I’ve been meditating daily now for three years and it is, hands down, the best thing I’ve ever done.
It changed everything in ways I could have never imagined.
This is to say, meditation is a game-changer.
I only wish I had started meditating sooner.
It’s something I will teach my children, if I am ever blessed to have any in my life.
Our minds control our lives… this is to say that whatever we believe to be true, is true. Meditation helps not only clear the mind, but also helps us gain power over its tendency to go haywire… and It’s so powerful to have control over my mind in a way where I can choose how to respond in every moment rather than just reacting emotionally to life’s uncertainty (think about how reacting causes anger, sadness, crazed feelings in the moment and how it also affects your entire body!).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect at it, I probably never will be, but that’s why they call it a practice. I practice meditating daily and the practice of it makes everything better.
I still have moments where I fall prey to fear of future events (anxiety) and sadness over past events and focusing on what isn’t (depression) or overwhelm (stuck in a circle of non-doing), but overall, my mind is now my companion and my strength instead of my weakness.
It’s magic I tell you… magic.
Making Every Moment Matter
Today is day two of the newest 21-Day Meditation Experience, Making Every Moment Matter.
I began yesterday, and I already love this meditation journey. As someone who has worked for herself in some form or another for over twenty years now, time management was something I had to learn very early on. Anyone who has worked from home knows how challenging it is to keep up the daily grind when there’s no accountability but yourself. But when you’re working towards goals and driven to do more and become more, you have no other option but to fit it all in some way or another.
As disciplined as I am, there is always more to learn and/or alternate paths to take that may be even better and lead to even greater roads and I’m always willing to set higher standards for even greater living and better be-ing.
I seem to manage my work life pretty well, even with the new bar opening soon (though most nights I’m up until at least 3am working on something or another), but it’s much more difficult for me to manage and make time for friendships and relationships and also give myself permission to have some relax time (those all fall into the same category of me NOT-DOING, which is my main challenge – I fear I’m wasting time that I could be working on something and this mindset -while maybe necessary to achieve goals, is not overall good for wellbeing) –especially when I’m in the zone and working diligently to make shit happen. I become so focused that I lose quality time with humans in order to create something – that I often feel like I’m missing out on human connection as well as being a bad friend, etc. So that is a new goal as well.
I’m always grateful for these free guided meditations with Oprah and Deepak because they came into my life exactly when I needed them to (just over 3 years ago now). I had just finished reading a book on Buddhism and trying to figure out how to meditate on my own was a huge challenge for me and I couldn’t find any guided meditations that I liked. Even now, if I search for other options, I still head back to my Chopra meditation app every day (sometimes twice a day) for my daily mental workout.
If you haven’t tried meditation yet, (I’ve found) that these guided meditations (also known as Transcendental Meditation) are the best way to ease into the practice and learn how to meditate as well as infuse your body, mind, soul with a positivity boost that helps maintain a little confidence when the days seem overwhelming. However, if this style of meditation isn’t quite right for you, there are plenty of other options that may suit you better. Check out 7 Types of Meditation: Which One is Best for You if you want to learn more.
* Download the free meditation app to listen to this free 21 day meditation and to keep track of your entire meditation library (I have about 7 now that I rotate).
Mantras and how to use them
* The text below about mantras is from chopracentermeditation.com
What is a Mantra?
The word mantra has two parts: man, which is the root of the Sanskrit word for mind; and tra, which is the root of the word instrument. A mantra is therefore an instrument of the mind, a powerful sound or vibration that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation.
According to the Vedic tradition, the ancient sages were able to hear the subtle vibrations produced by everything in nature―the sounds of the wind, thunder, butterflies, rushing rivers and all other creations. They recognized that these sounds are the manifestation of spirit into matter. They identified “Om” (or aum) as the most elemental sound, representing the infinite universal consciousness. For thousands of years, people have used this mantra to expand their awareness of the divine.
The ancient seers also identified all the primordial vibrations or mantras that make up the universe and these were eventually recorded in the Vedic literature―the four texts that form the basis for the Hindu religion. You can actually hear all the mantras yourself if you sit quietly. You’ll notice a background hum in the air, and as you practice focusing on that hum, you’ll ultimately hear every mantra the sages recorded long ago.
Why do we silently repeat the mantra?
Silently repeating a mantra as you meditate is a powerful way to enter the silence of the mind. As you repeat the mantra, it creates a mental vibration that allows the mind to experience deeper levels of awareness. As you meditate, the mantra becomes increasingly abstract and indistinct, until you’re finally led into the field of pure consciousness from which the vibration arose.
Repetition of the mantra helps you disconnect from the thoughts filling your mind so that perhaps you may slip into the gap between thoughts. The mantra is a tool to support your meditation practice. Mantras can be viewed as ancient power words with subtle intentions that help us connect to spirit, the source of everything in the universe. As you experience deeper meditative states, all thoughts and worries drop away and you experience the quiet that always exists beneath the noisy internal dialogue of the mind. In this stillness you may feel oneness with all life and profound peace.
Why do we use different mantras each day?
Each mantra induces specific vibrations in the mind, which is why people use different mantras depending upon their intentions. However, mantras don’t have particular meanings―they are simply vibrations of consciousness. When they’re silently repeated, they help us disconnect from the thoughts filling our mind and slip into the gap between thoughts. Since each mantra induces specific vibrations in the mind, Deepak uses a variety of them throughout the Meditation Experience to align with the daily message and meditation.
What if I do not pronounce the mantra correctly?
Some spiritual traditions put great emphasis on the correct pronunciation of mantras. After decades of experience, the perspective of Deepak and the Chopra Center is that the exact pronunciation of the mantra doesn’t matter at the non-local level of intelligence. If someone tries to maintain distinct pronunciation while the mind is in the process of transcending, the conscious effort for right pronunciation will undermine the natural meditation process.
* Photos from Chopra Meditation Facebook page
Happy Meditating Lovecats!
* Find all my posts about mental wellness and meditating here