.This is how it goes: Close your eyes and first take 3 deep breathes in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then begin to notice thoughts coming and going in your mind, as you do consciously let them go and remember and focus on your breathe. Keep doing that over and over and over and over and over...

*If you find closing your eyes leads to sleep or it's too hard then you can focus on a candle flame and do the same process.

2. Let Go- This is very similar to Breathe, but instead of focusing on your breathe, you are focusing on the phrase "Let Go" and repeating it audibly or silently over and over and over and over. In many traditions this is called a Mantra. In my opinion, you can say "Hippopotamus" over and over for your mantra. It doesn't matter as long as what you are repeating takes you past your mind chatter and connects you with the subtle, ever-present energy that connects you with the Universe. But, seriously if you are new to meditation, try saying, "Let Go" as I do.

*Variations for 1 & 2 - As you breath in, imagine that you are breathing in the future, filled with possibilities and endless creation. Image all the Love, Peace and Perfection that the new will bring to you.As you breathe out let go of the past and what it was. Let it all go so that you can move forward. Let the past go. It's done and you do not need it anymore. Bless it and send it on it's way with every exhalation.

3. Visualize- The last technique I will share with you is meant to help you just slow down. It isn't exactly a listening form of meditation but helps you take your focus off thoughts that take you away from your spirit and instead replace them with more peaceful and freeing ones.The first thing you need to do is get very comfortable, because you are going on a mini vacation! * If you have some very soothing music that makes you feel very relaxed it can really help you "get"there. Take deep breathes as before and when you are ready; in your mind's eye take yourself to the most beautiful, relaxing and regenerating place you can imagine. That place could be the beach, forest, mountaintop, or anywhere that makes you feel FREE, ALIVE & PEACEFUL. You're going to go exploring in this perfect place just because you can and you are on vacation without a care in the world; Everything is absolutely perfect As you begin to explore your environment I want you to do your best to See every colour and detail of the place; Look at the sand, the flowers, the trees or the buildings etc; Feel the temperature in the air and on your body. Hear the sounds that come from the environment: the waves, cars, children playing, birds etc Now do something while you are there; run up a hill and sit and look at the view, swim with the dolphins in the water, Ski down the mountainside etc. As your doing all these things and noticing all these elements just keep reminding yourself how amazingly good you feel. In fact you can't remember anytime in your life when you felt this carefree, peaceful and relieved... ever. Breath that all in and then slowly come back to the present moment. Give lots of thanks for having this amazing mini vacation and take the images and feelings with you throughout your day.

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