“Wisdom is the well of knowledge and the spring of power.”
James Allen, British Philosopher, 1864 – 1912
Meditation is a practice you can engage in to calm the mind and relax the body; it is the state of relaxed consciousness. It alters your brainwave frequencies by helping you slow down and has incredible benefits. It will tap into your spirituality by helping you connect within you. As a result of daily mediation, you will feel less stressed, happier and more productive. Mindfulness is a practice in which you become aware of what is around you and you become more focused in the present moment, whereas meditation is a time set aside to go within you in order to contemplate and grow.
Meditation alters your brainwave patterns, which is one of the reasons for it. Most of the day we operate in the BETA wavelength of 16-30Hz. This is a state of alertness, concentration and cognition, when we are working, giving a presentation, speaking, or actively listening. It is also the wavelength we operate in if we are stressed or anxious. However, staying in this state for too long can lower our immune system, which has an effect on us physically. It is important to drop into the lower wavelengths for both mental and physical health benefits. ALPHA wavelength is between 8-15 Hz and this is a state of relaxation where you may be sitting quietly in nature, daydreaming or doing something creative. Meditation begins in this wavelength band and then drops into THETA at 4-7 Hz where there is a reduced consciousness, tapping into intuition and memory. It is also where R.E.M occurs in sleep. Slowing your wavelength to this level provides tremendous holistic healing. When we are in a deep sleep, we operate at DELTA 0.1-3 Hz where the greatest healing and rejuvenation takes places. And then finally, GAMMA is at the greatest frequency of 31-100 Hz in which we find insight, expanded consciousness, visualisation and a burst of insight. It is where the ‘lightbulb moment’ occurs.
A study by Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin monitored 8 of the Dalai Lama’s most practised monks. It found that they could shift rapidly from Beta to Alpha and to Gamma in a matter of seconds, meaning that all areas of their brain were being used in incredible synchrony. Their Gamma activity was the highest recorded level of Gamma amongst people other than those registered insane. Using all areas of our brain will incredibly improve our performance, as well as providing physical health benefits and happiness. (Source: “The Intention Experiment”, Lynne McTaggart)
“A relaxation response is a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional response to stress..…….
and is the opposite of the fight or flight response.”
Herbert Benson, MD Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School
If you are finding meditation difficult, then you may be trying too hard. The purpose of meditation is to create a clean state for your mind, slowing down the brainwaves and re-centering you. If you feel relaxes and motivated after, then you have achieved something. Decide when you want to meditate, in the morning to centre you, in the afternoon to re-energise you or at night to calm you ready for sleep. Choose your meditation space where you can sit or lie comfortably, when and where you will not be disturbed and a place you can revisit daily. Soft lighting, soft music, a candle or essential oils burning are beneficial but not necessary. I like to lie down, with a pillow and a blanket for comfort and warmth. Turning off computers and phones is a must though. You may want to set a time limit and a gentle alarm. As with Pavlov’s Dogs, the process of meditation is a conditioned response. The more you sit in your space, the more and quicker you will relax into it each day. By lighting the candle or squirting the calming mist, your brain will begin to associate it with meditation. You start moving from BETA to ALPHA
- BREATHE DEEPLY – this helps detox, release tension and stress, as well as releasing any emotional burdens. Sit or lie with a straight spine, one hand on your belly, another on your chest. Long and slow, breathe in and then release for about 5 minutes. By concentrating on your breathing, you are not only slowing your heart rate down and kicking in your para-sympathetic system, but diverting your mind away from issues to your body.
- RELAXING THE BODY – learn how to pay attention to your body and create a state of relaxation. Scan your body starting at your feet right through to your shoulders, neck and head. Where is there discomfort or tense muscles? You may want to gently shift your body to move energy to be rid of this tense energy or get into a comfortable position. You are now in ALPHA brain wavelength frequency.
- THOUGHTS – will definitely come into your head. As a thought comes in acknowledge it but then let it go, like a cloud above you. Return back to your breathing and body. Eventually, the velocity of thoughts will slow down as you enter into a state of meditation.
- VISUALISATION – find in your mind’s eye the place you love the most, the place which generates the greatest feeling of happiness for you and imagine being there. It could be watching the sunset on a beach, sitting under a tree in a wood or on top of a mountain, looking at the view. Now, go through all your senses, what do you see, hear, feel, smell or can touch. Then imagine being a bird moving up and up into the sky, circling what you can see. You will now bee in THETA brain wavelength frequency and this is where I leave you to your own imagination. You will be in a state of meditation.
- MOVING TO GAMMA – eventually, you will be so practised in meditation that you will automatically move into GAMMA brain wavelengths as you reach a state of conscious insight. You may want to meditate to solve a problem, to go on a vision quest to find out your purpose in life or simply to become in touch with your soul. Meditation is personal to you.
MEDITATION – BY THE SEA
This is a meditation I do for some of my clients. You may want to record it into your phone (I’m allowing phones just this once!), and replay it as you do your meditation:
Close your eyes.
Get into a relaxed position.
Relax your feet, your thighs, your tummy, your arms, your shoulders, your head and neck.
Feel your body on the floor and how it is connected with the ground.
Relax into the base of your spine.
Feel how your body tingles as you relax.
Very gently breath in and out.
Concentrate on your breathing, in and out, in and out.
Any thoughts that come into your head, acknowledge them and then let them go.
Each one coming in, and disappearing like fluffy clouds in a blue sky.
You can’t stop your thoughts, just do not run away with them.
Come back to your breathing, concentrating on breathing in and out.
I am going to take you to a peaceful place by the sea.
I want you to imagine you are on a secluded beach.
The water is calm.
The sun is setting on the horizon and is still warm on your face.
Listen to the waves, breath gently to the rhythm of the waves, in and out, in and out.
As your mind starts to wander, you may want to lift up into the air and circulate above the sea with the birds.
Flying in and out, up and down, around.
You then may want to go higher, into the blue sky.
Flying higher and higher.
Flying into the stars to meet your higher power, to listen to your intuition, to pull upon your creativity.
Relax your mind and let go.
I’ll leave alone you for a few moments to capture your dreams.
Slowly, make your way down, back to the beach.
Hear the waves.
Listen to the seagulls.
Feel the sand between your fingers.
See the sun as it sets.
And gently bring yourself back into your body.
Open your eyes.
And feel your mind, your body and your soul are now refreshed, centred and empowered.
ANNA VERO PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU MEDITATE
I have created a body oil, calming mist, candle, and reed diffuser in my MINDFUL CLARITY range which are blended with essential oils specifically to calm the mind ready for meditation. I have used oils such as petigrain, bergamot, frankincense, bay laurel and pine needle which relax you without making you sleepy, heightening your awareness of mind. Click on each picture to view and order.