What do you think of when you hear the word "meditation"? Is it a person sitting peacefully, eyes closed? Is it the idea of emptying your mind and calming your thoughts? There are many ways to meditate, some more challenging than others. If you are new to meditation, or have unsuccessfully tried to meditate in the past, you can try a variety of them and see which works for you.
A walking meditation is just what it sounds like -- meditation while walking. It is helpful for people who have trouble relaxing their minds or staying awake while meditating.
You can walk anywhere during a walking meditation, but quiet, flat places in nature are the best for calming your mind. Before you begin, it is important to anchor yourself in your body. Stand firmly, back straight, and take several deep breaths. Keep your eyes open, but let them relax and rest on the path before you. As you begin to walk, move slowly and evenly. Focus your attention on the feeling of your body moving -- shifting your weight, raising one foot, moving it forward, and setting it down during each step. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breathing and your body moving. Do this for at least fifteen minutes.
Meditation to Connect with Ancestors
Connecting with your ancestors can be a wonderful source of peace and insight, but it is not always easy to do. Fortunately, there are two techniques that are simple to learn.
The first one is a seated meditation. Find a comfortable spot where your body feels supported, either on the floor, a cushion, or in a comfortable chair. If you have an object or photograph that belonged to one of your ancestors, hold it in your non-dominant hand (for most people, this is the left hand). Take three deep breaths, breathing in for a count of four, holding it for a count of three, and releasing it for a count of seven.
When you are relaxed and ready, ask your ancestors for their presence and guidance. Open yourself to any sensations you feel from the object or photograph. Your hand might tingle, or the object might feel warm or cold. You might notice something about it that you never realized before. Sit and allow yourself to feel the energy of the object. As you gain experience doing this, you can begin to feel the spiritual connection to your ancestors.
The second is an active meditation. Do you know any cultural activities that your ancestors took part in? You might have a family recipe, or a favorite food from their country, or a craft you enjoy doing. The next time you cook or work, relax your mind before you start. As you begin, focus on your breathing. Ask your ancestors for their presence and guidance. While your work, leave your mind open to any messages you receive. If you find your mind wandering or worries popping up, just redirect your thoughts to focusing on the feeling of the task you are doing -- your breath moving in and out, your hands moving, any smells or sensations you get. When you are through, thank your ancestors for their presence.
Connecting with Angels
One of the keys to meditation is to avoid trying too hard. Meditating to connect with angels is a gentle, easy, safe way place to practice.
First, find a comfortable position. This could be standing, sitting, or lying down. Let your shoulders drop down, your jaw relax, your eyes close, and your hands go limp. Take several deep breaths, and release them slowly. When you are ready to begin, speak your intention to connect with the angels around you.
Turn your focus to your environment. Without opening your eyes, listen, smell, taste, and feel. Do you feel a soft touch, or goosebumps? Do you smell a mysterious perfume? Note any unique feelings or experiences you have -- they could be signs from your guardian angels or spirit guides. When you are through, thank them. The more you repeat this, the better you will get at picking up on signals from angels and the spirit world.
Meditation can bring peace to a troubled mind, and allow you to receive messages from your ancestors and angels. If you have never meditated before, give it a try -- even if you feel you are not successful on your first try, time spent meditating is never wasted.