In the first article of this series, I explained what meditation is. In the second, I wrote about why we might want to do it and, in the last one, I explained how to do it. In this one, I’m drawing your attention to some of the finer points that will help you to make your meditation experiences more profound and more effective:
- Some people prefer to sit on the floor; others prefer to lie down. Both are fine but each carries a risk. When sitting on the floor, it is important to ensure that the spinal column is straight. When lying down, there is some risk of falling asleep. This isn’t a bad thing but it’s not meditation.
- If you raise your eyes about 10 degrees, while they are closed, you can induce the meditative state a little more easily.
- It is important that you are not disturbed or that noises such as a ringing telephone or a slamming door don’t occur during meditation. You will soon notice that, in the meditative state, your senses are slightly heightened and you will hear things more acutely. When an unexpected noise occurs, you will find it somewhat startling or jarring.
- During meditation, all bodily processes slow down, including digestion. For this reason, it is a good idea to let a couple of hours go by after eating, before meditating. There’s no serious downside to this but it can be a little uncomfortable and distracting to have a lump of food sitting in the digestive track.
- The amount of light in the room while meditating is a matter of individual preference. Experiment until you find the level of lighting you prefer. Most people prefer some reduction from normal daylight but the preferences do span a wide range.
- Soft, upholstered chairs can sometimes be too soft and not provide the proper amount of support to maintain a straight spinal column. Often the best chairs are straight backed and fairly firm in the seat.
- For the first few times, when sitting up straight, you may find your head tending to fall forward or backward. By adjusting your body forward or backward, you will come to a balance point where this soon becomes a non–issue.
- While in meditation, with eyes closed, it is common to see visuals. These can range from vivid objects and scenes to simple colours. This is normal and usually quite pleasant. Don’t be alarmed, just enjoy the experience.
- Sometimes, especially when we are a little sleep–deprived, we relax so much that our brain wave activity falls to Theta, four to eight beats per second. Theta is the brain wave activity that accompanies dreaming. It can happen, that while you are meditating, a little dream scenario will flit by. Again, relax, this is normal and fairly common. If this does happen, just like dreaming in reqular sleep, we can quickly lose the ability to recall these meditation dreams.
Next month, I’ll write a little about the use of visualization and affirmations while in a state of meditation.