Meditation & Mindfulness

A basic meditation practice:

Start by picking a time each day that works for you, the same time every day

Find a comfortable place that you enjoy in your house where you won’t be interrupted, place your phone on silent, or unplug it, turn it off and ensure you won’t be disturbed for the next 10 minutes by family members, pets etc.

  • You can select a candle to light if you wish, however, none of these outward items is necessary when meditating
  • Sit back in a comfortable position
  • You can sit on the floor and use a meditation cushion, it’s also very grounding, and good for posture during meditation
  • To start this first week: If you sit in a chair, be sure your feet are on the floor and your back upright resting your hands on your knees
  • With your eyes closed breathe in through your nose, and follow the air as it enters your body
  • Notice the cool air as you breathe in, focus on the coolness, Hold this breath a moment before you exhale
  • Now follow the breath out of the body, notice its warm as it leaves the body
  • Relax your body, from the top of the head, down to the tips of your toes, imagine every muscle is warm, smooth and softening; lengthening and softening more with every breath
  • Repeat
  • When thoughts come up, just bring your attention to the indrawn breath again, imagine thoughts in a bubble and let them float off – relax the tongue muscles – let it sink into the floor of your mouth, this stops internal dialogue thoughts from rolling around inside the mind
  • Return to your breathing, indrawn breath, then exhale
  • And repeat
  • Each breath becomes more and more delicious as you focus on it and hold it just for a moment before you release it
  • Now notice the space between the indrawn breath and the exhale
  • Float into the space while continuing to observe the indrawn breath and the exhale
  • Imagine relaxing all the muscle groups in your body from your head to your toes
  • Breathe into the muscles and relax them, tighten them and then release them
  • Breathe deeply and now as you have completely relaxed the body return to your breath, in and out, soft and listen to the sound of your breathing on the inside

Do not concern yourself with the “level” of meditation, or whether or not you can keep thoughts from floating in or out, these kinds of questions can be distracting and often sabotage your efforts; essentially they are normal – just allow

Mindful of your breath, simple meditation, do this for 10 minutes every morning at approximately the same times each day for the first week

There are many methods of “meditation” and when you are just starting out its recommend using the MP3’s- they are “guided visualizations” and will help you attain a good level of daily meditation until you feel comfortable on your own

Some may say: this is not meditation and to that we say: if you are relaxing your mind and achieving this comfortable state daily, then indeed you are meditating and your brain is utilizing its own “relaxation response”. Meditation is a practice, which means you do it every day; there is no perfect here, only the state itself is the gift to the one that humbly continues the practice

Some signs and symptoms of inner peace: (as a result of adding meditation to your life daily, you may tend to experience the following) 

  • A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences
  • An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment No interest in judging other people
    No interest in judging self
    No interest in comparing myself to others
  • Less desire to interpret the actions of others
    No interest in conflict
    A loss of the ability to worry (this is a very serious symptom) 
  • Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation
  • Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature
  • Frequent attacks of smiling – for no apparent reason
  • An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen
  • Increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it back

WARNING: If you have some or all of the above symptoms, please be advised that your condition of inner peace may be so far advanced as to not be reversible. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting any of these symptoms, remain exposed at your own risk. 

Medical benefits:   (just a few!)  

Substantially reduces blood pressure and heart rates

Interrupts stress hormone production – cortisol. Cortisol increases belly fat and adds more stress to the heart increases blood pressure

The Brain on Meditation:

Even as little as ten minutes of meditation every day will make a noticeable difference in your life.

Meditation allows the body and brain to work in greater harmony These are some of the great benefits of meditation:

Because meditation is a natural state of mind, it is not unlike a state of deep relaxation that you experience before sleep and when first waking up in the morning.

Meditation happens when brain waves are oscillating between the alpha and theta range, which occurs between

4-12 HZ cycles per second.

These brain states are called Ultradian Rhythms and anyone with brain function (all sentient beings) has this ability to “on-off” the brain for short intervals to allow for optimum or improved function.

The idea behind meditating is not that we’re seeking to have “perfect meditations” or zero the thought factory. The point of meditation practice is “practice”. What you do is to start from where you are and develop a practice that is just right for you.

It won’t be the same every time either; however, the more you practice the more consistency you will achieve in your meditation. A “practice” by name means that it is not goal-oriented; it’s something we do every day. Like breathing, we breathe every day. There is no end to meditation practice; it becomes part of our lives and there is certainly no perfection associated with meditation. It’s a practice.

Meditation helps us to become aware of the habitual tendencies that are distractions in our everyday world. It also helps us to work with them as they become less prominent and we become less distracted, less anxious, more accepting.

And just like any program we start, we don’t suddenly leap into it and expect ‘perfection’. As a matter of fact, perfection and meditation are about as far apart as oil and water.

There are six popular types of meditation practice:

  • mindfulness meditation
  • spiritual meditation
  • focused meditation
  • movement meditation
  • mantra meditation
  • transcendental meditation

Demystifying the Meditation Process – Dr Joe Dispenza

If your meditation practise continuously feels like a herculean effort, and you can’t stop thinking, analyzing, and wondering if you’re doing it right, you’re doing the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish. That’s why I want to demystify the meditation process.

The purpose of meditation is to slow down your brain waves and get beyond the thinking, analytical mind. What I want you to understand is that you already know how to do this, because you do it every day.

If you can begin your practice with the understanding that all you’re doing is relaxing your body (just like when you’re falling asleep) while keeping your mind conscious and awake—and if you can continuously move deeper into this state of relaxation while focusing on nothing (or not thinking)—you’ve just opened the doorway between the conscious and subconscious mind.

The Ladder of Consciousness

When the conscious mind is awake and functioning optimally, it exists in the realm of the beta state. But when the brain is in high beta, that means it’s in a highly aroused, overly active state. This usually indicates someone is living in an emergency mode—otherwise known as fight or flight.

Once you get beyond beta, the first layer of the subconscious is the alpha brain state. In alpha, your breathing naturally slows down, the voice in your head quiets, and the more you continue to relax, the more you begin sliding down the ladder of consciousness into the theta and delta states. It takes relaxing, getting comfortable, and discontinuing thought to change your brain and body’s physiology—and you do this every night as you fall asleep.

The antithesis is also true. When you can’t sleep at night, it’s typically because your mind is racing and you’re processing thoughts about your family, job, health, or an upsetting event that happened earlier in the day, and of course—a worst-case future scenario that doesn’t actually exist.

This type of circuitous, negative thinking manufactures corresponding chemicals in the brain that signal the body to feel emotionally charged. Once we feel those emotions like frustration, judgement, fear, or anger, we tend to think more thoughts equal to those self-limiting emotions. When this happens over and over, our body becomes addicted to these emotional states and thus becomes addicted to the hormones of stress—further miring us in negative feedback loops. As a result, instead of sinking deeper into consciousness, our brain waves climb the ladder to higher levels of beta brain wave activity. In fact, this is where we enter the realm of high beta brain waves and now the analytical mind is now overly active.

It’s through our meditation practise that we can enter the subconscious and change our unwanted programs. Think of the subconscious as the brain’s operating system. By dropping into the operating system of the brain, we can alter habits, behaviours, and remove emotional scars. If you’re not trying to change anything, you can simply open yourself up to receiving unknown possibilities and create something new.

Body Asleep, Mind Awake

Look at it this way—falling asleep and waking up is not something we have to learn how to do, right? We do it every day.

These two times of the day are when the door to the subconscious mind naturally opens up. When we go to bed at night, the night-time neurotransmitter melatonin makes our brain waves go from beta to alpha, from alpha to theta, and from theta to delta. When we wake up in the morning, serotonin—the daytime neurotransmitter—creates the same process in reverse; our brain waves go from delta to theta, from theta to alpha, and from alpha to beta.

As we close our eyes and begin the meditation process, it makes sense that we are changing our brain chemistry from serotonin to melatonin, and thus our brain waves follow suit. As we sit still and relax our body, we stop thinking because our brain is naturally processing less sensory information.

If we can allow our bodies to begin to fall asleep while we are aware of our inner world, we’re in the perfect state to begin our transformational and/or creative work. Just like it’s harder to fall asleep when the neighbour is mowing his lawn, your teenager is playing hip-hop music in the next room, or there’s coffee brewing in the kitchen—it’s harder to get into that meditative state because the external sensory information keeps us focused on our outer world, instead of our inner.

The Takeaway

Like riding a bike or playing tennis, what I want you to understand is relaxing the body yet staying conscious is just a skill to develop (there’s a reason why we call mediation a practice). When you can completely relax your body and remain conscious, this is the realm where the unknown and the mystical happens.

By sensing the vastness of space around you and becoming no-body, no one, no-thing, no-where, in no time—your body, other people, things in your environment, and past and future events no longer become the object of your attention. You (as consciousness—not the body) are no longer picking up the sensory information around you, which means you’re no longer living by the hormones of stress. In this state, you’re not awake, you’re not sleeping, and you’re not dreaming; you’re in the transcendental state. This is the unknown realm and this is where the door opens to events like out-of-body experiences, spontaneous healings, and mystical moments.

So the next time you sit down to meditate, I want you to remember that you already know how to do this. Slow down the process and really feel in each one of those stages. Stay aware, expand into the future you’ve always wanted, and connect to the feelings of that new future.

Know that the life you’ve always wanted to live awaits you. You just have to take the first step on the path and start the journey.

Meditation Classes with Kathy:


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