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When it comes to meditation we have so many choices. We have a tendency to think sitting completely still with an empty mind when we first think of meditation. The fact is there are many ways to bring meditation into your life.

Here are some possible options for you to explore:

  • Seated meditation. Yes, you can sit comfortably for a period of time just focusing on the breath. Be aware that it is normal for the mind to wander. When you catch yourself simply bring the awareness back to the breath. Let go of any judgements or expectations. Simply B R E A T H E. Observe what is happening and let it go. Counting the length of your breath in and then out can help immensely. Sit on a chair with both feet flat on the ground and the spine long or if it is in your practice sit on the ground with spine long.

  • Walking meditation. Find a pace and try to stick with it and again you can focus on the breath. If the mind wanders acknowledge the thoughts and let them float away. Come back to the breath and your pace as many times as you need to.

  • Gazing meditation. Watching a candle or moving water consciously with the eyes soft and relaxed is a fun meditation. Do this mindfully with a calm breath. No judgements if focus is lost, simply resume when you catch yourself and let go of perfection.

  • Reading daily meditations are very common in recovery, and for a good reason. It is a very attainable way to shift your thinking. Find a meditation book you like or maybe a couple you like. Set time aside each morning to read quietly and think about the daily reading. Work on bringing those thoughts back to you throughout your day.

  • Chanting or use of beads for repetitive prayers or mantras. The use of repetition can do wonders for clearing the mind. You can do this silently or aloud. Use OM or OM Shanti (peace) for sanskrit chanting to begin. You can find more chants here. Use the Serenity Prayer or a personal mantra "I am safe", "I am serene", "I feel great". Whatever you may need for the day. Learn more on how to use prayer beads here.

The most important thing is to just do it. Maybe everyday you will do it differently but continue to build your practice. Maybe at first you sit from 3 - 5 minutes and start working towards 5 - 10 onto 10 - 15 and so on. If you're walking maybe your walks get longer. If using beads maybe you start out with a small set and move to a larger set. Meet yourself where you are and let go of all judgements. It is your practice and only yours. Look for small improvements and honor yourself each time for practicing and whatever you were able to do.

#meditation #step11 #walkingmeditation #candlegazing #chanting

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