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Scott’s Meditation

This May, the LE staff accepted a formidable mission – to meditate for 10 minutes everyday! It wasn’t long before we realised this was much more challenging than we first anticipated. Lucky for us LE head honcho Scott is vastly experienced in such matters and was only too happy to share some of his knowledge and experiences with us. If you’ve ever considered meditating or have been finding it to be challenging like we have, these helpful tips can point you in the right direction. Here are some excerpts from his talk...

“When starting a project – it is important to create an intention. I think that is kind of helpful when you do anything but in particular – something like this. I’ve worked a lot with intention - I use it a lot in the work I do. I find that when I’ve got a project or when I have something to do, I like to take time to contemplate what is the intention for this and then as I contemplate it, I try and extract the essence, what I really want to try and do. Then I articulate it and write it down. Just one or two sentences, something simple I can remember. I think that’s a good place to start.

For me, meditation actually started with visualisation. Visualisation is a form of meditation - it is a way of focusing your mind. I’m quite a visual person so this works quite well for me. When I was in high school I used to participate in high jumping and athletics. The other guys used to visualise jumping higher and reaching their goals, so I started visualising too and found it to be an effective mechanism. Depending on what you want to achieve in your meditation, visualisation can be a powerful tool. Visualisation is a great technique if you want to use meditation as a vehicle to focus your will power or your psychic energy or mental energy, whatever you want to call it, to manifest something or make it happen.

So there’s that sort of meditation, which is focused on achieving something, or meditation which is more therapeutic in a way – stilling your mind and getting into a space of relaxation and eliminating stress. Then there is meditation which can be a doorway into the spiritual world, prayer based meditation is a big part of spiritual traditions around the world, as a way of focusing yourself and entering into the spiritual world if you like – whatever form it takes.

So I think with meditation, there are different ways to approach it depending on what your objective is, and I’ve approached it from the different ways throughout the years. In my experience with it, what I’ve discovered is that like with anything, it’s really something you get better at the more you do it. It’s a bit like a musical instrument, if you pick it up and start learning to play it - obviously the more you play it, the more proficient you are going to be and the better music you’re going to produce.  I’ve found that with mediation the more regularly you do it - it opens itself up to you. I found that it definitely follows the same principle – if you can do it regularly and practice it, you discover all kinds of things that come out of it. Especially if you have a clear purpose, often you find, at least in my experiences, it enables you to explore new ways to move towards that purpose.

One of the things that I’ve discovered about meditation, what really helps for me is to kind of have a ritual - like doing it at the same place at the same time – and to build a little bit of a ritual around it. I get up at 5.30 and have a shower, and then I’ve got a special place where I meditate, a special pose that I meditate in, I go light a candle, light some incense… so I’ve got a whole routine that I follow everyday. I meditate for an hour or hour and a half most days, and I just find that it really helps to get you in that space because meditation is really about stilling the mind or focusing the mind. I find that the morning is often the best time, just after you wake up or after you’ve had a shower; at the end of the day often it is, well for me at least, it’s more difficult because my mind is full of thoughts from the day. I can’t just sit and get rid of them all and focus on whatever I’m focusing on, so for me the morning is a great time to do it - having that ritual, but whatever works for you… That’s what I find is helpful and I’m able to get into the space – the zone I want to be in more easily. It might also help to have a particular kind of music, simple music or maybe a candle, something to focus on.

In a lot of traditions, specially the more spiritually based traditions, the breath is used as a foundation of meditation. Focusing on the breath is important because the breath is something that’s always with you, it’s always there. It’s a natural rhythm so as you meditate, focusing on your breath, being conscious and aware of your breath, is a way to really still things down and come back to breath which is one of those things that is kind of fundamental – it is one of the last things to leave when we die. In terms of defining who we are, it is one those fundamental things. I use the breath a lot – focusing on your breath meditation. And you will find that as you breathe, your breath is really linked to your state – so often when you’re anxious, you’ll get short of breath, also when you’re stressed. When you’re most relaxed, you’ll find your breath is steady and becomes long so focusing on your breath as you go into meditation really helps to steady you and relax you.

The other big thing is posture. Get into a comfortable and upright posture if you can, because you will find that if you’re not then meditation easily becomes sleep, which often happens. Especially if you’re doing it early in the morning or at the end of the day when you’re relaxing or unwinding, getting into that meditative state. So if your posture is slouched you can doze off into sleep but if you’re upright it tends to support your meditation a lot more. A lot of the different spiritual traditions talk of the posture as a foundation of prayer and meditation  - posture and breath – two things. These are some of the main tips I’ve learned over the years…”

Scott’s chat with us ended with a blissful chocolate meditation session!

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