An Outline on How to Meditate Properly
“How do I meditate properly?” is a question I get asked often. Meditation does not have to be difficult. On the contrary, it should be effortless. I have found throughout my mentorship practice that this is where most of my students get frustrated and stuck. During this article we will demystify the meditation process so you can learn how to meditate properly.
Meditation Should Be Effortless
If your meditation practice continuously feels like a monstrous effort and you can’t stop thinking, analyzing, and wondering if you’re doing it right, you’re doing the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish.
The purpose of meditation is to slow down, get out of your head and go beyond your thinking mind. You want to switch from beta waves (fully awake and thinking) to alpha waves (between awake and asleep-think day dreaming) or even theta waves (sleeping). You actually do this unconsciously all day every day as it is.
Imagine your alarm goes off at 6am in the morning. You get up and go into the bathroom (beta waves). You start to brush your teeth, and your mind begins to drift back into a more sleep like state (alpha waves). You turn on the shower and get in (beta waves). Once in the shower, your mind once again drifts off (alpha waves). You get to work and start on your daily tasks (beta waves). Suddenly, your mind drifts to think about an event that happened last night as you stare at your computer screen blankly (alpha waves).
What I want you to understand is the practice of meditation is nothing more than relaxing your body, like you do when you’re falling asleep. Similar to day dreaming, you keep your mind aware and awake. So, to meditate properly you simply relax like you’re going to go to sleep.
Continue to allow yourself to relax more and more, surrendering to the stillness. No thinking, no analyzing, no controlling…simply focus on darkness you see when you close your eyes.
Once you can reach this state you have successfully opened the portal between the conscious and the subconscious mind.
The Flight of Consciousness
When the conscious mind is awake and functioning normally, it persists in a state of beta waves. Each state of brain waves has varying degrees of focus.
For example, when the brain is in high beta, that means it’s in a highly aroused, overly-active state. This usually indicates someone is living in an emergency mode—otherwise known as fight or flight.
Just beyond beta lies the alpha brain state, or the first wave of the subconscious mind. In alpha, your body naturally begins to relax. Your thoughts quiet. You become less focused on your breathing as it begins to slow down too. Your extremities become lighter as you become less aware of your body in space.
The more you surrender to this state of relaxation, the further your progress down the ladder of consciousness.
This is the exact same process you use when you fall asleep at night. You relax and allow your mind to quiet as you drift off to sleep.
The Flight of Consciousness in Reverse
On the other hand, the opposite is true when you struggle to sleep at night. Often, difficulty sleeping can be related to racing thoughts, inability to relax, and discomfort in the body. This is possibly related to stress or being consumed with thoughts about your job, your health, your relationships, …
When you worry about things that have not happened yet, or have already happened, you either send energy towards an undesirable outcome choosing to focus on one possibility out of the infinite available, or you become stuck in the emotions of a past event.
Both scenarios keep you stuck in an emotional cycle of negative thinking. The emotions attached to these thoughts like fear, anger, judgement, and overwhelm lend to thinking more negative thoughts that produce equivalent emotions.
When this cycle that happens over and over again, the body becomes addicted to this emotional state, or the neurochemical hormones that are released in response to these emotional states. All of which perpetuates the cycle of negativity and lack.
Instead of sinking deeper into relaxation and traveling down the ladder of consciousness from beta to alpha, you actually move up the ladder from beta to high beta. You mind is now hyper alert and working in overdrive.
Accessing the Operating System
Meditation is a powerful tool and resource to tap into our subconscious programing and delete undesired programing or upload updated programming.
The subconscious mind is the computer programing that is running behind the scenes of our existence. Whereas your conscious mind is the computer screen, that which you can see and recognize.
When you turn on your computer you may not know “how” the computer is working or running your programs, you are only aware of the functions which you tell it to perform.
Through meditation you are able to access that operating system and consciously alter habits, behaviors, and heal emotional trauma. If you are happy with all your programming, then you can simply use this time for maintenance, and or to create something new.
Mind Awake, Body Asleep
I think we can agree that falling asleep and waking up is not something new. We do it everyday and it is something automatic.
It is during these times that the portal to the subconscious mind is wide open.
There are two neurotransmitters that help to regulate sleep and the awake state. At night as we drift off to sleep melatonin is released to naturally initiate a sleep like state moving our brain from beta to alpha and continuing down to theta and then delta.
In the morning our bodies release serotonin, a daytime neurotransmitter, which reverses the processes.
Likewise, when we meditate, it makes sense that our brain chemistry would once again use melatonin to help induce the same state of relaxation that occurs during sleep.
As you sit still and relax your body, your mind naturally quiets due to less sensory input. This is why having a meditation space that is free from distraction is a critical part of the process. Just like you might have a hard time falling asleep with construction going on outside your bedroom, or loud music blaring from your neighbors house, meditation with too much distraction does not give way to relaxation.
Only Self Awareness Exists
Meditation takes practice.
Just as it takes practice to improve and or master any other skill or athletic endeavor, this too takes effort. Unlocking the doorway to the realm between the conscious and the unconscious gives way to magical and mystical possibilities.
This is where you become the creator. This is where the law of attraction and manifestation work in harmony. In this space there is no right or wrong, no fairness or unfairness, no good or bad. The only thing that exists is self-awareness, the presence of duality, and harmony.
Into the Darkness
When you close your eyes what do you see? The answer should be nothing. You don’t see anything but darkness and possibly some reflections of light. That is what you focus on. This is how I induce myself into my meditations. Just stare into the darkness and sense how vast it is.
As you relax more, the darkness may change to colors, or pictures, like a dream. Allow the visions to come, and the colors to change.
Reminding yourself you are the observer. Simply watch the changes happen as if you are watching television. You do not change the channel or dictate what is playing on the screen. Learning how to meditate properly requires complete surrender of control. Go with the flow.
When you focus on the darkness and light that lies behind your eyes and allow yourself to consciously follow the patterns that show up, you become pure consciousness.
It is in this state of pure consciousness that the mind separates from the body and you are no longer living by the hormones of stress.
You have now reached the portal between the conscious and subconscious. This is the purpose of any meditation practice. Ahhh!
So the next time you sit down to meditate, I want you to remember that you already know how to do this. Slow down, and really focus on the darkness behind your eyes. Remind yourself you are the observer. Stay aware, expand into the future you’ve always wanted. Allow yourself to connect to the feelings of that new future.
At the end of the day, even though I have outlined here “how to meditate properly”, it is more important to participate than to get it right. Whatever works for you is the right way. Be open to anything that shows up, and continue to practice.
Know that the life you’ve always wanted to live awaits you. You just have to make the journey.