This is a guest post by Anna Barlowe for Powered by Intuition.
“I can’t meditate. I can’t sit still long enough. I just can’t get my mind to stop chattering!”
And I can certainly relate. If anybody has a chattery mind, it’s definitely me. From childhood I have always been quite the hypersensitive sort, with an aversion to bright lights, crowds, and loud noises, and a tendency to line my possessions up in size-descending order, by color and/or category.
Well, okay, I still do that. That’s just sensible. Everybody should do that.
But some of the other stuff is a lot better now, and for this I credit the all-powerful Meditation. So if somebody who vibrates like a tuning fork to every passing breeze can meditate, then believe me, so can you.
While the experience of meditation was always pleasant, however, reaching that calm trance state everybody is looking for sometimes took longer than even I, as an experienced meditator, could deal with.
So I went looking for a shortcut. And eventually, I found one.
THE MEDITATION STATION
I think the problem is that most people regard meditation as a mystical process. And in a sense it is. It certainly feels that way, and it can produce very tangibly mystical results, like boosting intuition and – um – levitating, I’m pretty sure.
I’ll get back to you on that one.
But at the core of things, meditation is physical, because it employs your mind to do its business, and the brain is the radio that tunes in all intuitive messages from the Universe, or the Source, or however you want to classify it.
Scientifically speaking, all that meditation does is to slow down your brainwaves from beta, the “chattery monkey” stage of alertness in which most people spend their waking hours, to alpha or even theta, which are longer, slower, quieter brainwaves, more capable of relaxation and openness to whatever input you are seeking during that time – whether from your own higher self, or externally.
In the simplest terms, by meditating you are essentially tricking your brain into thinking it is asleep, while your conscious mind stays wide awake. If you were hooked to special brainwave-monitoring machines while meditating, this effect would be perfectly visible.
So if meditation is a biological event with mystical outcomes, it stands to reason that there might be a physical trigger to initiate it more easily, without all the boredom and frustration of sitting around begging your mind to be quiet, please, shut up monkey, thank you.
And as it turns out, there is. For me, anyway. I honestly don’t know if this will work for anybody else, though, so you can be beta testers of sorts, if you’re so inclined.
LET’S GET ROLLING
What I discovered, through reading and my own experimentation, is that the “trigger” to meditation lies specifically in the muscles around and behind the eyes – and that by employing some really simple techniques, I could enter the meditative state much faster and more effectively.
Here are six simple steps to follow if you would like to try this method.
1. Find a comfortable position in which you can relax your body, but aren’t likely to fall asleep. I like to sit on the couch, with my feet up on the coffee table. Incense and nice music are helpful too, if you have that sort of thing lying around.
2. Relax the muscles of your face, and particularly around the eyes. Imagine looking out through your eye sockets and letting them grow rounder and wider in your mind as you release them, like you’re adjusting a pair of binoculars.
3. Let your forehead drift up slightly, as though you are just a little bit surprised by something. This really helps to relax the eye muscles, and is calming in itself.
4. Let your eyelids drift down gently, but don’t try to force them. It’s okay if they stay partially open, or flutter a little, as long as they’re soft and relaxed. You can also try closing the right eye and leaving the left just a little bit open. This works for me, for reasons I’m not entirely clear on.
5. Now, this is the critical part! Roll your eyes just slightly upward. Studies by José Silva and Dr. Herbert Spiegel, among others, demonstrate that rolling the eyeballs back, to perhaps a 20º angle, helps to induce the alpha state much more quickly, by temporarily disconnecting the brain’s scanning and orientation functions. There is no need to force or strain the eyes – only to lift them until a very gentle resistance is achieved. Gentleness is key to this entire technique, in fact.
6. You will likely feel a calmness and a shift in your breathing at this point, to a deeper, more natural inhalation, as if you were asleep. If you’re not quite there yet, imagine drifting gently upward out of the top of your head, to float above your body like a helium balloon. Think of the most pleasant concept you can imagine (whether person, place, or thing), and focus your attention there as long as you are capable.
By following the steps above, you will hopefully find that you are able to enter a serene alpha wavelength almost immediately. This is a wonderful place for strengthening the intuition, finding solutions to problems, programming affirmations, or any other internal work that might be required.
It significantly eases anxiety and irritation, and is extremely refreshing in general. I usually experience a distinct cooling sensation in my head after practicing this form of meditation.
And with a little experience, it is even possible to use this method with eyes wide open, while going about your daily business. I’m somewhat nearsighted, and find it helpful to take off my glasses while doing this, since the lack of focus relaxes my eyes automatically.
Do NOT make me remind you not to do this while driving, though. That’s like putting instructions on Q-tips. It just shouldn’t be necessary.
But do give this technique a try if you feel it might be useful, and please let me know how it works for you.
Just drop me a comment. I’ll wait on the couch.
Do you have trouble getting into a meditative state? What actions will you take to help you meditate more easily?
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Anna Barlowe is the fascinating blogger behind The Painted Universe. Please visit her there for more of her special brand of humor and reality bending paranormal content.
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