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Finding Inner Peace: Meditation Basics & Techniques

Why should you meditate?

Meditation is a powerful tool to combat anxiety, stress, tension and frustration. When we bring our focus and attention to our breath, we learn how to remain present in the current moment, and how to reserve our judgement. The best part about meditation is you can do it just about anywhere, and it requires no special equipment. So find yourself in a seated comfortable position (on the floor or in a supportive chair is best), and join us for a moment of bliss.

Types of meditation

  • Breathing with attention. Start with a few inhales and exhales, and bring your attention to your breath. Notice the quality of your breath: is it slow, fast, shallow, deep, forced? Don’t try to change your breath, or make it fit into what you think meditative breathing should be. Simply focus on the way your breath moves your body, where you can feel it on your skin, and how it feels. If your mind begins to wander, bring your attention back to the breath. 
  • Body scan meditation. This type of meditation focuses your mind on specific parts of your body. Start with your feet; simply notice your feet, and how they feel. Then slowly move your attention up through your body to your legs, torso, arms and head, and then back down. Pause and notice any tension, stiffness, or pain in each body part, reserving any judgement or harsh feelings. Focus on relaxing, breathing, and simply moving your attention from one spot to the next. This is a great practice to do while lying in bed!
  • Visualization. This guided meditation practice uses visual cues of certain images, spaces, and feelings to give you a sense of intense relaxation and calm. Often you will be visualizing yourself in nature; walking on a beach, through a forest, or laying in the grass and watching the sky. These mental images serve as a way to focus your attention and give you a more grounded feeling. 
  • Mantra meditation. During a mantra meditation, you will focus on a phrase or sound. Mantras have the power to help us manifest change within ourselves, and are a great tool for mindfulness, gratitude and finding inner peace. Focus your attention on a phrase (for example, “may I have mental happiness,” or the syllable “ohm”), and recite this phrase silently to yourself, repeating it in your mind.