I’m a big fan of personal growth via external reality. This means that I look for outside sources of information to enhance my understanding of the world and my journey within it. In much the same way as you are now experiencing by reading this article.
There should, however, come a time in each day where we go ‘within’; a time where we meditate to synthesise and process information. The human experience will consist of countless images, thoughts, experiences, emotions, dreams and lessons. We should find a space in which to reduce down the volume; a space in which we can elucidate our reality and consciousness; a space to connect with that which was here before our physical body and will continue in its passing. That is why 40 days ago, I undertook a daily humming meditation practise called Jai Release.
The problem is that meditation is hard!
So in this article you will find five cutting edge ideas that will fix, enhance and refine your meditative experience. After struggling with meditation in the beginning I have found these five methods to be invaluable.
- The 4 Massages
This is a series of therapeutic and relaxing techniques taught to me by one of Americas top trainers: Steve Maxwell. The one ‘massage’ that I employ before a meditation session is to stand with good posture but very little tension. Raise up on your toes and then drop down quite heavily on to your heels allowing your shoulders to sag and bounce, your knees to bend a little (about half an inch to an inch perhaps), your head to nod a little and your arms to bounce around to some extent. Repeat this process lightly, in a relaxed state at an approximate rate of two bounces a second. You will look somewhat like a fighter loosening up before a match. You can ever turn this into a walking drill by taking very small shuffling steps forward.
I was fairly sceptical of the benefits of this technique until I tried it at one of Steve Maxewell’s seminars. I was then amazed at how effective this simple practise was at transforming your physical and mental state. After a minute or so of this you will feel loose, relaxed and much more ready to enter into meditation.
NB: Podcast interview with Steve Maxwell will be released around September 2014 on www.eatsleepgrowrepeat.com Or alternatively look up the podcast on itunes.
- Passion Flower Extract
Passion flower extract is a calming and soothing plant extract. I occasionally use it as a key to enhance my ‘decompression’ during my far too infrequent leisure time. This extract can be used to treat muscle spasms, ADHD, anxiety and insomnia and so you can see how taking a small dose of the extract prior to a meditation session would be beneficial to calming a tense body and busy mind.
- Hot and Cold Thermogenesis
There are a tonne of benefits to exposing yourself to alternations between hot (preferably a sauna) and cold (shower, pool, lake etc…) environments. Aside from things like enhanced ability to burn fat and reduced recovery time for your physical body thermogenesis has been shown to enhance mental clarity, ability to deal with stress and an uplift in mood. A series of Thermogenisis rounds may be exactly what you require before a meditation session.
- Use the Same Space
Experienced spiritualist, yogi and meditation practitioner Julie Piatt of Jai Release, healing and being meditation recommends using the same space as the energy gathers to create a supportive environment for your meditation. Even if such a suggestion were to be perceived as unlikely by a person with a very sceptical and shall we say ‘physical reality’ based perception, it is possible to still understand and adopt Julies recommendation by accepting that in using the same area to meditate the brain will become conditioned to entering a similar state of being.
- Stopping Judgment
One central theme of the Jai Release Meditation Program I undertook was not to judge the experience. Thoughts such as: ‘that was a great meditation!’ or ‘that was a poor meditation, maybe I’m too distracted to continue a practise’ are all based within the ego. Just commit to practise for a period of time without any judgement and continuous analysis or assessment.
Hear me discuss this idea further with Jiu jitsu black belt Nick Gabriel on eatsleepgrowrepeat podcast: http://eatsleepgrowrepeat.com/nic-gabriel-living-life-to-the-max/
After beginning a daily practise I did not anticipate the amount of difficulty I would experience or also the great mental transcendence effects I have experienced. I was able to transcend much of the difficulty by employing the above fixes and always reconnecting with my breathing in the moment. I’m not recommending using all five every time you practise though! After all, Sometimes a busy schedule will dictate that there was no time for a session of thermogenesis. I also don’t believe that being completely dependent on passion flower extract to decompress would be a good thing but the above items will almost certainly assist in getting you into a meditative state and keeping your there.
So with these new tools at hand what can we finally say of meditation to summarise and conclude? What is the overarching concept that we must always bear in mind? Well, it’s probably described by Julie Piatt…
‘Most importantly, just do it’
Consistency is always the key so go forth and use the five fixes. Meditate each day!
‘Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.’
Until next time; train, transcend and take it sleazy…