Choose the Right Type of Meditation to Achieve Your Full Potential

The practice of meditation has been gaining ground in the west for the past couple of decades. This is partly a response to the spiritual awakening that’s occurring and partly because Westerners are becoming increasingly jaded with the constant treadmill of their lives. Meditation is seen as a way to combat stress, a form of relaxation and a path to self-knowledge and improved health.

There are several different types of meditation, however, and for the uninitiated it might be difficult to know where to start. As a spiritual life coach, I’m a strong believer in meditation for the purpose of getting in touch with my higher self, so I’ve put together some details of the most common forms to give you an idea.

Mindfulness

types of meditationThis is a form of meditation based on the Buddhist Vipassana tradition, which is rapidly becoming the popular meditation practice in the West. It’s founded on the idea of being present in the moment, allowing your mind to accept things as opposed to fighting them.

Mindfulness is particularly helpful for detaching yourself from problems such as chronic pain and stress, and is used in healthcare to create a “partnership of care” between medical providers and patients. You meditate by focusing on breathing awareness and body scanning to release tension.

Some critics believe mindfulness is giving rise to avoidance of critical issues, by giving you an excuse and a way to “escape” from necessary analysis rather than face up to issues.

Kundalini

Named after the rising stream of energy that exists in our being, the purpose of Kundalini is to be aware of the stream and to ride it to infinity. By focusing on the way your breath flows through each of the body’s energy centres, you make active use of the breath to move the energy upwards.

The Yogi Bhahan, who founded this method of meditation, developed hundreds of different meditations each customized for specific circumstances. It includes meditations to reduce stress, cure addictions, enhance vitality and clear the chakras, among others. Kundalini contains practical tools to support the mind and body, and it’s best to work with a teacher for this type of meditation.

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental meditation (TM) is practiced from a seated position and includes the use of a mantra or a series of Sanskrit words to help you focus, instead of just following your breathing. The purpose is to encourage inner peace and wellness by allowing your mind to settle, quiet your thoughts and experience a pure form of consciousness. It’s a deeply restful experience that rejuvenates your mind and body, and leads to a wide range of benefits in your daily life.

Guided Visualization

Visualization is often used to achieve personal or professional goals. It can be a recorded instructions for you to follow, or it can be a guided meditation by a teacher or experienced practitioner. The process often contains elements of hypnotic suggestion, or gives you the chance to conjure up fantasies or picture a desired state or achievement. It’s untested as a method of spiritual development, but has shown good motivational results particularly in the business world. 

Zazen (Zen)

The name means “seated” meditation, and this is the form of meditation practiced by Zen Buddhist monks. It follows the idea that you gain insight from observing your breathing and your mind, and the purpose is to achieve insight and enlightenment based on the teachings of Buddhism. The process often includes a degree of contemplation, focused on a “koan” or an aspect of Buddhist scripture.

Qi Gong

This method of meditation comes from the Taoist movement, and uses the breath to circulate energy through the body in an orbital pattern. You focus on three main centres of your body to direct the energy.

There are many ways to relax and meditate, these are just a few. Whatever method you choose, it’s essential to commit yourself to daily practice or you won’t enjoy the benefits of meditation. If you don’t have time to practice regularly, something that helps even me is to meditate while you are doing the chores. For example:

  • While you wash the dishes feel the energy of the water, breathe, clear your mind and enjoy the present!
  • As you see the food being cleared from the dishes, imagine you are clearing your mind.
  • Clear out all the unwanted chatter, and see the divine light flow like the water into your body.

This will help you enjoy your daily chores instead of dreading them! Enjoy each moment to the fullest, no matter how small something seems.

Find your groove and be inspired to achieve balance in your mind, body, spirit and emotions today.

 

My Son, My Teacher – Living with allergies

super isaiahI can remember the day my son Isaiah (3rd born) had his full-blown anaphylaxis shock like it was yesterday. It was Oct 2009, Thanksgiving weekend; he was only 18 months old.  We just got home from shopping at Costco, and I gave him a healthy snack of pesto and toast while I was putting away the groceries.

I noticed his lips got swollen, and I didn’t understand why. I carefully watched his body and noticed he was getting hives. I gave him some Benadryl and thought he was going to be fine. Then he said to me “ME choke, ME CHOKE!” (Thank goodness he was smart and started talking very early). This was his way of telling me he can’t breathe. I gave him his puffers (yes he has asthma too, but that’s another story) and realized this is VERY serious so I called 911.

I saw him swell up beyond recognition. When we got into the ambulance his Oxygen level was down to 90%, which meant he was really struggling to breath. When we reached the hospital I was relieved, yet I was scared! He looked like “The Thing” from the movie Fantastic Four.  The Doctor immediately gave him an Epipen shot and hooked him up to oxygen and other high tech machines that monitored his heart etc. He needed to get 2 Epipen Shots and we had to spend the night at the hospital.

The Doctor told me “If you didn’t get here when you did, any later he would have DIED.” I honestly was in FEAR mode the entire time. I kept surrounding us with reiki, praying, calling on Archangel Raphael for healing and felt helpless. We had to go see an allergist who sent us to get his blood tests done to see what exactly he was allergic too. I didn’t realize that Pine nuts are in Pesto sauce and that is what triggered his anaphylactic shock.

Finally the blood results were in:  0.35 and under means normal – the person has no allergies, and his results for the pine nuts were 1.35; which is why he had that severe reaction. His results to peanuts are even worse: 40.00; which means that he can get a shock from just being in the same room and touching a peanut.  When I found out these results it took me a few days to let it go and adjust to this news. The allergist said it’s very rare to grow out of these allergies but I believe in miracles so I KNOW that anything is possible.

So I had to ACCEPT this new reality for our family. Of course I am human I had all the “what ifs” in my head. “What if he kisses a girl as a teenager and she had peanuts and he dies… What if I am not there with him to protect him, and he accidentally has peanuts” etc… I knew that it was my fear talking and fear is EGO – I chose to stay in Spirit. It was a challenge; I had to learn everything I could on these new results. I am so thankful to be in Canada where everything is labeled in the ingredients and marked “Peanut Free”.

It was hard watching my 18 month old go through this; once again I had to grow from this experience. Honestly it was a big step for me; I was blaming myself for his allergies, thinking: “It must have been because I ate a lot of peanuts when I was pregnant”. (I used to make protein shakes with chocolate Vega and 3 tbsps. of organic peanut butter every day.)  I always had a strong faith in God/Universe and knew that God doesn’t give me anything I can’t handle. My metaphysical spiritual beliefs assisted me in letting go of this fear, letting go of blame, and accepting.

My spiritual beliefs are, that we chose our experience before we got here on Earth. That as a soul, we decide what we want to experience on our trip to Earth; we chose our parents, our family, and our path. So I had to trust that Isaiah chose this experience, that as a soul he decided one day ” Hmmm I am going to go to Earth School. So, so what if I want to come back home to the Spirit world, how should I exit the Earth Plane? Well, I will pick peanut allergies. That way if things get too much to handle on Earth I can have a quick exit point back home”. Yes this may sound very foreign to some of you, but it really helped me in letting go, trusting that this is as it should be.

Today my son is 6 and a half years old. He is very smart. Before he eats anything from anyone he asks “does it have peanuts?” and he recognizes the peanut-free label on foods and gets so excited when something is peanut free! He is my teacher, my angel! He has assisted me in my growing journey. Life is a process of continual growth! I learnt a lot from this experience:

1.     Let Go of Blame – It has nothing to do with what I ate when I was pregnant, I can’t control everything. It’s part of Isaiah’s path, I had to Trust and Let go.

2.     Let Go of Anger – Yes I was angry saying to myself “WHY ME… I am a good person, I don’t deserve this”. But my wonderful husband said to me once “WHY not YOU?” That was my reality check. YES he is right, why NOT me? He also made me realize it’s not a big deal, there are a lot of worse things that can happen and we need to be Grateful for his health.

3.     Acceptance – I had to ask myself “What lessons am I learning with this experience” I had to remember that it’s all in God’s hands. Educate myself and educate Isaiah; that is my role.

4.     Teach others- I love inspiring and teaching others and this experience has given me something I can use to help others on their path as well. To trust and let go of fear yet again.

5.      LOVE – LOVE heals all. Love helped me to let go of my fear and to trust that everything is going to be all right. Love is the best medicine. I surround my family with LOVE every day.

I found this great poem on LOVE. May your life be Filled with love and remember TRUST that YOU are not given ANYTHING you can’t handle.

“There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer;
No disease that enough love will not heal;
No door that enough love will not open;
No gulf that enough love will not bridge;
No wall that enough love will not throw down;
No sin that enough love will not redeem…

It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble;
how hopeless the outlook; how muddled the tangle; how great the mistake.
A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.
If only you could love enough you would be
the happiest and most powerful being in the world. “——Emmet Fox

 

IT is true when you embrace difficulty nothing can bring you down; you will have this inner knowing that there is a lesson here. That this experience is really helping you become a better version of yourself.