Get Started with Meditation

AUTHOR:  Jessica Nyrop
DATE:  06/11/2020

When I read or hear the word “meditation”, I and maybe you picture a person seated, cross-legged on top of a mountain under a clear blue sky, with evergreen trees cascading the landscape. Fresh air surrounds the person; they close their eyes and breathe in the clean, cool air in complete silence. As that person descends the mountain, we picture the person with a clear mind and becoming a “new” person.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is not about changing “who you are”, to better oneself, or to become a new person; it is an act of bringing awareness to a person’s sense of self.  Practicing meditation can decrease stress and can alleviate mind clutter, producing clarity. It opens a path for us to see and identify core beliefs that we can change. The act of meditation is a form of training for the mind to pay attention. Through meditation, we can bring the brain to a mindful state that allows us to pay attention without judgement.

We can practice meditation on top of a mountain, but in reality, we can meditate anywhere, anytime. There are different forms and ways of meditation: walking meditations, nature walks or runs, video, audio, during and after a yoga practice, seated, body scans, and many more ways that may be specific and special to an individual. End result, we gain an awareness of one’s self, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and environment.

How Do We Meditate?

  1. Find an environment in which you feel comfortable in; for me this is while I am outside in nature running.
  2. Begin by focusing on your breath, the inhalation and the exhalation. Your mind will not clear, but let it wander.
  3. Think about what may be distracting you from your breath, what you see, what you may hear.
  4. Accept the distracting thought and return to your breath, inhalation and exhalation. Our minds never clear, we will always have thoughts coming in and out; through meditation, we can bring our self into the now, rather than the past or future.
  5. We accept our past, we have learned from our past. Our past helps define who we are and our future defines who we can be.
  6. Meditation allows us recognizing our core beliefs. We can reconfigure our core beliefs by understanding our emotions, sensations and thoughts associated with each core belief.
  7. Start with one minute and grow to 10 or 15 minutes several times a week.

Hurdles to Meditation

  • Self-Criticism – “I am doing this wrong” or “I feel silly”.  There is no right or wrong way to meditate; it is specific to the individual.
  • Sleep Fullness – You probably will feel tired, you may yawn.  This is okay; it is our mind telling our body, “I am relaxed and I needed this time to recover”.
  • Restlessness – Our bodies may not be ready to sit still; take a break and come back to it later.
  • Pain or Fear – We may feel a twinge or tingle or sense of heaviness over our body; come back to your breathe or open your eyes and readjust.

Start Your Meditation Journey

Meditation can be a useful practice to bring us into the now before starting a day, a meeting, a lecture, a task. Along with mediation, journaling is also a useful tool to bring our thoughts, feelings, memories, and sensations down to paper. Meditation is a tool for self-care.

Here are a few links of audio and video meditations:

Connect with Me

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Jessica Nyrop

Associate Director for Fitness and Instruction

Recreation

175 Alumni Arena

Phone: 716-645-2534

Email: jenyrop@buffalo.edu