When I started thinking about meditating, I started to get overwhelmed with all the different types of meditation that are out there. There are so many different types. I mostly did mindfulness meditation when I started because that’s just something that I knew and that’s something that was out there. As I started to do more and more research on meditation, I started to realize just how many different types of meditation is out there. I also started to realize that meditation doesn’t necessarily mean just sitting still, and closing your eyes, and trying to get rid of all of your thoughts.
One of the big things that I would like to introduce you all to that helps me out on a daily basis, it’s called kirtan. For those of you who don’t know what kirtan is, kirtan is a music meditation. It combines music, and a mantra, and sometimes it involves dancing.
The kirtan that I tend to use is a mantra. It’s a universal mantra, and it’s in Sanskrit. The universal mantra is Baba Nam Kevalam. It translates to “Love is all there is”. How beautiful is that? I’ll be listening to kirtan in the car. It’s sort of my meditation when I’m driving. It makes driving so much easier. When you’re in traffic and you’re listening to kirtan and singing along, it’s like, “Okay, everything’s fine. Everything’s fine.” And it just makes things so much better.
Another form of meditation that you might be able to fit into your life is moving meditation. Go for a walk. Go for a walk and just be mindful of your movements. Really feel the connection as your feet touch the ground. Feel the connection with your breath as your walking. Just really feel that connection with the earth as you’re walking around and feel connected with nature. Walking meditation is something that you can incorporate into your life if you feel like you’re too busy for meditation.
The other kind of meditation is simply just mindfulness. The thing that I learned about mindfulness meditation is that it’s not just about being aware of your breathing, and your body, and your senses. It’s also being aware of your thoughts. So as you sit in meditation and you’re being mindful, you start to become aware of your thoughts, but you don’t judge those thoughts. That’s the big thing with mindfulness, is being aware of your thoughts without judgment. That’s something that I struggle with all the time. Because I know when I first started meditating, I would sit and close my eyes, be like, “Okay, I’m meditating. I’m meditating.” And then I’d see a thought go by. Then I’d be like, “Ugh. I’m meditating wrong. I’m having thoughts. Ah!” So it would get so frustrating.
I realized after a meditation instructor told me about mindfulness and being aware of your thoughts without judgment, that sort of made sense to me. So I was able to just meditate and just watch my thoughts go by. I would just be like, “Okay, there’s a thought. There’s a thought. And it’s gone.” The point is to just see your thoughts as they are and not to ruminate on them. Just see them, let them go.
Now, the last form of meditation that I’ll tell you all about, and it’s the form of meditation that I use on a daily basis, and it’s spiritual meditation. I never really thought I would get into spiritual meditation. I didn’t really know anything about it. I thought that it was more connected to Hinduism. But it’s really a universal thing. If you are doing spiritual meditation, it doesn’t mean that you ascribe to any sort of religion. It just connects you to the bigger universe of things, like to that feeling of being connected to God and seeing other people as connected to God.
Spiritual meditation has just brought me more in touch with myself and in touch with other people around me.
So what I’ll do during spiritual meditation is I will focus on my universal mantra, which, as I told you guys, it was baba nam kevalam, which is love is all there is. So that’s what I’ll tend to focus on during my spiritual meditation. So I’ll just close my eyes and just continue to focus on that mantra.
Because the trick about meditation is that your mind will never be clear. Thoughts will come. So the point of spiritual meditation and mantra meditation is that you focus on that mantra. You focus on something positive instead of your thoughts that come up. So wouldn’t you rather focus on a beautiful mantra that means something rather than your day-to-day thoughts that they can tend to be negative? Some of them are positive, but some of them are negative. So you want to just continue to focus on that mantra.
The trick about meditation is that your mind will never be clear. Thoughts will come. So the point of spiritual meditation and mantra meditation is that you focus on that mantra. You focus on something positive instead of your thoughts that come up. So wouldn’t you rather focus on a beautiful mantra that means something rather than your day-to-day thoughts that they can tend to be negative? Some of them are positive, but some of them are negative. So you want to just continue to focus on that mantra.
Just Start Meditating
I just want to encourage you guys to just start, even if you just meditate for a minute. Just start and find the type of meditation that’s right for you, that fits into your lifestyle. Because that’s the biggest thing, is it has to fit into your lifestyle, and it has to be something positive in your life. So find something that you actually look forward to and something that makes you feel good, and you’ll continue to do it.