Category Archives: Meditation
The below article was borrowed from Jonathan Parker’s website at http://www.jonathanparker.org/ where this and other good spiritual information can be found.
How to Create Your Own Meditation Retreat
How often do you find yourself driven by the pressures of having more to do than the time you have to do it? Are you stressed or bored sitting at your desk and not feeling like you’re part of a worthwhile bigger purpose? Do you find yourself pulled one way and then another by being a busy wife or husband, mother or father, or teacher or student? The question you have to ask yourself is when are you going to give yourself some time for yourself? Have you considered creating a meditation retreat for yourself?
If you can barely recall the last time you allowed yourself time to self-reflect, meditate, and go within, then it’s been way too long and you’re overdue for a meditation retreat. When you haven’t given back to yourself and nurtured your inner self, it’s time to stop and listen to the voice from deep within you that’s calling out for the kind of deep peace and healing that a meditation retreat offers.
When Your Inner Chatter Starts And Won’t Stop
Think of your mind like a radio. All day long you switch from channel to channel, and each station offers something slightly different from the last one. Some stations play music, while other stations are like nonstop talk shows. The question is what station would you like your mind to be tuned into today? Millions have discovered that through meditation there are ways to quiet the unwanted programs and replace them with restful peacefulness.
Time Out for Joy, Peace, and Happiness
Everyone needs a time out from the day’s responsibilities of work and home life. It’s time to make the decision to rejuvenate your mind, your body, and spirit. By taking time for your own meditation retreats periodically you will discover you can transform your days into a peaceful landscape that you can then transfer to your everyday life.
Meditation retreats offer the following benefits for your heart, mind, and soul:
- It allows you to be quiet, appreciate the practice of silence, and go within to explore your inner space and find clarity. You can be with the silence or explore receiving insights and answers that are not easily discovered in everyday life.
- You’ll be taking time just for yourself to enjoy either peaceful time in silence, or to listen to audio recordings of guided meditations to help you spiritually grow, find inner peace, and refresh your life.
- When you are free of distractions from work, children, and all the other obligations in your life, you’ll be able to reconnect with yourself in a new, deeper, and more peaceful way.
- You’ll emerge from your retreat with new perspectives and feel mentally and physically rejuvenated.
Creating Your Own Private Retreat
Your Everyday Mini-Retreat. A retreat can be something short and what I call a quickbreak mini-vacation in which you silence your phone, lean back in your chair, close your eyes, and go into your inner space for 5-10 minutes or longer. I have some short free videos that will guide you through this type of process at this link: http://www.jonathanparker.org/meditation-resources
Short mini-retreats like this can really refresh and rejuvenate you throughout the day, but for a more serious retreat you’ll need more planning.
Your Daily Retreat. The next level of retreat is your daily meditation practice. Here is a list of things to help you plan a successful daily meditation retreat.
- You will need to explain to the people you live with what you are doing and that this is really important to you, so when the door is closed you are not to be disturbed.
- Put a sign on the door that says, “Meditation in Progress. Do Not Disturb.”
- Make sure you have taken care of potential distractions such as turning off your phone.
- If your bedroom is the only place where you can do your meditation, then I suggest you do your meditations sitting up or you’ll find it too easy for your mind to drift or you may even fall sleep and you’ll miss the special benefits that meditation brings. If you can meditate in a room that you do not sleep in that would be preferable.
- Determine beforehand how long you are going to meditate. Meditate at a time when you are comfortable and don’t feel rushed.
- Be sure you are not hungry or tired. If you are tired try doing some light exercise or bodily movement to get yourself going. Some people find sipping a little coffee or tea before meditation helps them to be more attentive.
- The lighting should be low, so you may need to lower the shades or use an eye-pillow. If there are distracting sounds listen to some ocean waves or other peaceful sounds or soothing music with headphones.
- Once you have made all of your arrangements and have selected a guided meditation with an audio recording, or decided to just enter the silence, begin by taking a few slow deep breaths in through your nose, and exhaling gently out through your mouth to help settle yourself in.
- If you are not using a guided meditation you will find it helpful to select a word or phrase to repeat numerous times. The word can be “love” or “God” or “peace” or any word that is meaningful to you. I have often used the phrase, “I feel love and my soul in my heart.” You may not actually feel anything at first by using this process, but in time you will find that you move into a deepening experience of peace.
- If you can. I’d also suggest taking two or more days in which you spend most of your time meditating as I’ve just described. If possible you treat yourself to a change of scenery and check into a motel where you won’t have the normal distractions. Pick a place where there is beautiful scenery and a nice restaurant. Do several meditations throughout the day and evening.
- In-between meditations read some inspirational passages. There are many choices available for this such as “A Course in Miracles,” writings by Rumi, or other spiritual teachers.
- You may also want to attend a meditation retreat organized by a meditation teacher. In that case, you will have other like-minded individuals who can be a support to you.
The spiritual path is a long one, filled with discoveries and transformations. It’s also an experience of your spiritual evolution. Do you want to evolve your consciousness? Do you want to become realigned with your true calling? Do you want to feel centered, relaxed, and balanced? Your personal meditation retreat can do all that and much more.
Give back to yourself for a change, and experience a deeper part of yourself. If you are ready for your transformation, there is no better way than to invest in yourself in a self-directed meditation retreat.
Be sure to check out the many meditation resources I have for you at this link: http://www.jonathanparker.org/meditation-resources