In a world seemingly gone mad, crazy, confused and upside down over the past 15 months, the need to search for ways to stay centered, balanced and in control has taken hold. People are attaining new heights and opening pathways towards understanding life’s “new normal” and how the existence we once knew may seemingly be gone forever. When we experience moments of hopelessness that can make us feel lost, the Universe beckons us to go on an adventure of self-discovery in order to learn more about who we are. It turns out that we humans come well-equipped with the answers we seek. Little did we know what we were looking for had been right under our nose all along – inside.
The Inner Worlds of Higher Consciousness
Welcome to the inner worlds of higher consciousness; a new frontier of expanding the mind and opening the heart. It’s a place that is safe and protected, where you have complete comfort during the process and can look forward to an outcome of positivity, strength and growth.
Think of this exploration as an opportunity to give yourself permission to lift your mood to a new level of being – happy, balanced, peaceful and clear. There is no prior experience necessary or a right or wrong way to do it. Anyone can participate in it anytime, anywhere and it’s free. It’s called meditation and it is the vehicle to transformation. The word meditation is a pathway to connect into something much larger and more expansive than ourselves. Call it God, Buddha, Spirit, Creator, Source or choose your own name and let this benevolent energy be your welcoming partner in creating a better and healthier existence for you every day, here on Planet Earth.
Everything Old is New Again
Wise old sages and saddhus of India practiced meditation thousands of year ago. It wasn’t until the 1960s, when introduced to the United States by teachers such as Swami Vivekananda and then popularized by Pramahansa Yogananda, that certain communities embraced the benefits passionately.
The practice of meditation grew in a broader sense when the uber-popular Yogi Maharishi Mahesh brought forward transcendental meditation (TM). Add a healthy dose of the Beatles and a movement was born. George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon took the lead with their expansive inner meditations, discovering that it (along with other things) inspired their songwriting for such releases as Revolver, Rubber Soul and The White Album, not to mention Harrison and Ravi Shankar’s Concert for Bangladesh, among others.
Meditation became a true movement for exploring the world of higher consciousness and has been cemented as a “go to” technique for those choosing alternate means of healing ever since.
Meditation is on the rise
Through the years, health and wellness continued to evolve and has become an essential part of our knowledge regarding longevity and prevention of disease. Meditation is synonymous with yoga, clean eating and natural living as a path to a conscious existence, connecting to Mother Earth and to one another. With the stress of earning a living and functioning in society, meditation has become the highly sought-after solution for increased wellness and balance.
Regardless of how well you cope with your everyday existence, there is no downside to turning off social media, lighting a candle, burning some incense, getting out the diffuser and your essential oils and going in deep. You might just find you like where you end up.
It Begins with the Inhale
Making the decision to begin a meditation practice can be a little like learning to ride a bike. You know you want to get somewhere, but it might feel a bit wobbly at the start.
First off, don’t take yourself too seriously. Be reasonable about the expectations you have for yourself. Often, as one begins, the millions of thoughts that swirl around in your head are obstacles that you can learn to “quiet” in order to obtain the nirvana you seek. Meditation can be an answer, even when there are no questions. The perks can be felt in your relationship with yourself and others, as well as an increased focus on your purpose and the many important decisions life throws at you.
Don't be Hard on Yourself
Meditation is truly the pathway to knowing yourself better and being in control of the thoughts that keep you stuck and in a state of contraction. It can be a mind-expanding, magical journey of discovering your world with a new perspective. Don’t be hard on yourself. That is a sure way to want to stop trying and call it a day. You’re not required to be a master. Remember that meditation is called “a practice.”
Next, begin your meditation practice with a commitment of five minutes a day. Those five minutes of following the breath in and out, holding the intention of quieting the mind will bring you many benefits. So many, in fact, that you will soon increase that five minutes to 10… 10 to 20 minutes and so on. The sky, as they say, is the limit, although in this case, there are limitless possibilities when it comes to meditation.
Consider scheduling a consistent time and place (such as a meditation room, alter space or favorite spot in nature). Your body’s muscle memory will learn to begin the relaxation process as soon as the clock strikes the time that has been chosen, similar to the bell and Pavlov’s dog.
Breath is the Gateway to Meditation
There is a way to tap into your higher consciousness with ease and gentleness and it’s already something you do about every 3-4 seconds. Breathe. Allowing your breath to change your state of being is one of the many gifts of our creation as a species.
The Power of the Breath
Think back to a time when the chaos of the world seemed to pile on your shoulders and caused overwhelm. It is in these moments of intense stress that having time-tested tools could be the thing that saves you. Your breath can serve to take you from a fight or flight sympathetic, anxiety response, to a slow, deep measured breath that can bring you to a para-sympathetic, rest and relaxation response, which makes a measurable difference in how you respond to impactful stressors.
When it comes to the practice of meditation, it is the awareness of the breath that brings you to he journey within. Being totally present and aware in the moment, yet detached enough from the pace of the outside world, is what you need to stem the tide of stress and any negative thoughts. Engaging in some simple breathwork techniques throughout your day (busy or not) can help you get grounded, connected and support you in making meditation a daily routine.
Leave the Distractions Behind
You might be thinking that meditation won’t work for you. If you are thinking… “oh, it sounds great and useful, but I have a million deadlines I have to make at work and the laundry needs to be done and the grocery shopping and…and…and.” Breathe. That stuff you have swirling in your head? It’s normal. Also, more good news. It does go away in time when you set an intention to let go and give yourself a moment of mindfulness that’s truly your own – you and your higher consciousness.
Let us Begin
The following is a meditation you can record for yourself, others, or you might have someone record for you so you can simply listen and BE. Speak softly and slowly when recording, perhaps following the motion of your breath.
Start with the Breath
- Find a quiet space where you will not be interrupted, and a comfortable place to sit or lie down. We are going to be activating increased relaxation step by step in the body.
- Begin with the breath, finding that place of inner stillness. Close your eyes as you begin breathing in and out, allowing the breath to become slower and deeper.
- In your mind, you can say the words “I am breathing in” and “I am breathing out” in order to pause the thoughts that may come to your awareness.
- Feel your body begin to relax as you release any tension and anxiety.
- Allow these feelings and thoughts to drift away, gently leaving your body behind.
- Continue to follow your breath, in through the nose and out through the mouth, or follow your own natural breathing patterns so that you’re comfortable.
- Gently bring your attention to your toes, visualizing a pair of invisible hands gently massaging your toes and feet. Feel your feet grow light and soft.
- Let these massaging hands travel up slowly, relaxing your ankles, and then your calves.
- If you are having trouble letting go, simply tense the muscles being massaged one by one.
- Bring focus to your knees, paying particular attention to the knee joints; wiggle your knees a little bit. Feel them relax and grow heavy, sinking slowly toward the ground.
- Relax your thighs, then slowly relax your hips. (There is a lot of tension in the hips, so make sure to move around a little until you feel a release there.
- Gently relax your belly and chest and feel your spine sinking.
- Relax your arms all the way down to the tips of your fingers.
- Take in a cleansing breath and as you exhale, feel each muscle in your neck relax and unwind.
- Float up toward the crown of the head and bring your mind to a place of stillness.
- Now breathe. In and out. Stay here for as long as you like.
- Take a moment to scan your entire body to make sure there is no tension or pain being felt there. Take a deep cleansing breath and come back to yourself and the room.
- As you become aware of the present moment, give yourself a nice hug or an imaginary pat on the back, noticing the shifts that you are experiencing.
- You have just given yourself a profound gift of total body relaxation and now are ready to begin or close your day.
Seeking a Higher High
If you are being called to begin a meditation practice, find an instructor that will guide you on your particular path of inner travels. There is a myriad of meditation apps available and thousands of wonderful recordings that can be found on digital platforms like Spotify, Amazon or iTunes, among others. The options are endless. From spoken words with messages to guided meditations that take you on an inner excursion, there are many easy ways to stick your toes into these new enlightened waters of higher consciousness and see the expansion take shape in your world.
Be gentle with yourself and most of all, patient. Meditation will pay off in immeasurable ways and allow you to make better choices for your life, while paving the way to a calmer, more grounded version of you.
About the Authors
Lainie Sevante Wulkan & Joanna Salerno are Spiritual Recording Artists with multiple meditations on In2uitive Wisdom Records. Their meditations and messages are heard on the Gulf Coast Meditations Series – specifically, Awaken the Spirit Within and Gulf Coast CHAKRA Meditations. They are also the authors of The Food Healing Oracle Deck® – Nourishing Wisdom from Mother Earth and SMOOTHIES – Nourishing Wisdom Beyond the Blend! More can be discovered at www.foodhealingdeck.com. Both energy healers and intuitives, they are bridging the worlds of Spirit & Science to bring a deeper understanding of how to obtain better emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellness.