How I Do My Meditation and Prayer

By Dr. Gwen Smith

 I once heard a beloved friend of mine condemn meditation as though it were something evil. I asked her if she had ever done it before and her response was no. At that point, I had never done it either however, I was contemplating starting. I’ve never gone to meditation school, if there’s such a thing, and neither have I been trained in what to do. However, there are some things I discovered for myself that have really made a huge impact on my sanity and my ability to be calm in extremely trying circumstances. I am sharing my experiences with you to hopefully inspire you to try your own version.

 I don’t know what meditation means for you. However, for me, it is an activity I really enjoy; it means a lot for me in terms of the general flow of my day and literally how relaxed my body feels during the day. I used to feel very tense as if I am on a treadmill every moment racing to get to the next activity. Not anymore!

 When I did some research, I found that there were different types of meditation that different groups of people do. I wasn’t interested in humming some sound that I had no understanding of the meaning of, and felt a bit guarded about using some music having read about the undertones that music can carry and how it could impact my mind. So, I just thought that I would get my own music and do my own version of what I believed it should be to see the results that I would get. My first experience left me in such a state of calmness, quietude, peace and ecstasy that I really wanted more. I’ve found that I can also reduce my blood pressure most of the times by using this method.

 Scientific studies have now confirmed that there are many benefits to meditation, some of which include stress relief, calmness, memory enhancements, reduction in high blood pressure and more. Simplicity and peacefulness is the best state for me, and I tune in to music that is calm and relaxing (called calm and meditation music), which includes instrumental music. I like to do this in the morning when I just wake up and sometimes at nights just before I sleep. I’ve noticed a distinct difference in the quality of my sleep when I do mediate just before sleeping. I definitely feel more rested and refreshed as I wake up in the mornings.

With the music in place and a quiet environment, I lie on my back (most often) or sit in a relaxed, reclined position (less often). I let my limbs go really limp, totally and completely relaxed as I listen to the music. I relax my brain (let the tension dissipate between my ears). Then I relax my eye muscles with my eyes gently closed. I listen to the music. I then start taking deep breaths, slowly counting in five while expanding my diaphragm and then exhaling until I empty my lungs. I find that as I get more relaxed it is harder for me to keep the breathing as deliberate without having to focus on it.  Focusing on it breaks the connection to the deep state that I like to get to. So I stop focusing on my breathing as I feel my entire body relax. My breathing becomes almost still and deep as I relax further.

During meditation, I use creative visualization. I visualize an extremely bright light beaming on my forehead, and I focus my eyes there. This act seems to lift me up to a higher plane. I almost feel myself elevating to a brighter more positive place, a higher plane. It is enchanting. I feel a connection to the Divine in this place. Then as my music continues to play softly, I feel as though surges of electricity are running up and down my entire body followed by chills and tears. I continue to feel even closer to God and at this point I begin to pray. My prayer is uplifting, rejuvenating and feels heard. It consumes my entire consciousness, and I become totally in tune with the impulses from the Divine. I feel closely connected and in communication. I feel comforted and loved. I feel blissful and blessed. I thank God for His goodness and mercies. I thank Him for my life and my experiences that shape me, for my children and family, for all the loving people and experiences that I enjoy in my life. Gratitude opens up the channels of more abundance to flow. It is a peaceful place.

When I arise from this state, I truly am unmovable. I am centered, I am at ease, and the sun just shines so much brighter in the sky. Cloudy days or snowy days, all I see is beauty around me, and I rejoice to be a part of it. The best part is that I radiate that calm to others around me and their comments to me about it inspire me to continue!  I love making a difference for others around me, even by just being. I invite you to try this experience and to share what opens up for you!

Please leave us your comments below!

Is Etiquette a Thing of the Past?

posted in: ALL BLOGS, Parenting | 0

By Dr. Gwen Smith

Hey there friends! Have you ever wondered about what behaviors are appropriate and which ones are not? What do you teach your children so that they are socially accepted by their peers? Not knowing the rules can truly isolate your kids, and yet it seems as though people these days are oblivious to them. Well, if you want to see an entire list of these, you'll just have to wait for the parenting skills book and seminars that are currently being written. But for now, I’ll share a few that may help you in your day-to-day mingling in public places and in your general interactions:

First, when two people are talking, never interrupt. As a former school administrator, I used to notice how often the kids would walk up and start talking without saying: “Excuse me.” It is considered rude. Never interrupt a conversation between two people except if it is for emergency purposes only. If you say excuse me, wait to be acknowledged before speaking.

Have you ever noticed how discourteous we are to one another? If you are going through a door and someone is right behind you, hold the door for them to enter. Don’t walk in and cause the door to hit them. Geez people let’s get this one right!

Well, what about when you are sitting between two people who obviously know each other, or not, but they begin to interact with you caught in the middle? There are all kinds of sins to be committed in this case: reaching across the person in the middle to take or give something, instead of saying excuse me and asking them to pass it, or speaking across the face of the other person, sometimes emitting particles in the process! Ewwh! Please don’t do that.

And a final one that I have for you, one that we are probably guilty of, is talking on our cell phones in public places so that our conversations are heard by others. Excuse yourself if you need to continue a conversation. Most people consider it rude. Also, when dining, don’t sit at the table and speak or text on your cell phone, and especially not when you are spending a social evening with company. If you have to take a call, excuse yourself, conduct your conversation and return promptly! Children, or others, when you visit a loved one on a special or not so special occasion, get off the darn cell phone. Don’t sit there in their presence ignoring them while texting continuously with someone who is far away.  Stop it please! It is rude to your host or hostess.

 I hope this has opened your eyes a bit so you can be more aware of others when you are out and about. After all, your success in getting a grip on these may make a difference for someone else in the way they feel respected by you.

Please leave us your comments below!

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