The positive aspects and health benefits of meditation are frequent headlines. It seems that everyone and their guru are at it in one way or another.
However, how do you meditate? Are you meant to sit cross-legged chanting? Or, maybe lie flat on your back with your hands in a certain position, toes pointing in a particular direction while trying to get an empty head?
Clients often say to me, “I haven’t got any time. My thoughts are always too busy. My head is full of rubbish. My inner voice will not shut up. Ever.” If you have tried and didn’t manage or this is your first time this meditation lesson will help you.
Working for over 20 years as a hypnotherapist it occurred to me, eventually, that blending hypnosis and meditation is a fine way for more people to experience the delicious states that can be achieved. By using hypnotic techniques you can bypass the questioning/wondering if it is working stage and go straight for your best result.
You have already experienced trances in everyday life. Think of times you have been doing something repetitive or during a journey or even in a situation with someone who was a bit boring. You ‘zone’ out, drift off, your focus is elsewhere. It is the same when you are are absorbed in a book or film.
No-one really knows how someone else feels when they meditate or even relax. In a similar way to one person’s terror can be another’s thrill; bungee jumping, scuba diving or spider handling for example. The experience of trance or meditative state is therefore personal to you. There is no right or wrong.
When you meditate you ‘are’ and you open out.
When you are in hypnosis you ‘are’ and you focus in.
When you are in hypnotic meditation you just ‘are’.
Meditation = flowing out – in the zone
Hypnosis = flowing in – in the zone
Hypnotic meditation = flowing – in the zone
By blending them you can enter the flow-zone.
Your Meditation Lesson
Make yourself comfortable and gently slow your breathing. Focus your mind on each part of your body beginning with your feet and working upwards. Imagine each muscle relaxing. Imagine you are breathing calm peaceful relaxation into every part of you. If you are very stressed or you find this difficult just pretend you are relaxing and think of words like: soft, dreamy, melt, soothed.
While this is happening silently to yourself repeat, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 until the numbers fall from your mind, you lose count or until you can no longer be bothered.
Really feel relaxation spreading through your whole being.
Pay particular attention to areas where you might experience stress: your neck, head, shoulders and tummy. Concentrate on relaxing those places where you feel any anxieties.
Imagine that you are breathing tensions away. You may find that you now becoming a little detached, enjoy whatever you experience.
The next stage is a deepening. Some people are content to feel a light relaxation while others prefer to go a little deeper.
It is better to try out a few ways to find which you prefer.
Think about what you would associate with going down into a deeply relaxed state.
Here a few ideas:
Going down steps
Counting from 1-10 where you have 10 as deeply relaxed
Counting as you imagine going down steps
Imagining watching something floating down, i.e. a leaf
Repeating words, i.e. deeper and deeper or calm and relaxed
Saying a particular word to yourself as you breathe out, i.e. calm
Contradictory words and thoughts work well – floating while sinking down or light as a feather, heavy as stone
When you are at a level that you feel happy create in your mind a special place. It can be somewhere that you know or you can invent a place.
If you are still counting you may now stop.
Make your special place as real as you can and really create a feeling of calmness and inner peace. Regard this as a place that you can visit in your mind at any time and when you are there: all is well and you feel relaxed, calm and happy.
Scan yourself to check there are no little bits of tension. If you find any breathe them away. Check that you are so deeply relaxed that apart from an emergency (at which point you would be immediately awake and alert) you can’t be bothered to move because you feel so limp and lazily cozy comfy.
While you are in your hypnotic state you may want to use some suggestions or affirmations and yet again you have choices. You do not need to proceed to this if your purpose is just about the relaxation.
You will have determined if you have a particular need before you started, i.e. not smoking, playing a sport better, improving self-confidence or something else.
You can say your instructions or goals to yourself or you can imagine yourself, as you would like to be.
I am happy as a non-smoker
My tennis is superb
I can feel my confidence growing
Imagine yourself in situations without cigarettes, hitting an ace, or having complete confidence in any situation.
You might try writing a list of sentences that denote your need and create an image or symbol that represents them and then when you are relaxing just think of that image or symbol.
Your subconscious will do the rest.
Be specific of what you want so that your subconscious mind can create a template to work towards.
Think of how it will be when you have achieved your desires.
Our minds work in the now but will seek the most familiar inner instruction to activate your actions or the ones with emotional attachment. Therefore, it is best to act ‘as if’ in your suggestions, thoughts, ideas and affirmations.
If you have no particular needs just enjoy yourself and feel happy and healthy in mind and body.
When you are ready to be fully alert you can wake up or you can count from 5 back down to 1 telling yourself that you will be fully awake at the count of one.
If you prefer a more disciplined approach you could set an alarm to end your session.
Here is some looped music to aid your relaxation: