IMILOA PRESENTS A personal retreat to nurture, reconnect and heal ourselves. Starting now.Select the dates you prefer.Now more than ever, it's crucial for us at Imiloa to stay true to our purpose of becoming a home and experience where all living beings are welcome to...
The Most Useful Mindful Meditation Tips from the Experts at Imiloa
The term “mindfulness” has become an increasingly popular concept in culture and has grown in interest and potential over the past decade. What was once an original ancient Buddhist practice for exploring the human experience, is headed mainstream.
But what exactly is mindfulness?
Ramana Maharshi, who died in 1950 in India, was known to share that in a meditation practice, if your brain scatters, bring it back to center by inquiring: “Who am I?” This is a remarkable awareness in and of itself; it actually shuts the mind down because each time the inquiry is posed, the mind simply cannot answer.
Mindfulness and meditation practices simply keep us open and allow us to collapse the judgments we have in the world by acknowledging that they exist.
But how do we do it? How do we actually…meditate?
Lee Davy, one of the Founding Family members at Imiloa, explains just exactly how we can achieve this. Lee used to own a gym in Toronto before becoming investor #2 at Imiloa. His life is radically focused on others and sharing the technologies and tools that he believes can transform the lives of others.
First, Davy explains, there are three important components of meditation that we must understand in obtaining this state of contentment.
The first element of meditation is awareness. By going inward, dropping in, and visiting ourselves on a deeper level, we can become more aware of what’s going on around us. Classically, we can do this by focusing on the breaths. When our brains wander, we acknowledge and gently refocus on the breath.
The second component of meditation is the practice of being in the present moment. This entails recognizing and noticing our current state. This allows us to check in on the mind and sift through our thoughts, emotions, concepts, images, feelings–all without judgment.
The third part of meditation is attunement. This is the notion of honing in on the concept of “more.” It’s how we acclimate and visualize more love, sensations, healing, growth, energy, and overall, more abundance into our lives.
These three components of meditation are proven to bring us higher degrees of health, wealth, bliss, overall, a sense of contentment.
With so many techniques, technologies and tools for meditation, it can cause overwhelm. Meditate on it.
Kidding. Sort of.
Davy suggests that a great habit to form is establishing a morning meditation practice before you get out of bed. One of his favorite practices is a three and a half-hour meditation of the pineal gland. This practice took Davy years of dedication to put into place.
Davy explains that the pineal gland is a small “pine cone” shaped piece located in the center of your brain in the endocrine system. This system is known to regulate melatonin, as the gland works to govern and maintain the circadian rhythm. Essentially, our sleep/wake cycle.
The gland has also long been associated with the idea of the “third eye”, or “the eye of intuition” which comes from the yogic symbol of all-knowing. However, Davy goes on, the pineal gland is a space that’s located above the third eye and works as the sensing unit. This gland begins to degenerate as we reach the age of ten, which is when we start to lose touch with our spirituality.
But with a solid pineal gland meditation practice, we can help begin to regenerate the health of this gland. Davy shares that a way to do this is by getting into a comfortable position, keeping your spine straight, and to visualize and place your attention solely onto the pineal gland. This awakens intuition and activates inner wisdom while creating a soothing and peaceful state of mind.
Physical activity is another great form of meditation. Any form of movement whether it be yoga, free dance, or activities such as running gets the blood flowing. The art of movement and physical activity gets you out of your own head and more into your own body.
Another suggestion Davy recommends for meditation is learning how to breathe. Yes, that’s right. It may come as a surprise as we think of breathing as a natural thing, right? But studies show that most of us are not breathing correctly which can lead to anxiety symptoms and depression. New research shows that we tend to take small sips of air and hold in our chest, forgetting to breathe with our bellies.
An exercise that Davy loves to share with his guests at Imiloa to help with “belly breathing” is the Wim Hof Method. This type of breathwork is easily approachable and consists of two parts. The first technique is similar to a polar bear plunge.
An extremely chilly dip in artic-type water is believed to boost the immune system, increase energy levels, and relieve joint pain. Another version of the Wim Hof meditation consists of 5 rounds of deep belly breathwork.
Generally, this part involves 30 breaths within the rounds, while adding small retention after each round of breathing. This style of breathwork allows us to control the flow of air through our lungs to regulate our body’s energy. It also steers us away from reacting in a fight or flight mode, thus giving a sense of relaxation and response.
Ultimately, learning to incorporate some of these mindful meditation techniques really comes down to honoring your own spiritual journey. When we begin to nurture our bodies, we start to nurture our spirit.
And by nurturing our spirit, we are nurturing the world. It’s an important aspect in life to fill our own cup first; as one cannot pour from an empty cup. There’s a subtle art to finding the delicate balance between lingering too long in the past and overthinking about the future.
By acquiring habitual meditation practices, we can usher ourselves to a state of awareness, and awareness is what brings us to the present moment. The present moment is where we can find true contentment.
Life is happening for us, never to us. We gain this perspective through our meditation practice. And what emerges is a more playful, joy-filled life being realized in the present moment to moment.