The Art of Meditation
Meditation is the act of bringing your attention back to whatever you intention was. ~ Kimberly Rinaldi
Meditation is one of the proven alternative healthcare therapies identified within mind-body medicine. More and more doctors are prescribing meditation as a way to lower blood pressure, improve exercise performance, help people with asthma breathe easier, relieve insomnia and generally relax the everyday stresses of life. Meditation is a safe and simple way to balance a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states. It is easy, free, can be done anywhere and can benefit everybody.
The use of meditation for healing is not new. Meditative techniques are the product of diverse cultures and peoples around the world. It has been rooted in the traditions of the world’s great religions. In fact, practically all religious groups practice meditation in one form or another. The value of meditation to alleviate suffering and promote healing has been known and practiced for thousands of years.
Meditation comes in many forms, from chanting and use of mantra to mindful meditation to prayer and daydreaming; even Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are types of meditation. All focus on you turning inward to either clearing your mind or focusing on specifics. Done properly you reach Alpha state and little bits of healing begin.
As a Hypnotherapist and an Energy Healer, I frequently use a specific meditation to get clients grounded, centered and bring them back to the here and now before I begin a session. You can try it too.
The Raisin Meditation
Prep: Turn off phones, find a quiet place you will not be disturbed for at least 30 minutes, loosen any constricting clothing, and sit in a straight backed chair (I use the dinning room table frequently), feet flat on the floor (barefoot is great)
Take a single raisin and place in on a table in front of you.
Process: Spend 3 minutes on each and every step (you may want to time 3 minutes to get the feel for it initially)
• Take a deep breath, in through your nose and slowly release through your mouth (best done with an audible sigh). Repeat this 3-4 times.
• Feel your butt in the chair and your feet on the floor and be aware of your posture, the temperature of the room, your degree of alertness or for some tiredness. Be aware of any physical discomforts you may have and then release them. Hear any sounds within or outside the room and then release them too.
• Look at the raisin, examine it, what does the texture look like, what color is it, does it look moist, dry, hard, or soft? Really visualize it, close your eyes and recreate it in your imagination.
• Reach slowly for the raisin, touch it, pick it up, roll it between your fingers, place it in your palm and feel the weight of it. Did it match or conflict with your visual assessment?
• Slowly move the raisin to your face and smell the raisin, does it smell sweet, savory, does it smell at all? Close your eyes and really identify the smell, do you smell the earth it came from? Keep your eyes closed from this point on.
• Place the raisin in your mouth and feel the texture with your tongue, roll it against your teeth, your gums, the roof of your mouth, do not bite into it yet. Close your eyes and concentrate on this raisin, here today in your mouth. It is the only raisin you are aware of in the entire universe.
• Bite down on the raisin one time, do not really chew, just bite. Did it explode with flavor? What was the flavor, what was the texture? Can you smell it better now? Sit with your eyes closed and focus on that single bite. Mentally record any impressions you may have.
• Now slowly chew the raisin, but do not swallow. Chew it to the point of disintegration, notice any flavor changes. Does it change texture, and if yes, at which point does this happen?
• Swallow the raisin, feel it hit the back of your throat, feel the muscles of your tongue in concert with your throat move the soft mass down your throat to your stomach. Is there a residue of flavor, texture or sense of the raisin left in your mouth? Or is it completely gone?
• Feel the raisin move to your stomach, be aware of it through your esophagus. When you feel it is in your stomach, thank the raisin for the experience, thank yourself for the experience and spend a few more minutes with your eyes closed reviewing all of the experiences this one raisin gave you. How was it different from any other raisin you have had before? Do you want another raisin now, or was this one a sufficient experience for you?
• Take 3 deep breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, open your eyes and be here and now, get up stretch and enjoy the rest of your day.
*If raisins aren’t your thing, use a cranberry, peanut, blueberry, grape, potato chip or any other small food you would normally not eat as a single solitary item.
Understand there is no wrong way to meditate, this is just one way I enjoy. What ever method you choose is right for you.