HOW TO USE YOUR MALA
HOW TO USE:
Before beginning, take a moment to think about your intentions for this meditation. Starting at either of the two markers adjacent to the guru, place the bead between your thumb and index finger in your right hand. While pulling the next counting bead towards you one at a time, inhale and repeat aloud your mantra. Repeating your mantra aloud will solidify your goal in your mind but you can also simply visualize it to yourself. When you reach a marker bead, stop and reflect on your set intentions. Continue this until you reach the final marker bead. To finish your meditation, grab the guru bead and pause to thank an important teacher or mentor who has helped guide you through life.
Meditation can be performed while sitting, standing or laying down. It is completely up to the person and their environmental needs. You can meditate while at work on a break, standing in the kitchen while you wait for the water to boil, in the morning before you get out of bed, standing in the shower, etc...
Get comfortable and start by either keeping your eyes open or closed, it is up to you. Take three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Ground yourself here now, mentally scan your body for any tension and release them starting at the top of your head and working down to your toes. Notice and pay attention to your breathing and what parts of your body are activated with each breath (nostrils, throat, chest, abdomen, spine, etc…) What do you feel when the breath flows in and out of your body. Cold, crisp, new air coming through your nose and warm, old air exiting your body. If a thought arises while you are meditating, simply acknowledge it, let it pass like a cloud and go back to focusing on your breath.
There are two main types of meditation; Concentration and Observation:
Concentration based meditation is focussing on a single object or on your breath for the duration of your meditation.
Observation based meditation is allowing current thoughts to pass through your meditation session and acknowledging how you feel about them.
Meditation can help you create an awareness of your mental and emotional state, as well as relax, gain overall stillness, reflect and focus:
Mental wellbeing: can help you increase creativity, enhance memory, bring awareness to the unconscious mind, help with sleep hygiene, create a routine, and promote focus.
Emotional well-being: decrease depression, regulate anxiety and mood disorders, boost emotional intelligence and resilience, increase empathy, build confidence, improve self-awareness and self-regulation, and foster positive emotions and human connection.
Breaking down stress and barriers: decrease reactivity to stress, slow ageing, boost immunity, reduce symptoms of psychological stress, lower blood pressure, and promote calmness. Taking control of aspects of your life that were not previously under your control is just one of the many benefits.
Spiritual wellbeing: meditation makes us face our fears, quiet our minds and look within for answers. Traditionally, meditation is seen as a way to cut through illusions and reveal the nature of reality to enlightenment, connections with the source of life, a sense of purpose and meaning, and increased intuition.
Do not be upset or frustrated with yourself if your meditation session was not as successful as you had hoped.
Do not meditate two hours after a large meal as it will make you feel tired. If you fall asleep during your meditation it is OK, it is your body’s way of telling you that you need more rest. Next session, try sitting up or actively try to stay awake.
If you were uncomfortable at any point during your meditation, feel free to get comfortable. Scratch that itch, take a sip of water, shift your posture. Just because you’re meditating does not mean your body’s needs go away. Do them slowly and go back to your meditation.
Remember that there is never going to be a perfect time to start a meditation practice or to actually meditate. There will always be chores to do, busy schedules and background noises. Don’t make excuses, instead declare that you do need to take this moment for yourself as it will help you complete whatever task you were trying to do next.
Quiet the negative talk and your insecurities by reinforcing yourself with positive self-talk.
Enjoy yourself! This is a time that you’ve invested in yourself and a journey that you are probably long overdue for.