Saturday, April 21, 2012

Peace Love Relax Calm

So sometime last fall I decided I wanted to try to induce an out of body experience. I looked up some different ways in which people said you could do it. None of them worked for me. But I did find that what I was trying was having a very relaxing meditative effect on me so I just turned it into nightly meditation for myself before I go to sleep. And I've decided to share it all with you.

So here is what I do. I lay in bed on my back under the covers and try to relax as much as I can. I take about four deep breaths, and when I inhale I try to hold that air in my lungs for a couple of seconds. Then when I exhale I try to keep all the air pushed out for a couple of seconds. After those few deep breaths I just go back to normal breathing.

Meanwhile with every inhale or exhale I focus on one word of a mantra I created for myself. The words I use are Peace, Love, Relax, and Calm. I try to draw out mentally saying each word to last the full inhale or exhale. I don't try to block out any other random thoughts, but instead just try to focus on the word and ideas that the word invokes. I also try to direct peaceful, loving, relaxing thoughts towards those people in my life that I care about.

So on the first deep breath inhale I would in my head be saying "peeeaaaacccceeee." And then on the exhale "lllloooooovvvvveeee." The next deep breath would be the words/ideas relax and calm. I really do try to draw out the mental saying of the word to last the entire inhale or exhale. I think it helps slow my thoughts down and helps me relax.

A strange thing happens after the first few breaths. When I get to the exhale for the word love I start to smile and generally feel better about myself. And then when I inhale and say relax I feel some of the tension leave my shoulders and back and I sink into my bed a little more.

It used to be that I had so many thoughts running through my head at night it was hard for me to fall asleep. But once I started this meditation I was able to slow my thoughts down some and relax and would get sleepy. And like I said I don't try to stop any other random thoughts that pop up. I just focus my attention on the mantra and most of the other thoughts just fade away.

I have tried to explain this to a few of my friends before to varying degrees of success. If any of them tried it for themselves I don't think they had much success with it. I think it probably would work best if others chose their own mantras instead of using mine. I originally came up with mine while I was trying to induce an out of body experience, which I wanted to be a positive experience, so I chose positive ideas for my mantra. I have given up on the out of body thing, for now at least, but I kept the mantra and meditation because I felt it was having a positive effect on me.

If you try out this meditation, or anything like it, please let me know how it went for you. I have found that after all the peaceful relaxing meditation sessions that any time that I am feeling stressed about something I can just think my mantra once or twice and it has immediate effect on my mood and tension at that moment.