5 New Ways to Meditate
Meditation is a key ingredient in achieving personal goals as well as creating a firm foundation in recovery. Meditation is simply immersing yourself in the present moment. However you find that you can do this is what meditation is for you. Meditation truly does not have any one perfect way of being done. Whatever works for you, works for you. As long as you keep the focus off yourself and on the present moment where your higher power resides than you are well on your way to reaping the potentially amazing benefits of meditation.
If you have been meditating and need some ideas to freshen up your routine or you don’t know where to even start, this article is for you. We are here to share 5 new ways to meditate and here they are:
- Walking Meditation: In walking meditation, called kinhin in the Zen tradition, practitioners move slowly and continuously while staying aware of the body and mind. For this form of meditation, use good posture (just like seated meditation), take deep breaths, and experience the motions of the body. The walking movement should be continuous, so pick a safe place with space to roam around, like a large park or field.
- Hand Movement Meditation: For many people, the toughest part of meditation is sitting without moving for an extended period of time. It’s so hard to resist the urge to pick at an itchy spot because scratching activates areas of the brain that control pain and compulsive behavior. What’s the best solution to this conundrum? Try hand movement meditation, in which participants focus on moving the hands slowly and mindfully.
- Gazing Meditation: If staring into space or spacing out is your jam, try Trataka or fixed-gazing meditation. This unusual style of meditation encourages participants to focus inward by staring at a fixed object while sitting or standing. Trataka has many alleged benefits, from physical plusses like eye health and headache relief to mental advantages such as lower stress levels and better focus. If outdoors, fix the gaze on a natural object like a stone, tree, or even the moon (just avoid staring at the sun). Indoors, try looking at the center of a lit candle or an interactive computer graphic. Trataka can be pretty intense, so start very slowly — stare for just 15 to 20 seconds, with plenty of rest time. Eventually work up to 10 or 15 minutes.
- Daily Life Practice Meditation: Does high-energy dance sound a bit too wacky? Bring meditation back to a more reasonable pace with daily life practice meditation, which is also called Samu work meditation in the Buddhist Zen tradition. In this style of meditation, practitioners slow down daily activities to half-speed and use the extra time to be mindful and focus on thoughts. There’s no need to sign up for a class when it’s possible to meditate while washing dishes, taking a shower, walking down the subway steps…
- Dance Meditation: Get ready to boogie — meditation just got a soundtrack! Most people, at one time or another, have put on some tunes and cut the rug to chill out after a tough day. Dance or kundalini meditation takes that release one step farther by asking participants to let go of the ego and surrender to the rhythms and ecstasies of movement. Some classes encourage yelling, jumping, and even hooting like an owl! Dance meditation may not be for the faint of heart — or arm or leg — but it can be a great way to release tension and get in touch with our instincts.
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