5 Steps to Meditate
1. Location: Find a safe place where you can close your eyes while sitting on a comfortable surface. Set a timer for a few minutes (1-30 minutes).
2. Posture: Close your eyes, imagine a thread being pulled from the base of your spine, up your back, and through the top of your head. Relax your shoulders.
3. Breath: Breath through your nose. As thoughts enter your mind let them drift away, without judging them and return your attention to your breath or the feeling of your seat.
4. Allow yourself to feel the discomfort that comes with sitting still and relinquishing control by trying to respond.
WHY FOUR MINUTES A DAY?
I was taught by my father at a young age how to meditate, and throughout my adult life occasionally returned to the practice for a few moments but quickly stopped after not sensing any immediate results.
Fast forward twenty years later, sitting in my therapist’s office in Brooklyn.
Over the course of the year that I met with Roberta she asked questions in effort to guide me to answers. She only told me once to do something, and that was to meditate daily. Just four minutes a day of regular sitting would suffice. She suggested that I build an alter, that served as a dedicated space to meditation. It could contain a stone, a piece of paper, or anything that was meaningful. The purpose of the alter was to have a visual reminder, and it worked. I felt a tang of guilt one evening as I looked at my bed and again at the alter. I begrudgingly set my alarm for four minutes and sat in front of a wooden box that I had picked up on the side of the street, that I repurposed as my alter.
I decided to commit to a meditation practice for four minutes a day, every day for two weeks. If I did not notice a substantial difference I would stop.
I found it to be interesting that sometimes I had an extensive internal battle in effort to pull myself to sit still for just four minutes.
After getting over the two week hump, the four minutes seemed less daunting and I decided one morning that I would set an intention, as we often did in the beginning of yoga class. I visualized myself as a conduit of love. As I breathed through my nose, I imaged that air to be a light pink color, and as I exhaled, I released the pink air, feeling my lungs emptying out into my bedroom. I imagining my body as simply a cavity that was flowing the light of love.
One of the great advantages of working with young children is that they are mirrors. Humans are mimetic beings, at at the tender age of five, six, seven, eight years old they rely heavily on body language and tone of voice to make sense of communication. As a I continued this pink-air-flowing-love meditation, I sensed a change in my classes. I felt calmer more often during the times at which I was teaching and the students’ seemed to relax. More students were asking to return to the classroom during their lunch or recess, and I felt the energy of the room shifting to be more frequently that of calmness.
I increased my meditation time to five minutes a day and continued setting the pink love intention for the remainder of the month, and a began to feel as though I had unlocked a secret to happiness. I experimented at work. When a student threw a tantrum or displayed signs of anxiety or anger, I imagined this light flowing through me and more often than not my words and actions helped to deescalate the situation without emotional exhaustion.
Do you have four minutes a day?
By developing a meditation practice, you begin to tap into knowledge that is buried under the cacophony of every day stimuli. Meditation sets up the circumstances in which you can separate yourself from the mind, and awareness begins.
HOW does meditation work?
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing. Rei means "Universal Guidance" and Ki mean life force energy. Reiki is the universal guidance of energy.
The Reiki practitioner increases the light being channeled from the unlimited universal source of energy. As you relax, the healer uses ancient Japanese symbols and intentions to increase the energy flow through and around your body. Energy blockages causing physical, mental and emotional pain are intuitively sensed, and can offer insight to the the potential root causes of one's pain.
This hands on/off healing therapy helps restore the fluidity of the energy traveling through your body, and offer awareness to your connection to the universal life force that connects us.