7 Best Meditation Courses For Beginners in 2024

Meditation is the foundation of healthy and happy mind. It’s the gateway to higher consciousness and blissful states of being. Meditation is a very basic practice that when used consistently can truly transform your life, thinking, and way of being. Many seek out the path of meditation for their personal development journeys only to be bombarded with too many options of where and how to learn. Others have no idea where to start or how to meditate properly. A beginner’s meditation course will show you the ropes and get you on your feet to start practicing meditation asap. I’ve compiled a list of the best meditation courses for newbies who want to learn the life changing practice. These are the 7 best meditation courses for beginners in 2024. Nurture Your Spirit’s top picks: 7 Best Meditation Courses of 2024 Teacher Price Course Duration Meditation University’s Meditation Masterclass Kevin Ellerton $299 5 hours Palouse Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course Jon Kabat-Zinn FREE 50 hours (over 8 weeks) Ryan Molkentin’s Spiritual Awakening Accelerator Ryan Molkentin $67 2 hours Graham Nicholls’s Meditation Accreditation Course Graham Nicholls $129.99 7.5 hours Michaël Bijker’s Breathwork & Meditation Course Michaël Bijker $124.99 18.5 hours Ian Tucker’s Beginner’s Guide to Meditation Ian Tucker $59.99 1.5 hours Mindfulness Daily at Work: Mindfulness Course Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield FREE 8 hours (over 40 days) Best Meditation Courses For Beginners in 2024 #1 Meditation University’s Meditation Masterclass Taught by the founder of Meditation Magazine and Meditation University, Kevin Ellerton’s Meditation Masterclass makes our #1 spot. This beginner’s course to meditation teaches you everything you need to know about meditation as well as gives you a certification after completion. Kevin Ellerton’s Meditation Masterclass makes #1 on our list for its depth of teaching as well as its fantastic guided meditations. Noteworthy for: The most comprehensive and in depth meditation course for beginners Teacher: Kevin Ellerton Hosted on: Meditation University Duration: 5 hours Price: $299 Rating: 4.6/5 Check it out here. #2 Palouse Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course For a totally free yet very good introduction to meditation, the Palouse Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction will help you start your meditation journey. Taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn, this meditation course is free of charge and gives you an in-depth start to basic mindfulness meditation. Noteworthy for: Best free meditation course for beginners Teacher: Jon Kabat-Zinn Hosted on: Duration: 50 hours (over 8 weeks) Price: FREE Check it out here. #3 Ryan Molkentin’s Spiritual Awakening Accelerator Break into greater consciousness in just 7 days with Ryan Molkentin’s Spiritual Awakening Accelerator. This course teaches several meditation techniques and other spiritual practices to experience spiritual awakening. If you’re looking for a course on meditation with an emphasis on spiritual awakening look no further! The Spiritual Awakening Accelerator gives you an introduction to meditation and all of the tools needed to break into blissful higher consciousness. Noteworthy for: An emphasis on spiritual awakening and attaining higher consciousness Teacher: Ryan Molkentin Hosted on: Duration: 2 hours (over 7 days) Price: 67$ Rating: 5/5 Check it out here. #4 Graham Nicholls’s Meditation Accreditation Course Graham Nicholls’s Meditation Teacher Certification is perfect for those looking to get a basic certification in meditation. Do you want practice and teach meditation? Look no further! Often on sale for $19.99 or less, this course will teach you everything you need to know about practicing and leading meditation. Noteworthy for: Receiving an accredited meditation teacher certification on completion Teacher: Graham Nicholls Hosted on: Udemy Duration: 8.5 hours Price: $129.99 (though often on sale for much less) Rating: 4.7/5 Check it out here. #5 Michaël Bijker’s Breathwork & Meditation Course #5 on our list is Michaël Bijker’s Breathwork & Meditation Course. If you want to learn both meditation and breathwork (pranayama) in one course, this is the course for you. Expert meditation and breathwork teacher Michaël Bijker goes in depth on many techniques and several guided sessions in this 18.5 hour course. Noteworthy for: Best for learning breathwork and meditation Teacher: Michaël Bijker Hosted on: Udemy Duration: 18.5 hours Price: $124.99 (often on sale for much less) Rating: 4.7/5 Check it out here. #6 Ian Tucker’s Beginner’s Guide to Meditation Are you totally new to meditation? If you just want to dip your toe in the meditative waters, then Ian Tucker’s Beginner’s Guide To Meditation is perfect for you. At just 1.5 hours and often on sale for just $11.99 this course will give you a bitesize start to meditation. Many meditation courses are overly long and overwhelming, if you want a simple and straigtforward meditation course, this is it! Noteworthy for: Best short beginner’s meditation course Teacher: Ian Tucker Hosted on: Udemy Duration: 1.5 hours Price: $59.99 (often on sale for much less) Rating: 4.9/5 Check it out here. #7 Mindfulness Daily at Work: Mindfulness Course Another great free option is Tara Brach’s and Jack Kornfield’s Mindfulness Course. Over 40 days these expert teachers will share a few minutes of meditation knowledge with you at no cost at all. Not only does it teach you the basics of mindfulness meditation, but there are several guided meditations along the free 40 day course. Noteworthy for: Best for basic mindfulness meditation Teacher: Tara Brach & Jack Kornfield Hosted on: Duration: 8 hours (over 40 days) Price: FREE Check it out here. Why Take A Meditation Course? While there are many free resources available online to learn meditation today, a course offers several advantages that might be worth considering: Think of it like this: free resources can provide a taste of meditation, while a course is a full-fledged training program. It equips you with the knowledge and guidance to establish a sustainable practice. Looking to become a certified meditation teacher? See the 7 Best Meditation Teacher Training Certifications of 2024. Free vs. Paid Meditation Courses While both can lead you to a successful meditation practice, free and paid courses have some key differences to consider: Free Courses: Paid Courses: Choosing The Right Course: Ultimately, the best course is the one that fits your individual needs and preferences. Other Meditation Resources If you’re not ready

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Body Vibrations During Meditation: Causes & Explanation

Vibrations, humming, tingles, and buzzing in the body are to be expected at different times on your meditative journey. I’ve experienced all kinds of strange energy in my body while meditating and practicing other spiritual techniques. Here’s the basic reason it happens: You may simply be tapping into bodily sensations like your heartbeat. It’s also very possible that you’re awakening specific types of spiritual energy in your body. This can happen when chakras become activated, kundalini awakens, or when you begin shifting into the astral. In almost all of these scenarios you are perfectly safe. Why your body is vibrating during meditation There are so many possible causes of body vibrations during meditation. We’ll start off by discussing the most mundane and likely causes of this body buzzing. Later we’ll discuss what it means in specific locations in the body. You are feeling your heartbeat The simplest explanation for feeling vibrations in your body is that you’re becoming aware of the sensations of the heart. Your heart can create vibrations in your chest and body. The blood being pushed around your vessels can cause a subtle buzzing feeling when you sit still and quiet enough. Though this can be frightening at first, it’s totally normal and you’ll get used to the feeling with further mindful practice. Hyperventilation body tingles Another possibility is that your body tingles may be caused by your breathing. If you’re breathing deeply and intensely you may be experiencing a phenomenon known as respiratory alkalosis. Breathing too heavily while meditating can cause a reduction in the CO2 in your blood to a point that causes your blood pH to change. This change can cause tingling and buzzing in your body, often starting with your toes and fingers while working its way up into the body. This can be easily reversed by slowing down your breathing. Vibrating in your forehead If you experience vibrations specifically in your forehead during meditation you may be activating your third eye chakra. This happened to me during a spiritual practice right before I broke into vivid consciousness. Buzzing or vibration in your forehead is a sign of third eye activation. This happens when a lot of bodily and spiritual energy becomes active in this specific energy center of the body. The intensity of this buzzing can often be very uncomfortable. Vibrating in your throat Meditation can cause the awakening of all kinds of energy centers in the body. One such energy center is the throat chakra. If you feel vibrating in your throat you may be opening your throat chakra. This is a rarer symptom of throat chakra activation, but nonetheless does happen. If your throat is buzzing during meditation you can simply mindfully observe it or begin humming along with it to enhance the throat chakra opening. Vibrating in your chest The chest is a common location for vibrations to occur in during meditation. This is because the heart, one of the greatest energy centers in your spiritual system, is located here. You may simply be feeling your heart beating more intensely due to an increase in awareness. But you may also be opening your heart energy center during meditation. It’s a common experience among meditators and often catches them off guard. The opening of your heart chakra can be very intense including symptoms like: When this occurs simply surrender and relax. Allow the heart to open and enjoy the experience. Vibrating in your hips Vibrations in your lower body, base of the spine, and hips are signs of sacral chakra activation. This is also a sign of awakening Kundalini. Your Kundalini is held dormant at the base of the spine and can begin shooting up the body when activated. This can be a very intense vibratory experience. Chakra openings of any kind can cause vibrations in the body, and kundalini can forcibly open up your chakras. It’s entirely possible that your meditation practice can cause this to happen. Kundalini can also manifest itself as body convulsions, shaking, and shivering. An important note about Kundalini If you think you may have accidentally activated your kundalini it’s important to handle it correctly. Mishandled Kundalini can result in Kundalini Syndrome. See my guide to handling an unexpected Kundalini awakening. Your body is preparing for astral projection You may be getting into such a deep meditative state that your consciousness is preparing for an out of body astral experience. The state that comes before astral projection is known as “The Vibratory Stage“. In this stage of the astral projection process your body will begin to intensely vibrate from head to toe. Once in the vibratory stage you can begin visualizing yourself rising from your sleeping body to enter into an out of body experience. This is a very real phenomenon. You can induce this vibratory stage of astral projection in your meditations by practicing VELO (Voluntary Energetic Longitudinal Oscillation). How to handle body vibrations during meditation You have 3 main options when you’re experiencing body vibrations. Not all options are best for every situation. It’s best to discern which is best for yourself. 1. Stop meditating If this is too uncomfortable for you simply stop meditating and try again tomorrow. These vibrations can sometimes be scary and uncomfortable so it’s okay to just stop. Sometimes, stopping meditation won’t work. In that case follow option #2. 2. Surrender to it You have the option of observing and allowing the buzzing in your body. This is my preferred method. This will allow you to figure out what is going exactly and why. Surrendering to the vibrations will also facilitate the flow and eventual dissolution of the energy in your body. 3. Intensify it In some scenarios you may want to intensify and expand the energy and vibrations in your body. This is likely the case if you want to continue into an astral projection experience or if you want to open one of your chakras that is activating. There are specific practices you can do

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Why Is My Heart Racing During Meditation?

If you’ve experienced a racing heartbeat during meditation you know it’s not very pleasant. It can even be a bit of a scary experience. Why does this happen and can you even stop it? The truth is your heart might be racing for several reasons during meditation. One is that you’re simply becoming aware of your heartbeat during mindful practice which can be a jarring experience. You might also be experiencing some anxiety which could be speeding up your heartrate. It’s also possible that your body is tapping into a divine energy known as Kundalini, though this is not the most likely reason. Whichever of these you’re experiencing, none of them are dangerous or need to be worried about. You’re becoming aware of your heartbeat You might simply be raising your awareness enough to start truly feeling your heartbeat for the first time. If you’ve never really slowed down enough to feel your powerful heart pumping blood it can be a jarring experience. The fact may be that your heart isn’t actually speeding up, but your awareness is just becoming deep enough to notice the heart beating very intensely. This can then actually cause anxiety which then leads to your heart racing more. Meditation may be causing you anxiety This probably sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes meditation can actually cause anxiety. Meditation can cause us to see a lot of anxiety inducing things about ourselves. You might be experiencing meditation anxiety. Maybe feeling your heartbeat itself is anxiety inducing which is causing thoughts of your own mortality and the thought “this is the only thing keeping me alive”. That’s a powerful thought which can lead to a fear response in the body. This can lead to a cyclical effect where feeling your heartbeat creates a fear response which then releases adrenaline which causes an even higher heart rate. Kundalini can cause a racing heartbeat Though unlikely you may also be experiencing a release of Kundalini energy. Kundalini is a powerful divine energy that resides in the body which can be triggered by practices like deep meditation. The symptoms of Kundalini being awakened in the body include racing heart, body shakes, feeling energy shooting up the body. What can you do about a racing heart during meditation? There are a couple approaches you can take to a racing heart during meditative practice. 1. Continue meditating anyways The first thing you can do is sit through the discomfort and continue meditating anyways. A racing heart is usually caused by fear in minds which our body responds to. To get over this simply become aware of the racing heart and continue meditating anyways. You’re more than likely not in any physical danger. 2. Surrender into the experience A racing heartbeat is a sign showing you something causing you fear. This is your sign to dive in further. If you find yourself with an unexpected racing heart during meditation, the best course of action is to feel more deeply into it. This could be a call to surrender and discover what’s truly causing it. By surrendering you will start to dissolve any fear around the experience and find out what lays on the otherside of this strange racing heart phenomenon. 3. See a doctor If you’re concerned that this goes beyond just a psychological response and you’re having chest pain then you may need to see a medical professional. It’s also possible you may actually be having a medical issue that needs to be seen by a cardiologist. Though this is likely not the case, use your best discretion and know when it’s time to go the ER. What Does It All Mean? Racing heartbeats are signs given to us by our body during meditation. It’s your job to dive more deeply into it during meditation to discover what that message is. You may be experiencing anxiety for a variety of reasons that is creating a bodily fear response. More likely than not this will pass within a few minutes.

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7 Best Meditation Teacher Training Certifications of 2024

Don’t forget to take the free quiz at the end of this article to find out which certification is the best fit for you! There are dozens of meditation instructor certifications on the internet today. It’s hard to know which one to choose, and which one is the best bang for your buck. Luckily, I did the hard work for you and found the best meditation instructor certifications on the internet today. Meditation instructor certification courses give you comprehensive online and/ or offline training to teach and guide mindfulness meditation to beginner and intermediate students. Each of the courses listed below are accredited on some level and allow you to receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of your training. It’s important to note that there is no governing body that oversees meditation instructor certification accreditation. However, some programs are more credible than others. Many high quality programs are unofficially recognized by other organizations such as the International Association of Yoga Therapists and The Awareness Training Institute. But even some of the best programs aren’t “accredited” by these institutions. > see my article “How To Lead A Great Guided Meditation” I analyzed dozens of meditation teacher training certifications offered in 2024 and here are the top 7: #1 Meditation University’s Meditation Teacher Training (MTT-200) Kevin Ellerton’s Meditation University has recently released a state of the art all encompassing meditation teacher training. In Meditation University’s training not only will you learn about the various types of meditation, but you’ll also learn pranayama, kundalini, how to mantra, and yoga nidra. Meditation University’s meditation teacher training is taught by 13 highly experienced teachers each with a specialty in a specific area of meditation. Another notable point about Meditation University’s program is its entire section teaching you how to create a full time income teaching and selling your meditation skills after certification. All in all this meditation teacher training is both highly in depth and broad in scope making it one of the best options available. Noteworthy for: Being the most comprehensive meditation teacher training program available Teacher: Kevin Ellerton + 12 other teachers Available online: Yes Duration: 200 hours at your own pace Price: $3000 (scholarships are available) Accreditation: Internationally accredited and overseen by the International Mindfulness & Meditation Alliance and The Meditation Organization Check it out here. #2 Sura Flow Certified Meditation Coach Training Sura Flow is ranked #1 on our list because they are on the cutting edge of training meditation teachers and practitioners. Not only does Sura Flow’s course teach you every aspect of meditation, but they also teach you how to coach others to get the most out of their meditation practice. This approach leads your students to have the greatest spiritual and mental transformations possible through meditation. This is a 12 week long certification program taught by expert meditation teacher Sura Kim. This is an in-depth meditation course that is best for teachers, coaches, and instructors. Noteworthy for: The best for meditation coaches Teacher: Sura Kim Available online: Yes Duration: 12 week program (300 hours) Price: Depends (Multi-factorial) Accreditation: Sura Flow accredited meditation coach certification with completion Check it out here. #3 The Path’s Meditation Teacher Training The Path’s meditation teacher training ranks #3 on our list for the incredible in-depth training you receive for one of the lowest prices in the industry. Not only is this an entirely affordable course, they offer scholarships as well! The Path’s meditation teacher training hosts real live classes online and group sessions over 12 weeks. This meditation teacher training is rich with meditation knowledge and gives you real experience guiding meditations in group settings before graduating with your certification. Noteworthy for: Best for the price Teacher: Dina Kaplan Available online: Yes Duration: 12 week program Price: $1,099 (scholarships available up to $400 off) Accreditation: The Path accredited meditation teacher certification with certificate of completion Check it out here #4 Unplug Certified Meditation Teacher Training Unplug’s meditation teacher training program ranks #2 on this list because it’s the most well rounded of any other program out there. Unplug’s program consists of 200 hours of in depth training and community practicum laid out over a 6 week period developed by world renowned teacher Davidji. Unplug also gives recent graduates lifetime free access to the unplug app and continues to keep in touch with and answer questions well after the program finishes. With world class teachers comes world class prices, with the ultimate price tag being $3,500. Noteworthy for: The best for new meditation teachers Teacher: Davidji Available online: Yes Duration: 6 week program (200 hours) Price: $3,500 Accreditation: unplug accredited meditation teacher certification with certificate of completion Check it out here #5 Jack Kornfield & Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Program Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Meditation Program is the gold standard for meditation certification. Graduates from this program are among the most qualified meditation instructors in the entire world being taught by world class meditation teachers over the course of 2 years. The program has both psychological and spiritual depth and brings in renowned guest lecturers such as Eckhart Tolle and Dan Siegel. The program also includes a mentorship program that pairs students with experienced meditators for guidance and support throughout the course. Noteworthy for: Being the most in-depth in-person certification program Teacher: Jack Kornfield & Tara Brach Available online: Yes (in-person practicum) Duration: 2 Years Price: Calculated after acceptance into the program (It would be wise to assume this one has a hefty price tag due to it’s in depth nature and 2 year duration). Accreditation: Upon graduation you receive a certificate of completion from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Sounds True, and the Awareness Training Institute. Check it out here Bonus: Jack Kornfield’s Mindfulness Meditation Fundamentals Course Jack Kornfield offers his own independent meditation course that focuses on the fundamentals of mindfulness meditation. Although it’s not an official meditation teacher certification, it does give you a deep dive into 31 lessons of mindfulness meditation content + a certificate of completion for just a measly $29! Check

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What Is Strong Determination Sitting in Meditation?

Strong determination sitting is one of the most powerful and potent forms of meditation for spiritual growth. It’s original purpose was to help serious spiritual seekers make breakthroughs faster by using a more intense form of meditation. Strong determination sitting meditation originates from the Pali term Adhiṭṭhān which translates to “determination” in English. Do you want to learn about the most potent meditation practice out there? Well you’re in the right place. What is strong determination sitting? Strong determination sitting is a form of Vipassana meditation which involves sitting completely still for long periods of time while maintaining complete focus. Strong determination sitting requires much longer durations of time that can last from hours to even days in extreme cases. Have an itch? Too bad, you’re not allowed to scratch it during a strong determination sit. When you are doing a strong determination sit you are not meant to react to any physical pain or discomfort, and instead maintain your posture and position. You can see how brutal this could get for even just 30 minutes of meditation. What Is The Purpose of Strong Determination Sitting? The purpose of strong determination sitting is twofold: One is to train mental resiliency and to develop deep concentration & mindfulness even in the face of deep discomfort and even pain. When you challenge yourself with such intense and long meditation sessions, you are training your brain to stay calm and aware even in the most uncomfortable situations. The second is to delve into deeper states of meditation to help you have spiritual breakthroughs or awakenings (especially, with regards to Vipassana meditation. > see also How To Meditate For Spiritual Awakening How to do a strong determination sit Here’s how you can practice strong determination sitting for yourself. 1. Set your intention Before you begin your strong determination sit set an intention for your session. Are you doing this for a more disciplined and strong mind? Are you meditating to learn more about what’s deep in your brain? Or are you trying to have a spiritual awakening? 2. Choose your time and place Choose a time during the day when you can spare a hour and aren’t rushed as strong determination sits may take longer than the usual mindfulness meditation session. Make sure you also find a location where you will not be distracted. It’s also important to sit somewhere comfortable as you will be sitting in this spot without moving for a long while. 3. Start with short sessions Start your sessions at short durations. Strong determinations sits can quickly get overwhelming and uncomfortable for new meditators. For this reason you should start with a 10-15 minutes session and work your way up from there. 4. Set a timer and prepare your posture Set your timer for the desired amount of meditation time. Without a timer you will have no idea when to stop meditating. Your sense of time can get confused in long meditation sessions! Find a posture that you will be able to maintain for a long period of time. You may try the classic legs crossed lotus position. If you are prone to back pain or your legs easily go numb during meditation you might want to sit upright in a chair with a rigid back. 5. Mindfully observe sensations, thoughts, and feelings Begin your meditation practice as you usually would by focusing your attention on whatever arises in your awareness. You can focus on a particular thing like your breathing or just watch as different thoughts, feelings, and sensations arise. 6. Maintain discipline and stillness What sets strong determination sitting apart from other types of meditation is the inability to move during meditation. No matter the pain, numbness, or discomfort you are staying totally still during a strong determination sit 7. Gradually lengthen meditation sessions As you continue practicing strong determination sitting meditation, you can begin to lengthen your sessions as you get more comfortable. The longer your sessions become, the more you will find the benefits of strong determination sitting. Benefits of strong determination sitting Why would you want to put yourself through all of that discomfort you may ask? Strong determination sitting meditation has many benefits including: Though strong determination meditation may be the most difficult form of meditation, it definitely is the most potent when it comes to benefits. Some report diving into and healing past traumas due to strong determination sits while others simply enjoy the practice of daily mental discipline. Conclusion Strong determination sitting meditation is the most extreme and difficult form of meditation you can practice. Though it can be uncomfortable at times, strong determination sitting can lead to great mental resilience and personal & spiritual growth.

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How Long Should You Practice Transcendental Meditation?

Transcendental meditation is a form of meditation pioneered by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi that uses a sound mantra. During meditation practice you choose a single constant sound in your environment to continually focus on (also known as the sound mantra). When it comes to practicing transcendental meditation how do you know how long you should practice for? And how often? How long should you practice transcendental meditation? Most types of meditation can be practiced for as long or as little as you prefer. While this is true for transcendental meditation, experts and instructors of TM recommend that you practice this type of meditation for 20 minutes at a time. Herbert Benson M.D. researched the effects and benefits of transcendental meditation at Harvard University. Benson’s recommendation in his research for the ideal time of a meditation session is 10-20 minutes. The official transcendental meditation website gives this recommendation: “Transcendental Meditation is ideally practiced for twenty minutes”. Meditating for over 20 minutes may become difficult for the average meditator. However, anything under 10 minutes probably won’t be effective. How often should you do transcendental meditation? Transcendental meditation can be practiced as often or as little as you desire. If you desire a specific outcome such as lower stress levels or increased states of consciousness, you should create a habit. The official TM website recommends practicing transcendental meditation 2 times per day for 20 minutes each session. The first session should be in the morning before daily activities or work. The second session should be in the evening after work is completed for the day. This schedule of twice daily at the beginning and end of the day is set up for a special reason. Practicing TM before the day begins gets your mind calm and focused for the day ahead. Having a session at the end of the day unwinds your mind from work and allows you to relax for the evening. How long does it take transcendental meditation to work? So you want to know when you’ll see the benefits of transcendental meditation. Transcendental meditation expert Dr. Tony Nader says it takes around 4 days of practice to begin seeing noticeable long term benefits. However, I find that even practicing transcendental meditation one time you’ll find it has a huge impact on your mindset for the day. With habitual practice of transcendental meditation, you’ll begin to find your mind to be quieter and calmer more regularly. Keep at it meditators!

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Transcendental Meditation: How To Do It

Transcendental meditation is a newer form of meditation developed in the 1950s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Transcendental meditation is a form of silent mantra meditation where users focus on a sound for the entire duration of the meditation. Maharishi brought transcendental meditation to the West when he went on a world tour in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The sound is known as the mantra in transcendental meditation. A mantra is just anything that is repeatedly focused on by the meditator. The focus on the sound mantra in transcendental meditation brings you into the present moment and deepens your conscious awareness. How To Do Transcendental Meditation Here are the steps to practicing transcendental meditation: 1. Find a comfortable location and position Choose a quiet location that is distraction free and find a comfortable sitting position. You can decide to sit on a chair, bed, couch, or the floor as long as it will allow you to stay awake and alert for the duration of the meditation. 2. Close your eyes Begin your meditation by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths. This will help you get centered and closing your eyes will help you focus solely on the sound mantra. 3. Choose a silent sound mantra Become aware of the sounds in the room or environment you’re in. Find a sound that is relatively constant in your environment. Choose this sound and use it for the duration of the meditation. 4. Focus on the mantra for 15-20 minutes For however long you want to meditate you’re going to continue to bring your attention to this one constant sound you chose at the very beginning. Anytime you get distracted just bring your attention back to the sound mantra. Continually refocus in this way for the entire meditation. Most transcendental meditation teachers recommend doing this for 15-20 minutes a day. How Long Should You Practice Transcendental Meditation? Why Transcendental Meditation? Transcendental meditation is unique for several reasons. This specific type of sound mantra meditation brings meditators deeply into a state of relaxation and peace with a relatively low amount of effort. This particular type of meditation can also be used to access higher states of consciousness. As you get deeper and deeper into a meditative state using transcendental meditation, you may have spiritual breakthroughs or spiritual awakenings. Transcendental meditation is incredibly simple to start practicing and gives you all of the mental and spiritual benefits of any other type of meditation. 7 Best Types of Meditation: Which Is Best For You?

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Vipassana Meditation: How To Do It

The greatest and oldest meditation technique for spiritual growth is vipassana meditation. The serious spiritual seeker will want to learn how to practice this type of meditation. What Is Vipassana Meditation? Vipassana meditation is a type of meditation developed specifically for spiritual progress and attaining spiritual insights. The word “vipassana” means “to see things as they really are”. A habit of vipassana meditation will certainly cause spiritual awakening if practiced consistently. The practice aims to purify the meditators mind and create a state of pure unattached awareness. It is in this state that you see reality clearly for what it really is. How To Meditate For Spiritual Awakening Origins of Vipassana Vipassana was one of the main types of meditation that Buddha taught back in 500 BCE. This type of meditation is the predecessor for both modern day vipassana and mindfulness meditation. Buddha found vipassana to be one of the most helpful practices on his journey towards enlightenment, which is why it became one of his core teachings. How To Do Vipassana Meditation Vipassana is based in the same principles that mindfulness meditation is, however the focus shifts in vipassana. There are few subtle changes we need to make to our regular meditation practice for it to become vipassana. 1. Find A Comfortable Location Like usual, find a comfortable place to meditate. This should be a place where you can sit comfortable for 15-30 minutes without distraction. Ideally, a quiet location by yourself is best. 2. Get In Position Unlike other types of meditation, Vipassana requires your back to be straight. Keeping your back upright is important for maintaining alertness. Any position that is comfortable and keeps you fully alert and aware will work. Laying down is not recommended, but isn’t prohibited for vipassana meditation. 3. Focus On The Breath The main focal point for vipassana meditation is the breath. For the duration of your meditation continue to come back to your breath to refocus your awareness. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and the feeling of air coming into and out of your lungs. Anytime a thought enters your mind or you become distracted, simply return to the breath. Through the practice of continually focusing on the breath your mind will calm and purify. 4. Notice Sensations and Feelings Once your mind begins to relax and enter a state of more pure awareness from focusing on your breath you may begin to notice bodily sensations and feelings. Perhaps you can feel tingling, numbness, or vibration sensations. Your job is to watch how these sensations appear and disappear without judgement or attachment. Become the observer of those sensations. 5. Practice Nonattachment Always A key difference with vipassana meditation is its focus on nonattachment. Anything that arises in your awareness is simply to noticed and observed. Do not attempt to hold onto or push away any sensation. Have the attitude of allowing any and all sensations to exist, appear, and disappear. With nonattached observation you will begin to enter into a pure state of consciousness over time. If you find yourself judging or labeling feelings or sensations as “good” or “bad” just notice those thoughts in a nonattached way. Continually come back to a state of open nonjudging awareness. Mindfulness vs. Vipassana Mindfulness meditation and Vipassana meditation operate in very similar ways. They become different in their intentions and desired outcomes. This subtle difference in approach makes all the difference. Mindfulness meditation focuses your awareness and calms the mind for the purpose of stress reduction and mental improvement. Vipassana meditation focuses your awareness for the purpose of awakening and attaining spiritual insights. Though the process of each is very similar, their outcomes are different. Vipassana meditation tends to be a little more strict when it comes to posture and nonattachment to what arises. Mindfulness meditation is much more lenient and can be practiced in a less serious way.

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Mindfulness Meditation: What It Is & How To Do It

The most basic form of meditation practice is simple mindfulness. Mindfulness is the core of all other types of meditation, so it’s important you master this skill before continuing on to other forms of meditation. What is Mindfulness Meditation? Mindfulness meditation is a practice where you become focused on the thoughts, feelings, and senses that arise in the present moment. The practice of mindfulness is the practice of being present. When you notice thoughts, sounds, and emotions you are becoming aware of what is happening now. The key to mindfulness is approaching the practice non judgmentally. Mindfulness allows us to see things clearly as they are right now. Mindfulness Historical Background The modern mindfulness we know today in the West is directly descended from Buddhism. The practice of mindfulness originated in Buddhist philosophy in 500 BCE. Mindfulness was made mainstream in the West due in large part to the efforts of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. His work brought mindfulness practice from the East and turned it into the therapeutic practice known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). How To Practice Mindfulness Meditation Let’s go over how to actually practice mindfulness meditation. 1. Find a comfortable location and position The first step in mindfulness meditation is finding a comfortable place to sit. This should be a location that is distraction free and comfortable. Sit in a position that you won’t get too tired in. There are all kinds of meditation positions, but a simple cross legged position on a pillow, chair, or grown will do just fine. Get yourself settled in this position and location before beginning meditation practice. 2. Bring attention to the breath The core of mindfulness is your ability to focus your attention. To foster this focus we set an anchor point to come back to for refocusing our attention. The best and easiest anchor point for your attention is your breath. Your breath is a constant force that you will always be able to come back to now matter where you are as long as you’re alive. At the beginning of your mindfulness meditation practice, bring your attention to your breath to begin relaxing and to get present. 3. Bring attention to the body After you focus your attention on your breath you can begin noticing other sensations in your body. A body scan is a great activity for this part of the meditation. Just bring your attention to every body part and notice how it feels. Does it have pain? Is it comfortable? Cold? Warm? As you bring your attention to those body parts just begin to relax the muscles in those areas. As your body relaxes, your mind will unwind with it and your mindful focus will improve as well. 4. Notice thoughts and feelings Once you have that mastered, bring your mindful awareness to your thoughts and feelings. What is the quality of your mind? Notice any recurring thoughts that keep popping up in your mind. Your job in mindfulness meditation is simply to notice a thought, hold it in your awareness and let it pass. You should not be trying to force yourself to stop thinking, rather just notice it nonjudgmentally. 5. Return to the breath Any time you find yourself too overwhelmed by your, body, or emotions simply return to your breath Our breath is our refocusing point throughout the meditation. Whenever you get lost or overwhelmed simply begin the meditation again by refocusing on your breath. If you’d like you can also make your breath the sole focus of the entire mindfulness meditation session. Bringing Mindfulness Into Daily Life Mindfulness doesn’t always have to be a strict discipline. You can bring mindfulness into just about anything you do. Bringing a quality of attention and presence to whatever you do can grow your mind and spirit by leaps and bounds. That’s what I love so much about mindfulness. You can bring it anywhere. Whether you’re practicing mindfulness meditation for spiritual or mental benefits, there’s no doubt about it… mindfulness meditation can have a profound effect on your mind, body, and spirit. Happy meditating!

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Seeing Colors During Meditation? What It All Means

Have you noticed strange colors, visuals, or patterns during your meditation practice? During deep meditative sessions, you might start to see certain colors even though your eyes are closed. In fact, it’s more common than you might think. Why you might ask? The reason you may be seeing certain colors during meditation could be due to closed eye visuals (or phosphenes) being created from increased eye pressure. Another possibility is that you may be getting into deep meditative states where you can begin to view your energetic or chakra system. Closed Eye Visuals (Phosphenes) Have you ever rubbed your eyes a little too hard to then be surprised by a colorful burst of light? You may be experiencing a phenomenon known as phosphenes. These closed eye visuals are simply an illusion created by your brain to interpret the unknown optical nerve signals. It’s possible that this can happen during meditation if you’re closing your eye lids tightly or rubbing your eyes. The good news is that this is a perfectly natural phenomenon and is nothing to worry about. Simply relax your eyelids or open your eyes and continue to meditate. Viewing Your Energetic System Another likely cause of this color appearance during meditation is that you’re beginning to sense your internal energetic system. We are energetic beings with a deep and complex chakra system in which energy or prana flows. When you get into deep meditative states you may begin to become aware of this bodily energy system. This can look like a swirling color in your consciousness or simply be a vague blurry color in your mind. During particularly deep meditations you can really crank up the dial on your consciousness, sometimes to these point where you can sense these metaphysical aspects of reality. The color that manifests itself in your minds eye is usually correlated to the most energized and active chakra in your body. > see my article “Why Are My Ears Ringing During Meditation?” Meditation Color Meanings The colors viewed in meditation are most likely tied to a specific spiritual energy. The best way to describe them is with the 7 chakras of the body. Seeing a particular color may signify either an abundance or a lack of that particular energy (though it’s most likely an abundance). Red The Root Chakra (Muladhara) The color red in meditation is related to the root chakra which is responsible for our basic human needs, primal instincts, and anchoring self to Earth. If you’re seeing red during meditation, it may mean that you’re grounded to physical reality and you feel safe and secure. Orange The Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana) If you’re seeing the color orange it may mean you have access to a lot of sacral energy. The Sacral chakra and seeing orange during meditation are responsible for sexual function, creative expression, and regulating some emotions. Yellow The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) The color yellow is reflective of accessing an abundance of your solar plexus chakra energy. Seeing yellow could mean you’re accessing the part of yourself that is responsible for your personal power and confidence. Green The Heart Chakra (Anahata) Seeing the color green during meditation is reflective of accessing your heart chakra energy. This means you’re sensing and tapping into the part of your energy system responsible for compassion, empathy, and balancing your higher and lower selves. Blue The Throat Chakra (Vishuddha) If you see the color blue during meditation it’s reflective of accessing your throat chakra energy. Seeing blue means your tapping into the part of your energy system responsible for self expression and speaking/ acting out your truth. Indigo The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna) Indigo is one of the most commonly reported colors seen when meditating. The color indigo or a blueish purple color appears when you’re accessing your third eye chakra. The color indigo appearing during meditation is indicative of you accessing your intuition, higher consciousness, and universal wisdom. Violet The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) Violet or purple can appear in meditation practice when you access your crown chakra. If you see the color violet you may be accessing the part of your energy system responsible for enlightenment and connecting with the spiritual forces outside of you in the universe. Is This Something to Worry About? Seeing colors appear in your mind during meditation is nothing to worry about. It’s most likely you accessing parts of you energy system in states of higher consciousness from deep meditation. This is something very exciting! It means you’re raising your awareness level and accessing previously undiscovered parts of yourself. If you’re experiencing vision disturbances or prolonged phosphenes after meditation you should go to your doctor or optometrist. Otherwise, it’s most likely a sign of you connecting with your internal spiritual energy system. > see my article “Struggling To Meditate? 7 Common Issues And Their Solutions”

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