Smartphones with literally thousands of apps, 9 to 5 jobs in often stressful work environments, numerous interactions and world events that drain your energy, childcare, etc…our lives in this society are set up so that we’re constantly thinking about living rather than doing any actual living. We do one thing thinking about the next, we listen to people speak by thinking of our reply; we live our lives in a state of “doing” rather than a state of “being”.
Can you remember the last time that you reached the state of being? That you didn’t care about what you were doing because you were? Perhaps tasting a food with nostalgia attached that brings joy to the present. Perhaps doing something you’re passionate about, such as playing an instrument or training, brings your liveliness to a state of being, beyond the act that you’re doing.
Most of us don’t live in that feeling perpetually; some of us rarely get that feeling of aliveness at all, and simply live as though to survive rather than for the sake of living itself.
Meditation, then, is key to allowing ourselves to be. If nothing else, meditation allows us temporary reprieve from the constant chatter of our minds; that temporary quiet is healing by itself, and gives birth to healers when their quieted minds serve as calming presences to those who constantly live with loud and persistent thoughts.
We may often be told to concentrate and focus; the purpose of meditation is the opposite. Being “formless, shapeless, like water,” as Bruce Lee said, and taking a step back to calmly observe the flow of your mind (rather than being caught up in it) is what will help to center you in a meditation.
We all surely have some manner of chatter going on in our mind, like a radio station that’s always playing; still, different people have different frequencies, and what may be meditative to one person may lack the calming effect for another.
Thus, I’m going to address differences in personalities, and what meditation techniques I recommend for them.
Passion may drive you through life, as you come to value experiences for the feelings that they provide you, and the inspiration they can fill you with. You may be a highly emotional, yet thoroughly grounded person with finds joy and inspiration in exploring the layers of the human experience.
For you, I would recommend music as a means of meditation. Music is relaxing, and is all about expression. The most skilled musicians have a manner of conveying their feelings flawlessly to an audience as though the audience was present at the moment of inspiration.
Being able to
indulge in this level of expression will be meditative for you, as you often
pursue the ability to express yourself in all areas of your life purely. Music
stimulates you emotionally and intellectual, but also fills you with a sense of
purpose; this can serve almost as an out of body experience for you, and will
allow your mind to find solace in those moments.
Visionaries are the communicators of the world, seeking to grow from inner creativity, but to develop an ability to communicate that creative energy in many ways. Visionaries are often intellectual and idealistic, yet accepting of events as they occur, because understanding those events helps to develop their vision.
For you, I suggest mantras and affirmations. Your clarity in communication is based in clear expression of your inner voice; thus, meditating on sounds and definite messages supplied through an affirmation will help you to drift to the relaxing place you need to reach. Meditation for you, although relaxing, will be purposeful, and will be born from your inner voice.
Whereas the inspired will find solace in listening to music, your meditation would be through singing; where they may relax in listening to a speech, your tranquility lies in speaking on the feelings that your heart bears.
Perhaps take a few minutes before your meditation to understand what you’d like to achieve going into it so that you can clarify your affirmation, and then repeat it to yourself (out loud, but quietly) as you still your mind.
You, my friend, are perhaps most in need of meditation, as your world is a constant state of “doing”.
Honestly, if you’ve sat long enough to get this far in the article, I genuinely applaud you, because you’re most comfortable in very physical and active positions.
You are focused, which allows you to achieve your goals in spite of obstacles, but this laser focus requires that the gears of your mind are always working overtime.
Stillness is the meditation I recommend you most. Resist the urge to fidget, and, although a thought may appear to you as your body is still, allow the thought to pass like a current. Your perseverance and focus can take you far, but allowing yourself to reach a point of true stillness can help you to broaden your horizons, escape from one-track mindedness, and envision a new or wider path for yourself.
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