Meditation for Spiritual Guidance
Why Should You Meditate?
There are many reasons why you should meditate. First, meditation helps you focus your mind, relax your body, and reduce stress. Second, it improves your mood and reduces anxiety. Third, it can help you sleep better at night. Fourth, it can help you manage pain and heal injuries. Fifth, it can help you live longer. And sixth, it can help you become happier.
Meditation for Spiritual Guidance
As a spiritual teacher and guide I'm often asked about meditation what it is, do I meditate, what are the benefits of meditation, and why would I want to meditate, and what kind of spiritual guidance can I receive from my meditation practice?
So, in this post, I'm going to talk about meditation, give you a little bit of background about it, go into some of the challenges people often experience and some simple ways to overcome the resistance and challenges you may experience as you seek guidance, balance and a better understanding of your true nature.
Then I'm going to help you prepare for a brief meditation and finally I will walk you through meditation that will help you become present and open your mind to receiving spiritual guidance.
When I'm about to teach you does not require any background or knowledge of meditation. If you have not successfully meditated in the past, that's fine and I'm excited for you to know that you are open to an experience that literally can change your life. It opens up a totally new world of possibilities.
I’ve been meditating for over 20 years and normally meditate first thing in the morning for about an hour and also for an hour before going to bed. Just so you know, when I started, I was excited if I could keep a focus and quiet mind for 5 to 10 minutes.
It’s a skill and like any skill, takes practice and a decision to do it.
I started with Vipassana, or insight meditation that focuses on the breath and seeing things as they are, without judging or dwelling on them. Just acknowledge the thought and return to the breath. Over the years, I’ve also meditated using what is known as binaural sound technology with the Monroe Institute Hemi-Sync programs, taoist, guided imagery meditation, walking meditations, chanting and several others but I always find myself retuning to Vipassana.
I also have a daily Qigong and Tai Chi practice that generally takes me to a very balanced and peace state of mind.
It’s important to note that while clearing the mind is often a goal of meditation, the reality is that thoughts occur in the human mind. Even after 20 plus years of meditating, thoughts come into my mind, sometimes frequently. Meditation allows me to observe the thoughts without letting them take control of my mind.
Meditation for Spiritual Guidance
What Is It?
Meditation has been practiced in many cultures throughout history, and there are different types of meditation that focus on specific goals. Some meditations involve focusing on breathing, while others use guided imagery or visualization techniques.
Which one is right for you and how does it work to help you access your deeper self, inner peace and spiritual guidance?
It depends on a lot of factors that include your own beliefs, background, meditation experience and general lifestyle and habits.
Why do your beliefs matter?
Countless times, people have said to me, "I can't or couldn't meditate. I tried once and my mind was too busy or it didn't work."
If that is your mindset, meditation could be challenging for you at the beginning. You may have heard the saying, "You are what you believe." For you to move to the stage where you may benefit from meditation, you will get benefits much more rapidly if change your beliefs. Otherwise you begin the effort with a massive block to success.
So, how would you change the belief?
Here’s how I help my students and clients get past that hurdle: We start with a five minute meditation where I go through a brief relaxation exercise that helps the meditator by calming their body and becoming more aware of it.
I then ask them to watch the breath as it enters their nose and mouth and move down their throat into their lungs. And then encourage a smooth exhale. The entire time I am reminding them just to focus on the breath.
When the five minutes are up, I asked if they feel they had any success slowing down their thoughts. The most common reaction is yes but all of these thoughts kept popping into my head. I then ask them, “did you perhaps even have 10 or 15 seconds where you are able to silence your chattering mind?”
100% of the time that I have taught meditation to people with this belief, they have said yes there were 10 or 15 seconds when their mind was silent.
I then say congratulations! You just had 15 seconds of meditation. Next time, maybe you'll get 20 or 30 seconds. Remember to celebrate the small successes.
The other area beliefs impact meditation results and practices is your background and experiences with religion, which can be a powerful influence and impact the results.
But what exactly is meditation for spiritual guidance?
And how does it work?
It begins with opening up to the reality that there is a force in the universe that is greater than you And that you are part of and it is a part of you. It goes by many names including God, the great spirit, the all that is, the universal mind or even the force from Star Wars.
Whatever you choose to call this, allow for it’s existence and create space in your consciousness to accept and hear it.
Your consciousness is part of that universal mind. The energy of the universe is in you. Through quieting your mind, becoming aware of and allowing yourself to your connect to the greater consciousness, you can access, ask and receive guidance from it.
Sometimes the response or message is very bold and clear with the meditator hearing a distinct voice in their head, other times it comes across as a strong intuition or feeling. You may be familiar with stories from the mystics throughout history and their experiences communicating with the all that is and their guides. In my experiences, the messaging comes as a strong feeling with almost a subtle whispering that I experience in my head and heart.
Many people meet and come to develop a personal connection and relationship with a guide, guardian angel, their soul or greater self or a master.
As you practice, you will learn to know yourself better and become more familiar with the voice, feeling or other types of experiencing your guide.
This is a point, once again that your beliefs play a major role in your progress.
As you become more skilled, meditate more often and learn to silence your chattering mind, (what the Buddhist’s call the monkey mind), you become more aware of the present. It is in the present moment where the guidance is revealed.
In the normal lives of most people, the mind is filled with thoughts of past events and experiences or worrying or thinking in some way about the future.
The past is gone and the future is not here. The only moment that counts is the present.
The traumas you may have experienced in the past no longer exist, except for in your mind. The belief systems that were drummed into you that said you not worthy of love are false and no longer exist. It’s ok to let them go.
The only moment you are living is in the now. Now is eternity, eternal and now is a gift. Your spiritual guidance comes to you in the present moment.
If you’re reliving past moments or worried about future moments, you are placing barriers between yourself and your guide that will prevent you from hearing, feelng or experiencing the message.
There are so many wonders to be found in the present. Sights, sounds, textures, feelings, tastes, smells, emotions and an infinite number of of possibilities, all to be experienced and enjoyed in the present moment.
Meditation is a gift of solitude, peace and an act of kindness you are giving yourself. It’s a powerful tool for personal growth. At any time, you could have an experience during a single meditation can change your life in many ways.
You want to be uninterrupted and free of distraction, particularly at the early stages of your meditation practice. As you become more mindful, you learn to allow the distractions to become part of your meditation as you recognize them and let them go.
What is it that you wish to receive guidance or insights about?
Many people, me included like to write it down. That helps to clarify what I am asking about and to also write out why I’m requesting the guidance and how I’ll feel once I receive it.
Remember that we live in an energetic, feeling universe. Receiving the guidance you are requesting will result in a feeling that you desire. Ultimately, the feeling is what it’s all about so combining the intention with the feeling takes you closer to experiencing it.
Try to be specific and be open to the reality that you are in a position to receive the guidance and information you are requesting.
After you’ve written it down or have clearly thought about it, say to yourself, I ask for this, or something greater and I am grateful for what I am about to receive.
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