It’s #MeditationMonday! Does anyone else go to yoga class just for the savasana at the end of class? (guilty!) The hot yoga studio I go to always provides for 10 minutes of meditation at the end of class – and it gives you all the feels. You are tired from working out for the past 75 minutes, your SO sweaty as you lay in the 90 degree temperature room, and you just indulged in some self care. GOOD VIBES TO THE MAX. I literally just love laying there in a meditative state.
Alot of people use meditation to calm their anxiety or to get their creative thoughts flowing OR to combat sleep issues like my friend Ida Michelle. She was kind enough to write a guest post about meditation for today’s blog. Grab a booch and read on! xx Erica
Mindfulness Meditation, Binaural Beats, and what’s the deal with all that mind clatter? By Ida Michelle
I stumbled across Anna Sayce’s blog about three weeks ago. She’s an intuitive that has been doing spiritual work for a long time and now offers intuition building classes. I am truly grateful I found her blog because I found so much of myself inside her stories. I have definitely read other bloggers that I have resonated with, but the feeling doesn’t come close to how I felt about her. Not only did she have one or two blog posts touching on being a reader and strengthening your intuition, but she had blog posts on all sorts of other metaphysical topics that I love, topics such as binaural beats and meditation.
Sayce has a similar story to mine as she has an ongoing struggle with sleep. Since she was a teenager she would never go to bed or wake up at a “normal” time. I am now in my thirties and I am in the exact same boat as Sayce when it comes to sleep. Her bedtime was around 3-5am and her wake up time was around 1pm. I would say the main difference between Sayce’s story and my own would be my sleep issues started even earlier for me, even before my high school years. I remember my Mom and Dad letting me stay up to watch late night talk shows. This was when I was only in elementary school. Faintly, I remember being 5 or 6 years old, in our family’s blue van and my Mom would let me sleep the entire car ride to school in the mornings. My Mom would even dress me and brush my hair on the car drive there. This memory has stuck with me.
Sayce addressed how she solved her own sleep issues, “It took me about 15 years of dealing with this, until I was finally diagnosed with a circadian rhythm disorder, and began to treat it successfully using light therapy and restriction.” I feel firmly that my sleep disorder diagnosis would be similar, if not identical, but I have not had the chance to do light therapy yet. The good news is I can begin the restriction part anytime though.
Out of this sleep disorder, Sayce found something else that stuck with her, that may have not been able to stay otherwise, and that was meditating at night. Meditation at night is a natural remedy for sleep disorders. It helps one focus, clear the mind clutter, and eliminate your smartphone as a distraction.
The Beta , Theta & Alpha
Sayce mentions beta state, the state when your mind is awake. Sayce says, “Most people are in the beta state all day long. The thing is, being in beta makes it difficult to access spiritual guidance, because the only input we have access to in this state is the mind’s input. Being in beta is a bit like having a bunch of different tabs open on your internet browser, related to your daily life.”
Jen Sincero, author of You are a Badass at Making Money, talks about the importance of meditation for your overall well being. Self care is an essential part of creating that abundance mindset. Sincero doesn’t mention the word beta, but she still describes it in her book while talking about the connection to that mind clatter and how meditating helps calm it down.
Sincero says, “It’s like your brain is a loud bar with everyone screaming and yelling or singing at the top of their drunken lungs. Meditation shuts down the bar and escorts the people out.”
Meditation doesn’t always have to be in silence either. I have been using binaural beats music for meditation since 2014. These beats give you some frequencies that are almost polar opposite of the beta state.
Goggle defines binaural beats and it’s connection to meditation as, The effect of binaural beats and brainwave entrainment is to bring about one of the states associated with meditation — usually alpha or theta, or sometimes the gamma state.
The theta state is closest to a relaxation or sleep state. Alpha is being aware of both conscious and subconscious at the same time and is closest to an achievable meditation state. Goggle defines Alpha as when, the brain operates in cycles between 9Hz & 14Hz…. typified by partial conscious awareness and partial subconscious predominance at the same time. When someone meditates, scientifically, they are simply reducing their brain wave frequency to alpha. The Alpha level is the level we use to activate our minds. Theta is a level of deeper relaxation or sleep…”
As a personal note, don’t feel you have to reap immediate and imminent results from binaural beats. I have used binaural beats for three solid years now and still feel there is so much to still unravel and learn.
Remember meditation is a lifelong practice and is different for every individual. Maybe some individuals prefer the binaural beats that are only five minutes long, maybe there are individuals out there that love the eight hour long lucid dreams/ sleep binaural beats. Definitely no one size fits all approach with this.
BUT HOW DO I MEDITATE?
Many guided meditations use mantras as a part of the meditation session too. This is also a great example of something that could work for one individual and not another. A mantra can be as simple as chanting Om or as complex as full sentences in Sanskrit. Everyone is unique, and everyone just has to keep at it to find their sweet spot.
According to Sayce the three steps to meditation are: Sit comfortably; Close your eyes and breathe normally and to Focus your attention on your breath—just observe it.
Sincero’s steps for mediation are not much different. Sincero recommends meditating for 5 minutes a day. She advises, “focusing on your breathe, anytime a thought comes in your mind you just refocus on your breathe.”
I agree with both of these definitions of meditation whole-heartedly. I feel Sincero’s five minutes a day recommendation is too short. But as mentioned, everyone is different, and everyone can have their own custom amount of time.
A meditation practice that is guided, such as Deepak and Oprah’s 21 day meditation experience, is usually 20 minutes a day, which is common. The guided meditation of Deepak and Oprah is specifically set up as each day being just a pinch under or over 20 minutes long. This is ideal to do twice a day as well, splitting it up 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night before you go to bed. It also reminds me of that well known Zen quote:
Sayce provides some additional guidance for meditating such as don’t try to eliminate all thoughts while meditating; set the expectation bar low and try starting your meditation with a prayer.
Don’t get discouraged and feel that you are horrible at meditating just because you have an active mind. Don’t fight it, especially if you have a creative personality type.
Sayce points out, “But the point of the exercise is NOT to have no thoughts, but instead to bring your attention back to your breath after noticing a thought that comes up. Sometimes this takes a while – if my mind is particularly active, I can go off on a thought tangent for 1-2 minutes before I have even realized it has happened, and have a chance to bring my focus back to the breath.”
Even as a user of guided meditation and binaural beats, it’s easy to lose some focus, just don’t allow your thoughts rule the show. The best thing you can do when this happens is instead of getting frustrated or even worse giving up, go back, count, or do anything else that helps bring focus back on your breath. Everyone is different. That’s why if silence doesn’t work for you, use music or binaural beats. If the music doesn’t work for you and you like the silence but need something more, then maybe focus on an object until you can close your eyes.
If you’re still a beginner at meditation, guided meditations are a great starting point because it allows you to still listen to someone’s voice (preferably one that is soothing to you), then follow their instructions. Experiment and find what works for you.
To recap, I’d like to leave with yet another definition of meditation. Going back to Sincero, she also pinpoints meditation and its relationship with God, the Universe, source energy, etc. She says it’s a way to emotionally connect to your spiritual truth beyond the five senses.
Per Sincero, “Meditation is sitting in purposeful silence and is food for your heart and soul. It allows your higher self to commune with universal intelligence so you can actually hear one another…. It’s called a meditation practice for a reason. It takes a whole lot of practice to shut off the noise. You have an infinite greatness inside of you; let it win over the BS.”
We are all energy. Use that, harness it in, and co-create some awesomeness. If you are looking to up your vibrational game… find a meditation practice that’s right for you. stick with it.
I did mention Oprah and Deepak’s 21 day meditation experiences earlier, and they happen to have a brand new one that just started called Desire and Destiny. It’s free to sign up for up at chopracentermeditation.com.
Ida Michelle is a Florida based Angel Card Reader that works with 5+ Doreen Virtue physical decks, and more than 17 Angel, Tarot, and Motivational app decks.
She is an INFP (Briggs/Myers personality test), Metaphysical loving, Law of Attraction expert, who gives accurate and heartfelt Angel card readings by connecting to her clients and their Angels. In addition to being an angel card reader, Ida Michelle is a social media coach with a Bachelor’s degree inside Journalism and Multimedia.