Meditation is not only the foundational practice for spirituality but also good for physical and mental health.
Turns out that meditation produces a state of relaxation that’s the ideal state for health maintenance as well as the ideal state for healing. You may be aware that all disease both mental and physical is related to some form of stress. Well, the relaxed state that meditation produces reduces stress, thereby improving mental and physical health. So, while stress is a major contributor to ill health and disease, it’s also something you have control over.
This alone is an excellent reason for meditating, but it doesn’t stop there. Meditation is the foundational spiritual practice because it helps you transcend into higher states of consciousness.
You may be thinking, Okay, but I don’t want to meditate my life away. Well, you don’t have to. In fact, overdoing meditation can actually be counterproductive. So, how long should you meditate? There’s no definitive answer because it depends on your situation.
But for most people, 15-30 minutes is enough. And you can start with less. What’s most important is consistency. Whatever you decide to do, do it every day.
Start with 5 minutes. You can always add on if you feel the need. I would recommend building up to at least 15 minutes per day. You’ll know when to add more time. You can also add a second meditation per day. Perhaps one in the early morning and one before bed. But build up to at least one session of at least 15 minutes per day.
While there are many ways to meditate, I recommend using the following for at least a year. This is a proven method through years of practice and teaching.
- Set up a special space for meditation free from clutter, distractions, and interruptions. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or even a separate room. Just a special space for meditation only.
- Choose at least one daily time for meditation. Be consistent. It’s far more important that you meditate daily rather than how long you meditate for.
- Assume a comfortable upright position. You can sit cross legged on the floor, if you do, a pillow under you will help. But most people prefer a comfortable chair. If it’s a big comfy chair, sit closer to the edge to help with spinal alignment and to avoid falling asleep. Keep your feet flat on the floor and knees bent at 90 degrees. Keep your spine straight but not to the point of tensing up, eyes gently closed and looking slightly upward about eyebrow level. Let your hands/forearms gently rest on your thighs/knees with palms up or down, whichever is more comfortable for you.
- With mouth gently closed, inhale through your nose down to an area just below the navel, then exhale through your nose
- Focus on your breath.
- Let the breath slow down on its own. Don’t force your breath.
- Settle into the relaxation that follows remaining still. If you need to adjust your posture or scratch your nose do so, but remain as still as possible.
- Observe thoughts, emotions, and sensations without judgment or reaction of any kind. Don’t resist them, but don’t engage or react.
- If you get distracted, go back to focusing on breath.
- Don’t force or expect anything.
- Simply sit in the stillness and observe.
Review this meditation method until you know it well.
Healing Subconscious Emotional Trauma
Any situation that lacks love can cause emotional trauma. Negative energy is then stored in the mind-body. Over time, this negative energy will fester into ill health and disease. This occurs on both a physical and mental level. However, because this insults your soul, it can also cause spiritual trauma.
Trauma will then surface when ego is triggered by something similar. All of this may happen subconsciously. You may experience this as thinking, Why did they do this to me?
And the answer is because they’re in pain and lashing out. More to the point, why are you so hurt? Because you’re absorbing their pain.
So, why are you absorbing someone else’s pain? Because it reminds you of pain you have not only experienced but are still holding on to. Therefore, to heal requires release of that negative energy. The point of this exercise is to help you do that.
Before you can heal emotional trauma, you must become aware of it. The three primary ways to discover emotional trauma are meditation, negative thinking, and inappropriate actions.
Whenever emotional trauma is found, you can use this exercise to heal your mind-body, release the associated negative energy, and free your soul from emotional bondage.
Please note: for best results, only work on one or if you’re not having too much difficulty perhaps two or three at a time. Give yourself time to rise in consciousness before taking on more issues. So, prioritize your issues and work on the most troublesome ones first. You may find that healing one wound will simultaneously heal other wounds.
- Give your negative thought or behavior a name based upon the general issue such as health, career, or relationship. Next, if you can, be more specific. For example, my cancer diagnosis, my boss putting me down, or my partner cheating on me. Write it down. For example, I’m struggling with _____________________________. Repeat this several times to yourself.
- Next, name the primary negative emotion associated with this issue such as shame, guilt, grief, fear, anger, desire, pride. Write it down. For example, when triggered I feel _______. Repeat this several times to yourself.
Now that you’ve identified your trauma by name and the way it makes you feel, it’s time to get to the root of the problem.
So, what else feels the same? Start with the trauma and then go back in time writing down everyone and everything that made you feel the same way. Continue this process as far back as you can remember. You have uncovered things that were never completely healed. This is compounding negative energy that you’re storing within your mind-body. Not only is this the basis of your emotional trauma, it’s a major contributor to your ill health and disease. And it’s creating blocks to your spiritual growth, also known as spiritual trauma.
You’ll likely feel better now that you’ve brought this into your awareness because just being aware allows you to release the grip you have on the associated negative energy. Sometimes, it’s all that’s needed to release all the toxic energy and completely heal. However, if you still feel chained to any of the negative emotions associated with any of the people or events involved with this trauma, then continue this exercise.
- Go back to the earliest memory you can that caused you to feel this way. Next, relive it in your mind at least three times in as much detail as possible. Where were you? What was going on? Who was there? Use your senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Most importantly, how did it feel emotionally? Now ask yourself why? What made it so important to you? Go deep. Answer with whatever comes to mind. Without much thought, blurt it out. Now ask why as many times as you can get an answer. This will get you closer if not all the way to the source of your trauma.
Somewhere in the past you were emotionally traumatized. And now anything that reminds you of that brings the pain to the surface. You can go deep by asking why at least seven times. If this results in a major breakthrough, then great! You’ll know because there will be an extreme moment of deep insight followed by an intense release of toxic energy. This will result in a major growth spurt as you rise in consciousness.
If you can’t get all the way to full release and healing, then at least go as far as you can. Partial release and healing still moves you closer to your full release and healing. Just accept that at this point, you’re not ready to go all the way. And it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up; you’re a work in progress. Just keep making progress. Even if you don’t completely understand your emotional trauma, you, at least, understand part of why you’re reacting the way you are. You can then recognize it when it’s happening and therein lies the opportunity to go deeper each time.
A Quick Thought Test
When you experience a thought, ask yourself
- Is it true?
- Is it in my best interests?
- Does it promote the greater good?
Is the answer to these three quick questions, yes? Great! Go all in. If not, move on to something else.
A Simple Tool for Letting Go
When you realize something is toxic visualize it as a Hot Coal that you’re holding in your hand. Exactly, let go!
How to Maintain Presence in the Now
Most of your problems aren’t problems existing in the present moment. Therefore, to move into the now ask yourself these two questions:
- Is this thought or emotion based in something of the past? If so, move into what’s happening in this moment.
- Is this thought or emotion based in something possible in the future? If so, move into what’s happening in this moment.
A mantra is a sacred utterance. They were commonly used in ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions but are just as effective in modern life. Traditional mantras are chants repeated over and over. They can be a sound, word, or phrase. Mantras are used to set your intent and, therein, the vibe you put out. This will, in turn, attract certain people and events into your life. Therefore, a great way to start your day is with a mantra.
A simple mantra can be combined with a morning breathing exercise as follows:
First pick a word you wish to manifest. This should be what you wish to change for the better. For example, if you rarely feel at peace then you would choose “peace” as your mantra.
Next, breathe deeply as described in the meditation exercise. As you inhale, mentally focus on your mantra. Breathe in peace. As you exhale release anything within you that isn’t peace. Let it go out with the breath.
Do this ten times or more first thing in the morning. And then repeat ten times each time you feel the need throughout your day. Notice how different you feel.
Ho’oponopono Forgiveness Prayer
Ho’oponopono is an amazingly beautiful Hawaiian practice of forgiveness. In its most basic form, Ho’oponopono is a very simple and effective practice utilizing spiritual truths surrounding balance, harmony, and forgiveness.
Forgiveness is magical in its healing properties. Forgiveness is unconditional love or spirit in action.
Harmony is the natural state of things in life. But we can disrupt that harmony with inappropriate thoughts, words, and actions. When we disrupt harmony, we create an imbalance in the life force.
The life force is an energy field running through and connecting everything in the universe. So, when we create a disturbance in the life force there will be a chain reaction of problems.
This chain reaction of problems will continue until we correct that imbalance. Only then do we bring harmony back to the life force.
This is where the Hawaiian forgiveness prayer comes in. Basically, Ho’oponopono consists of four very short phrases you repeat. The four phrases are I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, and I love you. That’s it! You can say this prayer out loud or mentally.
Because of our spiritual connection to each other, simply hold them in your heart and the healing will occur. You will heal and you’ll help them heal. For healing follow these four steps:
- Repent by saying, “I am sorry.” Repentance is acknowledgement that we are all one spirit. An egotistical judgment has occurred anytime negative emotions are involved. Whenever we identify with ego, we insult our soul by judging spirit as if spirit were human imperfection. We return to our natural state by recognizing that human imperfection has nothing to do with spirit. And since ultimately, we are one spirit, we have misjudged. Therefore, we repent by saying, “I AM SORRY.”
- Forgiveness – say, “Please forgive me.” Spirit is always willing to forgive because spirit is unconditional love. In truth, spirit only sees the real you, spirit. Because ultimately, there’s only spirit; there’s nothing to forgive. However, because we are in the human condition, we ask forgiveness anytime we forget. Because we’ve misjudged spirit, egotistically lashing out at spirit, we ask forgiveness by saying, “PLEASE FORGIVE ME.”
- Gratitude – say, “Thank you.” Gratitude is giving thanks for the grace of God. Thank you is appreciation in acceptance of a gift. The grace of God is a gift. The grace of God is spiritual truth. We acknowledge spiritual truth by showing gratitude and saying, “THANK YOU.”
- Love – say, “I love you.” Saying I love you is confirmation of our returning to the light, bringing harmony back to the life force. When sincere, I love you means we are one. We demonstrate we have returned to our natural state of unconditional love by saying, “I LOVE YOU.”
Ho’oponopono is used anytime we fall from grace. It has nothing to do with who did what or what was done. It doesn’t matter if the other people involved aren’t ready to forgive. Ho’oponopono restores balance to the practitioner and releases the other parties from playing their roles for the practitioner’s egotistical needs, restoring harmony to the life force.
To practice Ho’oponopono, gently hold all parties involved in your heart, include yourself, take a few deep breaths and repeat as many times as needed, “I AM SORRY, PLEASE FORGIVE ME, THANK YOU, I LOVE YOU.”