One more week closer to the end of the semester…meaning that my work load is once again fully loaded, and I am guessing that all of yours are back to normal too (if they weren’t already last week). With the weight of work once again resting upon our shoulders, relaxation is a hot commodity that is pretty hard to come by. Therefore, I am going to continue the conversation dealing with meditation by discussing a few different types of meditations that in which you can easily partake. The goal of these practices is to help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and decrease anxiety.
The first that I am going to discuss is Zazen. This form of meditation that is associated with Buddhism, and as such, you may have seen it on television shows or in movies. In this form, just as discussed in the previous post, the space in which you practice is important;for Zazen I would recommend your dorm room or another open space with enough room for a cushion to be placed on the floor for comfort when you sit. On the cushion, you can sit in a variety of ways, as long as it is comfortable for you. The position that you choose will most likely be dependent on how your body feels at that time, so I would recommend implementing the same Yoga routine each time before practicing this to ensure that you can have some control over how you feel. Once seated, it is time to focus your attention. To do this, make sure that your gaze is unfocused; then, rock side to side three times before settling in by resting your hands facing palms up on one another. Then, shift your focus to your breath, and allow your thoughts to move freely out of your brain.
The next meditation practice is “Mindfulness.” This form of meditation can be practiced in almost any quiet setting or wherever you can refrain from focusing on only external occurrences. The goal of this form of meditation is to become aware of the present state of yourself without judgement. Basically, you must allow yourself to get lost in the moment. So, once in the area and seat in which you are going to practice Mindfulness, simply begin to allow your thoughts and emotional and physical feelings to pass being acknowledged, however, without judging or questioning them. This is probably my favorite firstly because of the end goal to stop judging yourself and secondly because of the fact that it can be practiced anywhere. Once you attain the ability to stop judging yourself, I believe that it is much easier to stop caring what others think of you and vice versa.
Finally, the last meditation practice I am going to discuss is Transcendental Meditation. In this practice, just like the last, you can be seated in any comfortable position. In this form of mediation, you pick three words that become your “mantra.” While seated, you will link these three words with each breath. For example, if the words you chose were “strength, honesty, and courage” with one breath you would say “strength” in your mind, on the next breath you would say “honesty” in your mind, and so on repeating the cycle of the words.
Hopefully, you try out some of these forms of meditation and they help aid in your relaxation during the semester.