Recently I became aware of how creating a ritual greatly influenced my meditation practice and how much I value it.
Meditation is a blessing to me and initially began as a ‘tool’ to cope. A technique for stress relief and healing.
To seek harmony.
But now it is so much more than that. It is a Way of Life.
Dont, get me wrong I still resist Meditation a lot and some days I just don’t feel the pull. But other times I know it is all I have. All I can do. Especially when I feel weak or unwell. It is my fuel. Intuitively I know that the only answer today is to Meditate.
I must surrender to everything else.
I desire the release and the bliss at a time when my body aches and my mind cannot focus.
I crave the sweetness.
I sink into it gratefully and fully. And I arrive the other side in a more peaceful place of acceptance and inner strength. A place where I connect to my soul.
Like I am laying in a warm sun drenched field of wild flowers gazing up at the bright blue sky. Nothing matters here.
A place beyond and way above physical pain or unease.
Some days it is a choice between this gentle nourishing path, and the road of stress and frustration. Once I make the choice and take inspired action I always wonder why I didn’t surrender to this earlier.
Meditation connects me to love and presence. It grounds me when my body feels jittery and unhappy. It allows me to sink down. Deep down whilst I heal.
I know that Meditation can be difficult and maintaing a regular practice challenging But assuming you are now embracing your daily practice, do you have a ritual you follow?
I love a beautiful ritual.
It maps everything out. A set guide to follow. No confusion.
I have a ritual which I tend to follow most of the time. I find the pre-meditation ritual as important as the actual practice actually. It takes me there. It eases me in and soothes any resistance.
Here are my Top Tips to get prepared
- Create a Sacred Space – Whilst I often meditate in bed (or sometimes outside) I also have a corner of my room which I use. I have a big comfy leather chair which I can curl up on. There is a beautiful green (colour of wellbeing) picture above it with a quote which reads
‘Live. Love. Laugh’
There is a beautiful orchid plant close by and I often light a white candle.
And so whilst the space isn’t ‘more’ important than the practice itself I do find it prepares you a lot. It creates a vibe which is just condusive to healing. It also make you aware of how your space affects you.
- Play some soothing music on my iphone. Anything on YouTube will do. Music relaxes you and the frequency vibration matches the tone of a practice and often takes you deeper more easily.
The Ritual itself:
- I start with a sequence of TFT (Thought Field Therapy) which is a variation of EFT or Tapping. If you haven’t heard of this take some time to research it. It is an amazing technique for anxiety and healing the body and releasing emotions, pain, or any issue.
You know how people often say that they ‘dont know how to release’ things that come up? Like how to actually let them go once they have acknowledged them?…. Well Tapping is the answer.
It lets things go.
There is a place for both EFT and TFT. I find the latter simpler (especially as a pre-meditation ritual) as it is an easy and quick routine without words. The outcome of both is to feel relaxed and lighter and free. It defintely helps with anxiety and I use it on its own if I need to calm down my system.
- I follow with a few minutes of Nostril Breathing (or pranayama.) Again this feels like it is preparing me for the main event.
- I gently and slowley turn my head side to side and up and down to release any blockages.
- Finally I shut my eyes and sink into Meditation. By this point I am ready for it and I feel calm and soft. I simply watch the breath in my stomach.
Breathe in stomach goes out.
Breathe out stomach goes in.
Over and over until it organically becomes a tiny subtle movement acting entirely on its own intelligence. My own control and thought dissipated and unnecessary now.
After a few minutes things feel gentler and if I stay with it, the last 10 minutes (of a 20 min practice) are always the most blissful, as all the initial resistance melts away.
So there it is. The importance not only of a practice but also the the fundamental aspect of a spiritual ritual. For me, a ritual encourages the activity. Much like how a new pair of leggings can encourage me to do some yoga (superficial maybe but who cares…) a pre-meditation warm up leads me more willingly to the main deal too.
Do rituals exist in your life? Maybe you didnt even realise it until now? Have a think and let me know? I find them soothing. They feel like the first baby step when I am not sure I can take the whole jump. But invariably by taking that little baby step I get to the destination.