By Andrew Pacholyk MS, L.Ac
author or Lead Us To A Place ~ your spiritual journey through life’s seasons
Meditation is a time-honored art of finding stillness. Meditation helps us live a healthier, less stressful life. The physical and psychological benefits are wonderful. Meditation calms the sympathetic nervous system and lowers stress hormones, such as cortisol. “Peace is a practice”. The more you continue a meditation practice, the greater the benefits offered you. Prayer falls under this category. For what is prayer, but the asking, confirming, and receiving of wishes we meditate upon.
This is ALL you will ever need. This is for the person who has NEVER meditated before AND it is for the expert meditator. WHY? Because all meditation starts with the root of intention.
“No matter what the tree, they all grow from one seed, which takes root and branches out”
Therefore, know this, meditation is like the lotus tree or flower. Rich with many, many layers, leaves, or petals. It blossoms to be a vibrant plant or flower, but at its core, it is the same, basic principle, ~ the seed you plant.
- The Seed: Your intention: the reason you do this
- Air to grow: Your breath: in order to reach the roots
- Food to grow: Your thoughts: how you choose to nourish the seed
- Water to grow: Your ability to flow and let go: how you magnetize your purpose to bring it back
Now, forget everything you know about meditation.
~ Sit in a comfortable position. Whatever that position is. No right or wrong. The idea is to be at ease, yet aware. It is important to sense the space around you with an image of the top of your head pulling upwards, while your sitting bones feel grounded and pulling you downward.
~Close your eyes.
1. The Seed: Your Intention
~State your intention or purpose for meditating TODAY. You can say it out loud, if that connects you to your reason. Today, in this moment, I am meditating for: __________________________
(hint: keep it simple, yet focused) For example, instead of meditating for world peace, meditate on something that may be an easier challenge to start with. Meditate on peace in your corner of the world or in your immediate location) such as peace in your household, or peace in your mind. (We will get to world peace later.)
2. Air to Grow: Your Breath
With your eyes remained closed, breathe.
Now, you are going to breathe with intention. You are going to take breaths with purpose. Each breath is now offered to your intention (or the reason you are meditating today.)
Breath is considered the “air, which circulates.” Breath reaches all the way down to the root of the seed (in order to sprout the intention) as breath reaches all the way out to the branches, as intention (the seed) grows.
You have this amazing ability to do this. As you focus on the inhale…draw your breath down to the root of your lungs (seed-intention). As you focus on the exhale…expel the breath out to the branches of your fingers and toes.
Breathe in a manner that comes naturally to you. Do not overthink this. There are many forms and techniques for breathing. but, for the purpose of this meditation, it is important not to become overly critical of details. This should form as a natural, easy process of taking in and letting out. Taking in and letting out.
3. Food to Grow: Your Thoughts
Your thoughts are how you CHOOSE to nourish the seed
Like your body, you can choose to eat food that is good for your body and soul or you can choose food, which clogs your heart, congests your lungs and makes you ill.
Your thoughts are no different. Your thoughts can empower your mind and soul or they can destroy your self-esteem, dis-empower your actions, and create doubt, pain, or panic.
Bring to mind 3 thoughts to EMPOWER your intention
Because we are human, doubt, insecurity, and uncontrolled thoughts will seep into your mind. Rather than fighting them, let them in, but do not let them dwell there. This is where the free-will of meditation takes over. (Remember, there will always be a struggle between the EGO self and the TRUE self) Your free-will allows you to make a choice between good (true self) or bad (ego self).
Whenever I am teaching this technique, this is what I hear next, “well, it’s easier said, than done.” My reply is, “this is why you are already resisting.” With a statement like this, you are already showing (not only to me but to the Universe) that you have already (shown your weakest side, resisted, given up,) let doubt take over.
Bring BACK to mind the 3 thoughts to EMPOWER your intention
Nourish with the good food of thought and blessings. With each inhale, feed your intention some good thought. With each exhale, release or expel anything, which does not belong there.
4. Water to Grow: Your Ability to Flow
Your ability to let flow and let go is how you magnetize your purpose and actually watch, as the Universe brings it back to you, 10 times stronger. Water moves intention (thoughts) to flow. This is the flow you need to release and let go. Your wish will boomerang back to you, with magnetic attraction, but only if you are willing to truly release it.
At the end of your meditation, it is the last important step to release or let go your intention. It is the “giving away”, which shows the Universe that you are not holding on, wanting or trying to control the outcome. It reveals that you are able to show STRENGTH in your conviction, TRUST in another force, with a BLESSING to go forward.
Letting go is probably one of the hardest things in life for us to do. Yet, if you really let go of something (an intention, material things, a loved one), you will find that their purpose serves the greater good (yourself, others, and the true reason.)
Holding on shows how tight our grip is around something (someone). Letting go shows us our ability to share, honor, appreciate what we have/had.
This shows you harmony with something larger than yourself. You will be better able to serve others if you have a healthy mind to support it. If you receive greater knowledge, you are better able to understand the reasoning behind the action.
NOW, open your eyes.