Recently Sheila Sheeran and I sat down to go over the basics of meditation. She is the creator of Sheila Shine’s necklaces, a mother of four and on her way to being meditation certified. In November she finished Deepak Chopra’s 6 day meditation and yoga retreat called the Seduction of Spirit. If you are unfamiliar with Deepak Chopra, he is an expert in the field of mind-body healing, a world-renowned speaker and author on the subject of alternative medicine. Sheila has taken the time to share with us all she has learned and experienced about meditation from Deepak.
What is meditation to you?
It is when I unplug to plug in. I use meditation as a way to plug back into my soul, into my Source, and into all that is guiding me. After meditation I know what the next step is in my life. It is my way of connecting back in.
What are the benefits of daily meditation in your life?
I have four children and I notice that I am a different mother now that I meditate. I am definitely not as reactive. I do not force my children to meditate, but when I am in my room they all start to gather around. After coming out of the room, I am much more peaceful. My energy effects the home and I am able to bring the calm energy to those I love.
When is the best time for someone to meditate?
First thing in the morning. I have made it a part of my morning routine. I have a specific room dedicated to meditation, but it could be as easy as sitting somewhere comfortable. I do not recommend lying down because it can be easy to fall asleep.
What is a mantra and do I need one?
A mantra is a statement that you repeat over and over. You do need one to keep your focus. I use a primordial sound which is an ancient Indian word with no meaning. For my first year in meditation I used, “Quiet the mind, open the heart.” Using a mantra helps to keep you focussed and on track and out of the thoughts that keep racing.
What will happen when I meditate?
When you meditate it gives you a purpose to get to know yourself better. It it your time to tap into your true nature of who you really are. For example, if you are driving and get a flat tire meditation gives you the tools to be non reactive. You can remember to take a deep breath and come back to who you are when you meditate. This way you can address the situation from a place of calm.
How do I learn to mediate?
A great way is through Deepak and Oprah's 21 Day Meditation Experience. You can also commit to sitting 10-20 minutes in order to quiet the thoughts. People think they can’t mediate but there is no perfect way to do it. It is a practice. Think of it like taking the time to charge yourself like you would charge your cell phone. Meditation is taking the time to plug back in.
What do you say to someone who claims to have tried meditation but it “didn’t work” because they had “too much to think about”?
I like to think of it like polishing a mirror; keep trying again and again. Just remember, like with anything, it takes practice. Think of your thoughts like clouds going by. The sun (you) is always there and the thoughts will come like clouds so just let them drift by. If you start to think “Oh, I need to pack the kid’s lunch,” rather than attach to the thought and go do it, let the thought pass by and come back to your mantra.
Meditation is much like this…
Thought Space Thought Space
It is the space between the thoughts that you bump into yourself.
Can children mediate?
Absolutely. If we taught every 8 year old how to meditate we would have world peace. It is easy to be disconnected and to make up stories that we can attach to especially at a young age. As a mother I am not concerned about the same things I use to be when it comes to my children. I want them to be concerned about what their purpose is in the world, what they are grateful for, who they are; rather than what looks good.
If you are interested in trying meditation try it right now…
Keep your eyes closed and rest. After 2-3 minutes being to repeat any of the following intentions (Joyful, Energetic body ; Reflective, Alert mind; Loving, Compassionate heart; Quiet the mind, Open the heart; or anything that speaks to you.
Continue resting for another minute. Take a few deep breaths, start to move and stretch gently. When you're ready open your eyes slowly.
Yours in health,