Meditation for Spiritual Growth

Although meditation is a way to center ourselves and shut off the outside world for a moment, it can also be a way for you to grow spiritually. When you spend time calming your mind and finding inner peace, you have room to explore your spiritual consciousness. Let’s explore how looking inward through meditation can help you grow.

Meditation Restores Balance

Healthy habits are an important part of feeling energized and balanced. Similar to how exercise, healthy eating, and a full night of sleep are good for you, meditation is one way to take care of your mental health. When you find the world is chaotic, take a moment to close your eyes, be silent, and focus on your breath. After your session, you may feel calm and balanced once again.

How To Meditate Spiritually

Spiritual meditation is the practice of learning how you are connected to something bigger than yourself. Start by reflecting on your inner self and how you move through life. Then, begin to focus on the present moment. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I feel?
  • What do I hear?
  • What do I smell?
  • What do I taste?

As your eyes are closed and your breathing is deep, begin to overcome any negative thoughts or feelings by accepting and acknowledging your entire self. When you learn to find love and compassion for yourself, you can more easily do the same for others. During your practice, focus on the following:

  • Your authentic self.
  • Being open-minded.
  • Directing compassion toward others.
  • Releasing grudges or burdens.

The Takeaways of Meditation for Spiritual Growth

Learning how to quiet your mind and take time to live in the moment requires practice. When you begin meditation, you may find that your thoughts are racing. As you learn to sink into calmness, you can enrich your life, appreciate every moment, and be more mindful.

Meditate for Spiritual Growth

Meditation is personal and private. This is a time to go deep within your soul to find the answers you have been looking for, instead of looking everywhere outside of yourself. Did you realize that we are actually spiritual beings having a human experience? When you think of it that way, many things can shift in your life. 

We are all unique. You may enjoy walking or running quiet-time to get grounded and connected to what means the most to you. Or, you may enjoy a more traditional approach to meditation when sitting in a calm and peaceful environment. Experiment and and find what works best for you. And then use these tools and techniques consistently. 

In the beginning it can feel too challenging and maybe your mind is racing fast and furious. You may want to try this box breathing technique to slow everything down: it helps achieve calm & has health benefits.

  1. Take 4 deep breaths in
  2. Hold to the count of 4 
  3. Release your breath to the count of 4 
  4. Then hold your breath for 4 counts. 

Keep repeating this for several sessions until your focus on your breath is bringing you into the here and now. This also reduces stress and takes you out of the future or the past. Return to natural breathing when it feels right to you. You can also start with short sessions of meditation and expand the time from there until you find your rhythm and consistency. The key is to keep at it — don’t give up. 

The beauty of meditation is that we connect to that inner wisdom, the internal GPS, the essence of our soul — and through that pure connection, we see what connects us all. We are all one, and the more we find ways to connect instead of ways to disconnect, the better our lives will be and the better our world will be. 

Staying Calm During Financial Turbulence

Financial stress can cause anxiety, negatively affect your mental and emotional wellbeing, and can even hurt you physically.  It is extremely important to find ways to be calm during hard financial times, but it can be the most difficult time in which to do so.

Meditation, Yoga and Reiki can all help with decreasing your stress levels and keep them from rising when financial hardships occur.  All three of these systems tap into the energy that flows through you and connects your mind, body and emotions together within your being. 

Meditation sometimes stresses people out because they say “I’m no good at meditation.”  Or they think they have to have their mind completely calm in order for meditation to “work.”  That isn’t the case.  Meditation, especially when you are first learning, can be helpful and doesn’t require you to “control your mind.”

Find a place that is comfortable that you can be alone for just a few minutes.  It can even be the bathroom if it is hard for you to find privacy.  Bring your awareness to your breathing.  Focus on trying to elongate your inhale, and then focus on matching the length of your exhale with it. 

Just allow your mind to flow, whatever comes in, just try to gently encourage it to flow right out again.  Try to not allow anything to take up root in your thoughts but if you find your mind spiraling about a thought, try to move your mind back to focusing on your breathing. 

This can help in as little as just a couple of minutes to calm your mind and body and help your emotions not overwhelm you. 

Yoga uses your body and mind connection to ease your stress levels.  Again, so many people say “I’m not flexible enough for yoga.”  That doesn’t matter for stress relief.  It doesn’t have to be a full workout and you don’t have to be a long-time yogi to benefit from the stress relief this can give you.  There are many videos of yoga for beginners that you can find online.    Pick one pose or a couple that won’t make you feel intimidated and that will be easy for you to do in the space you have. 

Standing Mountain pose can be done just about anywhere and by anyone.  You stand up as straight as possible, with your feet parallel.  You lengthen each part of your body slowly focusing first on your legs, then your midsection then lengthening your spine and straightening your shoulders.  You tuck your chin slightly and pull the crown of the head upwards.  You breathe slowly and deeply while holding this position and then let out a breath as you relax your body and release the pose.  This done a few times slowly can calm your system and help bring your mind to ease.

Reiki is an energy technique that allows a Reiki Master to clear your energy and aura of blockages and alleviates stress to allow your Chi to flow in a healthy way through your mind, body and emotions.  This is especially helpful if you have had ongoing financial worries for an extended period of time.  All that stress can build up and the energy blockages can even cause health problems.

Using any of these techniques consistently can help build up a higher tolerance for stress and anxiety and help to prepare you for unexpected financial stress.

Using Meditation and Mantras to reach Financial Stability

Setting goals can be easy to do but reaching them can be a challenge.  Unexpected emergencies can come up, or willpower can fail.  Doing daily meditation and using personalized mantras can help you find success.

First, be honest with yourself about what you are capable of.  Mediation can help put you in the right frame of mind for some hard talks with yourself about finances.  Sit in a comfortable room with either silence or music that isn’t distracting on in the background.  Once you are physically comfortable try to calm your mind with several deep steady breaths, focusing on making the exhale just as slow and long as the inhale.  Focus only on your breathing and keep doing this until you feel calm and at ease.  It doesn’t have to be long, as little as five minutes can help.

The important thing is for you to be in a calm frame of mind when you sit down to write out your goal.  Now have all your monthly bills together and write out the amounts, putting an honest average for any bills that change from month to month.  Then write down all your income that happens from month to month, don’t exaggerate, it is important.

Now think about what it is you want to achieve?  What does financial security mean to you?  Just being able to pay your bills? Or do you want to be able to pay your bills and save up a specific amount each month?  Don’t be extravagant because you will just end up disappointing yourself and becoming discouraged if you don’t set realistic goals for yourself.

So when you have all that decided, this is where the mantras can help.  Create a simple short mantra for whatever your goal is and say it to yourself each morning when you get up, and every night before bed.  For example, if your goal is to pay all your bills, save $100 a month and still have a little extra to have fun with, then create a mantra that goes something like this:

Financial stability will be mine.  I will have the income I need to pay all my bills, save $100 and also still get to have fun, each and every month.  I will do what it takes to make this happen because I work hard and I deserve it.”

It is important to always include a reason for this to happen, such as “you work hard,” but also something that helps positively reinforce this such as “I deserve it.”

This will help your subconscious understand what you are trying to accomplish and will send your intention out into the universe to help bring about your success.  The repetition of doing this morning and night will help you remember to control your impulses that might self-sabotage your goals. 

It is important to revisit your goals every couple of months.  Be kind and honest with yourself.  If you have succeeded, then set new goals, if you haven’t, don’t beat yourself up, just try to dial it back and set more realistic goals based on what has gone wrong so far.

The Difference Between Guided Meditation vs. Active

Meditation can take many forms and a wide range of time intervals. It can work with people of all ages, and stages in life. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Experiment and find the techniques that work best for you. Let’s look at the similarities and differences between a guided meditation and an active meditation.

Guided Meditation: In the beginning of a meditation practice, it is often easier to use a guided program where a person talks you through the process of steps. This can be done live in a class or with a recording. When we are left all on our own to meditate, it may be challenging and distracting because our minds tend to hop around from topic to topic.  Some may be in a peaceful setting or with calming music or nature sounds in the background. 

A few popular types of guided meditation include: Sleep/Relaxation, Pain/Stress Relief or Mindful/Loving. You can find meditations that guide you to let go of anxieties with visualizations and soothing thoughts and images.  Or, you may choose to learn how to be in the here and now while letting your distracting thoughts float away. This type of energy helps you navigate your busy world and still feel in control.

Active Meditation: Active meditation combines focus and mindfulness with specific activity — usually one that you can do without great concentration on the task you’re performing. Some may get more from their meditation while walking or jogging, gardening or knitting, for example. Combining physical concentration with repetitive physical actions can create a deeper mind-body connections and intensify the clarity and peacefulness of the meditation.

It is often useful to do these actions on your own, so you can be in the moment and enjoy the deep inner connection you are creating instead of participating in conversations with others or listening to popular music or your favorite podcast. 

Experiment to find what works best for you each day. Perhaps, like me, you will find that adding some variety to our meditations helps to provide the best results.

How To Meditate

Meditation has been around for thousands of years Originally handed down from generation to generation. The english word, meditation, is based on a latin word meaning ‘to ponder.’ But, you do not need to be a yogi seated in an ashram for hours and hours to benefit. 

Modern meditation is a proven and powerful tool that has many health and life benefits including stress reduction. A basic meditation can be broken down into a few simple steps:

  1. find a desired location 
  2. get comfortable
  3. close your eyes
  4. take deep breaths
  5. quiet your mind and relax

Start with a short time, up to 5 minutes, then work your way up to longer times that fit best for you. Many find meditation upon waking to be helpful. Find the ways meditation helps you the most. 

It is important to be focused and present in the moment. This is not the time to respond to emails or try to get other things done. If distracting thoughts pop up, simply say ‘thank you’ and let them pass like a cloud in the sky.  

Enjoy this process of taking care of yourself. The more you practice meditation, the easier it will be and it will become a beneficial habit of self-care. 

Types of Meditation

It is a common misconception that there is only one way to meditate.  There are multiple forms and traditions of this ancient practice.

The most well-known type of meditation is where you sit quietly and focus on your breathing.  Taking a deep long breath in, and then trying to match the length of time it takes to fully let the breath back out.  During this type of mediation try to clear your mind.  It is hard to keep your mind empty so it is important to just acknowledge the thoughts, but then encourage them to flow right back out again, not dwelling on them. When you recognize your mind has wandered, just try to focus again on your breathing. 

Related to this kind of meditation is the mindful approach.   This type begins by focusing on your breathing but then as thoughts flow through your mind, instead of trying to clear them away, you let them flow, trying to focus only on the feelings that each thought brings up instead of the details of the thoughts.  This kind of meditation is supposed to bring you a deeper understanding of yourself.

There are several meditations styles that focus on love or being open to love, not only for yourself, but also towards others, and the universe at large.  During these styles of mediation, you are supposed to try to focus on the idea of loving others, or opening your heart, or being grateful for all that you have and what you want to share with others.  These styles are designed to bring you to a compassionate place within yourself.

Some techniques of meditation include a form of guidance.  There are apps and classes that will talk you through a meditation session.  This is especially good for people who have struggled with trying to calm their mind and have been frustrated by their inability to meditate on their own.  These guided meditations range from simple breath work to elaborate imagery designed to reach a goal like quitting smoking or dealing with grief.

This brings us to the use of Mantras.  This technique uses a simple sound or word repeated in your mind, or out loud, while you breathe deeply.  Mantras can also be complex like a phrase or series of sounds that change over time. This approach can be guided, or it can be done on your own, to achieve personal growth or accomplish a change.    

Finally, body movement can be a form of meditation.  This style typically involves slow movement as in Yoga or Tai Chi.  These teach your body to flow through various positions where your focus is on your physical being, allowing your mind to be free to reach a deeper meditative state than you might be able to do with regular meditation. 

If you desire to learn to meditate, don’t give up if the first way you try doesn’t work for you, it is important to find what fits your personal needs.

Why You Should Meditate

The act of meditation is thousands of years old.  It has been associated with religious and philosophical teachings for a good portion of that time.  However, in the last fifty years or so, it has progressively become more mainstream.  That is due in large part to the medical and scientific community beginning to test the results of long-term practices of meditation.

What these studies suggest is that there are psychological, emotional, and physical effects that come from a regular practice of meditation, but even more surprising is how quickly some of these effects begin to occur even after only a few days or weeks of consistent meditation.

One of the most obvious developments that happens from meditation is a reduction in stress levels.  It isn’t only stress from daily situations that are improved, but meditation seems capable of reducing levels of anxiety and depression along with helping to ease some other mental health issue symptoms as well.  People who practice meditation regularly seem to be able to handle higher levels of stress and also be able to remain calm in the middle of extremely high anxiety inducing situations.

Certain studies have shown that meditation can also help some people when overcoming addictions with smoking and also other more intense addictions like drugs and alcohol.

It has been shown to improve memory by organizing information stored in your brain in a more efficient way.  As well as helps to strengthen your ability to concentrate and focus on tasks, which help in all areas of life. 

The impact is not just about how it can help you in the current phase of your life, but also seems to have the ability to improve the future of your life as well.  Studies have indicated that it can help keep the brain elastic during the aging process, as well as, actually helping to reduce the loss of grey matter which occurs as we get older.

It also has been found to increase your empathy and compassion for others through helping you feel more connected to the world at large. Connected to this, studies indicate that meditation can rewire the part of the brain that helps you relate to others which can help with relationships and family dynamics not to mention work place stressors.

It isn’t just mental and emotional ways that meditation has been found to help people.  Because your mind, body and emotions are all connected it has been shown to help people with their physical health as well.  There have been several studies that have shown that it can improve your heart health as well as enhance your resistance to illnesses through increasing your immune system’s ability to protect you.  Research has been done recently that shows that meditation can even help people deal with pain better than some medications.

These have been just a few of the many results recent studies into meditation have found about the ancient practice.  Indications seem to point to there being even more benefits that will be uncovered in the future.

Meditation for Beginners

Meditation 101

What is meditation? While Merriam-Webster’s definition of meditation mentions reflection, contemplation, and heightened spiritual awareness, there’s so much more to meditation than that. When you meditate, you should gain a healthy sense of perspective and learn to observe yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings without self-doubt or judgment, so you can learn to understand yourself better. With time and attention, you can improve your mindfulness, reduce stress and anxiety, and regulate your sleep patterns.

Meditation Techniques for Beginners

It’s easy to learn to meditate. However, it does take commitment, and many first-timers feel a little daunted by the idea of sitting with their innermost thoughts and feelings. Many practitioners start with the basics, such as chakra meditation. You’ll find that simpler is better, and balancing your chakras is straightforward, thanks to easy-to-follow breathing and chanting techniques.

Consider using a meditation app to help guide your mind. Some of the best meditation apps include Calm, 10% Happier, and Inscape. Specifically, Calm is often mentioned as a top mediation app.

Clearing Your Mind

What do you think about when you meditate? Many novices report that they are concerned about clearing the mind. While this does seem challenging, the goal isn’t to stop thinking. The purpose of meditation is to practice focusing your attention. If your mind wanders, rein it back in and keep at it. With time and attention, you’ll master this technique.

If you’re like most first-time meditators, it may feel strange to sit in silence. Take advantage of these tips so you can get started.

Meditation Techniques to Try

Guided Meditation 

Health and wellness experts have developed many types of meditation to compliment just about everyone’s goals and lifestyle. Guided meditation, such as Kundalini yoga meditation techniques, offers practitioners the chance to improve both their physical and emotional well-being. This uplifting blend of physical movements and dynamic breathing methods, combined with chanting and meditation, is designed to build vitality and increase consciousness.

Chakra Meditating Methods

There are seven chakras, also called energy centers, in the body. These focal points are where you receive, transmit, and process a variety of life forces. By practicing mindful meditation techniques, you can learn to balance your chakras and create a feeling of wholeness within yourself. 

To begin chakra mediation, sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath. Close your eyes. Visualize the chakras and see how they work together, then start to energize each one individually. Finally, open your eyes and see how you feel.

How Often Should You Meditate?

How often you decide to mediate is a personal choice. If you find that sleep meditation works well for you, consider practicing every night before bed. Most experts agree that any amount of reflection is better than none. However, most newbies start with once a week. You’re encouraged to meditate around the same time each day to build a healthy habit that’s easy to incorporate into your busy life.

There is no “one way” to meditate. We invite you to explore all of these various techniques and find the one — or a blend of several — that work best for you.