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27 November 2015

Guide To Meditation by Natasha Moutran founder of The Retreat Collection

Here's a great post from Natasha Moutran, founder of The Retreat Collection all about meditation.

If you are new to meditation or want to know how to get started it's well worth a read. Via Natalie Glaze:

A Guide to Easy Meditation

Find a time of the day that feels appropriate to sit quietly – usually first thing in the morning or just before bed works well. 

Switch OFF! Turn everything off, phone on silent, TV off, anything that might ring, beep or buzz to notify you that you have something to do.. It can all wait!

Find a comfortable position. This doesn’t have to be cross-legged in the ‘meditation’ lotus position but can be sitting on a chair, against a wall or even laying down, as long as you are comfortable and can sit still without moving or fidgeting. 

If you struggle to sit in silence then playing soft instrumental music can help. Sometimes sitting in complete silence and not doing anything can be a real challenge at first, so if you need something in the background I highly recommend investing in some relaxing classical music (Ludovicio Einaudi is a personal favourite). However do try turning the music off and sitting in silence after a few goes as it will get easier and is often more powerful when practiced this way.

Sit comfortably either with your eyes closed or soft on a spot on the floor in front of you. If you would rather not close the eyes, let your gaze be soft and eye lids heavy, or rest your eyes on a the burning flame of a candle.

Relax the whole body; if this is difficult then tense each part of the body one at a time and on an exhalation let it go completely.

Become aware of the different parts of the body, notice how they are feeling, and let them relax. Ground down through your feet (or your back, legs & seat depending on how you are positioned), to feel grounded and centered.

Relax your face and jaw, notice your expression and can you let it soften.
Become aware of your breath. Begin to notice the flow of breath in and out of the body. Become aware of the quality of the breath, the texture of the breath, the temperature of your inhalations & exhalations.

Without trying to change or force anything, simply observe the breath and become aware of the subtle movements of the body, the belly and chest moving as your breathe. Allow all your attention and focus to be on your breath. If thoughts come, simply let them pass by like moving clouds, without attaching on to them or moving into a dialogue with them, just observe them and then let them go – keep coming back to the breath as an anchor point.

As you settle, start to think about lengthening your inhalations and exhalations, each round becoming a little fuller in the body and slower. Then begin counting the breath, keeping it nice and soft in the body with no force or feeling of strain. 

Begin to inhale to the count of 4, exhaling to 4. Once this feels comfortable you may lengthen to counting up to 5, 6, and so on.

If the mind wonders that is ok, just keep returning to the breath and the counting as your focus.
When the time feels right, slowly take your awareness back to the body, feeling all the parts of the body, notice how they are feeling. 

Take a moment of stillness without control of the breath to observe how you are feeling and when you feel ready begin to ground your feet, legs or back down into the Earth and slowly start to open your eyes.

It can sometimes be nice to sit quietly for a few moments after meditation, before jumping up and continuing with your day. 

Practice this as often as you wish and for however long feels comfortable. Each time you practice it will feel easier and you will find that you will naturally be able to stay in meditation for longer. Play around with meditation at different times of the day and in different spaces to see what works best for you, and feel free to get creative and make it your own practice.

Interested in learning more about meditation? You can join Natasha on a retreat with The Retreat Collection for a great start on this journey, the opportunity to learn new techniques and the chance to practice in the perfect setting. 

Check out our upcoming retreats visit www.theretreatcollection.com

Happy Meditating!