Chintamani’s Three Favorite Meditation Techniques

by Chintamani Kansas

Meditation is a set of practices to help balance the mind and emotions –to help us deal with the ups and downs of life, and connect to a greater sense of wellbeing. Meditation is simply learning to work with the mind to be happier.

Meditation is not about “stopping the thoughts.” In meditation we learn to work with the thoughts. There are many different types of meditation, and not all of them involve sitting still and being quiet. Many meditations can be done in about 10 minutes or less and are very simple and relaxing.

There are oodles of meditation techniques available. Here are 3 of my favorites! We will be exploring all three of these in our upcoming workshop series.

One: Basic Goodness Meditation

This is one of my favorite techniques because you can do it in literally a minute or two. I often use this to start a yoga class, or to settle myself. I can do it on a bus, at a stoplight—wherever. It instantly makes me feel grounded, calm, centered and relaxed.

The basic idea is to relax as much as possible on the spot, then begin to notice the present moment, intentionally, and without judgement. The next step is to open oneself to the basic goodness of the moment. Notice that we are generally safe at this moment. There are no saber toothed tigers here. We are healthy enough to be here. Next, we notice what is good in this moment. The sun comes up every day, so there is order in the universe. What in the body feels spacious, open, pain free? Notice how pretty things are. Even as I type this, my tea mug is a nice, round, shiny green object. It is a pleasure to observe. The books on my shelves are all pretty in their own ways, and I am surrounded by other objects in my home that have their own beauty. Sunlight shines through my window, and I can hear birds chirping. All of this is really quite pleasant, actually. This moment is basically good!

Two: Chanting a Mantra

Mantra is just amazing! A mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. It really relaxes the mind and helps focus. The word Mantra means “thought behind speech or action.”

When I do mantra my mind focuses instantly, and I feel uplifted and vibrant.

Mantra can be chanted without any tools, but one nice way to work with mantra is to use mala beads. Mala beads add physical, tactile and movement elements to the meditation.

Mantras have been proven to stimulate areas of the brain associated with calm, introspection and presence.

One favorite mantra is Lokāḥ Samastāḥ Sukhino Bhavantu. The words mean “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may all of my thoughts, words and actions contribute to that happiness and freedom for all.” We will be exploring this, and other mantras in our upcoming meditation series.

Three: Compassion and Friendliness as Inner Resources

Yoga texts often reference the idea of the great mother exuding compassion and nurturing for her child as a meditation on compassion. Some of us may not immediately resonate with that—we may have had human mothers who weren’t the most nurturing and compassionate. However, hopefully as we moved through life, we had experiences with other family members, teachers, coaches and friends in which we received supportive energy and friendliness. We may have received and given love, compassion and friendliness in romantic relationships, with friends, and with our own children and pets.

These experiences are absorbed inside of us. They become inner resources in our hearts. Sometimes when we are upset, we forget. We can call them back up and increase them inside our hearts in times of need, or as a way to start our days centered in our higher intentions and best selves. I have definitely seen the difference I have on other people around me when I start my day with a compassion meditation.

Interested in mindfulness and other techniques to create a joyful life with more ease, happiness and meaning? Check out our meditation series.

Chintamani teaches classic and therapeutic yoga, and is a longtime Teacher Trainer and mentor in the mang’Oh 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program. She also leads the annual mang’Oh Meditation Series.

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