December 21

DOING A FIVE-STEP MEDITATION – THE SHAMAN’S WAY©

DOING A FIVE-STEP MEDITATION – THE SHAMAN’S WAY©

Norman W. Wilson, PhD.

Meditation has been around for a very long time. The oldest documentation of meditation practices appears in the wall-art in India and date 5000 to 3500 BCE. The first written evidence is also found in the Indian Vedas around 1500 BCE. Today, estimates range from 200 to 500 million people meditating worldwide.

According to Wikipedia “Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.”

There is a mounting body of scientific evidence that supports improvement in the general physical, mental, and emotional health of practitioners. Evidence suggests there is a lowering of blood pressure, improvement in irritable bowel syndrome, and anxiety and depression.

Meditation practices are safe; however, there may be some that involve certain bodily movements that persons with limited physical movement may not be able to do.

The meditation procedures I am about to suggest can be used individually or in a group setting. As with many things, your intent is a key to success. Before I introduce the five steps I want to share a quick exercise with you. It was presented by Tom Ireland in 2014 in an article titled, “What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do to Your Brain.”

“Wiggle your toes. Feel the way they push against your shoes and the weight of your feet on the floor. Think about what your feet feel like right now. You have just done a mindful-meditation. The point here is that you don’t need plush cushions, decorated bamboo mats, incense, soft colored lights, and music to meditate. Those things are just stage props. Am I opposed to the use of such props? Absolutely not. If they are helpful; use them.

What then, are the five steps in my meditative procedure? A reminder one more time: These steps can be used in a group setting or individually. Remember the key to success, as it is with many things, is your intent, that is, what is it you want to achieve using meditation? And finally, my meditation process is not an effort to “empty” your mind. If you have thoughts acknowledge them and then say your intention. Incidentally, your intention is your mantra.

Step One:

Get into a comfortable position; be it cushion on the floor, lying down, or sitting in a chair. Some practitioners find a recliner useful. Make sure your clothing is not tight and uncomfortable. Think of your intention. Close your eyes and visualize yourself looking out over the ocean. There is a clean smelling breeze blowing in over kelp on the beach. The sunrise is golden orange and off in the distance a seagull calls. Take a deep, slow breath and exhale slowly. Breathe and exhale through your nose. If that is not comfortable for you, breathe and exhale through your mouth.

Step Two:

Continue the slow deep breathing. As you inhale visualize the subtle energy floating up from the earth and bathing you in soft vibrations. Take 5 deep breaths and slowly exhale.

Step Three:

Take a deep breath and hold it for the count of 5. Exhale slowly. Do this five times. And with each exhale think of your intention.

Step Four:

Place your hands in prayer form in front of your heart. Continue to deep breathe 5 more times. With each exhale think of your intention.

Step Five: Breath in slowly, hold it for the count of 5, exhale. As you exhale, hum. Hum just loud enough for you to feel a slight vibration along your lips. The entire procedure should take five to ten minutes. If you are comfortable with going longer, by all means, do so.

Namaste.

©Norman W. Wilson, PhD. 2020

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

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