12 Tips To Help Deepen Your Meditation Experience
There is a total misconception that in meditation, you need to repress or push away lingering thoughts. Meditation is NOT about getting to a no-thought state. Meditation is AWARENESS! And it's about coming to the practice with an attitude of non-judgment and curiosity.
Coming to your meditation practice is an act of taking responsibility for your own well-being and working with your own sense of energy to shift, re-organize and transform your current state of being, your mood and even your day!
A lot of the tips I share are what I like to call meditation anchors. They are simple techniques you can continue to come back to in your meditation to shift focus off your thoughts + sink back into the experience.
These tips can be incorporated into any meditation style to help shift your focus back FAST.
1. Set an intention for your meditation session. Setting an intention for your meditation helps you tune in + get clear from what you want to get from your session. It can be whatever you need/want for that time but, come back + gently reminding yourself of the intention you set. It's a powerful way to shift focus off your thoughts and get back into the practice.
2. Leave expectations at the door. Every meditation you do is going to a be a different experience. And it will never be exactly what you expect. But, stay open to the experience + receiving because you will always get what you need.
3. Incorporate Mala necklaces. Malas are one of my all time favorite tools to incorporate into my meditations. They are POWERFUL in helping you say focused on the practice instead of getting wrapped up in your thoughts.
This is a more active meditation and because you are going through the physical act of feeling each bead + repeating the mantra, it keeps the focus on that instead of allowing the mind to wander.To learn more on how to meditate with your Mala click here.
5. Incorporate a mantra. Mantra's are my favorite meditation anchors to use (and teach).
Mantra is so powerful because it gives the mind a job. In Sanskrit, the word "Mantra" translates to "mind tool". Mantras are tools for our mind so we can dust away the clutter and focus. Traditionally mantras are chanted in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is unique in its makeup because it is not made up of words, but sounds, of a particular vibration, which is directly related to the energy vibration of the mood, object or action they describe. And, when we chant in this sacred, vibrational language, we are vibrating ourselves + bodies at the vibration of that mantra.
There are thousands of mantras out there. It can be a bit overwhelming when first starting. But I would recommend starting simply. One that I incorporate in most of my teachings, and you'll normally hear me bring up if you do any of my guided meditation experiences, is the mantra Sat Nam. Sat means truth. Nam means name. They come together to translate into "truth is my name" "truth is my essence"
This particular mantra is known as a bija (seed) mantra - a one syllable sound that activates the chakras. A very small but potent mantra. Any time you find your mind wandering, come back to it. Inhaling SAT, exhaling NAM.
One way I have found that makes it a bit easier for me to learn a new mantra is connecting it to music! There are tons of songs on spotify + youtube but just play around! Find one you connect with and get chanting!!!
6. Set the mood. You do NOT need anything fancy or have the perfectly quiet environment to meditate. But, as much as you can, I'd recommend setting the mood and preparing your space before going into meditation. Light candles, burn some incense, put some music on, turn your phone on do not disturb, whatever you gotta do to set yourself up to get the most out of the experience.
4. Crystals! I love using crystals to help ground me deeper into my meditation. When I notice my mind wandering + going on a crazy tangent, I bring my focus back to my crystal. Bringing my attention to how it feels to hold it, and going further to allow its energy to help me during this experience. There are MANY kinds of crystals, each are powerful in their own way.
Some of my favorite ones to meditate with are..
- Rose Quartz: The stone of unconditional love - love for self, love for others, for the planet + all life! It is the essence of unconditional love. It inspires self-acceptance by helping the user to recognize + re-discover their unique inner beauty + nurturing a unique appreciation for oneself.
- Selenite: A powerful cleansing + healing stone (my personal favorite to use in meditation). Helps to clear the mind, dispel negative energy and protects the energy field.
- Amethyst: To help calm thoughts, clear the mind + find peace.
7. Prepare the body. I always enjoy doing bit of yoga or light stretching. Especially before going
into meditation. This helps to release tension in the body and breaks apart any stuck energy in our bodies so that energy can flow freely + we can settle in deeper.
8. Utilize Mudras. A Mudra is a symbolic physical gesture or symbol used as an energetic seal of authenticity and connection. These specific hand gestures/positions act like 'antennas' to guide the flow of energy to the mind + body. Each hand corresponds to a certain part of the mind + body. So, by curling, crossing, stretching + touching the hands in these specific ways allows us to manipulate the mind/body connection.
Many students prefer to meditate with a Mudra because it provides their practice with a specific direction + intention to focus upon. Usually creating a deeper experience and result.
9. PLAY! Have fun with your meditations. There is no right way to meditate. So just have fun with it! Experiment to see what styles you like best + what works for you. You can shape + create your experience into anything you want. It should not feel serious or like HW. There is nothing serious going on here! Just be open + again, allow what you need to come from the experience. This is YOUR time to sit + be in the present moment with yourself. ENJOY IT! And be proud of yourself for showing up.
10. You don't need to sit in lotus pose. For most of us, sitting in lotus pose resembling a buddha statue is just not helpful to our personal practice. My legs cramp or fall asleep (so annoying!) then I get fidgety because I'm so uncomfortable and I just don't get to enjoy my experience.
I personally enjoy sitting on a meditation cushion to help elevate my hips (so my legs don't cramp or fall asleep). You can also sit on a yoga block (with a blanket over for extra comfort).
If you desire to lay down, savasana (corps pose) is lovely + relaxing. The entire body is extended + the breath move more freely.
There are MANY different meditation postures so just experiment with feels best for your body.
11. Start off meditating in smaller time increments. We're going for quality over quantity here. It is absolutely NOT necessary to be in meditation for 30mins or more. Especially when first starting out. We want the priority to be being in the present + sink into the experience. Not how long you are going to be in the experience for.
I personally would recommend setting aside 15 mins to meditate. I find that's the perfect amount of time for allowing myself to reach that detachment of thought and sink into my meditation. But a 5 to 10 min sit can also just as beneficial.
Of course, I recommend setting a good amount of time aside for your practice. BUT, I also want you to just get on your cushion + meditate, so - PLEASE - pick the amount of time that's best for you.
12. Try out different meditation methods! There are so many different styles of meditations so I really recommend trying out as many as possible. But it just keeps things interesting! You get to see what styles you like and that work best with what you're wanting to get out of the experience.
My favorites are kundalini meditation, walking meditation and transcendental meditation.
It is YOUR personal practice. So pick the ones you enjoy most + that keep your desire to want to come back.
12. Come back to the breath. The breath is an incredibly powerful anchor you can come back to at any time when you feel your mind wandering. Gently bring your focus back to your breath. Going into your favorite breathing exercise (I love box breathing, it helps return the breath to it's natural rhythm - click here - for how to).
Focus on the breath for a bit to help sink back into the experience. Those are all the tips I have for you in this post, my friends! I hope they are helpful to you + your practice. Leave me a comment down below + tell me how how work for you.