Much like exercise routines, there are all types of meditation types available. Not only are there many types, but there are also many ways of meditating. There are meditations performed while sitting, lying, standing, and walking. You can meditate with any of these postures and with all kinds of focus targets. Rather than trying to tell you about all the types and benefits in this post, I decided I would share with you the three forms of meditation I use. They have helped me to become more focused, present, and mindful. Let’s start with the meditations I use during the working day.
Work Day Meditations
During my work day, I take ten minutes in the morning and meditate in one of two different ways. I use a Loving Kindness meditation on Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays and an Unguided meditation on Tuesdays/Thursdays. Let’s talk about the Loving Kindess meditation first.
The Loving Kindness meditation is a voice guided meditation designed around wishing yourself and others happiness, health, and peace. You start off by simply saying, “May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be at peace.” This is not praying for these things. It is just wishing them for yourself and putting you in a calm state of mind, open to receiving these gifts. This is repeated for about four minutes. Secondly, you picture someone in your mind and wish them the same things saying, “May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be at peace.” These are repeated for about two minutes, all the while picturing and wishing that person these gifts. Finally, you picture the world and every live thing on it, and repeat the same three statements. I like to zoom out as if I am floating in the space looking down on the Earth. I envision seeing birds flying, my dog Ripley running, people walking, and insects crawling. Yes, I wish everything receives these gifts. This is done for about two minutes. When this meditation is complete, I generally feel happier and like I have done a good deed for at least one person that day. Yeah, I know, this does not add up to ten minutes. There is some opening preparation in the meditation that takes some time, but not important enough to mention here.
The Unguided meditation is exactly what it sounds like. During this meditation, there is no voice guiding you through the meditation. It is just you and your breath. I like the sound of rain as the background noise during this meditation. During this meditation, the goal is to focus on your breath. Feel the air come into your body and leave your body. Pick a spot to feel the air coming in. It could be your chest expanding or the feel of the air across your nostrils. When you exhale, feel the chest contracting or the air crossing your nostrils on exit. It is that simple. The breath is the focus. When your mind wanders, and it will, acknowledge that it has wandered and then come back to your breath. This will happen a lot, but don’t sweat it. It is all part of the practice.
Depending on the day of the week, I use one of these meditations for ten minutes. I make sure I take the time to meditate. It is a requirement in my workday. It doesn’t take long, so why not? It helps the day go by a little easier. Once the day is over, and I am ready to hit the sack, I use my nighttime meditation.
Right after I say my prayers and before I try to go to sleep, I perform my nighttime meditation. This is an easy one. With all the lights turned out, I lay on my back, hands at my side, and start by intensely focusing on the center of my chest. I am searching for this inner energy that is our inner being, the force within us that drives us. Once I find it, it is like a strong fire in the center of my chest. While focused on that energy, I take three slow, deep breaths. Once I have completed those three breaths, I shift my focus to my hands. I take the same three breaths. I can actually feel my hands start to tingle. If you are doubtful, clear your mind now, and try to intentionally feel your hands. Once you do, you will notice the tingling or sensations in them. After I finish with my hands, I move to other parts of my body. I move down to my feet, then my upper arms and shoulders, my thighs, my stomach, my forehead, and finally back to my chest. I finish with the same inner energy I started with. All this takes about 5-6 minutes. Once I complete this, I roll over on my side and am asleep in under a minute.
With so many meditations available, it can be confusing what the “right way” is. I don’t believe there is really a right or a wrong way, as long as it helps you focus and brings you peace. The meditations I explained here are the ones I perform and have been performing for over a year now. I enjoy them, they have definitely had a positive effect on my life, and I look forward to performing them. If you have never meditated and are curious how it could affect you, try the 5and2Guy meditations. Commit to doing them for one month, five days a week. Watch how it helps transform your life. It won’t always be easy to meditate, nor will you always be motivated to, but commit to it for one month and don’t miss. Make it a priority and knock it out the 5and2Guy way. I am confident that if you give this a shot, you will pick up a positive habit and your life will change for the better. Give it a shot!!!
By the way, I use the Oak iPhone application for my workday meditations. I like the simplicity of the app and the lady’s voice who guides me. If you don’t have an iPhone, I am sure you can find a similar app for your phone. Just do a little research…it is worth it!!!