Meditation And Women Over 50
Meditation is for anyone and everyone who wishes to find relief from daily stress, to find inner peace or the ability to appreciate everything life has to offer. You do not need to be a Buddhist to practice meditation; it is for everyone. I have been incorporating meditation into my daily yoga practice right before bed time. By adding a short meditation, of 7 to 10 minutes, at the end of my practice I find a greater sense of calming relaxation that has helped me to overcome bouts of insomnia associated with stress and perimenopause. However, you may find meditating more beneficial first thing in the morning and separate from your daily exercise or yoga routine. It’s entirely up to you!
- Concentration – this is the foundation for all meditation. Through the power of concentration we build our capacity to overcome distraction and to sustain mental focus. Whatever technique of meditation you are practicing, it is necessary to have the ability to place your attention on the object of meditation and hold it there without distraction.
- Mindfulness – these techniques emphasize the cultivation of a receptive, choiceless quality of mindful attention toward whatever is happening around us. For example, being drawn in and focusing on fluffy white clouds floating overhead across a deep blue Summer sky, marveling at the beauty of nature. Through mindful meditation allows us to develop the capacity to understand the deep forces within our ordinary experience
- Reflective – here we focus on a specific theme, topic or question and form an analysis.
- Creative – this is probably my favorite way to meditate. Creative meditation techniques enable us to consciously cultivate and strengthen specific qualities of our mind. Focus on a quality that you want to nurture, like: patience, appreciation, sympathy, gratitude, love, compassion, fearlessness, humility, tenderness, or joy.
- Heart-Centered – these techniques help us to become more compassionate. They deepen our empathy and forgiveness, and teach us to live in kinder ways, first to ourselves and then to all living beings.
Let’s begin with a simple and effortless commonly used meditation for STRESS RELIEF:
- Because it is easier for the mind to open, equalize, and balance when your body is relaxed, take a few deep and easy breaths and release any tensions you may become aware of. To help you with this, imagine that your breath is like a warm and gentle wind. As you breathe, allow your inhalations to focus your awareness and breath into regions of tension or pain. Allow this warm and gentle breeze of the breath to melt any of the ice fields of tension or to soothe any pain.
- As you exhale, allow the flow of the breath to help you to dissolve the tension, and to leave those areas feeling more internally spacious and open. Allow the natural flow of the breath to help you to focus as you inhale and to flow as you exhale. Take a few minutes to scan through your whole body and to let the breath help you to draw your awareness into any regions in your body that are calling for your loving attention.
- Deepen this same technique to help you focus your awareness into any sticking points of tension in your mind. Breathing in, focus in a deep and spacious way within the center of any thoughts. Breathing out, let the energy of that thought flow or dissolve like a cloud melting into the deep clear sky.As you continue now, remember to smile to yourself so that you don’t take this too seriously or try too hard to get this right. Also, let your eyes remain soft and relaxed. Everything up to this point is preparation.
- Next, sense and feel your whole body like a big balloon that is completely open, unobstructed, and hollow inside.
- Now, as you sit here, sense yourself sitting right at the very center of your universe. Consciously open and expand the field of your awareness to become aware of your unique place in space. Sitting here, allow the internal sense of openness and spaciousness to expand. Allow your attention to reach out now in an expansive way like a broad beam of panoramic awareness to see, sense, or feel everything that is in front of you, behind you, to your left, to your right, and above you.
- Now allow yourself to effortlessly maintain this evenly hovering, open awareness that attends equally to the flow of both inner and outer experiences. Find the balance of mind necessary to equally attend both to the things or people around you, as well as to the spaces between these things. Delight in dwelling within the equalizing spaciousness of balanced awareness. As your spatial acuity deepens and expands, regard space itself as a medium of communication.
- As you deepen and expand this quality of panoramic attention, effortlessly include the resonance of all the sounds filling the space within and around you. Balance this by including in your experience how these sounds emerge from silence … how they fill and move throughspace … and then how sounds dissolve again back into silence.
- Sense everything within and around you that is in motion … and balance this with the mindful awareness of everything that is still and unmoving. Rest in this balanced awareness, allowing the flow of each breath to remind you to find a fluid, dynamic balance between focus and flow, forms and space, motion and stillness, silence and sound. Let this awareness extend equally to include all the experiences within and around you.
Please leave your comment below…let us know how meditation has helped you.