This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about a whole bunch of things concerning the new year, including goals and what I’m currently into. I pretty much answered all this last week, so today’s question is coming from one of the Discord servers I am a member of instead.
Topic for the Week of 1/27: What are some ways in which you meditate? What are some techniques and tips you could give to beginners? What helps you stay focused?
I personally do not use music during meditation most of the time because I am an aural synesthete, so music can become extremely distracting and I don’t consider the “riding of sound” to be a meditation in and of itself (although, of course it is… it’s just not for me personally).
I do a variety of meditation techniques including incorporating it into my yoga/physiotherapy, body scans, five senses scans, guided meditation (primarily using the Calm app), visualization techniques, etc. (Not all at once, obviously.) It really depends on how I feel each day as to which one I use.
For beginners to meditation…
1) Start small. Five minutes a day. Ten minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be some marathon session. Just set aside those five or ten minutes and do it.
2) EVERYONE struggles with focus. Don’t try so hard to block everything out. Instead, consider yourself like a window screen. The outside distractions flow through you like a breeze but do not move you.
3) Again, EVERYONE struggles with focus. Our minds wander. It’s natural. One of the main purposes of meditation is to exercise your mind’s ability to find calm. You do this not by staying in that focused and clam state 100% of the time, but by bringing yourself back to it each time you notice that your mind has strayed. By setting aside what your mind has wandered to and coming back to center, you are essentially doing a mental push-up.
4) Try different types of meditation. Everyone is different. Maybe chanting helps you focus… maybe not. Maybe visualization is your thing… or maybe not. Maybe you need a guided meditation to assist in your focus, or maybe the guided ones irk you. It’s completely individual, so don’t be afraid to experiment to find what feels best to you.
5) Not everyone focuses on their breath. It’s true that it’s very common as a focus, but it’s not for everyone. I personally find that I have better results focusing on my solar plexus and how I am feeling there (which is what I consider the seat of the soul and definitely have fluctuations concerning).
For my own focusing challenges… I personally struggle with “I should be doing this right now” and the constant fidget to get moving again. I deal with this by reminding myself that this is TEN minutes. That’s all it is. Ten minutes out of the thousands and thousands of minutes in a day. Ten minutes to set everything aside and take a break. It might be the ONLY break I get all day, so enjoy it while it’s there in my grasp.