Meditation Technique #1:
The 4 – 7 – 8
This technique can be used to get you into a meditative state or to help you maintain the altered state for longer periods of time.
Find a quiet and comfortable space where you will be undisturbed. I recommend sitting cross legged with your arms comfortably resting with your palms facing upward (receiving position), or sitting in a chair. You may also try laying in bed. If laying in a bed, make sure to sit up slightly so that you do not fall asleep.
Close your eyes. Notice if your jaw is clenched, separate your teeth slightly, allowing your jaw to relax. Don’t forget to relax your tongue. You may rest it on the back of your teeth if that feels comfortable.
With your tongue in place and your jaw relaxed, inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and then exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds.
Repeat this for a full 3 – 5 minutes. You will begin to feel altered fairly quickly, as if you’ve entered into a trance.
From this point, you can continue to breathe using the 4-7-8 count or you may shift your breathing into a natural, in-and-out pattern..
If thoughts pop up, that’s ok! Acknowledge and release them, returning to your awareness to your breath. This can be done for the duration of your session or as long as necessary.
*This technique was taught to me by Crystal Anne Compton
Meditation Technique #2:
This meditation is one of my favorites to do, especially during my bath time. You can do candle meditation anywhere it is safe. It is suggested to us this method in a dim or dark room where it’s easy to focus on the flame. I always recommend having a journal and pen nearby so that you can note any impressions or messages received during or after your meditation.
Select a sturdy candle. A candle in a holder may help catch any wax if it should drip. You may even use candles that come in a glass. (for example saint candles you find at the dollar store – as these don’t need a holder or base.)
Take your candle and find a quiet and comfortable space where you will be undisturbed. You may sit or lay down. However, while using this technique, it is important that you do not fall asleep. Choose a place where you can sit or lay comfortably so that you can watch/hold your candle safely for the entire meditation session. For obvious reasons, you do not want to fall asleep while holding a lit candle. Light your candle.
Keep the candle approximately 6 – 8 inches in front of you. It’s good to have the candle close to eye level or a little lower. Aim to have it at eye level so you don’t have to strain to hold it up or stabilize it.
Bring your awareness to your breathing. Using one of your preferred techniques, breathe deeply and slowly.
Gaze gently at the candle’s flame. Watch as it moves. Look deeply into all aspects of the candle, from the base of the wick to the base of the flame, then all throughout the flame. You may blink as you do this, but try to do it a little less, finding a comfortable balance. Pay attention to your breathing, keeping it deep and steady throughout the entire meditation session.
Allow your focus to come in and out. Notice what your eyes perceive in both states of focus. The more you do this meditation, the more you will notice: always remain passive and in the receiver position. For example, if you notice something appearing in the flame – perhaps a shape or movement, a symbol, a word or even a person – don’t let this jar you out of your meditation. Just observe and gaze and keep your meditative trance. Passively watching is key. You will get better at doing this over time.
Release any thoughts or distractions as they come. Don’t judge them, or allow them to frustrate you. Instead, release them and return your focus to the candle. Notice them, release them, refocus with your breath. Repeat as often as necessary. Remember, this is a practice you are working to build.
After your meditation session is over, document any impressions or messages you received in your journal.
Technique #3: Guided Meditation
There are many guided meditations you can try. Keep looking until you find meditations that really work for you. There are tons of guided meditations on YouTube that you can use for free, many of which are really quite good.
There is also a free app that you can download to any device called Insight Timer. Check with your app store for the links to download. Get familiar with the app before you sit to meditate. They have a wide variety of styles as well as durations.
Don’t be afraid to try something new! You never know what works best for you until you try. If you find one you like, take note of the artist and look into other meditations by them.