Meditating with Colors
I recently took a class on how to meditate. For the first half hour or so we discussed what it means to meditate. Instead of achieving a blank state of mind, meditation is really about mindfulness, being present, focusing your mind.
During the class we talked about when we could use meditation in our daily lives and how it might benefit us. The teacher gave us an example of road rage, which I’ve already put into practice. If a car cuts us off, we’ll still feel that initial anger or fear, but we can quickly re-center our thinking toward more productive thoughts.
My life is fairly low stress and I lead a really healthy life – making sleep a priority, getting fresh air / exercise every day, seeing friends frequently, and eating clean food. So what I was looking for in meditation was a way to rest my mind (which is always going 100 mph) and to perhaps find another source of creativity.
Types of Meditation
The teacher took us through several different forms of meditation to see which one resonated the most. During these exercises, if our mind wandered, we were told to gently bring it back into focus.
Meditation Method #1: The first exercise is how I typically think of meditating. The teacher asked us to focus on our third eye (the spot between our eyes on our lower forehead) or the tips of our fingers as we sat in a comfortable position. To me, this was dull, and all I could think about was the how much my knees hurt.
Meditation Method #2: This was my favorite. We were asked us to choose a color and focus on that color. Not only did I like the opportunity to have a choice in what I was to think about, but as a visual person, I loved the opportunity to embrace the imagery.
Meditation Method #3: This time we were asked to choose a word and meditate on that word. I liked this one too, but perhaps because my day is made up of writing and words, I was less inclined to think of this as a mental break.
My Chosen Method
For me, I loved the color visualization method, probably because it feeds my creativity, gives me a way to actively participate in terms of make a new choice each day, and gives me an opportunity to think about how that color applies to me and the wider world.
Here’s how I do it:
Step 1: I chose a color. I actually think about what the color will be throughout the day. In the morning, I might think it’s going to be a brilliant yellow, but at the time I go with my gut and make an instantaneous choice. I think this is great fun and I always surprise myself with my choice.
Step 2: I pick the exact hue and then think about that color using all my senses. For instance, one afternoon I chose the color pink. I then thought of the taste of strawberry ice cream and the softness of a flamingo feather. I thought about the airiness of cotton candy and the smell of a rose in full bloom. Fun, right?!
Step 3: I think about the attributes and emotions associated with the chosen color. For me, pink is all about tenderness, softness and warmth. It’s about the innocence of blushing and the newness of a baby’s skin. It exudes a playfulness and pure delight.
Step 4: Next I think about which I these attributes I want to personally manifest and how these “pink feelings” could improve my life and relationships (with others, work, my surroundings). For instance, how could I improve my relationship with friends by taking a softer, gentler approach during our conversations.
Step 5: I focus on how I might be able to transfer these colorful feelings to the wider world. I think about how my “pink” actions could benefit others. In this case, my “pink” thoughts might ease tensions or give inspiration to others.
Step 6: I spend the last moment expressing gratitude for having the time and space and health to meditate that day.
What I Learned
- Recent studies show that the ideal meditation time is 12 minutes. This is thankfully short, since nearly all of us can squeeze 12 more minutes out of our day, although I think I usually meditate between 20-30 minutes.
- You don’t have to sit to meditate—you can walk, lie down, stand up—choose any position that makes you comfortable.
- You don’t “have” to meditate every day, rather 3-5 times a week is the goal.
- The best time to meditate is different for us all. A lot of people like the early mornings before their day starts. Since I write in the mornings, I prefer to meditate after I exercise in the late afternoon.
What about you—Do you meditate? What is your preferred method? How does it impact your life?
Note: Ian Phillip White was our teacher. He has his Guide to Successful Meditation on Amazon if you’re interested. I don’t receive any compensation for this recommendation. He just helped me and he may help you too.
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 and is filed under Erin Right Now.