Self-Meditation: Meaning and Techniques

Self-Meditation: Meaning and Techniques

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Incorporating this simple self-meditation routine into your day-to-day life can transform your relationship with yourself, others, and the world around you.

So, if you’ve been confused or found meditation difficult in the past, you’re not alone. Meditation in general is very hard to define.  Generally, it consists of focusing your attention as a way to calm the soul and mind.

Breathing is often considered a very common focus point in various types of mediation, as well as in self-meditation. Because staying focused on one’s breath removes outside distractions, constant worries, and restlessness from the mind.

While the practice of self-meditation dates back centuries, it has recently gained newfound popularity. Well, why the sudden popularity boom? Self-Meditation can be practiced anywhere and anytime, it is accessible to everyone and can be tailored to accommodate a variety of time constraints, demanding responsibilities, physical disabilities, and lack of space.

Self-Meditation is a healthy form of self-care and both healthcare/wellness experts and meditation enthusiasts say it’s a valuable antidote to the fast pace of our technology-driven demanding culture.

Related: Meditation for Peace and Serenity

Self-Meditation Meaning

Self-Meditation is a process of focusing your attention as a way to calm the mind and soul. Breathing is a common focal point in self-meditation.

“Self-Meditation is not just about helping us calm down, be mindful, and “de-stress” although it can do all of those things. Self-Meditation helps us to see the contents of our minds and hearts without being judgmental and to understand the way we construct the world and the pain we carry around with greater clarity, compassion, and acceptance. In this way, meditation has the power to transform our relationship to ourselves, to others, and the world around us.”

Why Self-Meditate?

Self-Meditation has a wide array of health benefits, both mental and physical.

Studies have shown that self-meditation can reduce symptoms of anxiety. Another study found that self-meditation may encourage the growth of new brain neurons by forming new connections between existing neurons. This study concluded that these neurological effects suggest self-meditation is an effective treatment for anxiety and may even help prevent anxiety from developing.

Self-Meditation Quotes

  1. Feel that life likes you just the way you are; otherwise, it would have made you different. -Barbara Ann Kipfer
  2. A true smile is when the mouth and the heart coordinate with each other. -Barbara Ann Kipfer
  3. A true smile is when the mouth and the heart coordinate with each other. -Barbara Ann Kipfer
  4. Sleeping sprawled out on the bed. -Barbara Ann Kipfer
  5. Rainbows apologizing for angry skies. -Barbara Ann Kipfer
  6. Transgressions are to be understood and corrected, not dwelt upon or agonized over. -Barbara Ann Kipfer
  7. The quality of our lives depends, to a large degree, on the results of our decisions. -Barbara Ann Kipfer
  8. Try adding contemplation to your actions. When you are sweeping, you can be removing anger or fear. When you are mowing, you can be cutting down desire and greed. -Barbara Ann Kipfer
  9. If you follow your bliss,   you put yourself on a   kind of track,   which has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. —Joseph Campbell
  10. It  is  very important    to  develop  a   state    of  mind called   “immovable wisdom.”  It means having fluidity around an unmoving center so that your mind is clear and ready to direct its attention wherever it may be needed.   —Takuan

Self-Meditation Techniques

  1. Go to a garden and just stand in it. Absorb the fragrances, the light, the temperature, the music of the plants and birds and insects. Inhale the prana (cosmic energy) of these growing things. Recharge your inner batteries.
  2. Take a minute to reflect on work as part of the spiritual dimension of the universe.
  3. Let small chores serve as Stop signs for you: Breath, relax, and experience peace.
  4. Equanimity Meditation: All beings are the owners of their karma. Their happiness and unhappiness depend upon their actions, not upon my wishes for them.
  5. Use food wisely and appreciatively—it lifts your body and spirit.
  6. Yoga and meditation are allies. Practice them together.
  7. Though outer events may be difficult, the key to your happiness lies in how your mind responds to them.
  8. Sit, stop, become a human still life. Do nothing, be nothing, except breath.
  9. Investigate your distractions: Focus on one for a little while, then return to your primary task.
  10. Once you feel convinced of the preciousness and necessity of compassion and tolerance, you will experience a sense of being touched, a sense of being transformed from within. Notice your attachments to food, clothes, and shelter. Can you be satisfied with less?

Self-Meditation for Anxiety

  • Laughter makes you grow more enlightened. It shrinks the exaggerated seriousness of your problems by making you relax your fixation on them.
  • Play spiritual music to soothe your soul—while you work, drive, clean, cook, bathe, pay bills, or relax.  Harmonious sounds can be magical.
  • When driving, concentrate on the experience. Feel the steering wheel, the pedals, the seat. Drive just to drive.
  • Breathing in, experience liberation. Breathing out, experience liberation.
  • A mantra should be one to three syllables and have a soothing sound.
  • If you see something on television or hear something on the radio that irritates you, change the channel, mute the sound, and turn it off.
  • Before a performance, imagine yourself executing it perfectly from beginning to end.   When you engage in fulfilling the needs of others, your own needs become fulfilled as well.
  • Practice virtue through mindful attention and nonattachment.

Think about a piece of music—some great symphony—we don’t expect it to get better as it develops, or that its whole purpose is to reach the final crescendo.  The joy is found in listening to the music in each moment. —ALAN WATTS

  • The art of mindful living requires keen interest and a   lifetime of gentle and determined effort, remembering to wake up over and over again.
  • Think generous thoughts.
  • Instead of trying to plan everything out, dive into the present moment and tap into your wellspring of intuitive guidance.
  • Be aware of actions, emotional states, intentions, and mental and physical reactions. Then let them go.
  • If you work with creative awareness, are present in your thoughts and actions, and fully inhabit each moment, you will find a flow and rightness in whatever
  • you do—every action will be as it should be. AFFIRMATION: I am a fresh seed, sprouting anew.
  • Offer help.
  • Cultivate restraint through meditation. It gives you strength, energy, and composure of mind.
  • Is the situation dark, or are you obscuring the light with your ego? If you cease to worry about your self-interest in a situation, you can simply let life unfold as it will.
  • Open the door to experiencing joy.
  • It is better to be useful over a long period and at a moderate pace than to make excessive efforts that are short-lived.
  • Cook with love—it’s what separates good food from mere fuel.
  • In   every   situation   and interaction today, remind   yourself, “This is it!”
  • Add moments of conscious awareness to your day.
  • Love the people in your life.   Act with integrity, bringing harmony to all.
  • When confronted by an angry person, simply observe his unhappiness and breathe in. Breathing out, try to understand and empathize.
  • As you prepare to start your day, envision a large, contented lion stretching and roaring. Raise your arms and spread them wide with palms forward. Stretch. Breathe. Leap forward into your day.
  • Be like a lotus, opening your heart to drink in the morning sun.
  • Can you love without interfering?
  • When you are in the middle of chaos, be aware that it will pass—so relax, breathe, and just accept it.
  • Know that you are worthy of grace.  Receive every gift with gratitude and joy.
  • Moments of stillness and genuine simplicity offer glimpses of what it means to live on a spiritual freeway.

Self-Meditation for Sleep

  • Be willing to be surprised.
  • Observe your opinions and harsh feelings, see them form and melt like snowflakes.   Let go of the opinions and bad feelings.
  • Observe that all of the tumbling and rolling of this world comes from arguing over unimportant matters; calamity issues from the mouth.
  • The more you meditate, the more you get in touch with yourself. Breathing in, feel joyful. Breathing out, feel joyful.
  • Close your eyes and walk in the dark.
  • Send yourself metta. Sit quietly, then turn your attention to whatever aspect of your mind or body you feel most estranged from. Acknowledge and soothe it with warmth and acceptance. You can say the following (or whatever comes naturally to you): “May I accept this. May I be filled with loving-kindness toward this? May I use the pain of this experience for the welfare of all.”
  • Take a few moments to contemplate something you are especially grateful for. Now remove the details of that experience and focus only on the essence that remains.   Allow this essence to fill your body and expand through your entire being. Let it direct your life.
  • Meditation is not about escaping from life. Use your awareness to live with gusto.
  • Look. Stand still and see.
  • Observe whether your mind is quiet or whether thoughts begin to flow. Are these creative thoughts or judgmental ones? Are you accepting the world as it is or are you somehow not satisfied?
  • Return to your breathing each time your mind wanders.

We should find perfect existence through imperfect existence. — SHUNRYU SUZUKI, ZEN MIND, BEGINNER’S MIND

  • Be mindful and let things take their course. Then your mind will become still like a forest pool. All kinds of animals will come to drink at your pool, and you will see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things, but you will be still.  This is the happiness of the Buddha.

Self-Meditation Guide

  • It is better to conquer yourself than to win a   thousand battles. The victory is yours, and it cannot be taken from you.
  • Exercise your sense of smell. Take something you want to explore—a   flower, tea leaves, gingerbread cookies—and hold it near your nose. Be aware of the changes in the smell as you become saturated with the scent. Be aware of the sensations in your body as you breathe in and out. Stay alert to the fragrances around you.
  • Loving acts bear loving fruit.
  • AFFIRMATION: I rest in tranquility and grace.  I am calm, fulfilled, and happy.  I take refuge in my calm center.
  • At the end of the day, look for the stillness that underlies everything. Before you go to sleep, make a list of ten little things that made you happy.
  • If you want to eat everything in sight, stay with the experience and don’t act on it. The feeling will take its course.
  • Remember the Golden Rule.
  • Create your private world in meditation. Give it a protective aura and make it calm, centered, quiet, and settled. Carry it with you even after your meditation.
  • Eat mindfully anywhere—even in a fast-food restaurant.
  • Retrain your mind not to focus on the one bad thing but rather on the nine great things.
  • The more concerned you are about the happiness of others, the more you build your happiness.  Think only of what is good for the other person— do not expect anything in return.
  • Take slow, deep breaths while on the telephone, in the car, or simply waiting.
  • Meditate with sound. Play beautiful music and listen to each note with mindfulness.
  • Breathing in, be aware of your whole body. Breathing out, be aware of your whole body.
  • Take a step, then another. It might be the same step, but you have to take it.
  • Seek a “safe harbor” with your consciousness.
  • The practices of mindfulness and lovingkindness help us to understand that all things deserve care—that when you relate to all things with kindness, you are relating to yourself with kindness.
  • Each morning, ponder how you can devote the day to the good of all living beings.
  • See if you can drop everything for a moment.
  • If you catch yourself being paranoid or taking things too personally, question your logic.  Are people trying to hurt you? Or are they simply unaware of your feelings?
  • When you’re angry, try this meditation: Breathing in, I calm my anger. Breathing out, I take care of my anger.
  • Eating a meal mindfully is an important practice.
  • Do one thing at a time.
  • As you begin to eat, notice the texture and taste of your food. Eat slowly and mindfully.
  • During your day, try to send loving kindness to strangers and associates. Note the difference between feeling isolated and feeling connected using your practice.
  • Blend the awareness of where you are with the awareness of where you are stepping.
  • Imagine that the way you walk through life is the way you will be walking through eternity. Think about how you want to live forever, and start to live that way now.
  • Most of life will unfold by forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it. Your thoughts have far less of an effect on this world than you would like to think.
  • Get up earlier—give yourself a time of stillness. Use it to cultivate awareness.

Self-Meditation Book

Self-Meditation by Barbara Ann Kipfer

Also Read: Mindfulness Exercises to Improve Your Mental Health

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