These days many people are well-acquainted with the wealth of research supporting meditation practice. We know it’s a great way to relax our bodies, balance our emotions, clear our minds, focus our intentions, and handle the stresses of life. Many of us have come to enjoy and rely upon the deep peace and inner connection that regular meditation practice brings. Even so, it’s a common challenge to bring that peaceful positive consciousness into the rest of your life.
It’s wonderful to enjoy your meditation time, but the real power of meditation is how it can affect the way you live. Spiritual practice has two dimensions—the movement inside and the outward expression of your inner realization. In this article, we’ll explore three ways that you can build bridges from your meditation experiences to the rest of your life.
1. First, you can bring the positive effects of meditation into your life within your meditation period itself. No matter which meditation technique you practice, once you have learned to do it well, you will find that your technique puts you into a heightened state of inner awareness and relaxed presence. When you are firmly established in that state, this is an ideal time to practice sending that positive energy outward.
Here are some ways to do that.
Near the end of your meditation time, when you’ve let go of the random thoughts, feelings, and distractions that bubble up during the initial stages of meditation, spend some time sending the positive energy you are feeling to the people, places, events, and projects in your life. For example, when you are centered in relaxed inner presence, focus on a person to whom you would like to send that energy. Imagine that person receiving positive feelings and smiling. Imagine them feeling relaxed, centered, healthy, and joyful.
If you know something that your recipient is going through, you can imagine and feel positive energy going to that situation or event and bringing the best possible result for all concerned. Likewise, you can send peaceful positive energy to any event you are involved in, or to any place in the world, or to the planet as a whole. You may begin with those close to you and then expand to other people, events, and places.
You can also imagine and feel positive outcomes for upcoming interactions and events in your schedule. When you are arrive in those relationships or events, you’ll find that you have set the stage for positive results. You have prepared yourself for how you want to relate in those situations and you will have primed yourself to realize those experiences. You may also find that those to whom you’ve sent positive energy have a greater openness as well.
2. A second way to bring peace into your life is to take brief time-outs during your day to recall your meditative experience. You can do this on a set schedule, such as during mid-morning, lunch, or mid-afternoon breaks, or you can do it as the need arises. Take a minute or two, close your eyes, breathe deeply, recall the feeling that you had during your meditation time, and bring that experience back into your body.
This technique underscores the importance of having a daily morning meditation practice to give you a good reference point for starting your day. Having meditated in the morning, it is much easier to recall that state later in the day when you need it.
3. A third way that you can bring your meditation experience into your life is to apply your meditative skills to moments of tension, agitation, or stress. In meditation you learn to calmly observe your thoughts, feelings, and reactions without identifying with them. You see them, feel them, accept them, and release them. You practice allowing experiences to come and go. This is a great skill to use when you feel anxiety or conflict. Meditation gives you relaxed awareness as a baseline experience against which you can readily notice when you are moving into stress mode. You will feel inner discomfort arising and have the skills to relate to it in a way that enables you to move through it effectively.
To use your meditation skills in this way, practice keeping an inner meditative presence throughout your day. Feel your “inner body” even as you are involved in outer activities. In this way your whole life becomes a meditation.
To practice consistent inner presence, whenever you remember to do it, check in with your inner body. Feel your body as a whole from the inside, as I teach in my Core Energy Meditation program. Notice what is going on. Notice any subtle sensations or tensions as well as what you are thinking, feeling, and believing at that moment. When inner tensions are present, accept them and observe them. See if you can relate them to how you are looking at what is going on around you. How are you interpreting the present situation? What are you doing internally that is giving you the experience you are having? How are you contributing to what is going on?
When you calmly observe and feel your inner state without reacting to it, you allow tensions to resolve, you connect with deeper intuitive wisdom about what is going on, and you may discover inspiration for how to deal with a present situation most effectively. The bottom line is to use your meditative skills of inner awareness, presence, letting go, and discernment to help you effectively navigate every moment of your life.
Enjoy your practice!