The practice of meditation is multilayered. Regardless of their experience, practitioners are always given the opportunity to select their level of depth in which they immerse themselves. This article will add another layer to meditating by incorporating complimentary activities prior to and following your practice.
The purpose of pairing activities with meditation is to promote further insight and exploration of the self and tap into creative freedom or inspiration that meditating may have brought you. The suggestions I make are subjective in nature; meaning, they do not have a specific technique or method. Rather, they are flexible in how they are executed and can be personalized.
Before diving deeper, remember this:
Meditation begins with breathing, and it can expand to encompass advanced breath work (pranayama), mantra, various forms of yoga, and more. Consistent engagement with meditation will bring increased awareness, stillness of the mind, and the ability to consciously release intrusive thoughts.
The four energetically aligned practices that can help deepen and enhance your meditation practice:
- Oracle Cards
Writing in a journal is a wonderful way to sustain a connection with your higher self. Most people associate journal writing with a “Dear Diary” style of entry wherein the writer re-hashes their day and reveals their deepest secrets.
Release the idea that your journal entry needs to be coherent or chronological in nature. Visualize utilizing a pen as a means to empty your mind of distracting, invasive, or repetitive thought patterns.
If such thoughts are removed from the mind, the path is cleared to connect with your higher self and experience a more rewarding meditation practice.
How to use journaling to enhance your meditation:
Prior to your meditation session, take a few moments to write down any thoughts you may be experiencing. This jumpstarts the meditative process of acknowledging your thoughts and choosing to avoid thought webs.
Initiating acknowledgement ahead of time will allow you to spend more time in a state of release, surrender, and mental clarity.
To further signify your complete release of unworthy thoughts, try writing them down, then ripping up your page. The ripping and discarding of your thoughts releases potential distractions to your practice before you even begin!
Begin your preferred style of meditation following your writing, and notice how much quicker you are able to dive deeper into your meditative state.
It is very common to experience increased mental clarity following meditation. This clarity is a connection with your higher self which accesses your sources of inspiration, creativity, and desire.
I cannot emphasize enough that the purpose of meditation is not to prevent thoughts from occurring, rather it raises the vibration and quality of thoughts. As your depth of practice increases, you may notice thoughts or visions popping up that align with your inspiration or higher purpose.
Immediately following your meditation practice, write down your experience. Describe in detail any thoughts, feelings, or sensations that occurred. The act of writing may provide further clarity for you.
After we mediate and step out into the world, it is all too easy to disconnect from our higher self and forget the messages we have received. Meditation is a form of listening. Be a good student of your practice and record your experience; you will be surprised what it will reveal.
Setting an intention for your meditation practice is a way to focus your energy toward a specific thought or desire. The purpose of an intention is to manifest it.
Meditating can be used to help achieve your desired outcome by creating awareness, re-affirming your commitment to your intention, and to obtain guidance from your higher self.
We are able to view our lives with increased clarity through the lens of meditation; therefore, using your practice to aid intentional living is ideal!
How to set an intention
Creating an intention is very similar to goal setting. Start by making a list of what you would like to accomplish. You may list work-related outcomes, personal or spiritual growth desires, health-related goals, or something as simple as a feeling you want to cultivate more often.
What makes an intention slightly different than a goal is its energy. Whatever you decide to focus on, re-word it into the present tense, as if you have already obtained the outcome.
Desire: I want to feel more joy in my life
Intention: I am living a joyful life.
Assuming an energy of having everything you desire is called abundance. Abundance encompasses very high vibrational energies of gratitude, appreciation, joy, empowerment, and enthusiasm. Associating these feelings with meditation can elevate your practice.
How to connect your intention with your meditation
Take a moment before beginning your session to centre in on your intention. Redirect your thoughts to how you want to feel, allow positive emotions to wash over you, smile, recite your intention out loud, and begin your practice.
Your streamlined energy toward your intention sends a message to your higher self. Don’t be surprised if guidance on how to live your intention arises while meditating.
Here is an example of using an intention and receiving guidance from my own personal practice:
I was using a guided meditation which encouraged me to set the intention to be “fearless and free.” I created an energy of already obtaining this. I used the same intention for several meditation sessions.
Very slowly, I began piecing together visions that would pop into my head while I was meditating. The visualization in its entirety was of me writing. I could see myself sitting in front of my computer reading something I had written. I was drinking a cup of coffee and smiling as I read the words I wrote. It was in that moment I knew I was fearless and free.
When I released conscious thought and focused my energy on an intention, my subconscious was able to reveal to me how I could achieve this “fearless and free” state I desired. It was these meditation practices that inspired me to start my blog.
I continue to write daily. Every time I find myself drinking coffee and editing my latest post (like I am now), I am reminded of what I manifested through meditative intention, and I smile—Read more here.
It is worth noting that utilizing an intention does hold some similarity to prayer. Like intentions, prayer makes an excellent companion to any meditation practice.
If you identify as connecting with a higher power and prefer prayer, utilize it in a similar manner as an intention. Prayer invokes an energy of surrender. When we release what we desire to the care of something greater than us, we open the door to divine guidance.
Offering prayers prior to meditation cultivates an attitude of gratitude. Be clear on what you desire, ask for guidance, and be open to receive!
3. Oracle Cards
Introducing oracle cards into your self care routine is a great opportunity to receive guidance from outside of yourself.
Oracle cards are easier to use and less structured than Tarot Cards. Anyone can use oracle cards to gain further insight into their lives. I use oracle cards daily and have integrated them into my meditation practice.
How to use oracle cards
Using an oracle card deck is an intuitive energy-based practice. Each card is infused with an energetic message designed to offer you insight into your desires.
You may choose to ask for guidance regarding a specific situation or intention. Prior to selecting a card I say “Thank you for revealing to me what it is I need to know.”
How do you know if you have picked the right card? Consciously, you don’t. Selecting a card is an intuitive process. The premise is that you will naturally be attracted to a specific card. Through the law of attraction, you will align with the energy of a message which will affirm to you that the correct card has been selected.
When to select a card
Before meditating, select a deck of cards that resonates with you. The artwork of the deck will create an attraction. Hold the cards and shuffle them. If they feel good, they are good!
My favourite decks include Butterfly Affirmations, Crazy Sexy Love Notes, and the Super Attractor Deck. If you would like to further connect with angelic guidance try using Daily Guidance from your Angels.
If you choose to select a card before you meditate, allow the message to serve as your intention. Read the card several times, hold it to your heart to align your energy, and then begin your meditation.
Personally, I prefer making my card selection after meditating. Following my practice, I feel like my highest self—my energy and intentions are clear, I am relaxed, restored, and much more connected to my true self.
The law of attraction states that what you believe, you receive. When I select a card at the end of my meditation practice, I know that its message is in alignment with me at my best. I find myself being amazed at how relevant and in sync my card messages are following mediation.
Oracle cards can act as reinforcement to any guidance you received while meditating. They can also point you in the right direction, or make sense of unclear messages.
Utilizing crystals is also an energetic experience. Everything has an energy, and it is our job to carefully select what energies we associate with.
Because meditation provides such a great opportunity to create peace within our lives, we need to make sure we set ourselves up for success prior to entering into a practice. Using crystals or semi-precious stones can help influence our energetic footprint and enhance our meditation.
How to use crystals
There is no right or wrong way of incorporating crystals into your meditation practice. Simply having your precious stones nearby is enough to feel their effects.
If you have a meditation space consider placing crystals in it—perhaps on a window sill, bookshelf, or table.
To further connect with your crystal’s energy, you may choose to hold it while you meditate. Placing your hands on your thighs, with your palms up, is a comfortable position to practice meditation. Simply placing a stone in the palm of your hand is a natural place for it to be.
If you would prefer to rub or move your stone in your hand while you meditate, that is ok too; so long as it doesn’t serve as a distraction! Some people actually find that connecting with the sense of touch can be grounding and calming while meditating.
Which crystal to use
Like oracle cards, selecting crystals is also an intuitive experience. Whatever feels good to you is the right selection. Here are a few suggestions of great beginner crystals that have specifically been known to enhance the meditating experience.
- Clear Quartz: The ultimate mediation stone is a clear quartz. It is known to promote clarity of the mind and enhance focus. If you have an intention for your practice, clear quartz also has the unique ability to become receptive to your intent and facilitate its manifesting.
- Selenite: This crystal clears the mind and promotes relaxation in the physical body by helping release accumulated negative energy. Selenite also works as a protector by shielding us from negativity.
- Amethyst: This multipurpose crystal aids in connecting with higher states of consciousness and intuition. In addition, amethyst will also promote mental clarity and inner peace and enhance motivation/inspiration. All of these attributes allow for deeper states of meditation to be achieved.
Entering into the world of meditation opens many doors to create connections with other self care, spiritual, and energetic practices. Harnessing the positive influence of your meditation and applying it to other activities multiplies its impact.
The effects of meditating do not have to be limited to the moments you spend in actual practice. Meditation is a way of life, so welcome!
Author: Cheryl Tobin
A yoga instructor (RYT-200), spiritual enthusiast, and wannabe morning person. Relies heavily on coffee and oracle cards to get through the day. Author of the blog Spiritually Premeditated.
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