Beginner’s Guide to Meditation: 3 Steps to Inspire Inner Peace
by Jennifer Parmelee
Having a meditation practice is the quickest way to unravel any fears, anxieties, or uncertainties. When we begin to open ourselves up to meditation, we let go of doing and learn how to listen to our calm and enlightening voice. This voice is the one that always provides peace. It is the one that says choose love, not fear. It is the voice that inspires us, and it gives us creative ways to live and positive solutions to our problems. But first, we must learn to sit still. I recommend setting a timer for five minutes a day for the first week or two, then add another five minutes each week until you are mediating about 20-30 minutes each day.
Come into a comfortable cross-legged seat if you can. Try sitting up on a block or blanket to support your spine. You can also sit against a wall, or come to sit in a chair if that is more comfortable for you. Bring your thumb and forefinger to touch and let the backs of the hands rest comfortably on your thighs. Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your third eye point. This is the space between your eyebrows, about two inches deep within the brain. It is here where the sixth chakra lives, and it is also our place of our intuition.
First step: Take a deep breath in and then exhale out a long, audible, sigh of… Ahhhhhh, or you can chant Om. Do this as many times as you like to relax yourself. Start to become the observer of your thoughts and without any judgment notice what they are. After a few moments of watching, begin to release them by focusing your attention on your breath.
Second step: Begin inhaling up the back of your spine, and then exhale down the front of your spine. Continue to do this until you feel calm. If you like, add a color to your breath, a color that makes you happy.
Third step: Use the mantra Mung. Repeat it several times silently in your mind, Mung, Mung, Mung… This mantra is used to calm the nervous system. As you use these tools, your breath becomes calmer and your mind quieter. Once you have found stillness, bask in its serenity for as long as you can. If at any time you feel anxious go back to breathing up and down the spine, or chant Mung.
When you are ready to come out of meditation, place the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth and swallow. This will reground your energy. Place your palms together in front of your heart and rub them together to create some heat. Separate the palms feeling the radiant energy between them. Cascade that energy from the top of your head down to the souls of your feet. Take a moment before you open your eyes to surrender your head to your heart and give thanks for your mediation.
Jennifer Parmelee has been a devoted practitioner and teacher of yoga for over 25 years and works as part of the Live Well / Stay Well Program at Tournesol Wellness. She is the author of Petal by Petal – The Flowering Self: A Healing Chakra Journey, and created the Yoga CD, Sit Within Yourself: A Healing Chakra Guided Meditation. She teaches ISHTA Yoga in New York City, while facilitating yoga teacher trainings and providing pre-natal, restorative, and chakra-gemstone healing workshops nationally.