Meditation is fundamental to well being. The benefits of meditation are sublime: greater access to creativity, improved relationships, the ability to hear Spirit, a healthy mind-body-spirit, greater ability for inspired business ideas, being fully present in the moment and life, stress reduction and improved focus. Essentially an all-around better quality of life. And if you’re a magical person, a regular meditation practice will enhance your rituals and spell work too.
Meditation can be done in a variety of ways. You could meditate through movement with cycling, walking, surfing, dancing, playing tennis, working with music and other physical activities. Traditional movement-based meditations include Qi Gong, Yoga, Tai Chi, Dhamaal and a specific type of slowed-down walking where one notices each step.
You might enjoy one of the many excellent secular sitting meditation practices. There are also a variety of faith traditions that can be included such as mantras, affirmations, spells, breathing or chants. I often listen to recorded meditations at night to help me get ready for sleep.
Meditation In Disguise: Mindfulness
In their book Mindfulness and Meditation Ed and Deb Shapiro state, “mindfulness is being aware. It’s noticing and paying attention to thoughts, feelings, behavior, and everything else. Mindfulness can be practiced at any time, wherever we are, whoever we are with, and whatever we are doing, by showing up and being fully engaged in the here and now.”
For example, let’s say I’m making breakfast, and I’m rushing through, not noticing what I’m doing. I’m thinking about all the things I want to do and I’m planning what is to come. I imagine I’m talking to the people I have appointments with later in the day. How can I know what they’re going to say or what’s going to happen? And while all this is going on in my head, I’m totally missing what is actually happening in my life, right now.
This is a common example of not being present. When I catch myself doing this, I find it useful to stop and talk myself through what I’m doing in the moment – I’m pouring water into the kettle. I’m placing the kettle on the electrical pad. I breathe and breathe again. I’m opening the door to the pantry.
Mindfulness practice is a part of meditation. It also had tremendous physical and mental health benefits. And it takes is just paying attention to where you are and what you’re doing in the moment.
CHECK OUT THIS POST: How To “Do” Mindfulness & Reap Its Wondrous Effects On Your Health & Happiness
A Simple Meditation Exercise
Begin by noticing your breath. Now focus on your breath. In… out… When your mind wanders, thank it and return to your breath.
This meditation can be done anywhere, but it can greatly enhance your experience to meditate alongside nature. Somewhere outside is ideal but this can also be done by a plant in your office or home, on your porch, or by a tree in your neighborhood.
In the morning I get up, open the curtains and windows, take care of my pets, and put a load of laundry in. This alone is meditative for me. This ritual puts me at ease and gets me ready for the day. But, I don’t stop with that.
Once I open my windows, I practice my witchy ways by acknowledging and honoring the nature I see before me. I say hello to the birds and the beautiful hills and trees.
Other practices I do include reading a few affirmations of health for my body (which I have based on Louise Hay’s book Heal Your Body). Then I might do some Tibetan Buddhist chanting. I doodle-draw, read a few oracle or Tarot cards, and do Julia Cameron’s morning pages.
Depending on my schedule, I spend anywhere between 10 minutes and 1.5 hours a day doing some form of meditation. And it’s improved my life immensely.
YOU SHOULD ALSO CHECK OUT: Feeling Overwhelmed? This 15 Minute Meditation Will Settle Your Anxious Mind.
By Veronica Schultz
Now it’s your turn to share with us! Do you meditate? Share your daily meditation rituals in the comments below!