Virtually everyone I speak with who is interested in meditation wants to enjoy deeper meditations… and they want to enjoy them consistently.
Understanding how to do this, though, is very rare.
When you understand and practice what you are going to learn in this article, you will experience consistent, deep, enjoyable meditations every time.
You will begin to feel more of the power from your meditation in your daily life.
You will begin to see the health benefits of meditation more clearly. When this practice becomes habitual, you will notice people treat you differently. More and more you will be recognized as a person with an unexplainable charisma… regardless of how you look.
This is the power of properly applied, consistent, deep meditation.
If you don’t learn how to meditate deeply, then your results will continue to be inconsistent. You will keep wondering if there is something important that you’re missing. The people that would have noticed that mysterious charisma will be much less likely to notice anything different about you at all.
So how do you really reap the benefits of deep meditation?
It’s all about how you get started.
And the way most meditations start is with relaxation. And that is the main problem. Virtually no one knows how to properly relax. And even worse, most people think they do know how, and that they are already relaxed most of the time.
In addition to this, most of the descriptions I’ve heard of ‘deep meditation‘ sound like little more than deep relaxation. There’s nothing wrong with this… but it is much easier to consistently get into a mind-body state if you are clear about what the state is and how to get there, which we’ll cover in a moment.
There are a wide variety of methods for relaxation. I’m going to share the techniques I’ve found to be the most useful.
3 Simple Secrets of Deep Meditation
1 – Countdown
The countdown is a classic procedure from hypnosis and guided meditation. Simply counting down and pouring all your focus into the count has a very natural relaxing effect. The Silva Method (one of my favorite systems of meditation) teaches a 3-2-1 countdown process. But you can do 5 to 1, 10 to 1, 100 to 1, etc. Play with this. There is no rush. Just watch the numbers descend one by one as you sink more and more deeply into relaxation.
2 – Slowing the Breath
Much focus is placed on breathing deeply. This is very beneficial, but when you learn to slow down your breathing you will vastly improve your results. Slow breathing is a direct message to the oldest parts of your brain. When these parts go into a stress response (the fight or flight response), they try to force you to do everything quickly. External tasks must be done quickly to keep you alive. Breathing must be done quickly to prepare your body for combat or running to safety. But when you consciously breathe more and more slowly, it serves as proof in the moment that you are safe. And when the oldest parts of your brain feel safe… they open the doors to being centered, peaceful, and present.
3 – Awareness
The most powerful tool I have ever found for profoundly deep meditation is moment to moment awareness of the physical body. When you learn to pay attention to the physical sensations in your body, you tend to be more relaxed to begin with. It seems that you are focusing on what is ‘more real’ in this moment. The stress that keeps us from more deeply relaxing is based on internal images of things we want and are afraid we can’t get, or things we don’t want and are afraid we can’t avoid. This tends to unconsciously increase tension. When we reduce this focus, and switch it to the sensations in the body, we become less likely to get tense or stressed in the first place. And if some tension does arise, it is easily detected and handled. This is a simple and powerful way to increase awareness. Increased awareness is another fast doorway into deep meditations.
Exercise: Let’s try it all together now
1. Take a deep, slow breath, and as you let it go, visualize and say the number 3.
2. Take a deep, slow breath, and as you let it go, visualize and say the number 2.
3. Take a deep, slow breath, and as you let it go, visualize and say the number 1.
4. Notice the sensations arising in your body. Notice them in specific areas, and notice them globally… in the context of the whole body. Just maintain this gentle awareness.
5. Just before you finish your meditation, say to yourself on the inside: “I have learned to increase my awareness. I will take a little of this with me throughout the day… so I am more aware of physical sensations in my body moment by moment”. (Feel free to adjust the wording so the meaning is clear to you.)
6. Do your best to carry some of this increased relaxation and awareness with you through the rest of your day.
Play with this drill. Make it your own. Spice it up however you like. Look into different relaxation methods. Some other tools I enjoy are: progressive relaxation, brainwave entrainment, and visualization.
Absorb as much as you can on relaxation. Make it part of your daily life. Make it part of your moment-to-moment life. Enjoy it! Enjoy exploring new methods and enjoy your increased relaxation throughout the day. Enjoyment is a critical element for consistent practice. So if you don’t want to be one of the millions of meditation ‘washouts’ out there, find a way to enjoy your relaxation/meditation practice.
Moving forward, I encourage you to spend the first few minutes (at least 2) of your meditation following a relaxation process. When you get to the meditation, you will have the peaceful focus that you need to have real insights and breakthroughs. If you like, you can spend the whole meditation session just playing with relaxation. The more you relax, the better you will feel… the more healthy you will be… the more you will enjoy deep meditations… the more others will recognize you as one of the rare people who has found some level of inner peace.