Meditation

I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection. For a lot of this journey since I moved to Portland everything was new. I didn’t have a usual breakfast place or a bar that never disappoints. I didn’t have a hike I knew like the back of my hand. I had but one friend. It was exciting because everything was new. Any person I met had a story I hadn’t yet heard. Every restaurant I tried was an experiment. Every place I went, even going to Target, was an adventure. But slowly all these things fell into place. Some of the people I met became regulars in the sitcom that I sometimes view my life as. I started visiting certain restaurants regularly and stopped going to some entirely. I know the routes to get to all the important places I need to visit. All of this happened naturally, I didn’t even notice I was becoming a local (can I say that yet Portland gods? Please don’t strike me down!)

Source: Yellow Wood Design

And now that the novelty of my new hometown has worn off I’ve started reflecting on what I’ve learned. I moved halfway across the country with my best friend to a place I knew no one and had no job prospects. Not only that, I was across the Oregon border before I even knew where I was going to be living! Was this half-made plan everything I dreamed it would be?

So, I’ve spent a lot of my free time thinking. I’d go on walks and think, I’d listen to music and think, I’d drive around and think. And after a little bit of hard thinking my brain would slip into a sort of nothingness. I realized I had been meditating without intending to. After making this realization I decided to do some research.

Source: Karma Jello

The goal of meditation is to focus and quiet your mind, eventually reaching a higher level of awareness and inner calm. You can meditate anywhere and at any time. No matter what’s going on around you, you can access a sense of tranquility and peace.

I’ve constructed a table outlining some various forms of mediation. I’ve found that, as a beginner, mantra meditation works best for me. Of course yoga has always been one of my favorite activities as well.

Information from Mayo Clinic

Here’s a list of ways I practice meditation day to day. Maybe you will be able to utilize some of these tips.

  • Breathe deeply: Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. What are you feeling?
  • Scan your body: Close your eyes and become aware of the sensations in your body. Can you locate the source of your discomfort?
  • Repeat a mantra: Check out Deepak Chopra Soul of Healing affirmation (free on Spotify and All Music) for an A-Z list of mantras you can try.
  • Exercise: Combine your exercise routine with meditation, focus on each movement. How are you changing?
  • Prayer: Write your own prayers and one written by someone else. What are you thankful for?
  • Read and reflect: Read sacred or texts and poems. What does it mean to you?
  • Focus your love and gratitude: Treat those you interact with throughout your day with kindness. How can you help?
  
The most important thing I’ve found through practicing meditation the last of this list. I have realized that I am quick to judge and when offended I jump to conclusions about the other persons motive. By remembering that every person has the right to be happy I realize that they’re actions were probably not directed toward me or meant to hurt me, there is something else going on in that persons life that is affecting their actions. 
I am also prone to move quickly and overlook some of the beautiful things in life. Meditation helps me remember to slow down and appreciate what I have and what is right in front of me instead of mourning the things I have lost and yearning for things I don’t possess. How has meditation influenced your life? New to meditation? Do you think you’d like to give it a try?

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