The Art Of Self Love – Self Love Meditations

As mentioned in The Art Of Self Love meditating is a wonderful way to de-clutter the mind and increase the positive effects on the para-sympathetic nervous system, helping to create a more relaxed and calmer you.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, if you are trying to create more calm in your everyday life then maybe a bit of slowing down and silent focus is what you need and to a little bit of your time with purpose and mindfulness.

The practice of meditation cultivates an inner life. Meditation is a prayer without words. It is the sound of silence. Meditation is more than sitting down and closing your eyes, which allows the mind to wander uncontrollably. During meditation the body is relaxed but the mind stays alert and focused. Practising meditation on a daily basis helps restrain the mind from wandering and helps bring more self-awareness and the ability to experience things as they really are.

Many people find sitting in silence difficult. You may be one of those types who would love to meditate because you have heard how good it is, and yet struggle to know where to start or what to do or say. Many people think they have to sit there with legs crossed in the lotus position chanting ‘Ommm…!’

Meditation is a lot more than that and the key to understanding the principles is to practice regularly, even if it is only for a few minutes a day.

Taking care of yourself for health and vitality requires you to make time for yourself. Meditating for just a few minutes can be beneficial. However, to truly notice progress and positive changes you should try to meditate more regularly. Do not feel like this is something else you have to do, meditating must be something you want to do. This is time for you and you deserve it!

Here are a couple of meditation teachings I have loved.

Making A Space

Create a quiet place or small corner in your home where you can take time out to be with yourself. Over time this space becomes associated in your mind with relaxation, tranquility and stillness. Make it a place where you can light a candle, have a vase of flowers and keep little people (children!) at bay!

Remember the practice of meditation cultivates an inner life. Meditation is like planting seeds, seeds that germinate and flower in unexpected corners of your everyday life. Meditation is a prayer without words. It is the sound of silence.

The pre-requisite for all mind-care practices is RELAXATION.

Many people are quite unable to relax; they simply do not know how. The method of lying down and working through your entire body by tensing and clenching each muscle area for a few minutes before releasing is still considered to be one of the best techniques.

Keep your eyes closed and focus your mind on each muscle group by trying to visualise the muscles. This will also have the effect of quieting your mind.

Here is a meditation exercise that is quick and effective you can do for yourself if you find you have a spare 10minutes.

Try it and adapt it for your own purposes, and start by allowing at least a few minutes a day.

Take 3 deep, slow breaths and you are ready for your chosen mindfulness and meditation practice.

A Meditation Practice

  • Begin by becoming aware of your breathing
  • Do not interfere with your breath, just watch it… the rise and fall, the ebb and flow…
  • Listen to the sounds near and far, become aware of the traffic noise, birds calling, wind in the trees, a dog barking in the distance…
  • Then move outside yourself, look back at yourself sitting there
  • Gradually move your awareness outside your home so you can see your house, your street, your town or city
  • Keep moving your awareness so you are looking down on your province, your state, your country
  • Now visualise your country as part of the Earth as you travel towards the stars
  • Once you are able to ‘see’ the Earth as part of the solar system and look down on the Earth, send love from your heart back to it.
  • Feel the love pouring through you like the golden rays of the Sun
  • Allow yourself to dissolve and rest in the warmth of the Sun
  • Be still. Just be.

There is no place to seek the mind.  It is like the footprints of the birds in the sky. 

The Zenrin

My beautiful psychologist friend Jacqueline Trost has allowed me to share with you two of my favourite meditations – the Light Meditation and the Heart Meditation.

The Light Meditation or Jyothi Meditation

Focus on a real or imaginary light in front of you. When you are totally concentrated on it, you say ‘I see the Light’. Then close your eyes and bring the Light into your chest at heart level (Heart Chakra), against the spine. Then spread that light upwards to fill in the upper part of your body (chest, arms, hands, throat, neck, jaw, tongue, nose, eyes, ears and brain) always from the Heart. And then you spread that light downwards into the belly, pelvis, legs and feet. When you feel full of that light coming from your Heart you say ‘The Light is in me’. Then you focus on the Light at the top of your head and you start expanding the light outside yourself all around you and you take in everything; humans, animals, nature, the Earth, the oceans, everything constructed by mankind, the whole of the Earth; then the moon, the planets, the sun, the stars… Spread that Light from your heart and head as far as you can go/imagine. Then you say: ‘I am the Light of the world’. You come back when you wish and place the Light in your chest.

Regarding the more specific use of that meditation:

When you have a pain or a problem, be it physical or psychological, you can get rid of it with the Light. This is what you do: first see the Light outside of you (you can use a candle or a light to help you if you wish), then close your eyes and bring the Light into your chest at heart level (Heart Chakra) against the spine (the forward part not the back); it is at the level of the breast bone situated between the two breasts. When you feel well focused on that internal light, open your eyes and see your problem outside of yourself, in front or right or left and put it behind you as far as it will go. See it shredded, burnt, put it into the rubbish bin etc. Then close your eyes and see the Light inside you. Take your time experiencing the feeling of the Light inside you, then open your eyes again and look at your problem. If it is still there repeat the above. Usually, three movements should be enough, but sometimes more to start with. Eventually as you become used to the process, you will find that one movement is sufficient. It is also important to repeat the exercise until the ‘image’ of the problem has totally disappeared in every regard.

Remember that this Light that you see in your Heart Chakra is in fact, Love – not needy love, but expansion love. It is the opposite of fear. Work on it until it becomes a part of you.

The Heart Meditation

  • Close your eyes and concentrate on your heart until you feel a warmth deep inside your chest. You may even feel your heart beating.
  • With each breathe you take breathe into your heart allow that warmth to grow stronger and stronger until it glows with light.
  • Now send that warmth and light to your throat until it also feels warm.
  • With your next breathe take the warmth and light up to your forehead, in-between your eyebrows, breathe in and out allowing the warmth to grow there.
  • Now send the warmth and light to the top of your head.
  • Now take it back to your heart and feel the warmth get stronger, now send that warmth and light to your solar plexus and fill your abdomen with the warmth, feel all your organs flooding with the warmth and light.
  • Take it right down to your uterus and reproductive organs.
  • Now centre the warmth at the base of your spine, where your body touches the chair.
  • From here send the warmth and light down your legs and into both feet.
  • Come back up the legs to the base of the spine again and travel up the spine, feeling the warmth and light travel up each vertebra until you reach the base of your scull.
  • From there go through the back of your head and bring the warmth and light to the top of your head.
  • Then send the warmth and light back down through the forehead, the throat and back to your heart.
  • When you are sure that your heart is glowing with the warmth and light spread it over your entire body in one go, making sure that any area of pain is included.
  • Now expand the warmth and light outside of yourself, take in the people around you, your surroundings, nature, the earth, the sky, the sun, the planets, the stars, and as far as you can imagine. Do not exclude anything or anybody that create negative feelings in you, take in everything to the warmth and light.
  • Then say to yourself “I am the light”.
  • Slowly bring your awareness back to where you are right now, gently open your eyes keeping them low, and sit for a minute before continuing your day.