A lot of our readers always ask: what are the secrets to better sleep? What can we do before sleep to make ourselves waking up fully energized the next morning? Yes, that’s right, meditation does help a lot. Here are the simple and useful sleep meditation technique everyone can use, starting today.
First let’s talk about the simple preparation: Stop checking Facebook or watching TV shows/movies 20min before sleeping! The reason for doing this is to help your mind to clam down and be peaceful before going to bed. It’s very useful to keep your mind clear and worry-free, so you can stop being dragged into different unnecessary errands and emotions which would affect your sleep quality.
Parking your Mind
Similar to parking your car, Now let’s put your mind to ‘Park’ before doing the sleep meditation. This is very simple: choose a relaxing pose or simply lay down on your bed, relax, breathe slowly and count your breathe. Keep your breathe long and slow, and start counting 10 sets of breathe (exhale and inhale as 1 set).
Think about the happy moments that you had during the day. What are you happy about? What do you feel grateful for today? Let’s re-visualize the details and the feelings of today’s happy and grateful moments. Better yet, think about the people you helped during the day: did you help your colleague? Did you help that old lady to cross the road? Did you help someone find a job or a client? Did you donate money to the ones who need financial help? Close your eyes and re-live those enjoyable moments. Did you see the smiles on their face? Did you see their thankful emotions? Did you feel their happiness? Have your mind fully immerse into these happy moments, and feel free to put a smile on your face too.
That’s it! it’s a pretty simple, easy, and effective sleep meditation. All you have to do is relax and focus on the happy moments, and fall asleep in the sweetest happy emotions. Try it – your sleep will never be the same again!
You know the universal secret to Happiness? It’s actually very simple: being Grateful.
A lot people asked us about the law of attraction, as they read in the book ‘The Secret’. According to what the book says, one can attract what they want in life by continuously thinking (or manifesting) about certain things. That being said, some people says somehow it does not work; they do not get what they want event if they think about that thing all the time.
So what is missing from the formula in ‘The Secret’? It’s actually very simple: it’s your underlying emotion when you think about the things you want continuously. Let’s use money as an example: Are you trying to attract money by thinking about it day-and-night because you are not happy with your current financial situation? Or are you happy with the current state of abundance when you think about money?
The secret of happiness and getting what you want in life is being grateful of your current state. To be able to attract more financial resources, you have to realize on how lucky you are being in the current state of abundance. You have to feel grateful on the current lifestyle. Okay, you may not live in a huge mansion currently, but you have to appreciate the fact that you actually have a clean shelter. You may not be a billionaire yet, but you have to appreciate the fact that you are so lucky that you do not need to worry about meals. Feeling happy is all about being grateful and feel good about what you have currently.
When you feel Happy about what you currently have, and happily imagine the possibilities on what life can be like if you have even more financial resources, you will truly attract what you want and attract more financial resources. This is the secret of ‘The Secret’
From this moment on, make yourself a habit of looking around on what you have and feel thankful and grateful about it. Think about how lucky you already are, and imagine what life can be likely with even more resources. Only then, you will be able to be truly happy; only then, you will be able to attract what you want.
Here is an excellent simple meditation you can do anytime and anywhere – it’s call ‘The Perfect Ten’ Breath Meditation. This breath meditation can be used as a preliminary to almost every other kind of meditation.
The idea is that, during the day, our mind is very stirred up thinking about all the different things that we have to do. We need a very basic meditative technique to bring it to a state of stillness, and from there we can be clear to go into a deeper meditation on a certain object.
You can think of this like the process of taking your car out in the morning. You back it out of the parking spot, and then switch it from “reverse” gear to “drive”. The idea is that you can’t just go from “reverse” to “drive” without stopping the car first; otherwise, you will strip the gears. In between the two, you have to pause and put the car into “neutral.”
The mind before meditation is just the same. Before we shift it into “drive” with a specific meditation object, we have to slow it down first, and put it into a neutral place.
This neutral place is Breath Meditation. Here’s how we do it.
Sit in a comfortable position for meditation, and take yourself through the Meditation Takeoff Checklist. Then bring your mind to your breath. At first, just follow the breath, out and in. That is, normally we think of a breath as being an inbreath followed by an outbreath—the way we take a deep breath before we swim a long distance underwater.
Here though we focus on the outbreath and then on the inbreath. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first breath we take in our life is an inbreath; and the last breath we take is an outbreath. The purpose of deep practices of meditation and yoga is partly to reverse this normal process of aging and death; as a celebration of this intention, we change our conception of a breath—starting with the exhale first.
Secondly, all of us tend to breathe too short, and too quickly. If we are mindful to make our exhales long and full, pushing out the last part of the stale air, then our inbreaths will automatically be full as well, and our mind will be more clear, with the extra oxygen and prana. Thus, we start with an exhale.
So let’s begin our Breath Meditation. After a number of normal breaths with slow long exhales, we begin to focus closely on the flow of the breath. Think of yourself as a tiny little man sitting on the end of your nose, like an attendant at a city parking lot. You are simply watching the cars leaving and returning to the lot.
Don’t try to control the breath, don’t think too much. Just sit and watch the breaths leaving and returning. Glue your mind to the breath as it glides in and out, like a ski that stays in contact with the snow, even as it moves across the snow.
Begin counting the breaths: Each time you exhale and then inhale, this counts as one breath. Focus your mind on the breath, and try not to think of anything else. If your mind comes off of your breath and you do think of something else, then you have to start the count over again at 1.
See if you can reach 10 without thinking of anything else. When you start to try this little exercise, you find that’s it quite difficult. This is an indication of just how scattered our mind usually is, even though we’re so used to it that we rarely notice. As you continue a regular breath meditation practice, you will find that your ability to get to 10 increases.
That’s it, very simple. Take it easy – this simple counting breath meditation focuses your mind to calmness – that’s the Perfect Ten.
Before Meditation: Meditation ‘Take-off’ Checklist
Meditation is like flying a plane: It works best if you focus 100% in it. Before meditation, there is a list of item we should check before we ‘take-off’
1) Turn off electronics
Make sure that you turn off your cellphone and laptop before meditation; aside from the noise that these devices make, they also create a magnetic field that can affect you during deep meditation. And the fact that they are on and might beep with a message is already a subtle distraction for your mind.
2) Set alarm
If you need to get someplace within a certain amount of time after meditation, set an alarm before meditation. There are lots of nice applications that can give you a good meditation bell sound to bring you out of your meditation more gently.
3) Set meditation seat
Make sure you have a comfortable meditation seat. Tradition says that the back should be slightly higher than the front. See that the seat keeps your bottom off of the floor, especially if it’s cold; and check that there is enough padding under your ankles and knees to keep them from hurting if you sit for a long time.
4) Cross legs
It doesn’t matter too much if you sit on the floor or on a chair. The main point is that you should be completely comfortable: that you “park” your body in such a way before meditation that you will be able to forget about it for a half hour, and feel no discomfort that will draw you out of your concentration.
5) Place hands
Place your hands in chin mudra on your thighs, or set the right palm down on top of the left palm on your lap, palms up.
6) Straighten back
Sit up as straight as if there were a cord attached to the top of your head, and someone were pulling up on it. Keep pushing down against the floor on the other end, since gravity will naturally pull you down as the minutes go by, and you will need to continually straighten yourself subtly.
7) Tense up abdomen
Slightly tense the muscles of your abdomen, which will release and lengthen the lower spine. Try not to curve the lower part of the back inwards when you sit up straight—avoid creating a kink in the lower back.
8) Shoulders level
Some people tend to scrunch up on shoulder or another when they concentrate. Be sure to keep both shoulders relaxed and down, the neck erect and extended upwards.
9) Chest out
Pull your shoulder blades together slightly in the back so that your chest puffs out slightly. Pulling your hands back on the top of your thighs will create a slight isometric effect which will help bring your chest out. Pushing your hands out the other way, so that they hang over your knees, may create a slump in your spine, so watch out for that.
10) Set chin
Set your chin at a level which doesn’t make you sleepy (too far down) or scattered (too far up).
11) Relax forehead
Very purposefully relax the areas of your forehead where you might normally be scrunching it up: no horizontal lines across the width of the forehead, no vertical frown lines between the eyebrows.
12) Relax lips
Consciously relax your lips and mouth in a comfortable, natural position. Check for any tension in the corners of the mouth as you focus your thoughts—and watch out for tension in this area throughout the meditation session.
13) Relax eyelids
Relax your eyelids, so that there is absolutely no tension in them. You can keep your eyes slightly open if it helps you prevent sleepiness; but if you do, keep them unfocused and down. Close your eyes completely if that helps you concentrate better without feeling sleepy.
14) Relax face
Consciously check in on the other areas of your face, such as cheeks, and chin, and relax them.
15) Slow breath
Now begin to slow down the breath before meditation, in preparation for Breath Meditation. Work for long, full exhales which will automatically lead to corresponding inhales that are not so deep that they could cause tension.
Congratulations! Now you’ve completed your Meditation Takeoff Checklist. You plane is ready to take off now. From here you can begin the preliminary breathing meditation, and then move on to a meditation with actual content.
We have quote a lot of readers ask us this good question: When is the best time to meditate during the day? It’s definitely a very good but personal question. Different people have different habit, but here what we recommend as best meditation practices:
One of the best time to meditate is during early morning, especially between 5am – 7am. In fact, we recommend everyone make meditate the 1st first in the morning after you wake up, brush your teeth and wash your face. Try to practice 10-minute morning meditation before reading facebook, news, or having any breakfast.
We do not recommend you meditate on your bed because that’s where all the drowsiness energy stays. These best place to meditation in the morning is either somewhere outdoor or a very quiet corner inside your house which keeps you free from distractions.
The other best time to meditate is during lunch time. After the whole morning of work, meeting, and running around, it is a very good practice to take a moment during lunchtime to ‘re-group ‘ and meditate. The right kind of meditation during lunch time is a very effective way to re-charge and re-energize yourself for the afternoon.
It is also a good mindfulness reminder to re-instill the calmness throughout the day. Remember, a big meaty and starchy lunch will tend to make you tired in the afternoon, so the best practice is to have a light but high energy lunch and then do a short and sweet meditation after.
It is also a very good practice to meditate before you go to bed. We highly recommend that you stop looking at computer, TV, or cell phone screen 30 min before you go to bed. Instead, you should find a quiet moment and do a easy happy meditation. The point of this happy meditation is to relax and think about all the happy things you did through the day. For example, you can think about the happy moment when you see the smile on the person’s face that you helped earlier today.
When you are doing the happy meditation, try to visualize every happy moments in as much detail and emotion as possible. By reviewing the happy moments, you will feel grateful about life. It will also help you to get an excellent sleep in happiness, which is the most awesome way to wrap up the day!
After all, every minute is the best time to meditate, and establishing a regular habit to do that would help a lot to re-charge your day effectively.
Some of our readers asked us about where to find great free YouTube Meditations. We actually found The Honest Guys Meditation series pretty interesting. Started since 2009, these Honest Guys Meditation has a great balance on the variety and quality.
So who are ‘The Honest Guys’? They are Rick, Kevin, Sian. The team actually started The Honest Guy’s YouTube Channel quite some years ago, originally intended to be a channel for giving honest opinions and reviews on different self-improvement practices, systems, and methods. And then, the YouTube Channel evolves into focusing on giving free great quality free guided meditation contents with the aim of helping their audiences.
The Honest Guys Meditation is about making meditation extremely easy and approachable. In their words, meditation is not about sitting on the floor all day or associated with the ‘woo-woo’ stereotype.
We definitely agree with them. Meditation, at the most basic level, is about allowing the body to enter the deep state of relaxation, and allowing the mind to enter the deep state of presence and focus.
These Honest Guys Meditation videos cover a large variety of topics, mainly includes total relaxation, reducing stress, sleep, and affirmations. These meditation videos come in great relaxing music and guided English voices, with duration vary , from 8 min to 4 hours. Their main mission is to help everyone.
One of our favorite Honest Guys Meditations is the Chakra Balancing Meditation – which is a 30 min refreshing and re-balancing meditation.
You are what you eat. We all went through these experience: Sometimes our body and mind feels very heavy and tired even after a ‘good’ meal of heavy food, and sometimes our body and mind feels very delighted and uplifting after certain meal of mindful food.
To keep your mind and body healthy and energetic, we really have to pay attention to the diet, as food directly impact our mindfulness and vibration energy. The habit of eating Mindful Food is a very important source of good vibrational energy, which transcends our life into much better shape.
Here are the top high vibration mind food that will definitely make you feel better, more awaken, and more focused:
Fresh Organic Fruits – Fresh organic fruits are a very awesome category of mind food, as it contains lots of energy from the sun and surroundings. The best time to eat the fruits is when these fruit are ripped and fresh from the plant. Among all fruits, the red and purple berries have the highest vibration energy. Also the awesome level of antioxidants in the berries and fruits help to keep your body young and healthy
Vegetables: Among all vegetables, Kale, Lettuce, Rocket leaf, Sprouts, Beans, and Olives are the ones with the top vibration energy. Again, make sure you pick and eat the organic ones, as this mindful food and vegetable contain an awesome amount of energy from the sun and field.
Raw Seeds and Nuts : Almond, Sunflower seeds, Hazelnuts are among the best seeds which serve as mindful food. These seeds are high in protein and omega-3s that your body and brain needs for daily functioning. Raw seeds and nuts are actually the perfect snacks between meals
Algae: The algae (or seaweed), especially the blue /blue-green ones have very high vibration . They are very mineral rich and at the same time contains rich omega-3 fatty acid.
Maple Syrup or Raw Honey: Instead of consuming processed sugar, we should consume the natural sweetener including maple syrup, honey or agave. These natural sweetener can reduce your body sugar crave, which is usually caused by processed sugar
Start having the above mindful food, and you will see the transformation of your vibration energy level, meditation, and body.
Steve Jobs actually went on long meditation retreats to Tassajara, the first Zen monastery in US. Jobs meditate everyday, and meditation empowers Jobs with laser focus, crystal vision on product, and tranquility.
Steve Jobs’ quote on meditation:
If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is.
If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things — that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more.
Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before.
Marc Benioff – successful people meditate everyday:
Marc Benioff is the legendary founder and CEO of Salesforce, an USD 10 Billion annual revenue company. Meditation is his secret mental weapon in keeping him focused and grounded everyday. Marc actually embraces the meditation culture so deep in his company that now every floor in the new Salesforce HQ tower includes a ‘mindfulness zone’, where Salesforce’s employees can meditate in these dedicated zones.
Russell Simmons – successful people meditate everyday:
Russell Simmons is the world’s famous music produce and co-founder of the most successful hip-hop music label in the history: Def Jam Recordings. Actually both founders of Def Jam Recordings: Russel Simmons and Rick Rubin are wildly successful and famous for their daily meditation practice. Russel literally said that meditation can reintroduce you to the part that’s been missing. In fact, Russell wrote a book about meditation called ‘Success Through Stillness‘, dedicated in bring people success via meditation
Lebron James – successful people meditate everyday:
Three times NBA Champions and four times NBA Most Valuable Player, Lebron James is an amazingly calm person. Lebron is definitely one of the very successful NBA athletes who meditate everyday. During the 2012 NBA playoffs, Lebron even meditated publicly on camera at the basketball court during timeout to re-focus. In addition to Lebron, other famous NBA players including Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and others also meditate.
Hugh Jackman – successful people meditate everyday:
Hugh Jackman, the world famous actor who is well known for his long running role as Wolverine, X-Men, Les Miserable, and Australia. Hugh also earned multiple Academy Award nomination, Tony Award, and Golden Globe Award. Hugh practices meditation everyday; he also revealed that meditation helped him on relieving from nervousness and keeping him focus and calm. “In meditation, I can let go of everything. I’m not Hugh Jackman. I’m not a dad. I’m not a husband. I’m just dipping into that power source that create everything. I take a little bath in it. “
For those who want to learn more on practicing mindfulness and meditation, meditation app can be an easy way to get started. Like having a mind personal trainer on your phone, the meditation app can be an easy way to establish the meditation habit and make it fun.
To use a meditation app or not is a very personal decision. Also, different meditation apps have different pros and cons. Choosing the most suitable meditation app is a journey; different meditation apps work for different people.
Here is the list of popular meditation apps that are interesting:
Headspace is a guided meditation program which features an everyday 10-minute guided meditation session. The app comes with a free 10 lesson level one pack. If you want to continue after that, there is a monthly or yearly subscription plan which unlock further levels and focuses.
What’s special about Headspace: Very simple and easy to use and follow. The meditation and step-by-step progress tracking are quite suitable for beginners
Oprah Meditation App (21-DAY Meditation Experience with Oprah and Deepak Chopra)
This is the Oprah Meditation app, which features free 20 minutes sections of mindfulness insights. It’s almost like a mini class into Oprah and Deepak’s take into mindfulness. “The energy of attraction is about much more than getting the things you want. It’s about aligning in order to get the things you want,” said Winfrey,
What’s special about the Oprah Meditation App: It’s very much like a mini radio program, Oprah Winfrey style.
Buddhify is about incorporate meditation and mindfulness into your daily life. It features a big spinning wheel in the app that covers meditations for the moments all the way from Waking Up, Eating, Commuting, Feeling Stressed, Work Break, to Before Sleep. This app is USD 4.99 for iphone and USD 2.99 for Android
What’s special about the Oprah Meditation App: Very situational meditation. This app less about step-by-step, but more about incorporating meditation into different daily situations.
Omvana gives you access to many great sounds, music, and guided session for meditation, you can choose the length of each meditation session which can go up to like an hour, which also include different focuses.
What’s special about the Omvana: This app features a pretty cool background music mixer feature, which let users mix their own meditation music and sounds
Definitely the popular app among serious meditators. The Insight Timer features a really useful meditation time with the capability of setting multiple intervals to time your meditation. It also provides great background ambient sound and meditation community functionality.
What’s special about Insight Timer: We like the timer functions and meditation community features. It’s handy if you are a regular meditator and already know what you are meditating without the need of much guidance.
Meditation is a mind exercise, which trains our mind to be calmer and more focused. A lot of time many people feel overwhelmed and stressed by their daily life, meditation is the best way to re-charge your mind and body.It’s like re-charging your smartphone everyday, spending 10 minutes to meditate everyday actually makes your mind and life drastically better.
Meditation trains your mind on better attention and focus. Have you ever enjoyed a good movie or concert so much that you are being in-the-moment and not thinking about anything else? Meditation is like that, it empowers your mind to be in the 100% immersive focus state and efficiency not only when you meditate, but also throughout the day.
Meditation trains your mind to be more creative. Creativity is the most essential state of mind which generates new ideas for problem solving and improving our lives. We are know and talk about moments of inspirations. Meditation removes mind barriers and let creativity and inspiration flow. You will be amazed on the strong flux of new ideas once you start this new habit.
There are multiple scientific studies that shows a direct correlation between constant meditation practice and happiness. Remember people told you to take deep breathes before delivering a big speech? It’s the same mechanism, except meditation is 100 times more powerful. Regular meditating practice drastically reduces our anxiety through weakening our brain’s sensation on fear, anxiety, and worries. Our live become much happier and passionate which drives more positive results.
With all these benefits, we strongly encourage you to meditate everyday. The best way is to craft out 10 minute every morning to do it, like an exercise. It’s like going to a gym or doing morning run, it’s best to do it at the same time everyday to establish a habit.
For 10 minute everyday to get all these positive results, it’s definitely worthy!