I started the Spell 8 Course on Meditation. I am doing one a day. Today after meditating I felt refreshed and happy. This lasted all day. I have noticed that when I can focus on one thing, I have more energy and power to focus. In this day and age, it is hard to focus on only one thing at a time. This meditation goal is just the first step leading me to be a better person, a better witch, and a better listener. Thank you, Francisco!
Congrats on your successful meditations, @wendy4! I agree- focusing is easier said than done sometimes! I am glad your practice is going so well- keep up the great work, you’re doing awesome! Blessed Be!
@wendy4 I’m happy that you liked the meditations. A couple of weeks ago, I never thought I would be able to meditate and make it through the courses. I enjoy it now, I do much better with the guided meditations, but I have found one for what is happening each day to help me out. I have schizoaffective disorder with severe anxiety and panic, ptsd, and major depressive disorder, the meditation has done so much good for me. I have been doing the meditations up to 3 or 4 times a day. I lock the door to my room and sometimes I use headphones sometimes I just let the meditations play.
Okay, More on the Meditation Course, Lesson 2 Breathing: Does anyone else have trouble with belly breathing? I found it really hard, I usually raise my chest and firm my stomach when I inhale. The lesson has you relax your stomach out on inhale. I’ll have to do this lesson over and over to get some body memory! Still felt good afterward.
Hi again! Yes! I had some difficulty learning how to do this. With some focus I am able to do it while meditating, but it’s not something I do all the time. I also do it when I am feeling anxiety now and trying to do some control breathing.
Thanks for your kind words, Wendy!!
Great question! I think everybody struggles with belly breathing. The exception, of course, are singers who had to learn to do it during their vocal training!
One easy trick: Don’t be too intentional with your breathing. Try a shallower breath and relax. Don’t make a big effort to breath, and try to take in less air.
Another, more traditional exercise for diaphragmatic breathing is this:
- Lay down completely flat and place a book on top of your stomach.
- Notice how the book moves up and down. This is because we tend to breathe from our stomach when we’re lying down.
- Keep breathing in and out as you lift the book up with your stomach.
Practice once a day until you’re more comfortable breathing in from your diaphragm!
Okay Day 3- I took Fernando’s advise and discovered belly breathing is easy when you take normal breaths. I was trying to take deep, deep breaths. Today’s session was on mindfulness. My mind wonders but I noticed when I could focus on breathing it was easier to return to the moment without drifting thoughts. This will take practice. Again, I feel refreshed and happy.
Awesome possum!! breathing and focusing on it, is always the easiest for me… I am brain dead half the time, so being free of brain clutter is no issue for me. lol lol Glad you are finding it enjoyable!!
I have found it easier to do when I don’t totally focus on it too. I’m glad that you are having a better time with it now @wendy4 . I like the exercise from @Francisco Francisco and I realized that I belly breathe a lot when I’m not thinking about it! I don’t know when that started but when my anxiety or panic is going, I tend to breath from my chest.
Belly breathing is really an amazing exercise. According to Healthline, it can have all of these positive benefits:
- It helps you relax, lowering the harmful effects of the stress hormone cortisol on your body.
- It lowers your heart rate.
- It helps lower your blood pressure.
- It helps you cope with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- It improves your core muscle stability.
- It improves your body’s ability to tolerate intense exercise.
- It lowers your chances of injuring or wearing out your muscles.
- It slows your rate of breathing so that it expends less energy.
Keep belly breathing!
Day 4 meditation: visualization techniques: I share this personal information so others may know how totally emotions and thoughts can interfere with your concentration. I am thinking of a way to put worries, plans, and feelings on a shelf while I meditate. Yesterday I tried to meditate, but my thoughts kept interrupting. I decided to take some time to study my thoughts. I was thinking about culture and witchcraft (Irish Pagan Course). I was experiencing confusion, shame, and sadness. I felt guilty for labeling myself “Celtic” even though this is my ancestors place. Shame and guilt bring your energy level right down and take time to figure out. I have learned over my life that it is not good for me to ignore my negative feelings. I have to identify and process these. Well, the Meditation today #5 went much better (The Power of Mantras) Once again it was the breathing and concentration on simple related phrases that allowed me to remain mostly in the moment. I set a course of action to resolve my feelings while respecting the needs of others. (Hard work, ego work).
Day #6 Simple Morning Routine- This meditation was great, it involved movement, visualization, and breathing. When I have a focus meditation is easier than emptying my mind. Chanting, movement, vistalizator, and breathing awareness are key for me.
I’m glad your meditation is going well, @wendy4! Are you finding that it is getting easier the more you do? I hope you are feeling some of the wonderful meditation benefits that Francsico listed above. I think you are already doing amazing- stick with it!
Yes, I am. Plus my core is stronger. I am learning how important meditation is to my positive orientation necessary to my growth as a soul. I am so grateful for these lessons.
Great job @wendy4!
I am still working on visualization for my meditations. I close my eyes and all I see blackness/darkness. I’m going to see if I can find a helpful one in my Headspace app. It may be a part of the basics that I haven’t gotten to yet.
I do not know if this is your difficulty, but visualization is not literal. Everyone sees darkness when they shut their eyes. Visualization is what happens when your brain can “invent” scenes. It never really actually appears, it is going to a place in your brain beyond the real. You invent it. I think Francisco has the right of it. I gave a logical explanation, but he is teaching you how to see.
I couldn’t get my brain to see anything when I tried to visualize, but @Francisco helped a lot for my understanding and I am doing better since then. I knew everyone saw darkness, so maybe I described it wrong. I’m sorry for the miscommunication.
I knew when I read his exercise that he understood what you were saying much better than I ever could.
I’m sorry @wendy4. I will work on it.
Don’t be sorry, We all experience things differently! I was just trying to be friendly. Giving advice is my way, clumsy, but me.