Bestow Meditation Ritual
A daily soul-care ritual for improving stress resilience and enhancing wellbeing.
Meditation is a soul-care ritual that greatly enhances our overall health and well-being.
There has been a huge surge of interest in ancient wisdom practices like meditation and mindfulness in recent decades. Perhaps this is a reflection of our collective need to find anchoring spaces of meaning, stillness and stress-relief in our fast and fragmentary lives.
Meditation can deepen our spiritual awareness, increase our resilience to stress, connect us to the wisdom of our body, improve our capacity to handle negative emotions and support a clearer and calmer mind.
A daily meditation ritual creates an inner spaciousness – mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Over time, we develop the capacity to slip below the weedy waters of our ego and self-identifying thought patterns and rest in the gentle stillness of Being. The positive effects of this on our body, mind and soul are profound.
We recommend Anapana Meditation – a simple form of Vipassana Meditation which focuses on the breath.
Sit in a comfortable position (on a chair or on a cushion) with your back and neck in alignment.
Set a timer on your phone. It will keep the time so you can let go of time. (Begin with five minutes. As you establish your daily practice, aim to build up to 15 or 20 minutes.)
Close your eyes and become aware of the weight of your body, the feel of the air on your skin, the way your body is supported by the chair or the floor as you rest.
Begin to breathe deeply, breathing in and out through your nose.
Allow your breathing to become slow and relaxed.
Now, focus your attention on your breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen with each breath; the sensation of air flowing through your nostrils.
As you inhale, silently say the word “in” to yourself, and as you exhale, say the word “out.” Draw out the pronunciation of the word so that it lasts for the entire breath. Repeat these words as you breathe to help you to sustain your attention on your breath.
If you don’t find the words helpful, simply allow your attention to lightly rest on the breath as it rises and falls.
If you notice your thoughts wandering, gently bring your attention back to your breathing without judgement. It is natural to start thinking of other things, the key is to catch yourself doing it and bring your attention back to your breath. With practice you will get quicker at noticing when your attention has wandered.
Continue your meditation practice until your timer signals the end of your session.
Sit quietly for one minute as you return your awareness to the room.
Do not judge your meditation session. Let it be. Move into your day with grace and gratitude.
We recommend that you establish a particular place and time for your daily meditation ritual. This repeated pattern will help to cue your body and mind into meditation mode.
Additional Meditation Resources:
Vipassanā Meditation: Guided Meditation for Beginners | Youtube Clip
This you-tube clip offers a 15 minute guided Vipassana Meditation. There is a three-minute introduction at the beginning and some helpful prompts throughout the session, as well as long periods of silence to support you in establishing your meditation process.
Headspace | Mobile App
Headspace is a mobile app that is designed to help you learn to meditate and live mindfully. It offers guided meditations and instructional videos which build on your knowledge each day. They offer a free 10-day free trial. www.headspace.com
Why Mindfulness is Better Than Chocolate | Book by David Michie
This informative and oh-so-relatable book is one we recommend often to people who are beginning to explore mindfulness and meditation. It draws on eastern spiritual traditions and contemporary science to explore the health, wellbeing and consciousness-enhancing benefits of mindfulness.